Finland is a great country for international students. Around 40 universities offer study programmes in English, with more than 600 subjects to choose from. If you want to study abroad in Finland in English, this guide will help you answer all important questions:
You can study virtually any academic subject in Finland. Finnish universities have been expanding the number of study programmes offered in English to attract more international students. There are now more than 600 study programmes at the Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate level, and the number is growing every year. Business, Engineering, Computer Science, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Medicine or Law: You can find an English-taught study option for any subject.
There are no tuition fees for citizens of a country in the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) countries, or Switzerland. If you are a citizen of those countries, you can study for free.
If you are not from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland, you will be classified an “international student”. As an international student, you might have to pay tuition fees, although there are some exceptions. Typically, the tuition charges range from 6,000 EUR per year up to 18,000 EUR per year. The amounts vary for each university and for each study programme.
For more detailed information about the fees, the exceptions, and for scholarship opportunities, check our guide on tuition fees in Finland.
To be admitted to an English-taught study programme in Finland, you will need to demonstrate proof of your proficiency in English. You do not necessarily have to take a test like IELTS or TOEFL. The following criteria are usually enough to show that you speak English sufficiently well:
If you do not meet those criteria, you will probably have to take an English test to prove your language skills. Make sure to take the test long before your university application, so that there is enough time to get the results.
Every university in Finland accepts IELTS Academic as well as TOEFL iBT or PBT, and almost all also accept the Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic), the Cambridge ESOL's Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE), or the Cambridge ESOL's Certificate in Advanced English (CAE). If you still need to take a test, IELTS and TOEFL are the safest bet; otherwise, it is advisable to check with the International Office or the Admissions Office of the universities you want to apply to.
The admissions requirements for most universities in Finland are an IELTS academic score of 6.0 or 6.5, or a TOEFL iBT score of 79 to 92.
The table below shows the English proficiency requirements of the most popular Finnish universities:
|University||Required IELTS score||Required TOEFL iBT score|
|Aalto University||overall 6.5, minimum 5.5 in Writing||total of 92, with a minimum score of 22 in the Writing section|
|Arcada University of Applied Sciences||minimum score 6.0 overall||total of 79|
|Lapland University of Applied Sciences (Lapin AMK)||overall 6.0||minimum total of 79-80|
|LUT University (Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology)||overall 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in Writing||Bachelors: total of 78; Masters: total of 80|
|Oulu University of Applied Sciences (OAMK)||minimum score of 5.5 or 6.0, depending on study programme||minimum total of 79-80|
|Tampere University||minimum score of 6.5||total of 92|
|University of Eastern Finland||overall 6.5, minimum 5.5 in Writing||total of 90–92, minimum of 22 in Writing|
|University of Helsinki||minimum score 6.5; with a minimum score of 6.0 in the Writing section||total of 92, with a minimum score of 22 in the Writing section|
|University of Jyväskylä||minimum 6.5 for Master’s programmes, 7.0 for PhD programmes||minimum total of 92 for Master’s programmes, 95 for PhD programmes|
|University of Lapland||overall 6.5||total of 85|
|University of Oulu||minimum score 6.5, with a minimum of 5.5 per each section||total of 92, with a minimum of 20 in the Writing section|
|University of Turku||Bachelors: overall score of 6.0, no section below 5.5; Masters: overall score of 6.5, no section below 6.0||Bachelors: overall score of 80, no section below 16; Masters: overall score of 92, no section below 20|
If you plan to apply for a Bachelor’s degree in Finland, you may be required to take the SAT test - particularly when apply to a university of applied sciences (UAS). The SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) was originally a US-american test, but it is now offered around the world. The required SAT score for admission depends on the university and the study programme.
Some study programmes may also have specific additional admissions criteria. Master’s programmes might require you to have had a certain number of credit points (ECTS) in relevant academic subjects, previous work experience in the field, or a certain GMAT score or GRE score. In a few cases you might also have to do interviews with the university’s admissions officers. You will find that information provided by the universities.
You don’t need to know any Finnish as an international student in Finland. (Assuming, of course, your chosen study programme is offered in English.) That’s great news because Finnish is a notoriously difficult language to master. You will get by just fine with English: Most Finnish people speak English very well, especially the younger generations, and they will be glad to try their language skills on you.
But keep in mind that going abroad to study is an excellent chance to gain new experiences, and learning a foreign language is one of those. Most universities in Finland offer Finnish courses to their international students and you should use that opportunity, if only for a few basic lessons!
You can find Bachelors, Masters or PhD programmes in Finland with our search function.