Living in Finland

Let's take a closer look at the student life, tuition, and living expenses in Finland:

Student unions what are they?

In Finland, each higher education institution has a student union to look after students interests. When you get your Finnish student card, you become a member of your local student union.

The university student unions have a national umbrella organisation, the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL). Similarly, polytechnic students unions belong to the Union of Students in Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences (SAMOK). Student union membership entitles you to a variety of student discounts and also, the student unions organise a lot of different activities you can take part in.

Student clubs and associations

On top of the student unions, which operate on a national and institutional level, your faculty or department probably has its own student club. In addition to that, there usually are several separate clubs and student associations that centre around some hobby, sport, or other interest. You will find information about these on your institutions noticeboards, from the student services, or your fellow students.

Tuition fees in Finland

Tuition fees at Finish universities vary on factors like the type of institution, student nationality, level of education (undergraduate, postgraduate), and so on. Public universities have the following tuition fee structure:

  • 0 EUR/year for EU/EEA and Swiss students
  • 5,000–18,000 EUR/year for non-EU/EEA students
  • 0 EUR/year for PhD programmes for all international students

Private universities usually have higher tuition fees and might not differentiate between EU/EEA and non-EU/EEA students.

Learn more about tuition and living costs in Finland.


Finns are friendly people who make for reliable and trustworthy friends. By living and studying in Finland, you will get to experience the easy-going lifestyle that comes along with the high standards of living.

Cost of Living

The average monthly living expenses for a student in Finland are approximately 700–900 EUR. This 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 cities.

Non-EU/EEA students need a student residence permit. After you receive your official letter of acceptance, you can begin the student residence permit application online at Enterfinland.fi. Remember that you must personally visit a Finnish embassy or consulate as part of this process. Start your residence permit process as soon as possible, carefully following the immigration authorities' instructions and regulations, so that you can receive your permit in good time before your studies begin!

You can find detailed information and advice on the residence permit requirements and procedures on the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) website https://migri.fi/en/studying-in-finland

After your graduation, you may apply for an extension of your residence permit to look for work or start a business.

Research & Careers in Finland


Doctoral studies and research

Are you interested in a Doctoral/PhD degree or a PhD-level visiting researcher period in Finland? Applications must be made directly to the universities. Some universities may accept doctoral study applications at all times, while others may have specific application periods. The universities all have their own Doctoral Admissions info pages, where you can find detailed information.

There are also Doctoral level scholarship schemes available.

Career & Working in Finland

You may be aiming for full-time employment in Finland, and already during your studies the Career Services of your Finnish university or UAS can help you get started by providing advice on how to look for jobs after graduation. As your graduation approaches, you may renew your residency permit up to one more year in order to stay and look for work in Finland.

Finding a part-time job in your field while you are still studying may act as a springboard to full-time employment. As a Nordic or EU/EEA national, you don’t need a special permit for working during your studies in Finland. As a non-EU/EEA citizen, you may work up to 25 hours per week unless it’s a full-time internship or trainee position.

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