Located in the northernmost part of Europe, Finland boasts one of the best education systems in the world. Finnish higher education institutions provide high-quality and low-hierarchical teaching, secure campus areas and comprehensive student services.
Finnish universities use innovative and problem-based learning methods, which involve lots of discussion and group work. The aim is to answer to the needs of the society and to provide the students with skills that can be easily applied in the working life.
The Finnish higher education system is divided into universities and universities of applied sciences (UAS), both of which provide Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. The programmes in UAS’s are generally more practically oriented. The universities and UAS’s offer a great variety of study programmes in English for both exchange and degree students. Courses are also offered in Finnish and Swedish, the two national languages of Finland.
Student life in Finland
Finland is widely known for its world-class educational systems, but also for amazing natural beauty, equality and a high quality of life. Finland welcomes international students to its exotic and safe atmosphere.
In Finland students can choose from many attractive student cities between the vibrant capital Helsinki at the Baltic Sea and the northernmost university in the European Union area near the Arctic Circle.
For a refreshing balance between studying and free-time, students can enjoy some of the worlds freshest air, clean nature and exotic wonders in each of the four seasons. Finnish nature provides multiple possibilities for outdoor activities ranging from downhill skiing or ice-fishing to enjoying the endless summer nights at your new Finnish friends’ cottage.
Although being considered a rather expensive country, students in Finland are entitled to a subsidised healthy meal in all higher education institutions. A meal costs about 2,60 € and includes a hot main course, salad, drink and bread. In Finland one can also get reasonable student discounts in public transportation, movie theaters and local restaurants, making the cost of living more affordable.
Student housing foundations offer affordable accommodation for both local and international students. In average, the monthly rent for a single room varies between 180 and 350 euros, depending on the location. You can also rent an apartment or a room in a shared flat from private market.
In Finland, many students work part-time during the semesters and longer hours during holiday seasons. In most cases, international students are also allowed to work at least part time with their student residence permit. Working during your studies also helps you create professional networks that may prove valuable in the future!
How to apply to universities in Finland?
First of all, dive into Study Advisory’s university search and find the perfect university for you! We recommend you to read the reviews from former students, since they give you some inside information on the student life and practical matters in the university. In each of the university profiles, you will also find a link to the university’s own website, where you will find the detailed entry requirements and application dates for each of the study programs.
Education in Finnish universities and UAS’ is free of charge for students from all EU/EEA countries. However, starting from autumn 2017 intake, Finnish universities will introduce a tuition fee for the non-EU/EEA students. At the same time, the universities will start issuing new scholarships for talented non-EU students to help cover their tuition fees. More information on the new tuition fees and scholarships can be found on universities’ own admission pages and on Study in Finland’s frequently updated page.
It’s important to note that the Finnish universities and UAS’ choose the students solely based on their admission criteria. For many study fields, there is an entrance exam that can be quite challenging, so be prepared!
Once you get accepted, remember to check whether you need a student visa/residence permit for studying in Finland. If you are a non-EU/EEA citizen, you usually need one. You can read more about visas and other necessary documents for studying abroad here.
Finnish universities with excellent Study Advisory Popularity ratings
Tampere University of Technology (TUT) conducts research in the fields of technology and architecture and provides higher education based on this research. The University is a sought-after partner for collaborative research and development projects with business and industry and a fertile breeding ground for innovation and new research- and knowledge-based companies.
The University of Turku is an ambitious, research-led university with internationally acknowledged expertise from humanities to medicine and natural sciences. The University is recognised for the quality of teaching, research and excellent student support services.
Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK) is a multidisciplinary higher education institution situated centrally in the most populated area of southern Finland. HAMK offers inspiring higher education and customer-oriented applied research.
Find more universities in Finland with Study Advisory’s university search!
Interesting facts about Finland
- Women are in the majority at all levels of education (except in the basic education).
- It is the 8th largest country in Europe in terms of land area and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union.
- Finland is a land of fresh water. In total there are 187,888 lakes.
- There are 5.3 million people, and 3.3 million saunas in Finland.
- In Finland one can participate in the world championships for wife carrying, mobile phone throwing, mosquito catching, swamp soccer, boot throwing, sauna and air guitar.