Cost of Studying and Living in Finland
If you wish to study in Finland, there is a chance that you may be able to do so for free. Students from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, you do not have to pay tuition fees. This also applies to students who have permanent residence within the EU/EEA, as well as exchange students and PhD students. You may still need to pay a small fee to join the university student union, but this normally costs around €40.
If you are from a country outside of the EU/EEA and want to study a bachelors or masters degree, you will have to pay tuition fees. The cost of studying will vary between different institutions, but the prices tend to range from €6,000 to €18,000. To get specific information regarding your course fees, contact your chosen institution. Your fees should be paid prior to the beginning of your studies, and once you have paid you will be able to start your residence permit application. If you do have to pay tuition fees, you may be eligible for a scholarship, contact your chosen institution for information about this.
Accommodation in Finland can either be arranged through your university or student housing foundation, or you can opt for private renting. Student housing of some sort will be the cheaper choice. Contact the international office at your chosen university for more information about accommodation and the related costs. If you choose to study in a bigger city, your living costs will be higher than in a smaller city or town.
For your living costs, it is recommended that you budget for between €700 and €900 per month. This is including accommodation, transport, food and course materials. On top of this, you need to make sure you have valid health insurance, and it is always useful to have a little money kept aside in case of an emergency!
As a student from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, you are permitted to get a part-time job during your studies, with no time limitations. You need to make sure that your studies are your priority however, and it is not recommended that you rely on a part-time wage to finance your studies. As an international student you are also permitted to work, but only up to 25 hours per week during term time. There are no limits on working hours outside of term time. However, it is still not recommended that you rely on a wage to finance your studies. It would be helpful to have some Finnish language skills to help secure employment.
Another cost to consider is health insurance. If you hold an EHIC card, you will not need to purchase health insurance, and will be able to access the same healthcare as other Finnish citizens. If you do not hold an EHIC card, you are required to purchase a health insurance policy to study in Finland. There are several requirements that your insurance must meet. For example, your insurance deductible must not be more than €300, if your studies will take less than 2 years your insurance must cover medical bills up to €100,000 and if your studies will take more than 2 years your insurance must cover medical bills up to €30,000. You are permitted to purchase your health insurance in your home country, or from an international insurance company. The Finnish embassy or consulate will be able to provide more information about this if required. More information can be found on the Finnish Immigration Service website.
Visas and Student Residence Permits
Depending on your nationality, you may need to apply for a student residence permit to live and study in Finland.
If you are an EU/EEA student, you will not need a visa or residence permit for your studies. However, if you will be studying for longer than 90 days, you need to register your residence with Migri. If your studies will be longer than a year, you will also need to register in the Finnish population system. This will give you a Finnish Personal Identity Code, something that may be requested by local authorities, banks and employers. You can register in the population system after your arrival in the country. The same applies to students who are Nordic citizens, however you must register your residence at the local registry office if your stay in Finland exceeds 6 months.
If you are a non-EU/EEA citizen, you are required to obtain a renewable student residence permit in order to study in Finland. To apply for this permit, you will need several documents. These include a formal letter of university acceptance, health insurance and evidence that you can financially support yourself. You can start this application either at the Finnish consulate or embassy in your home country, or via Enter Finland.
More information regarding the student residence permit applications and costs, visit the Finnish Immigration Service website.
Finland has two official languages, Finnish and Swedish. It is quite common however, for locals to be able to communicate in English. You should make the most of being in a new country though, and make an effort to pick up some Finnish when talking to locals. This is a skill that will look fantastic on your CV!
It is very likely that your course will be offered in English. If this is the case then you will have to provide evidence of your English language skills, but this mainly applies only to students who are not native English speakers. To find out the language requirements for your specific course, contact your chosen institution, or check their website.
If you wish to study in Finnish, you will need to provide evidence of your Finnish language skills. You should be relatively fluent in the language, and be considered between intermediate and advanced on accepted language proficiency tests.
Helsinki is the capital of Finland, and is home to more than 640,000 people. This makes it the most populous city in the country. It is considered the centre of education, politics, finance and culture, and has been regularly ranked as an one of the world’s most liveable cities.
There are 10 universities in Finland, as well as 5 other higher education institutions. With around 36,500 students, the University of Helsinki is the largest and oldest university in the country. Located in the city is also the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, and HELBUS Helsinki School of Business.
Tampere is located between two lakes, and has therefore been an important power source for the country, most recently for generating electricity. The city has a long and industrial past, and has a nickname of ‘Manse’.
There are four higher education institutions in Tampere, two universities and two polytechnic institutions. Close to the city centre is the University of Tampere, with more than 16,000 students. Tampere University of Technology has more than 12,000 students and is located just outside of the city. Tampere University of Applied Sciences has around 10,000 students and is a non-university higher education institution.