Country Guide - Finland

Higher Study information of Finland

A Nordic country in Northern Europe, Finland has everything you expect from it. The country borders Sweden, Russia and Norway. It is one of the most peaceful countries in the world. It is one of the most developed countries in the world, and that reflects in the standards of living in Finland. The country is a mixture of tradition and modernization when it comes to agriculture and industrialization, with forests being an integral part of the economy of Finland. Education in Finland has an international connection and it is recognized all over the world.


Higher Education in Finland consists of mainly two entities: the traditional Universities and the Universities of Applied Sciences. As the name suggests, the Universities offer traditional degrees like Bachelor’s (alempi korkeakoulututkinto), Master’s (ylempi korkeakoulututkinto), and Doctoral degrees. Traditional Universities are more concentrated on the fundamentals and traditional approaches to education.

Universities of Applied sciences are more on the Practical side, with courses like Engineering pursued in the Universities of Applied Science. The Bachelor’s degrees are for three to four years, whereas the courses in Universities of Applied sciences take 3.5 to 4.5 years. In many cases where the bachelor’s degree is considered a graduate degree, sometimes it is just a stepping stone to a master’s degree in Finland without a separate admission for the latter.


It is possible to study in Finland in English. More than 400 programs for higher education in Finland are taught in English. The most prominent language is obviously Finnish, however, right from the school English is taught. The other major language in Finland apart from Finnish and English is Swedish.

The international students will not have to worry about learning a new language, and they can continue their studies in Finland with the English language as there are many courses to study in Finland an English Masters Degree. There are English language tests to prove the proficiency of a candidate’s English, and they are generally IELTS, TOEFL or C1 Cambridge Advanced.

Study in Finland Without IELTS

For language proficiency, there needs to be some proof of English language proficiency for English-taught Universities in Finland. IELTS and TOEFL test scores are widely accepted for that. However, there are other ways to study in Finland without IELTS.

  • The Universities sometimes grant exemptions to students if they are able to prove their English language proficiency other than these test scores.
  • The other ways normally include the student being from a native English-speaking country, the student clearing the Universities’ tests for English, or the student has had his/her higher education in the English language.APPLY TO STUDY IN FINLANDThe Application process to study in Finland is quite straightforward. It starts with finding the right course and Universities in Finland and applying online. There are some general requirements of the universities regarding the documents which every student needs to fulfil. The next step to admission at Universities in Finland would be English language proficiency tests. The most commonly accepted tests are IELTS and TOEFL. However, in some cases, exemptions are granted even for non-native English-speaking candidates, when they can study in Finland if they attend the language classes before the courses.STUDY REQUIREMENTS IN FINLAND The requirements of documents for the application process may differ with the university and course you choose. However, the common documents you will require are mentioned below:
    • All academics documents
    • SAT/ACT/GRE/GMAT Scores depending on the
    • Minimum English language test results
    • Statement of Purpose
    • Letter of recommendation
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • Work experience certificates (if any)
    • Portfolio



    There is a number of courses to look forward to for bachelor's and masters in Finland. There are enough courses for international students for bachelor’s, master's, and Ph.D. programs in Finland. There is a range of fields to apply to, from international business in Finland to IT courses in Finland. From management to Engineering, Universities in Finland has everything to look forward to.

    International students have a large number of options to choose from and pursue their higher education. There are also vocational and short courses in Helsinki that students prefer doing, that are more employment oriented than theoretical and research-based courses. Here are some of the best courses you can choose to study in Finland

    ·       Study Business & Management in Finland

    ·       Study Engineering in Finland

    ·       Study Social Sciences in Finland

    ·       Study Natural Sciences in Finland

    ·       Study Medicine in Finland

    ·       Study Law in Finland

    ·       Study Computer Science & IT. in Finland

    ·       Nursing study in Finland in Finland


    The Universities in Finland offer several scholarships to local and international students alike. Scholarships and Grants are a great way to fund your Study in Finland, there is a number of them offered by educational institutes. In some cases, even a student’s home country offers grants for the students going to study abroad. One should do thorough research on the scholarships offered by both Universities and the government. There are many specific scholarships available in Finland for international students like the University of Helsinki scholarships programme and scholarships by the University of Oulu Scholarship Foundation.


