Ah, Finland! What is not to love? The education is free (for EU/EEA students), the country is beautiful and the people are warm and welcoming, so, of course, it is one of the top destinations for foreign students around the globe for their international studying experience.
Like any country, Finland requires you to follow a couple of steps in order to be accepted to one of its universities. Luckily, were here to help!
Choose the right degree subject in Finland
If you decided on the destination, but not on the discipline you wish to study, we can offer you a list of the most popular fields in Finland. These are:
- Management, Organisation & Leadership;
- Materials Science & Engineering;
- Industrial & Systems Engineering;
Choose the right Finnish university
It might also help you know that some of the best Universities in Finland are:
- University of Jyväskylä, in Jyväskylä;
- Arcada University of Applied Sciences, in Helsinki;
- HAMK University of Applied Sciences, in Hämeenlinna;
- University of Helsinki, in Helsinki.
Prepare to apply
You should first know that Finland divided its institutions in:
- UAS (Universities of Applied Sciences), that train professionals in response to labour market needs and conduct research and development, which supports instruction and promotes regional development in particular
- Universities, that conduct scientific research and provide instruction and postgraduate education based on it.
Finland is one of the European countries that offer free education, so you should check if you can opt out of paying. If your choice university isnt free or as cheap as you hoped, you can always search for a scholarship in Finland.
You should also check out the international admission website of Finland and get all the details and information you need from there.
Where to apply for a Finnish Masters degree?
Applying can be done through the universitys or university of applied sciences (UAS) own website or through Studyinfo, the official website for Finnish applications.
Finland has a total of 14 institutions and each of them has an admission office ready to answer any and all your questions, if you stumble upon a problem. Usually, each university or UAS has its own criteria and list of documents, but there is common ground, especially for the prime application. For instance, you can choose one of these two types of forms:
- Joint application
- Separate application
Joint application means that you can apply to six study programmes with one application. You have to place the programmes in order of preference on the application form, but be careful, because this order is binding and you cannot change it after the application period has ended.
If you apply through the separate application, you apply directly to an institutions study programme. Separate application forms are filled separately for each study programme or institution and theres no limit to how many study programmes you can apply.
Language requirements for a Finnish university application
English is indispensable for your serene life as an international student in Finland. Of course you could study in Swedish or Finnish, but lets be real here: nobody can actually speak only in consonants.
If your mother tongue isnt English, Swedish of Finnish, you will need to take a language test. Usually, UASs can organise for their students language tests, either written or under the guise of an interview. Universities, on the other hand, will expect a certificate directly.
The best part is that, if you have proof of education in a foreign language, you can submit that as proof of language proficiency. If you dont, we recommend these tests, as they are universally recognised in Finland:
Also, Finland has its own National Certificate of Language Proficiency, if other English tests take too long or are too expensive.
Required application documents
The documents required in a university in Finland differ from those required by a UAS.
UASs will need:
- Copies of completed or soon-to-be completed qualifications documents;
- Official translations for all documents;
- Original diplomas and original official translations;
- Employment certificates;
- Applications for special arrangements for entrance examinations.
Universities, on the other hand, will provide a comprehensive list of needed documents once you start your online application.
University application deadlines for Finland
Finlands universities and UASs dont have an exact calendar, admissions for Masters programmes being between early December and mid to late January. Also, UAS can extend their admission schedules all the way to March.
Seeing how theres no pattern, you should check the programmes website for a clearer calendar for when to apply.
Dont forget to take into account that some Masters degrees offer additional applications outside the main period.
Commonly, spring applications have the following deadlines:
- 25 January: Application period 1 (for Masters degrees in English)
- 8 February: Required certificates must be submitted
- 15 March: Application period 2 (for Masters degrees in Finnish or Swedish)
- 20 April: Required certificates must be submitted
- 30 June: Student selection results will be published
- 14 July: Deadline for the acceptance of a study place
- 3 July - 30 August: Supplementary application round
- September: Studies start
Meanwhile, the autumn applications have these deadlines:
- 20 September: Application period ends
- 27 September: Required certificates must be submitted
- 24 November: Student selection results will be published
- 8 December: Deadline for the acceptance of a study place
- 18 December: Acceptance from the wait list ends
- 27 November - 21 December: Additional applications
- January: Studies start
Final steps after receiving your acceptance letter
Lets assume you got your acceptance letter, in which case, Congrats!
Now go back online and research the Finnish residence permit, because you will need one for studies longer than 90 days. If they will be shorter than 3 months, you have to apply for a visa.
Dont forget you can ask your UAS / University for help with accommodation or other student services: they are there to help you, so you can take advantage of that.