Sauna, the Northern Lights, forests, and lakes – what country do these remind you of? Finland encompasses all these beauties and is considered a marvelous place to live. Finland is a small country with only 5.4 million people, but it is a highly modern industrial nation. Wood and metal processing industries and mechanical engineering make up about 2/3 of their exports. Nevertheless, Finland is also considered a pioneer in many fields, whether it’s about education, communication technology, or social security. Finland is the country with the most online activity in the world. No other country gives as much importance to mobile phones and the internet as Finland does. The land of a thousand lakes is an exciting and forward-thinking place actively seeking qualified employees, which has made Apply to Finland highly popular among international students.
Is education free in Finland?
Before delving into the necessary points regarding applying to Finland, it’s important to discuss the costs involved. Until 2017, all educational programs in Finland were free. However, starting in 2017, only programs taught in Finnish or Swedish are free. Thus, free education is limited to Finnish citizens who are proficient in these two languages and can easily attend the relevant courses. On the other hand, if you have a good command of the Finnish language, you can attend universities in Finland for free, just like Finnish nationals.
Are there specific age requirements for applying to Finland?
No, there is no specific age limit to apply to universities in Finland. You can try your chances for admission to the top Finnish universities at any age. Additionally, having a significant age gap between your previous educational background and your desired program usually doesn’t hinder your application to Finnish universities, unlike in some other countries.
Do I need to be fluent in the Finnish language to apply to Finland?
The official languages in Finland are Swedish and Finnish, and most people speak these two languages. However, many Finns are also proficient in English, so you can communicate with them without any issues. While having a good grasp of the Finnish language can be advantageous, it’s not a requirement to apply for a study place in Finland. However, if you achieve high proficiency in Finnish, you may be able to enroll in Finnish universities just like Finnish citizens.
Finland provides various options to reduce study costs; for example, you can apply for scholarships that can save you up to 70% of your tuition expenses.
Is studying in Finland free?
Do I need to take an entrance exam to apply to Finland?
It’s not always necessary to take an entrance exam to enroll in a university. Requirements can vary depending on the chosen program and the specific university, but in many cases, you won’t need to sit for an entrance exam.
Does Apply to Finland have specific age requirements?
No, there are no age restrictions for applying to Finnish universities. You can try to gain admission to Finland’s top universities at any age, and a significant age gap between your educational qualifications won’t typically pose a problem when applying to Finland.
Do I need to be proficient in the Finnish language to apply to Finland?
While Finnish and Swedish are the official languages in Finland, and most people speak them, many Finns are also fluent in English. Having a good command of English is generally sufficient to communicate effectively in Finland. While learning the Finnish language can be advantageous, it’s not mandatory for applying to a Finnish university. If you hold an English language proficiency certificate, you can apply to English-taught programs at Finnish universities without the need to master the Finnish language. Some Finnish universities offer English language courses, allowing you to apply for these programs without becoming fluent in Finnish.
Tuition Fees in Finnish Universities
The cost of studying at Finnish universities varies depending on the city and the specific university, but here is a general overview of expenses that can give you a rough idea of the cost of studying in Finland:
- Renting a room in a shared student apartment: €160 to €380
- Renting a private apartment: €400 to €800
- Student dormitory: €200 to €300
- Cost of groceries: €200 to €300
- Dining in a restaurant: €10 to €15 per meal
- Public transportation costs: €35 to €50
- Student union membership: €100
- Average tuition fees: €10,000 to €15,000 per year
Student Visa for Finland: Step by Step
In this guide to applying to Finland and obtaining a student visa, we’ll provide you with the necessary information to help you apply for Finland. You don’t need to be in Finland before applying for a student visa; you can complete the initial stages remotely from your home.
Before discussing how to get a student visa, it’s crucial to note that you need to first secure admission from a Finnish institution. If you plan to study for a period of less than 90 days (approximately 3 months), you should apply for a student visa. However, if your chosen course extends beyond the specified duration, you will need a residence permit for studies.
