Published Date: 13th March 2023
Finland is known for its world-class education system, and higher education is no exception. Finnish universities and polytechnics offer a range of degree programs in various fields, from humanities and social sciences to technology and natural sciences. The country is also home to some of the world's top-ranked universities, including the University of Helsinki, Aalto University, and the University of Turku. If you are considering pursuing higher education in Finland, this comprehensive guide will provide you with everything you need to know.
Why Study in Finland?
Finland is a country that offers excellent educational opportunities for international students. Here are some of the reasons why Finland is an ideal destination for higher education:
- High-Quality Education: Finland is known for its high-quality education system, and its universities are among the best in the world. The country also has a strong emphasis on research, innovation, and technological development, making it an excellent place to pursue advanced studies.
- Safe and Peaceful Environment: Finland is one of the safest countries in the world, with low crime rates and a peaceful environment. International students can feel secure while studying in Finland, and the country's multicultural society welcomes people from all backgrounds.
- Affordable Education: Unlike some other European countries, higher education in Finland is affordable. Finnish universities do not charge tuition fees for Bachelor's and Master's degree programs, and Ph.D. students receive funding for their studies. This makes Finland an attractive option for students who are looking for high-quality education at an affordable cost.
- Multicultural Society: Finland is a multicultural society, and international students can find a supportive community that welcomes people from all over the world. Studying in Finland can be an enriching experience, allowing students to learn from other cultures and perspectives.
Types of Higher Education Institutions in Finland
In Finland, there are two types of higher education institutions: universities and polytechnics.
- Universities: Finland has 13 universities, all of which are public institutions. Universities in Finland offer a range of degree programs in various fields, including humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, technology, and medicine. They also emphasize research, and students can pursue advanced studies in a wide range of subjects.
- Polytechnics: There are 23 polytechnics, also known as universities of applied sciences, in Finland. Polytechnics focus on practical, hands-on education and offer degree programs in fields such as engineering, business, health care, and social services. Polytechnics also have strong connections to the business world, and students can gain valuable work experience through internships and other practical training opportunities.
Admission Requirements for Higher Education in Finland
Admission requirements for higher education in Finland vary depending on the level of study and the institution. Here are the general requirements for admission to universities and polytechnics:
- Bachelor's Degree Programs: To be eligible for admission to a Bachelor's degree program, you must have completed secondary education that is equivalent to the Finnish matriculation examination. You must also have proficiency in the language of instruction, either Finnish or Swedish or English. Some universities and polytechnics may also require students to take entrance exams or submit a portfolio of work.
- Master's Degree Programs: To be eligible for admission to a Master's degree program, you must have completed a Bachelor's degree or equivalent in a related field. You must also have proficiency in the language of instruction, either Finnish or Swedish or English. Some universities and polytechnics may also require students to take entrance exams or submit a portfolio of work.
- Ph.D. Programs: To be eligible for admission to a Ph.D. program, you must have completed a Master's degree or equivalent in a related field. You must also have proficiency in the language of instruction, either Finnish or Swedish or English. Additionally, you must submit a research proposal outlining your intended research project.
It's important to note that admission requirements can vary depending on the institution and the program. You should always check the specific requirements for the program you are interested in before applying.
As mentioned above, proficiency in the language of instruction is a requirement for admission to higher education in Finland. The language requirements vary depending on the institution and the program, but generally, students must demonstrate their language proficiency through standardized tests.
If you are applying for a program taught in Finnish or Swedish, you must demonstrate proficiency in that language. If you are applying for a program taught in English, you must demonstrate proficiency in English. The most common English language proficiency tests accepted by Finnish universities and polytechnics are TOEFL and IELTS.
It's important to note that some universities and polytechnics may offer language courses or language proficiency tests for students who do not meet the language requirements. However, it's always better to have the required language proficiency before applying.
Tuition Fees and Scholarships
One of the most attractive aspects of higher education in Finland is that there are no tuition fees for Bachelor's and Master's degree programs at public universities and polytechnics. However, students are responsible for their living expenses, such as accommodation, food, and transportation.
Ph.D. students receive funding for their studies, including a monthly stipend to cover living expenses. The funding may come from the university, research organizations, or the government.
There are also various scholarships available for international students who wish to study in Finland. Some scholarships are offered by the Finnish government, while others are offered by universities and private organizations. The scholarships may cover tuition fees, living expenses, or both.
It's important to note that the competition for scholarships is high, and not all students will be awarded a scholarship. You should always check the specific scholarship requirements and deadlines before applying.
Accommodation in Finland
Finding accommodation in Finland can be challenging, especially in popular student cities like Helsinki and Turku. Most universities and polytechnics offer student housing, but the demand is high, and there may be a waiting list.
There are also private housing options available, including apartments, shared apartments, and student residences. The prices vary depending on the location and the type of accommodation.
It's important to start looking for accommodation as soon as possible, as the demand is high, and it can take time to find a suitable place to live.
Work Opportunities in Finland
International students are allowed to work part-time while studying in Finland, but there are some restrictions. Students from outside the EU/EEA are allowed to work up to 25 hours per week during the academic year and full-time during the summer months. Students from EU/EEA countries are allowed to work without any restrictions.
