Are you curious about studying abroad in Finland? Home to one of the best education systems in the world, as well as several top ranking universities, Finland is ideal for anyone seeking a high-quality education abroad. Whether it's the seaside capital of Helsinki, the medieval university town of Turku or the popular inland city of Tampere, you're bound to find a Finnish study abroad destination that's perfect for you.
If you want to receive a world-class education, immerse yourself in the Nordic lifestyle and study in the happiest country on earth, look no further than Finland! Keep on reading to learn more about what makes Finland one of the best places to study abroad.
1. A World-Class Education System
Finland continues to eclipse the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand in math, science and reading scores, and as of 2019, Finnish universities were ranked among the top 3 percent globally.
Starting from early childhood, Finnish schools aim to prepare students for the real world, and give them the tools to live a meaningful life. Students are taught through a multi-disciplinary approach that combines self-study, problem-solving and self-development, which ensures a well-rounded learning experience from preschool through to university.
2. Affordable Tuition Fees
While tuition at Finnish universities is free for students from the Finland and other EU countries, tuition fees for international students range anywhere from €6,000-€16,000 per year.
However, there's no shortage of funding opportunities for education in Finland. Many universities award generous scholarships to international students, which are primarily based on academic merits. Some universities may offer a full ride, but scholarships for a percentage deduction on tuition fees are more common.
3. Equality and Freedom
Equality and freedom are cornerstones of the Finnish education system. In Finland, all students have equal opportunities to receive a high-quality education, and thanks to the flat hierarchy of Finnish universities, students are usually on a first-name basis with their professors.
Academic freedom is also a core value in Finnish universities. Unlike the United States or the United Kingdom, students in Finland have the freedom to decide which modules they'd like to study, ensuring that each student graduates with a diverse body of skills and knowledge.
4. A High Standard of Living
Finland provides a high standard of living for students and families throughout the country. Not only are the Finnish education and healthcare systems top-notch, but the cost of living is manageable for most students, especially since there are plenty of student discounts for food and transportation nationwide.
Work-life balance is also an important part of Finnish society. Work, study and vacation are prioritized equally, so employees and students are welcome to enjoy the fruits of their labor, kick back, and relax with family and friends on their off-hours. Sauna, anyone?
5. Otherworldly Travel Destinations
Finland boasts a number of sights, attractions, and natural wonders that'll feed your wanderlust during any season.
If you've dreamed of experiencing the beauty of Finnish nature, you can venture to Lake Saimaa or the Archipelago National Park, and depending on the time of year, you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the northern lights or the midnight sun.
Finland also has open-air museums like Seurasaari, Luostarinmäki, and the Suomenlinna fortress for history buffs to enjoy, while others may prefer to visit the Moomin Museum in Tampere, which features exhibits dedicated to these beloved literary characters.
You can even go on a husky safari, or get into the holiday spirit by meeting Santa and Mrs. Claus in Rovaniemi!
6. Job Opportunities for Students
Good news for career-minded students — most Finnish universities provide career services for international students. They're available to lend a hand during your job search, whether you're looking for a student job, or a full-time position for after you graduate.
In Finland, it's not uncommon to have a part-time job alongside your studies — according to Statistics Finland, 55 percent of university students reported having an employment contract while studying.
If you're interested in working part time during your term abroad, your student visa will allow you to work for up to 25 hours per week. Which leads us to our seventh and final reason why you should study abroad in Finland...
7. Pathways to Permanent Residency for Expats
For international students who fall in love with Finland and decide to stay post-graduation, you'll be granted a 1-year post-study visa to cover your stay while you search for a job.
Once you obtain full-time employment, you can go ahead and apply for a work-based residence permit. And work-based residence permits are a foot in the door towards permanent residency — after you've worked in Finland for four consecutive years, you'll become eligible for a permanent residence permit.
So, what do you say? Are you ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime and study abroad in Finland?
About the Author
Edunation is a Finnish education consultancy based in Tampere, Finland. The company was established in 2017, and aims to completely change the education scene in Finland and introduce Finnish education worldwide. Edunation's first goal is to enroll 150,000 full-degree students from non-EU/EEA countries in the Finnish higher education system by 2025, creating opportunities for foreign students to obtain a world-class education.