Student visas are temporary and short-term, suitable for individuals interested in participating in short-term language courses or are invited to an entrance exam at a Finnish institution. In contrast, a residence permit is necessary for international students planning to study in Finland for more than 3 months. Generally, residence permits for students are granted for durations between 3 months to one year. Citizens of the European Union do not need residence permits and only require a right of residence in Finland, which costs 54 euros.
Requirements for a Student Visa or Residence Permit in Finland
To apply for a student visa or residence permit in Finland, the following documents must be submitted to the Finnish embassy or consulate:
- A letter of acceptance from the university or educational institution.
- You must hold a passport valid for at least 3 months beyond the date you intend to apply for a student visa or residence permit.
- A completed initial application form.
- Proof of financial ability to ensure you can cover your living expenses during your stay in Finland. Currently, the minimum amount required for a student to have financial stability in Finland is 560 euros per month, or 6,720 euros per year.
- Bank account statements confirming you have at least 6,720 euros in your account. Note that these accounts must be in the student’s name only; joint accounts with parents, for instance, are not accepted.
- Proof of valid health and medical insurance.
- You must provide evidence of physical and mental health and a lack of infectious diseases.
- You must not have a criminal record.
- Be prepared to leave Finland when your visa or residence permit expires.
Keep in mind that the bank accounts of the student’s parents are not considered, and the account should be in the student’s name only. Additionally, proof of Finnish health insurance and the absence of any infectious diseases is required. There should be no criminal record, and you should be willing to leave Finland upon the expiration of your visa or residence permit.
Step-by-Step Guide for Apply to Finland
All applications for a student residence permit or residence permit for Finland are submitted to the Finnish embassy or consulate. Immediately after receiving the acceptance letter and confirming that you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for a student residence permit. This step must be completed before your arrival in Finland.
Step 1: Obtain the Residence Permit Application Form
The first step is to obtain the application form for the residence permit, which you can download from the website.
Step 2: Fill Out the Residence Permit Application Form
Carefully fill out the residence permit application form and submit it either manually at the Finnish embassy or consulate or online.
Step 3: Collect the Required Documents for Your Residence Permit Application
Before visiting the Finnish embassy or consulate, ensure that you have thoroughly reviewed all the required documents for Finland.
Step 4: Provide a Photo for Your Residence Permit Application
Include a color photo taken within the last 6 months alongside your other documents. The photo should show a full face with a white background.
Step 5: Check the Application Fee
Review the application fees and prepare for the payment before submitting your application.
Step 6: Submit Your Residence Permit Application Form
Submit the residence permit application form, the required documents, and the photos to the nearest Finnish embassy. If payment or application submission is done online, you will need to provide payment confirmation or a receipt for application processing at the embassy or consulate. Additionally, have an original copy of the documents and at least 2 photocopies. Please note that all applications will be processed with the applicant’s presence.
Step 7: Complete Identity Verification or Biometrics
It is important to complete biometric identity verification at the Finnish embassy or consulate. The embassy staff will collect your fingerprints and take note of the necessary information.
Step 8: Pay the Required Residence Permit Application Fee
The residence permit fees for study migration to Finland (for paper applications) are 330 euros, while the fees for electronic applications are 300 euros.
Step 9: Receive Your Residence Permit Card
In the final step, your residence permit or student visa will be issued. In many cases, you will be notified by email about the decision on your application, and you can receive your visa in person or by mail.
Important Note: According to the Finnish embassy, the application fee is non-refundable, even in case of rejection.
Required Documents for Applying to Finland
The following documents are required for admission to a Finnish university:
- Registration and application for admission
- Letter of motivation
- Passport or valid identification card (original)
- Higher education certificate. Foreign certificates must be submitted with a translation.
- Evidence of meeting specific admission requirements relevant to the program of study (language skills, professional experience, courses, etc.)
- Certificate of name change (marriage certificate, etc.) if applicable
- Language certificates
If you need more information or guidance on applying to Finland, you can contact our experts at the FinlandQ group.