There are various job opportunities available for students in Finland, including working in the hospitality industry, retail, and customer service. Some universities and polytechnics also offer part-time work opportunities for students, such as research assistant positions or tutoring.
It's important to note that working part-time may affect your studies, and you should prioritize your academic responsibilities.
Student Life in Finland
Finland is known for its high standard of living and quality of life, making it an attractive destination for international students. Finnish people are friendly and welcoming, and the country is known for its safety and low crime rates.
There are various student organizations and clubs available at universities and polytechnics, offering opportunities to meet new people, engage in extracurricular activities, and explore Finnish culture.
Finnish culture is diverse and rich, with traditions and customs that vary depending on the region. Some popular Finnish traditions include sauna, which is a type of steam bath, and midsummer celebrations, which are held in June.
Finland is also known for its natural beauty, with vast forests, lakes, and national parks. Outdoor activities, such as hiking, skiing, and fishing, are popular among Finns, and international students can also take advantage of these activities.
Higher education in Finland is known for its high quality, research-oriented approach, and innovative teaching methods. The country offers free tuition fees for Bachelor's and Master's degree programs at public universities and polytechnics, making it an attractive destination for international students.
While students are responsible for their living expenses, there are various scholarships and work opportunities available to help cover these costs. The country's high standard of living, safety, and diverse culture make it an attractive destination for international students.
If you are interested in studying in Finland, it's important to research the specific admission requirements, language requirements, and scholarship opportunities for the program and institution you are interested in. With careful planning and preparation, studying in Finland can be a rewarding and enriching experience.
1. What is the education system in Finland?
The Finnish education system comprises basic education, upper secondary education, and higher education. Basic education is compulsory and lasts for nine years. Upper secondary education is voluntary, but it is a common path for students who wish to pursue higher education.
2. What are the requirements to enroll in higher education in Finland?
To enroll in higher education in Finland, students must have completed upper secondary education and passed the matriculation examination or an equivalent qualification. Additionally, applicants must meet the specific entry requirements of the chosen institution and study program.
3. What is the language of instruction in Finnish universities?
The language of instruction in Finnish universities is primarily Finnish or Swedish. However, there are an increasing number of degree programs offered in English. Some universities offer complete degree programs in English, while others may offer certain courses or modules in English to accommodate international students.
4. How is the quality of higher education in Finland?
The quality of higher education in Finland is high and is internationally recognized. The Finnish education system has been ranked among the best in the world for several years. Finnish universities and research institutions are known for their innovation, research excellence, and high-quality teaching.
5. What is the cost of living in Finland for international students?
The cost of living in Finland can vary depending on the city and lifestyle. On average, international students should budget around 700-900 euros per month for living expenses, including accommodation, food, and transportation. You will get full information here: Cost of Studying in Finland
6. Can international students work while studying in Finland?
Yes, international students can work part-time while studying in Finland. EU/EEA students can work without any restrictions, while non-EU/EEA students are allowed to work up to 25 hours per week during the academic year and full-time during the summer months.
7. What types of higher education institutions are there in Finland?
Higher education institutions in Finland include universities, universities of applied sciences, and vocational schools. Universities focus on academic research and education, while universities of applied sciences provide more practical education and training.
8. What is student life like in Finland?
Student life in Finland is vibrant and diverse, with many opportunities to get involved in various student organizations, events, and activities. Finnish students are generally independent and self-directed in their studies, but they also enjoy socializing and participating in extracurricular activities. Know more about it: How is Student Life in Finland?
9. What are the popular study programs in Finland?
Popular study programs in Finland include technology and engineering, business, natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Additionally, Finland is known for its strong focus on education in fields such as environmental sustainability, innovation, and design.
10. Are there scholarships available for international students in Finland?
Yes, there are various scholarships available for international students in Finland. These include scholarships offered by the Finnish government, universities, and other organizations. Students can also apply for grants and scholarships from their home countries.
11. Is it easy to find accommodation in Finland for international students?
It can be challenging to find affordable accommodation in some of the larger cities in Finland, especially during peak periods. However, many universities offer student housing, and there are also private accommodation options available, such as apartments and shared housing.
12. How long does it take to complete a degree in Finland?
The length of time to complete a degree in Finland depends on the study program and level of education. Bachelor's degree programs typically take three to four years, while master's degree programs take one to two years. Doctoral degree programs can take four to six years to complete.
13. Are there opportunities for international students to gain work experience in Finland after graduation?
Yes, there are opportunities for international students to gain work experience in Finland after graduation. Finnish universities have strong connections with the local industry, and many graduates find employment in their field of study in Finland. Additionally, the Finnish government offers a one-year residence permit for graduates to search for work or start a business in Finland. Read more: Career Opportunities After Studying in Finland
14. What are the visa requirements for international students in Finland?
International students from outside the EU/EEA are required to have a student residence permit to study in Finland. The application process involves providing proof of acceptance to a Finnish university or institution, proof of financial resources, and proof of health insurance.
15. What is the job market like for international students in Finland?
The job market in Finland can be competitive, but there are opportunities for international students, particularly in industries such as technology, engineering, and business. Fluency in Finnish and Swedish is often required for many jobs, but there are also opportunities for English-speaking professionals.
Career Opportunities After Studying in Finland
How is Student Life in Finland?
Top Reasons to Study in Finland for International Students