A bilingual country

Finland has two official languages, Finnish and Swedish. In most institutions, the primary language of instruction is Finnish. However, at Åbo Akademi University, in the Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration (HANKEN), Arcada UAS, Novia UAS, and Åland UAS the primary language of teaching is Swedish.

In most institutions, however, there are also complete degree programmes taught in English (see sections Your Steps to Finland and How to apply to get started on your application).

In the section Eligibility criteria you can find some advice concerning IELTS, TOEFL and other officially accepted English proficiency tests.

Are Finnish skills required?

You do not need to know any Finnish if you apply to degree programmes taught completely in English.

But if you wish to apply for degree programmes provided in Finnish or Swedish, you need to be fluent in the language of instruction at the time of applying. The Finnish higher education institutions do not offer any language preparation year options.

Finnish and Swedish for International Students

Even when enrolled in an English-taught degree programme, it is a good idea to study Finnish before and during your studies. This not only helps you feel more at home in Finland, it can also be an asset if you plan to find employment in Finland either during or after your studies.

Universities usually have a language centre where students can carry out additional language studies, which are often included in degree programmes. All international students are encouraged to participate in Finnish or Swedish language courses. For further details, see the section Studying Finnish, or contact your host Finnish university/UAS directly.