    Once you are accepted at the university to study in Finland, you will be part of a student union for higher education in Finland. The union looks after the student’s interests and represents them. People in Finland are welcoming and friendly, and with more than 400 programs for international students in Finland, you will find international students just like you on and off campus. There are many student clubs for different interests, and you can be a part of them. Life in Finland offers you high standards of living with ease.


    International students in Finland are allowed to work with some restrictions while they study in Finland. The students are allowed to work part-time jobs. There is no weekly limit set on the working hours, however, the average working hours for an academic term should not exceed the average of 25 hours a week. The student is allowed to work part-time in their field of study. Many Universities in Finland offer career and employment services that can be helpful for international students.



    The Non-Eu students have the option to apply for a one-year extension to work after studying in Finland. There is a number of job opportunities after MS in Finland. Students who already have secured employment, or students who are willing to stay back and look for employment can apply for an extension in the residence permit for Finland. In case where a student is looking for a residence permit and has not found employment have to apply for the residence permit extension before his or her permit affiliated with the study program expires.


    There are two different intakes in Finland for International Students. Autumn and Spring Intake. Finland’s intake for international students is described below:

    • In Finland, the Autumn term starts in September the end in December.
    • The spring semester starts in January and lasts until the end of May.

    Let’s deep dive into the Intakes in Finland

    Autumn Intake in Finland

    It is the primary intake for students who want to Study in Finland. Most of the students prefer autumn intake to study in Finland, as it will give them enough time to be conditioned to the studies and the environment.

    • Duration: September, October, November,  and December
    • Autumn Intake is also called September Intake.
    • This intake is offered by the majority of universities with a large number of seats available in almost all the courses, compared to the spring Intake.

    Apply for the September intake in Finland

    You can apply for September intake in Finland from August to October. Do some research on the Intake application deadline of the university you want to study at and make sure to apply at least a month before your deadline. Don’t delay in replying to the emails of the university.

    Deadlines for September intake in Finland

    Deadlines for September intake in Finland generally come from December to March. However, it differs from university to university.

    Spring Intake in Finland

    Spring intake can be seen as the continuation of the Autumn intake. You can find plenty of institutes that offer courses in spring intake.

    • Duration: February, March, April, May
    • Spring intake in Finland is also called February Intake.


    Apply for Spring Intake in Finland

    Students can apply for spring intake from January to March in Finland. Mostly, the students who could not get admission in the Autumn intake can go to Finland in the spring intake. Students will get another chance to complete their studies without waiting for a whole year.

    Deadlines for Spring Intake Finland

    The application Deadline for this intake usually comes between May and June. However, application deadlines vary from university to university.

    Summer Intake in Finland

    During the so-called summer Semester which is in the month of June to August, it may be possible for already studying students to complete some specific course modules, but truly speaking, it is “Vacation time” and there is no separate summer term in Finland for degree studies.

    Steps to Study in September intake in Finland

    For either bachelor’s studies or a master’s in Finland, the first thing you require is an action plan. Here is a September intake in Finland application timeline to give you an idea about what to do and in which month to do it if you want to study in Finland!

    Step 1: Start early

    • Begin early and by August, shortlist the universities that you want to apply to. Visit university websites and note admission requirements, due dates, etc.
    • By September, get familiar with all the bank loan options and scholarships to support your studies in Finland.
    • Do need to do some thorough research on the different accommodation options according to your budget.

    Step 2: Crack the exams: January  to February

    • Prepare for required standardized tests like GMAT, GRE, SAT, TOEFL or IELTS depending upon the course and university.
    • Register for GMAT/GRE at least three months before the test date
    • Enrol for TOEFL/IELTS no less than a month before the test date.
    • Take the required exams after proper planning as you will need some buffer time in case you need to retake the test.

    Step 3: Its application time: February to March

    • Shortlist the universities and prepare for your application. Highlight your strength and also present what makes you unique as an applicant.
    • Get connected with your professors and direct managers for the required Letter of recommendation.
    • You should also start working on your statement of purpose(SOP). Give a month to structure them, so that you can present yourself to the university.
    • Get ready at least one month before your application due date and apply before the due date!

    Step 4: What next: March to April

    • If you receive emails from the university you have applied to, without any delay reply to them.
    • Appear for video interviews as scheduled by the university.
    • Once you get admission letters, make your decision as soon as possible. Inform the universities about your final decision.
    • You will be required to pay a confirmation deposit which is non-refundable to confirm your seat at the university.

