The Republic of Finland is one of the northernmost countries in the world, famous for its northern lights, the cleanest air, the stunning Lapland, and expansive forest lands. But besides these wonderful natural wonders, this European paradise is known to have one of the best, if not the greatest, education systems in the world!

If you want a world-class education and experience the Nordic lifestyle at the same time, consider studying in one of the happiest countries in the world. In this article, we will be looking at the best universities in Finland for international students!

Top Universities in Finland for International Students

1. University of Helsinki

The University of Helsinki is one of the best public universities in Finland for international students. Belonging to the top 100 universities internationally, they offer the widest range of study areas in Finland available on four campuses. This time-honored institution welcomes nearly 40,000 students across 11 faculties. They also manage several research institutes, libraries, and museums that also serve as national institutions, such as the National Library of Finland and the Finnish Museum of Natural History.

UH offers globally recognized programs for international students. The university offers study programs in several mediums of instruction. The university is also bilingual, with most subjects taught in Finnish and Swedish. The third language of instruction is English and is extensively used especially at the postgraduate level.

2. Aalto University

Aalto University was established as a merger of three universities focusing on economics, technology, and art and design. Through this consolidation, the university became the second largest in Finland with six schools and close to 20,000 students and 4,500 staff. This top university in Finland has also defined its research expertise, which includes art and design, ICT, global business dynamics, and sustainable materials.

Aalto University is primarily located in Espoo, where it carries the name of the campus park’s architect, Alvar Aalto. Most programs are in Finnish and Swedish for undergraduate degrees. However, there are a few study programs that are conducted entirely in English. Nonetheless, the university is known as an international postgraduate institution with students from more than 50 nations.

3. University of Oulu

The University of Oulu is a public university and one of the best universities in Finland for international students. It is a leader in the field of information technology and has made significant contributions to its city – especially since Oulu is one of Europe’s living labs. A living lab is where new technology is adopted on a community-wide scale. Aside from this expertise, the university teaches in education, science, medicine, and business, with a total of eight faculties.

As one of the northernmost universities in the world, the University of Oulu is an expert in the study of Arctic conditions, as well as health, environment, and culture for its proximity to natural wonders. It was also voted as one of the safest places to study for local and international students.

4. Tampere University

Tampere University is a young university established in 2019 through a merger of the Tampere University of Technology and the University of Tampere. The two universities had always cooperated, and through this official consolidation, the new institution has come to offer programs in a total of seven faculties. These are information technology, education and culture, management and business, medicine and health technology, social sciences, engineering, and building environment.

This top university in Finland is also globally recognized in the research areas of health, technology, and society. International students have a variety of specialist subjects to focus on, including tumor genetics and game culture studies. Many of these are even offered online. These online master’s programs are held in collaboration with universities worldwide.

5. University of Turku

The University of Turku, a top university in Finland, is the main higher education institution in southwest Finland. By terms of enrollment, it is the third-largest university with nearly 20,000 students, including over 1,000 from overseas. This multinational academic body studies across seven faculties and independent units, but the university most excel in economics, social sciences, humanities, and medicine.

The main campus of UTU is in a city of the same name, where students access complete facilities, including the Turku University Hospital, a railway station, a cathedral, restaurants, shops, libraries, and more. There is also a student village that welcomes both local and international students.

6. University of Jyväskylä

The University of Jyväskylä is a multidisciplinary research university with over 15,000 students. It has been ranked in the top 3% of universities in the world and provides a comprehensive guide in teaching and researching learning, well-being, and natural phenomena. It has been recognized globally for its excellence in the fields of education, sport and health sciences, psychology research, communications, and mathematics. For these reasons, it is one of the top universities in Finland for international students.

The University of Jyväskylä welcomes international students from all over the world and helps them to adjust and feel at home in Finland. Upon arriving, all international students complete an orientation program to introduce themselves to the university and to their fellow students. There are also tutors available to give students any help they may need.

7. Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT

Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT is a science university ranked as one of the top 11 small universities in Times Higher Education. It is made up of over 7,500 students from over 90 different countries. The university specializes in climate education and is a pioneer in sustainability and combating climate change. Its three faculties include the School of Energy Systems, the School of Engineering Science, and the LUT School of Business and Management.

LUT University has two campuses located in Lappeenranta and Lahti, and both offer many events, clubs, and various activities for students. The university offers plenty of support for incoming students, with a two-week orientation program and tutors available to help each student register for classes and become familiar with the campus. The school year is divided into four teaching periods, with two in the autumn semester, and the other two in the spring semester.

8. Metropolia University of Applied Sciences

Metropolia University of Applied Sciences is the largest university of applied sciences in Finland. It is made up of over 16,000 students, making it one of the best universities in Finland for international students in terms of diversity. It has 71 degree programs, 14 of which are available in English. There are around 900 international students from 90 different countries.

Its degrees are available in the fields of technology, health care, social services, culture, and business. Through each of these fields, the aim is to educate professionals who can improve the whole of society.

9. University of Vaasa

The University of Vaasa excels in the education of business, technology, management, and communications. It is located in Palosaari, just outside the city of Vaasa, and has over 5,000 students. They have formed a strong international community, and 30% of its staff is from outside of Finland.

