A checklist to guide you through the basics of coming to study in Finland!

Have you seen our Prezi presentation on Studying in Finland?

Study in Finland Prezi presentation

Your steps to Finland -kuva 02

Your steps to Finland

How to get started? A checklist of the essential things you need to consider

Interested in studying in Finland? Not sure how to proceed?

Please carefully go through the below checklist already before starting with your application. For example, even if you have not applied yet, it makes sense to familiarise yourself with the visa/student residence permit requirements and related procedures. And it is also very important to consider how you'll be funding your studies.

1. Find the right degree programme
2. Check the entry requirements
3. Check how and when to apply
4. Plan your finances
5. Visa / Student residence permit
6.. Accommodation and other practicalities
7. Where to turn if you need advice?

Under each section, you'll find links to the relevant pages of our Study in Finland website. By following the links you'll find more info on each subject.

Find the right programme

There are lots of English-language degree courses available in Finnish higher education, so you do not necessarily need to speak Finnish in order to study here.

First of all, you should seek out and choose the degree programme options you might be interested in, either by visiting the database of English-language study programmes, or by checking out the individual institutions' websites. You can also use the Search function on the Studyinfo.fi joint application page to browse through the available programmes.

Note that Study in Finland is not in a position to "recommend" any particular institution or degree course to you. You should independently decide what is the "suitable" or "best" programme option for you. Start by narrowing down your choices by contemplating your own study interests, then search the database for suitable degree course options, visit the institutions' websites for information on the contents and career prospects of the qualifications they offer, make your own comparisons between different alternatives, etc.

Detailed information on the programmes and their entry requirements is available on the institutions' own websites.

Check the entry requirements

In order to be considered an eligible applicant, you need to fulfill certain general criteria. On top of that, individual degree programmes each have their own specific set of eligibility requirements.

You may need to pass an entrance examination (especially when applying for polytechnic/UAS undergraduate entry) - so please remember to check well in advance whether you can apply for a visa to take the entrance exam in Finland (entrance exam visas are not necessarily granted by all Finnish embassies), or whether you can take the entrance exam in some location abroad.

You'll also need to show you have the required level of English proficiency.

The entry requirements (what prior qualifications you need, GPA, minimum accepted IELTS/TOEFL score etc.) depend on the institution/programme.

In all detailed questions relating to your entrance exam options, entry requirements, or other issues relating to your eligibility or your application, you must turn directly to the Finnish university/UAS you're applying to for advice. Check the details on the institutions' Admissions websites and contact the Admissions Office of the university/UAS of your choice if necessary!

Check how and when to apply

NB: If you are a non-EU/EEA applicant and are required to have a visa to enter Finland - please carefully read the FAQ on admissions and exams before submitting any applications to such degree courses that require you to sit an entrance exam.

Once you've decided which study programmes interest you, you should check how and when to submit your application to those programmes. In most cases, an on-line application system is in use.

There is no one single application period in Finland. The application route and the application period depend on the programme you're interested in. You'll find advice on this on the How to apply section of our site. The institutions' own web sites include detailed information on the application procedures.

Study in Finland is not an admissions office, we only provide general info on the admission procedures. For detailed admissions-related queries, you always need to turn to the institutions' Admissions Offices for guidance.

Starting from autumn 2016 entry applications: if you have completed the qualification you're using for applying outside the EU/EEA area, you need to pay an application processing fee of 100€, regardless of your nationality. The application processing fees only concern Bachelor's and Master's level applicants (not Doctoral applicants). Please see the Application fee section for information.

We do not recommend the use of any fee-charging educational agencies or consultancies when applying to Finnish higher education. You should submit your application independently, via the official admission routes. Please see section Use of educational agencies for some reasons why!

Plan your finances

Right from the start, it's worth considering how you will finance your studies in Finland. Even when tuition itself is currently free of charge, you still will need to be able to independently cover your everyday living expenses in Finland - so you will need to plan your finances carefully!

Scholarships are mainly only available for Doctoral level studies and research - for example, there are no undergraduate scholarships available and Master's scholarships are usually restricted to Erasmus Mundus Master's programmes for example.

Keep in mind that even when scholarships exist, they are not awarded to all applicants "automatically". So please remember to draft a realistic and valid financial plan for your studies in Finland.

You should also bear in mind that you must cover your travel costs, health insurance costs, visa/residence permit processing fees etc.

Visa / Student residence permit

If you are invited to Finland to take part in an entrance examination, and/or if you are eventually accepted as a degree student, you'll need to acquire the necessary entry documents to Finland. What kind of entry documents you need depends on your nationality. Also make sure you understand the difference between a temporary visa and a student residence permit.

It is VERY IMPORTANT (especially for non-EU/EEA students) to carefully read through the FAQ on admissions and exams section of this site before submitting any applications (about possible issues regarding visas and entrance exam invitations to Finland)

Detailed information on visas and residence permits is available from the immigration authorities - the Finnish embassy in your home country, or the Finnish Immigration Service Migri. Please refer to the below pages for general-level guidance.

Accommodation and other practicalities

If your study application is successful and you are admitted as a degree student, you will receive your official letter of acceptance from a Finnish university or polytechnic/UAS. Then you can start arranging the practical issues of your student life in Finland. Your hosting Finnish institution can advice you best on local student accommodation options and other such matters.

So please first visit the website of the university/UAS you have been accepted into, there you can usually find advice pages for new degree students regarding issues like student registration, welcoming sessions, campus maps, and so on. Some higher education institutions may also have online (or printed) orientation guides available for their new international degree students.

You might also be interested in knowing about your opportunities to work part-time during your studies - while we at Study in Finland do not have any info on job vacancies, we've collected some general advice and links concerning these matters on our site. Remember that info on possible part-time jobs is usually only available "on location", so it is likely that you will only be able to start searching for possible part-time jobs after you have actually arrived in Finland.

Non-EU/EEA students can, from 2015 onwards, apply for a one-year extension for their residence permit to look for employment in Finland after graduation.

If you need advice

You'll find the basics of all the above issues explained on our www.studyinfinland.fi website, so please first carefully go through all the above-mentioned sections. You might wish to see our FAQ section, too.

Also be sure to read through all the advice given to prospective students on the institutions' own web sites!

If, however, you need to ask something, please contact the correct authorities acording to the advice below:

We hope this checklist assists you...

...it is however essential you carefully check all the details on the Admissions pages of the Finnish higher education institution you're applying to, since a set of general guidelines like this cannot include all possible details.

Good luck with your application!

-Study in Finland team

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