Studying and living in Finland
Renowned universities, excellent infrastructure, and broad perspectives for starting work after graduation, and above all – it’s all free. These are the arguments that make it worthwhile to go to Finland to study.
The system of education and higher education in Finland
In Finland, there are 27 technical university colleges (Ammattikorkeakoulu/Yrkeshögskola) and16 universities ( Yliopisto/Universitet). The organisation looks like as follows:
- First-cycle studies which last 3 years at universities and from 3.5 to 4 years at technical universities.
- Further 2 years should be dedicated to second-cycle studies.
- Third-level studies last a minimum of 3 years.
If, however, you would like to start a second-cycle program at one of the Finnish technical universities, you must also have at least three years of experience in a chosen profession – consistent with the completed field of study, besides the diploma of Bachelor’s or Engineer’s studies. However, this requirement is not applied by universities, so you can join recruitment immediately as soon as you receive the diploma.
What does the recruitment process for Finnish universities look like? What requirements must be met to get to a Finnish university or university of technology? Are the costs of everyday living high? Hubert Spiż from Centria University of Applied Sciences will tell you all about it.
Recruitment Process, Requirements and Formal Issues
The recruitment process for Finnish universities is quite complicated, and it is difficult to define it as transparent and straightforward. However, we hope that the following combination will make it a little easier to understand:
Technical universities: recruitment for first cycle studies takes place through the service www.admissions.fi. Candidates for second-degree studies must apply directly to the university of their choice.
Universities: recruitment for first cycle studies takes place through the university admissions offices, to which a set of required documents must be provided. Candidates for second-degree studies must apply through the www.universityadmissions.fi portal, but they have only 10 of 16 Finnish universities in their database.
The recruitment schedule is not uniform, so the best solution is to check all the dates separately on the websites of individual universities. One should also remember about entrance examinations, which are organised by the majority of universities – especially in the case of first-cycle studies.
Candidates for undergraduate courses, carried on by universities, should be fluent in Finnish or Swedish as lecturing takes place exclusively in these languages. At polytechnics, the situation is entirely different, as most of the majors are taught in English. Candidates are required to present a certificate that will confirm their language knowledge:
- For English: TOEFL or IELTS.
- For Swedish or Finnish: YKI.
We know perfectly well that the organisation of the studies and the recruitment process are incredibly complicated and can sometimes make your head dizzy. At the end of this part, however, we have great news for you: 1st, 2nd and 3rd cycle studies are completely free! You do not have to worry about high tuition fees, which would systematically empty your bank account.
Costs of Living in Finland
Renting the right apartment or room is one of the most significant expenses. You can look for them on your own or use the help of university offices, which have a vast number of offers and help in arranging all formalities related to renting.
The standard of Finnish dorms is high – the rooms are modern, have Internet access and the necessary household appliances. Prices are not among the lowest in the world:
- a double room costs 200-300 euros per month,
- single room is a minimum of 550 euros per month.
Example prices in Finland:
- beer: 4 euros,
- bread: 2 euros,
- 1 kg of ham: 13 euros,
- 1 kg of chicken breast: 10 euros,
- cinema ticket: 10 euros,
- monthly ticket for public transport: about 35 euros,
If you do not want to vegetate, you should have at least 700 euros in your wallet to cover all costs related to food, accommodation and a minimum of student life.
Work for a Student in Finland
The job market in Finland is open to you – as a student and citizen of the EU, you can take up a full-time job, and your salary will allow you to provide for your own. However, one should remember about formal requirements: registration in the registration office, setting up a bank account and completing all formalities related to taxes.
We recommend you to take the first steps in your career in Finland going to career offices that operate at each university. You will find there a large number of offers, as well as valuable assistance at the beginning of setting up the formalities.