Your hosting Finnish institution can advise you on local student discounts and student housing costs!

Cost of living

  • even when there are no tuition fees, you will need funding to study in Finland
  • you must be able to cover all your everyday living expenses independently
  • we recommend that you should have at least 700-900 euros per month at your disposal

Proof of "means of support" required when applying for your student residence permit

When applying for their student residence permit, international students (non-EU/EEA students) need to show that they have at least 560€ per month (6720€ per year) at their disposal. This is the absolute minimum required by the immigration authorities, but we recommend that you reserve at least 700-900 euros per month.

Student residence permits are usually awarded for one year at a time, so when applying for your first student residence permit, you only need to initially fulfil this financial requirement for your first year. But since the student residence permit needs to be renewed annually, you should be able to demonstrate that you have the required minimum amount at your disposal also when renewing your permit. You can find information on how to provide proof of your "means of support" (bank statement) on the Finnish Immigration Service MIGRI website.

EU citizens who come to Finland to study do not need to apply for a student residence permit (see section 'registration'), however they should also be able to cover their living costs independently.

Average monthly expenses about 700-900€

In Finland, the general cost of living is relatively high. There are currently no tuition fees charged, but you will need to be able to cover your living expenses independently.

The average monthly living expenses for a student in Finland are approximately 700-900€. 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 larger cities.

As a student you can get discounts in student restaurants and cafeterias, public transport, etc. Student housing with shared facilities is usually a low-cost accommodation option. For detailed information on the local student accommodation options available in different study locations in finland, the related costs etc. you are best advised to contact your hosting university/UAS in Finland. See the information and links in the section 'Accommodation'.

How much you need is partly also a question of your personal spending habits. Remember to try and reserve some money for free-time activities as well!

It may be possible to cover part of your living expenses doing part-time work (see section "working during studies"), but such part-time employment may be hard to find especially if you do not speak any Finnish or Swedish. Because students can not be guaranteed to find employment during their studies, you should not plan your finances solely on the basis of a possibility of finding employment. We recommend that you prepare for the "worst case scenario" and plan the financing of your studies so that you can get by without any income from Finland. Then, if you should eventually find a part-time job, the earnings from this will then be a welcome bonus for you, and not something that you would totally depend on.

If you are coming to Finland as a Doctoral-level student or researcher, then CIMO (Study in Finland) may have scholarship options for you. Please see the section "CIMO scholarships" for more information. Note however that the CIMO scholarships are not "full scholarships" that could cover a whole PhD in Finland.

Money and Banking

Euros and cents

Finland is part of the eurozone area, so the currency in Finland is the euro (€). One euro equals 100 cents. Euro banknotes are all similar from one euro area country to another, but each member country mints its own coins. The value side of the coins is similar from one country to another, but the reverse side bears a national design. All the coins, however, are legal tender throughout the whole euro area.

Most international credit cards are accepted throughout Finland, but it may be wise to exchange some money already prior to your departure if possible, so that when you arrive in Finland you have at least some cash at your disposal.

Opening a bank account

There are various different banks operating in Finland. To facilitate your everyday life, it is recommended that you open a bank account in Finland as soon as possible after your arrival. The student affairs office, your tutors, or your fellow students in Finland can assist you in this. The bank of your choice can also advise you on the detailed requirements and procedures.

To open an account, you need to visit the bank branch in person. Please remember to take all the necessary documents with you - including your passport for identification purposes. Please check beforehand with the bank which documents and certificates you will need - the requirements may vary slightly from one bank group to another.

The account types offered for daily banking do not usually differ from each other significantly, either in terms of their features or their service charges. When it comes to choosing your Finnish bank it may be the easiest solution to just pick one that has a branch office within a convenient distance from your student flat or your university, so that if you need to visit the bank in person it is always near.

When opening an account, you are well advised to familiarise yourself with the following issues:

  • How to use your Finnish ATM card
  • On-line banking services (for paying bills etc.)*
  • International money transfer options
  • General terms and conditions of your bank account
  • What to do if you lose your card or it is stolen

*) please note that banks may have differing policies as to whether on-line banking services are available for foreign students, and if yes, under which conditions

Banks are usually open Mon-Fri from 9.30 to 16.30. On Saturdays and Sundays they are closed, but you can still use ATM machines (and on-line banking services, if applicable) during the weekends and outside office hours.

Very important

You should never let anyone know your private ATM card PIN number, or your on-line bank login and password. Never carry these in your wallet with your ATM card.

Share |