    Step 5: Visa and money matters: June to July

    • Search for and begin applying for external scholarships in Finland (if relevant).
    • Apply for the education loan, after you get your acceptance letter. (if required)
    • Gather all the documents required for your student visa. Check visa prerequisites.
    • You need to check and apply online for the Finland study visa for the September intake of 2023
    • Apply for a student visa on time. You should keep in mind the time taken for visa processing and plan accordingly.

    Step 6: Get ready to fly: July to August

    • Book your airline tickets and get ready to fly.
    • Organize International currencies.
    • Assemble all the documents and their photocopies, to take along.
    • Check out the Pre-departure checklist and make sure to pack everything you will need in Finland.

    Universities for September intake Finland

    • University of Helsinki
    • University of Eastern Finland
    • University of Lapland
    • University of Turku

    Steps to Study in Spring Intake in Finland

    If you are planning to study in Finland and wish to go for the Spring intake, here is the timeline for it.  Information about when to apply for Spring intake in Finland, What is the process from start to end,  universities in Finland for Spring intake, and all about the last dates to apply for Spring intake in Finland.

    Step 1: Start Now

    • Most of the colleges have a first come first serve admission policy for Spring intake in Finland, so you need to start your application process as early as possible. Keep in mind the deadlines of the universities in Finland for the Spring intake and start your preparations accordingly.
    • Before that, select the colleges and universities that you are interested in. Do proper research on the list of colleges in Finland for the Spring intake and then, see what are courses available in the Spring intake, and select the ones that suit your academic and career goals. Each University has its application deadlines, so take note of them and consider it before planning.

    Step 2: Take the Required Exams: July to August

    • Start your preparation for standardized exams such as GMAT or GRE, two months before the test. Register and take the required exams as per your university requirements.
    • You should take your English language test such as the IELTS/TOEFL exam, depending on the course and university requirements, before applying for the institutes.
    • Keep in mind that it will take some time for the results of the test to be declared. Also, keep one buffer month in case you are required to retake the exam because of any undesired result.

    Step 3: Start Applying to Colleges: August to October

    • Look for Spring intake colleges in Finland, and shortlist the colleges and Universities before the due dates for the respective institutes. Start applying for colleges. The documentation processes for application should start at least a month before the due date.
    • Connect with your Managers and professors to get the Letter of recommendation.
    • Write a good Statement of Purpose(SOP). It must highlight your strengths and present you as a unique applicant.
    • Most of the spring intake colleges in Finland will have their deadline set in for July. Some deadlines might be as late as mid-September, but keep yourself updated with the deadlines for Spring from the university website.

    Step 4: Acceptance Letters and Interviews: October to December

    • If you are shortlisted by the Colleges in Finland, they will email you. Do not be late in replying to them. Appear for your personal or video interviews as scheduled by the university.
    • If you get a positive response from the university, take a quick decision. Reply to them as quickly as possible. Some of the institutions follow a first come first serve policy. Do not wait for the application deadlines to reply.
    • You will be required to pay a non-refundable confirmation deposit to confirm your seat in the college.

    Step 5: Apply for Visa  and Education Loan: October to December

    • As soon as you get the admission letter, apply for an education loan if required, without any delay. Loan processes take some time, and the candidate should always consider it while planning to apply.
    • Assemble all the documents required for your student visa application. Apply for the student visa for Finland on time as the processing for a visa will also take some time.
    • If required, apply for an external scholarship as well, as soon as you get the admission letter from your college or university.

    Step 6: Tickets and Departure: December to January

    • You are almost ready to fly! Book your airline tickets.
    • Most of the classes in Finland will start in early February, so it is advisable to reach there by January and look for accommodations on or off campus.
    • Before flying, collect all your essential documents and their photocopies.
    • Get the required international currencies before departure, and make sure you have marked every checkbox in your pre-departure checklist. Get ready to study in Finland intake.

    List of colleges in Finland for spring intake

    There are only a few universities that offer spring intake in Finland such as the University of Vaasa, and the University of the Arts Helsinki. You could find some courses though in other universities for the spring intake.

    Intake to choose for

    You might be quite confused to decide the intake that will suit you better. We are here to help you choose the intakes. You should consider the following factors while choosing the intake:

    • Availability of your preferred course.
    • Acceptance rates.
    • Your academic records.
    • Standardized test scores.
    • Job opportunities available.
    • Your readiness to join the university.

