More than being the happiest place on earth, Finland is adored for its excellent education system, clean air, high incomes, and public health care. As for international students, the vibrant life, city, and culture make the country one of the top choices for higher studies.
Are you ready to study, work, and live in Finland? Stick around as we give you detailed information about the process, costs involved, and a general overview of working and living in this Nordic country.
How to Study in Finland
1. Pick the right program and school
Finland offers various study fields within IT, Business, Finance, Healthcare, and Education. It holds an excellent reputation as one of the world’s most innovative countries when it comes to higher education and training. If you choose to study in Finland, you can be sure that there’s a program for you and that you’re getting a high-quality education!
70% of Finns speak English, so there’s nothing to worry about language barrier issues. As for the availability of English-taught programs, there are around 400 to choose from!
To pick the right course, start by going through your educational background, interests, and experience. You can then narrow down your options by choosing an institution situated in some of the best student cities.
Students usually love to be based in Helsinki, Tampere, Espoo, Kuopio, or Oulu. If you want to get a closer look at some of the colleges or universities in these areas, tap any of our certified Fil-Global agents now.
2. Ready your documents
Each institution has its own set of requirements. The common ones include copies of your qualifications, diploma/s, and their corresponding translations.
You’ll get hold of the complete list of requirements once you start your application. Remember to ensure that all are translated in English or one of Finland’s official languages.
When you’re under the care of an agency, your documents are among the many things you need not fret about. A designated documentation officer will help you compile all your papers and run through them to make sure that there are no errors and are quickly mitigated if there are.
3. Accomplish admission requirements
Not all colleges and universities have the same admission requirements. Some may require testing such as the English proficiency test which demands more time in terms of preparation and booking. To avoid the rush, know what is required and comply ahead of time.
But then again, if you have availed of the services of a school placement agency, part of the benefits include keeping you informed with all the documentation and additional testing required.
4. Submission of application
Your application can be sent online, either joint or separate. In joint, you can apply to several study programs under one application, saving you time and energy! Your scores will determine which program you are well-suited for. Separate are single applications sent to every preferred institution.
Finland’s application process is so efficient and convenient for international students! Aside from helping foreign learners choose the most compatible program, applicants are also given better chances in studying in Finland.
5. Secure your Student Residence Permit
An R1 or Student Residence Permit is required for students who are non-EU. You can do this online and upload the following:
your valid passport
school admission letter
proof of funds
health insurance certificate
You may also visit the Finnish Embassy in Makati City, Manila so you can verify your identity, submit documents, and have your biometrics taken.
6. Fly to Finland
The last step is to arrive in Finland so you can start and complete your studies. Putting the serious stuff aside, it’s time to dive into the adventures and do some fun activities regardless if it’s summer or winter! Think of kayaking, paddling, cycling in the warm season, and visiting the Santa Claus Village or Rovaniemi for the northern lights during the cold season!
Finland Tuition Fees and Cost of Living
If you’re planning to study, work, and live in Finland, among the factors you need to consider are the living costs and tuition fees involved.
Unlike EU/EEA citizens who have the privilege to study for free at Finnish public universities, foreign learners on the other hand are required to pay tuition fees. This can range from 5,000 to 15,000 EUR per year depending on the type of program.
Despite this, international students are given opportunities to bring down the costs through scholarship grants! And if you are an aspiring polyglot, you just have to learn the Finnish or Swedish language to enroll in a master’s or bachelor’s program 100% free! Isn’t that amazing?
Some say living in Finland is expensive. Compared to other EU countries, Finland is indeed more expensive, but wages are a lot better! Also, there are services offered which are tax-funded so you can expect to avail of them without paying.
As for your living expenses, you can expect to spend 700 to 1,000 EUR in a month. However, this can vary greatly depending on which city you live, your type of accommodation, and your general lifestyle.
Just keep in mind that the closer you are to the capital, the higher the costs are. Helsinki is the most expensive city, so try living away from it. I recommend staying at Laaperanta, Pori, or Tampere if you have a tight budget as these are student-friendly cities in Finland.
Working in Finland
If you are among those who hope to cut down on tuition fees and daily living costs, taking a part-time job while studying will ease your financial worries. To do this, look for a job related to your field of studies and render 25 hours a week max. During breaks, you may increase your hours or work without limits.
Finding a job in Finland is easy especially if you know some basic Finnish or Swedish language. You can work in a restaurant, hotels, shopping centers, and offices where you can earn 7 to 13 EUR per hour. If you have a more complex skill, especially in the field of the tech industry, expect to earn more!
Pro tip: apply to as many jobs as you can! You might not immediately get a job related to your field of study, so while waiting, you can initially start as a waiter/waitress, dishwasher, cleaner, and so on. And to improve your chances of getting hired, secure a hygiene passport before applying.
If you want to stay in Finland for good after your studies, you better plan ahead and apply for an extended residence permit right before your student residence permit expires. Doing so will provide you with enough time to look for work for up to a year.
Once you find an employer, you may then acquire a new residence permit and get a permanent residency after 4 years of working! Sounds awesome right?
Are you starting to feel the heavy urge to study, work, and live in Finland? It’s time to roll up those sleeves and start working on your application. For a hassle-free process, tap the Fil-Global team now!