Finland, officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden to the west, Norway to the north, Russia to the east, and Estonia to the south across the Gulf of Finland.
Finland was a relative latecomer to industrialization, remaining a largely agrarian country until the 1950s. Thereafter, it rapidly developed an advanced economy while building an extensive Nordic-style welfare state, resulting in widespread prosperity and one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. Subsequently, Finland is a top performer in numerous metrics of national performance, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life, and human development. Finland is one of the best country in the world. Finland is also a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the World Trade Organization.
The Finnish Government has offered the Scholarships for postgraduate studies or research (after Master’s level but no for post-Doctoral and research) and that priority will be given to doctoral studies.
- University scholarships:
- Joint-Masters and Erasmus Mundus. A list of Erasmus Mundus programmes involving Finish universities is available here
- The Council on International Educational Exchange have grants available for American students to study abroad:
- Fund for Education Abroad.
Higher education has a significant role in Finnish society and the national innovation system: higher education is crucial when working towards a world-class knowledge society. Finnish higher education consists of two parts:
- Universities provide academic education based on research. All 14 universities offer Bachelor’s, Master’s, licentiate and doctoral degrees (3 + 2 + 4 years).
- Universities of Applied Sciences (polytechnics) provide vocational education on a higher level and promote applied research. Polytechnics confer Bachelor’s (from 3.5 up to 4 years) and Master’s (1 – 1.5 years) degrees. A student is eligible for polytechnic/UAS Master’s level studies after accomplishing a Bachelor’s degree, and having acquired at least three years of relevant work experience after that.
All studies are quantified as credits (ECTS, European Credit Transfer System). One year of full-time study corresponds to 60 credits
The academic year in Finland is divided into two terms: Autumn term (from August/September to December) and Spring term (from January to the end of May)
Most degree programmes only accept new degree students at the beginning of the academic year. So, usually your application will concern studies that start in the autumn term (August/September). In some cases, however, it may be possible to apply for studies that start in the spring term (January).
During the so-called summer term (June-August) it may be possible for already registered students to complete some individual course modules, but generally speaking it is “holiday time” and there is no separate summer term intake for degree studies.
Applying to Bachelor’s programmes
- Hold educational certificates that make you eligible to apply for higher education in your home country
- fulfill the English language skills requirements (and other possible programme-specific requirements) as set by the receiving institution
- successfully pass an entrance examination
Note that the Finnish higher education system does not include “certificate” or “diploma/advanced diploma” level degrees. If you currently hold a one-year or two-year certificate or diploma degree, and are applying to an undergraduate programme in Finland, it is likely that your application would be based on your upper secondary school certificates rather than your certificate/diploma degree. See our FAQ on the subject!
If you are admitted, it may be possible for you to receive some credit point compensation based on your previous higher education studies, but this you should negotiate with the Finnish higher education institution after you’ve been admitted. It is up to the policies and decisions of the individual higher education institutions whether such credit point compensation can be awarded.
Applying to Master’s / Doctoral programmes
If you already hold a higher education qualification from your home country, and are applying to a Master’s or Doctoral level programme in Finland, then your eligibility is decided based on
- the extent and quality of your earlier academic qualifications – usually a three-year Bachelor’s is the minimum
- your language skills and other possible faculty-specific requirements
Note that Master’s level programmes at polytechnics (UAS) additionally require that applicants hold a Bachelor’s degree followed by three (3) years of relevant work experience. The UAS Master’s programmes are primarily targeted fro those already in the working life. The Master’s programmes offered by the universities, as opposed to the polytechnic/UAS Master’s, do not usually have any work experience requirements, unless otherwise specified in the entry criteria of the university Master’s programme in question.
Education and living costs
In Finland, education is funded by the government and students both EU/non EU and international are exempted from fee payment. Universities in Finland have no tuition fees! Education is subsidized by the state through the ministry of education, and students are exempted from fee payment. This also applies to the international degree students and visiting students as well.
The average monthly living expenses for a student may vary a bit, depending on your study location in Finland – for example, accommodation and other living costs may be higher in the Helsinki metropolitan area and other larger cities.
As a student you can get discounts in student restaurants and cafeterias, public transport, etc.
A person intending to stay in Finland for a period of over 90 days is required to have a visa.
Documents needed for entry to Finland:-
When arriving in Finland you may also be expected to show, in addition to your visa and a valid travel document, insurance document for the duration of your stay and other documents related to your stay in Finland. You must prove that you have sufficient funds (EUR 40 per day or a scholarship or a training placement) for your stay and for your return journey or further travel.
If you would ordinarily need a visa but have a residence permit valid in one of the Schengen countries, you do not need a visa to enter another Schengen country if the intended duration of your stay is no more than 90 days.
If you are a foreign national requiring a visa, you must always have one when entering the Schengen area. A Schengen visa is applied for from the embassy or consulate of the destination country. So when coming to Finland, you are requested to apply for it either from a Finnish embassy or consulate or from a mission of a Schengen country that represents Finland. For admission of visa one is always required to have valid travel insurance together with other documents.
Upon submitting the application candidates are also required to submit a copy of their passport. Original passports would only be required for authentication. The embassy has the reserve right for asking any other authentication. Incomplete applications would not be accepted .All regulations consular fees or services are subject to change without any prior notice.