The university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees, with some of the master’s programs taught entirely in English. Each student is provided with individual help and guidance through their studies, and the university provides a strong support network to help students feel at home and make new friends.

10. Laurea University of Applied Sciences

Laurea University of Applied Sciences has six different campuses in the Uusimaa region. It has altogether about 7,800 students. One of its core principles is focusing on people and interaction. Its brand promise is, “Together we are stronger.” This university allows students to set a flexible schedule and gives them individual feedback and support to ensure their success.

Laurea University of Applied Sciences offers online classes in Finland, work placements, project work, and work-based learning. It has a Learning by Development model in which students learn in workplaces through research, investigation, and various projects. Students gain knowledge in the real world and are constantly putting new skills into practice.

11. Hanken School of Economics

Hanken School of Economics is a leading research and education institution specializing in economics and business administration. It holds three prominent recommendations for business schools: AACSB, AMBA, and EQUIS. With these accreditations, the school is not only one of the best business schools in the country but also one of the top Finland universities for international students.

Hanken School of Economics is one of the most internationally diverse schools in Finland. It also requires that all of its students spend some time studying abroad. This way, students can build international networks that last throughout their careers.

12. Häme University of Applied Sciences

Häme University of Applied Sciences is a workplace-oriented university with 29 bachelor’s degree programs and 13 master’s degree programs, as well as a teacher education program. Eleven of its degree programs are taught in English. It has schools of bio-economy, business and technology, wellbeing and entrepreneurship, and professional teacher education. It has about 8,000 students.

This university has many international students coming from 65 different countries. It has developed the concept of the Entrepreneurial University, in which students build their own learning paths and work in teams to develop business ideas. It helps students to go on and form businesses of their own after graduation.

13. Vaasa University of Applied Sciences

Vaasa University of Applied Sciences is an international university with about 3,400 students, making it one of the top universities for international students in Finland. It offers degrees in the fields of technology, business, health care, and social services. In addition, the university offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as blended learning.

Vaasa University of Applied Sciences prides itself on its internationality, providing many opportunities for students to study abroad and hosting students from 45 different countries. International projects and guest lecturers from foreign countries help students to form a multicultural worldview.

14. South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences

South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences has six bachelor’s and four master’s degree programs that are all taught in English. This university is committed to teaching future entrepreneurs and business professionals. South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences has over 11,000 students, including about 600 international students, every year.

In addition to regular course work, students participate in RDI (research, development, and innovation) to bring a real-world perspective to their studies. Through RDI, it focuses particularly on the Digital Economy, Logistics and Seafaring, Sustainable well-being, and Forest, the Environment, and Energy. It undertakes about 250 research projects annually and collaborates with businesses, other universities and research institutes, public bodies, and other organizations.

15. Centria University of Applied Sciences

Centria University of Applied Sciences has three campuses in Kokkola, Pietarsaari, and Ylivieska. It has about 4,000 students, with about 1,000 of them from outside of Finland, making it the most international school in the country. This school aims to give students very flexible education paths, allowing each of them to customize their own education at the pace that is ideal for them.

Centria University of Applied Sciences is proud of the close-knit community it has built on its campuses. Each student has one-on-one support to guide them through their classes and university life. Studies are available as full-time or multimodal part-time studies. Full-time studies are conducted during the day and can be completed on campus or online. Multimodal part-time studies are done primarily online with a few intensive periods of in-person education.

FAQs about Studying in Finland

Is Finland a Good Place to Study for International Students?

Finland’s higher education is sought-after by many international students for several good reasons. Primarily, they are one of the few states that fund university education even for foreign nationals, with few exceptions on some programs. International students may also apply for scholarships based on academic merit, while most postgraduate courses are completely tuition-free.

Students can choose from several degree programs, including business, medicine, and engineering. They can also pursue technology and information systems, of which the nation has been globally recognized in recent years.

International students will easily feel at home in Finland, especially those individuals who love the outdoors. There are plenty of nature activities and sports to try, as well as fine cuisine enjoyed with beautiful sceneries. Living costs in the country may slightly be higher, averaging between $820 – $1,180 monthly. However, it is definitely worth it when you’re living in one of the happiest and safest nations in the world.

Can International Students Work in Finland While Studying?

Foreign students in Finland can gain valuable experience, as well as some extra cash, by having a part-time job. Students who are EU nationals have various work opportunities without constraints, while non-EU students can work within certain limitations prescribed by the Finnish Immigration Services.

All university students who wish to work need a secure residence permit. If your work is related to your degrees, such as thesis work or practical training, you won’t have any restrictions. Otherwise, you can work up to 25 hours a week only on regular academic terms.

Can International Students Stay in Finland after Graduation?

After graduation, foreign nationals who wish to stay in Finland can do so by seeking employment in their field of expertise. Again, EU nationals have minimal to no restrictions. Non-EU students can apply for an extended residence permit before their current one expires, which will grant up to one year to search for employment.

Once you have lived in the country for four years (and have secured a continuous residence permit), you will be eligible for a permanent residence permit. Alternatively, you may apply for an EU Residence Permit when you have continuously stayed in Finland for five years.


We hope that this article will help you decide which school in Finland you would enroll in! If you want to learn more about studying requirements in Finland then make sure to also check out Study in Finland page! You can also check Available Programs for International Students to learn more about studying abroad!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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