How to Study in Finland for International Students

Finland is a welcoming country with a high standard of living and a strong tradition of education. As an international student studying in Finland, you will have the opportunity to experience a unique and rewarding academic environment. You will also have the chance to learn about Finland's rich culture and history, and to explore its breathtaking sights.

When it comes to the choices that are available, Finland currently has 35 universities, from which 32 universities are a part of the public sector and 3 universities are private institutions.

Suppose you’re not just looking for any school but a well-performing school. In that case, the top universities in Finland you should definitely check out are University of Helsinki, Aalto University, and University of Turku.

Being able to study in Finland as an international student starts with planning ahead of time, as the process of researching your institution, filling out forms, and completing your paperwork can take a vast amount of time. In this article, you will find out the application process to study in Finland, along with information on tuition, language requirements, and visa applications. So, let’s dig in!

1. Cost of Studying in Finland

The cost of your studies is a big factor to consider when you're planning to study abroad. It can financially burden you, but here's the good thing: the public universities in Finland don't charge tuition fees to international students like you! Aalto University and Centria University of Applied Sciences are some of the tuition-free schools. You will just be required to pay some registration and other study fees, but these won't be as high.

On the other hand, if you choose to study in a private institution, expect that you'll pay higher fees. Here are some of the private universities in Finland with their tuition fees:

Institution Bachelor’s International Tuition Fee Master’s International Tuition Fee
Arcada University of Applied Sciences 5,000 Euros - 8,500 Euros 10,000 Euros
Kajaani University of Applied Sciences 6,000 Euros 10,000 Euros
Humak University of Applied Sciences 9,000 Euros

2. Requirements to Study in Finland for International Students

Once you have an idea of how much tuition fees are to study in Finland, it’s time to consider preparing the paperwork to apply to those universities. Academic institutions have varying admission requirements, but the ones you should always prepare in advance are your academic records, such as a transcript of records or diploma from a previous academic level, and travel documents, such as your passport and visa.

Some institutions that offer master’s programs might also ask for a statement of purpose, a curriculum vitae or résumé, and letters of recommendation. There are also degree programs where you need to take an admissions test before you can apply. Besides these, universities might also require you to submit proof of language proficiency.

In Finland, English and Finnish are the languages of instruction. If you’re looking to study in any of the academic institutions here, you might need to prove language proficiency by taking standardized tests, such as TOEFL, IELTS, and Duolingo for English. Depending on the institution and the language of instruction for your program, you might also have to prove your language proficiency by submitting YKI for Finnish.

To give you an idea, here are some universities in Finland and their required minimum scores for each program level.

Aalto University

Bachelor’s degree

Master’s degree

Abo Akademi University

Bachelor’s degree

Master’s degree

Arcada University of Applied Sciences

Bachelor’s degree

Typically, you can find information about language requirements on the admissions requirements page of the university. You can also check out if the university has a dedicated language requirements page for international students.

Application Procedure to Study in Finland

The specific admission process may vary depending on the university. The good news is that most institutions in Finland have online applications available on their websites, like University of Helsinki and Aalto University. To help you with this, we also compiled the official websites and admission pages of some of the top institutions in Finland.

University of Helsinki

Aalto University

University of Turku

Make sure to gather all the information you need for the admission process. As you apply to these institutions, expect that they may ask for additional requirements depending on your nationality, degree, or program. So, it’s best to keep your lines active.

After completing your academic and language requirements, it’s time to apply!

The admission process in Finland differs from one university to another, so it’s best to contact your chosen school beforehand. Please note that the admission process for international students may take some time, so be sure to know the application dates and apply early.

The application process may take weeks or months, depending on your timing, nationality, degree, and other factors. To make the most of your application, make sure to completely follow the admission steps and submit the necessary requirements to ensure that you’ll be accepted to your chosen university in Finland.

The key to being admitted to your chosen school will depend on your punctuality and the quality of your application. So make sure to complete the requirements beforehand and follow the steps in applying. After this, you’ll wait for a week or a month for the results.

4. Visa Application for International Students in Finland

Now that you’re accepted into your chosen institution, it’s time to apply for a student visa in Finland. A student visa is an essential document for studying abroad. It’s an important government document that you need to present before going to Finland as an international student.

In this section, let’s briefly discuss the requirements needed and how you can apply for a student visa in Finland. If you’re going to stay here for your studies, you will need to obtain a Residence Permit for Studies.

To start your student visa application in Finland, you will need to present the following:

  1. A valid passport
  2. Provide proof of acceptance from a Finnish University
  3. Proof of financial means
  4. Have health insurance
  5. Provide a passport-style photograph
  6. Submit a color copy of the passport page featuring your personal information
  7. Provide proof of payment of tuition fees or documentation of scholarship

Kindly take note that these requirements may vary depending on your nationality. So, please expect that may ask for additional requirements. Moreover, you will be required to pay a student visa application fee. The visa application fee in Finland is 330 EUR.

After preparing your requirements and application fees, it’s time to apply for a student visa! The first steps in getting your student visa are:

  1. Fill out the online application form
  2. Pay the application fee
  3. Book an appointment at the Finnish embassy or consulate in your country of residence

For more information regarding the specific steps in applying for a student visa, visit or contact the nearest embassy or consulate in your home country. They are the ones responsible for processing your student visa application.

That’s it! After getting your student visa, you can now officially study in Finland. Make sure to book a flight early, before your classes start, so that you’ll have ample time to explore and familiarize yourself in your new place!