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Study in Finland: Application Process

Learn more about the application process in Finland.

May 23, 2017
Birds-eye view of Helsinki

Interested in studying abroad in Finland? We’re here to help make the process a little simpler. It’s best to always consult the university to which you wish to apply if you have specific questions, but in the meantime, you can take the following steps to get started!

1. Choose a program

Start by choosing the degree program that is right for you. You can search for the available options at the portal – that’s where you usually also apply online. Finland has plenty of degree programs that are taught in English available. Whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student, there are degrees in a multitude of fields across disciplines. That said, Finland is renowned for a variety of programs within science, engineering and innovation.

Find a program

Want to study in Finland? Find & compare programs

2. Prepare the Paperwork

Each university or UAS has its own criteria and list of documents, but among the basic paperwork that is commonly required by all universities are:

  • Copies of completed or soon-to-be completed qualifications documents
  • Official translations for all documents in Finnish, Swedish or English
  • Original diplomas and original official translations

Universities will provide a comprehensive list of the required documents once you start your online application. Keep in mind that all documents must be in one of Finland’s official languages or in English, and you may be asked to take an English-proficiency test if it’s not your native tongue.

3. Check Specific Admission Requirements

Depending on the university, specific documentation could be required. Always consult the university website for specific admission requirements and contact the Admissions Services of the university if you have any questions.

In the case of Finland, be sure to check the official application deadlines because they can vary from institution to institution. And you may have to prove your English language proficiency which may require you to book either an TOEFL® or IELTS™ test.

4. Submit Your Application

Applications are usually made online at, the official website for Finnish applications. There are two types of applications – which one you use, depends on the degree program you wish to apply to:

  • Joint Application
  • Separate Application

In a joint application, you can apply to six study programs with one application. If you apply through the separate application, you apply directly to an institution’s study program. Separate application forms are filled separately for each study program or institution and there’s no limit to how many study programs you can apply.

5. Apply for a Student Residence Permit

Once you’ve received your official acceptance to a higher education institution in Finland, you can apply for a student[R1]  residence permit. If you are from the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you can request a right of residence once in the country.

You can either apply at the embassy or representative office in your country or online, but you will still need to visit a Finnish diplomatic mission [R2] to verify your identity and submit copies of other documents you might need during the application process, as well as have your fingerprints taken.

Learn more at

6. Arrive in Finland

After you’ve been admitted to a university and have received the necessary visa student residence permit, it’s time to begin your adventures in Finland! Think about the cost of living in Finland and what your budget will be. Once you have that, you can begin looking for accommodation. Finally, it’s time to purchase your transportation to Finland and arrive in your new home city! No matter where you’re staying, there are plenty of sights and attractions to be enjoyed.


Finland is known as one of Europe’s most modern, most innovative countries, and its educational system is world-renowned!

Education System

Want to learn about how higher education works in Finland? A popular destination for international students given its high-quality public and private education and fascinating Nordic culture, take a minute to dive into Finland’s higher education system!

Student Visas

Do you need a visa to study in Finland? Learn everything you need to know about the student residence permit process and the exact documents you need to enter and study the country.

Housing & Living Costs

No matter where you study abroad, it’s important to create a budget in advance so that you’re prepared. Therefore, we’ve detailed average living and housing costs so that you can get a better idea of what you would be paying as a student in Finland.

Tuition Fees & Scholarships

Tuition fees for degree programs in Finland may vary. While European students can study for free, international students are expected to pay tuition fees in Finland. But there are plenty of scholarship opportunities available to help fund your study abroad journey. Read more here!

Language & Culture

One of the Nordic countries, Finland’s culture is rooted in it’s stark and beautiful natural environment. Find out more about what it means to live in Finland as an international student!


Ready to look for study programs in Finland? Use our search engine to find and compare programs from top universities in Finland today!

The content of this country guide has been developed in partnership with Study in Finland.

About Study in Finland

Study in Finland logo

Study in Finland is the official starter's guide for international students interested in the opportunities Finland offers in higher education. Study in Finland is operated by the Finnish National Agency for Education.

Keystone Team


The Keystone Team is comprised of experienced educators and advisors dedicated to providing valuable resources and advice to students all over the world.