    However, most of the overseas students prefer to go for the September intake in Finland. January intake is also good for many programs. If you do not have your documents ready until the application date, it is better to skip the current intake and apply for the next intake in the country.


    The Northern European country offers the best education and standards of living to international students. But how much does it cost? Here is a look at cost of study in Finland for international students, and the living costs in the country.

    Finland University Fees

    The Universities in Finland are absolutely cost-free for EU/EEA students in Finland, but there are fees for students from non-EU countries. The English-taught degrees start at 1500 euros a year, and they can go up to 25000 euros a year.

    Here are the average tuition fees and cost of Study in Finland for International students:

    Top Universities in Finland and their tuition fees

    There are 10 Universities in Finland that feature in Top Universities Ranking for the world. 

    Cost of Living in Finland

    As is the case with any country, metropolitans like Helsinki are expensive, and the costs get lighter as you move away from the big cities in Finland. Here are some of the average cost of living in Finland to give students an idea:


    The average cost of accommodation is lower at student residence halls in Finland. However, only 32% of international students can stay there. The other option is off-campus stays, and they are shared apartments most of the time which brings down the accommodation costs to some percentage.

    The students will have to pay 400 to 500 euros a month for an unshared apartment, when the apartments are shared, the cost of living in Finland comes down to 350 to 450 euros a month. The students living in the residence halls pay around 380 euros a month for the accommodation.

    Cost of Food in Finland

    The cost of food in Finland varies largely between cities you stay in. There are supermarket chains that provide affordable groceries and discounts. The monthly groceries at supermarkets will cost you on average around 200 to 250 euros.

    A meal at an average restaurant will cost around €10 to €12. A three-course meal at a decent restaurant for two people in Finland will cost you around €60.

    Transportation and Other Costs of Living in Finland

    Transportation costs are lower for the students staying off campus when compared to students staying off campus for obvious reasons. Many students, more than 25% of all students, prefer to walk to the university on day to day basis.

    A monthly pass for students in public transportation costs around 35 to 50 euros a month. A private rental or taxi will cost much higher, as the weekly fare can go as high as 230 euros for a week. For social activities, it is advisable to have a budget spared for 100 euros per month.

    There is a student union fees to be paid by the student at the time of registration at Universities in Finland. The student union fee in Finland is 100 euros for an academic year.


    Once you are enrolled in a Finnish University, the next step is to apply for a student visa in Finland. The student visa in Finland is known as a residence permit. Students who are enrolled for courses in Universities in Finland for the long term, or more than 90 days, are required to apply for a student visa in Finland or a Finnish residence permit. Here is all the information required for the student visa in Finland:

    Finland Residence Permit

    For international students who want to study in Finland for a longer period than 90 days, a Finland residence permit is required. In most cases, the residence permit is granted for one year by Finland Immigration. If there is any extension required, the extension should be applied by the students at the local police station in Finland. However, let us first talk about first Residence Permit in Finland and How to Apply for Student Visa in Finland:

    How to Apply: Finland Visa for Students

    Students residing outside of EU/EEA countries will have to apply for a student visa in Finland. Here are the steps to follow if one is seeking to obtain a residence permit in Finland. Applicants can apply online or offline, both.

    Step 1: The first step is to fill up the Residence Permit form from the Finland Immigration website. Fill up the form as instructed and be careful. The form can be submitted digitally, or offline at the Finnish Embassy in your country.

    Step 2: There will be a set of supporting documents you are required to submit with the application. Here are the documents you are generally required to submit alongside the Finland residence permit application.

    Step 3: You will have to submit the application form and all the required documents to the nearest embassy during working hours. Even if the student has applied for Finland Residence Permit electronically, document verification is necessary for the person for the application to proceed further.

    Step 4: The next step is to submit your biometrics data to the embassy. The biometrics include the fingerprints of the candidate and photographs. Again, regardless of the application mode, the biometrics has to be done in person at the embassy.

    Once everything is in place, the visa process takes 60 days. The candidate is sent a mail once the Finland Student permit is issued, and it can be collected at the embassy or have it sent to the candidate.


    Work Permit and Student Visa for Finland

    International students in Finland are allowed to work part-time, for an average of 25 hours a week. There is no restriction on working when the terms are not going on, in the vacations. After the studies are over, there is an option to extend the student visa for Finland or the residence permit for one year. Students are required to apply for an extension of their residence permit before their first residence permit expires