As a young student looking forward to exploring the world on your own, studying abroad is one of the best adventures you can do. A great place to start your journey is Finland, known for a lot of things you may aspire to experience and discover. Firstly, education in Finland is world-class, with its top-tier, yet affordable universities. It is one of the many reasons the Finnish people took up first place in the world’s happiest people list. Moreover, the teachers in the country are highly respected and compensated, and if you wish to pursue a career in education, studying in Finland is ideal for you.

Aside from education, Finland is known for its outdoor activities and stunning nature. Though the winters can be harsh, long summer days in the country are indeed worth it for your outdoor retreats. Of course, the beautiful northern lights you can witness for days is the cherry on top. On the other hand, if you prefer a more subdued experience in Finland, you might enjoy its libraries equipped with books and other activities such as sewing stations and audio recording booths. There, you might have a more profound interaction with the Finnish people as they enjoy their libraries as well.

As you look forward to enjoying Finland to the fullest, there might still be some recurring doubts about your financial capacity while you live independently. When it is time to make your academic plans a reality, make sure to check out the steps below. With some tips and some key takeaways completing a degree in Finland for free does not seem far-fetched anymore.

How to Study in Finland for Free

1. Prepare for Your Application Early

Studying abroad requires a lot of preparation. You will have a lot of things on your plate that you need to deal with in the shortest time possible. The worst-case scenario here is you not getting into your dream university. Before you dejectedly assume your failure to get an acceptance letter from a Finnish university, make sure to give your best effort to create an impressive application.

It may not sound like a surprise for you anymore but studying hard at your current level is the best step you can take to study in Finland for free. Remember that your academic profile reflects your life as a student and universities will base their decisions on the achievements you have accomplished and how promising your potentials are. Also, studying hard can help you, at the very least, prepare for the admission test, and at most, develop valuable skills and habits that you can utilize in your college life and later, on your career.

After building your academic profile, sending out applications is the next best step. Check out the list of requirements for the universities you wish to apply for, whether you are applying for a bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D. program. Be sure to allow sufficient time to complete the documents and paperwork.

A crucial step that can mean success or failure on your application is meeting the submission deadline. Make sure to submit your application early, as this will help you stand out from other applicants. It also displays your ability to work efficiently, which will likely impress the application reviewers.

2. Apply for Scholarships

While Finland is another excellent place to live, it is no secret that it is one of the most costly places in the world to live. In fact, it belongs to the top 20% of countries with the highest cost of living. For this reason, you might want to expect that finances might come as a problem when you don’t prepare for your education in Finland.

Fortunately, the country has scholarship programs that can tremendously help you to study in Finland for free. If you are from any of the European Union countries, you might be happy to hear that most universities in Finland will let you study tuition-free. However, if you are from a non-European Union country, you will have to pay the tuition costs. So, make sure to send your application to universities that offer scholarships to paying students. The more applications you send out, the better your chances of getting accepted to at least one university.

3. Apply to Affordable Universities

Even if you have to spend money on your education, Finland has some of the world’s top universities with affordable tuition costs. Among the universities that offer cheaper tuition costs in Finland are the University of Helsinki, which ranks within the top 100 of World University Rankings, and the University of Vaasa, one of the top universities in Finland.

The country is known for its high-quality education with deep regard for the welfare of its students, which, in itself, is already a great reason to study in Finland. Couple this with its universities’ affordability, and you are set for a future of financial security and a stellar career.

Check Also: Available Programs in Europe for International Students

Tuition-free Options for Bachelor’s Studies in Finland

Even if you are from a non-EU country, studying undergraduate for free in Finland is undoubtedly doable through scholarships. The University of Tampere offers full scholarships to paying students through a scholarship program. Upon application for admission, applicants can choose to apply for the scholarship as well, and since it is merit-based, the university selects the most successful applicants. The scholarship lasts for three years if the recipient continuously earns at least 55 credits every academic year until the degree completion.

Similarly, the University of Oulu offers full scholarships through a tuition waiver to undergraduate students, and applicants can apply for the scholarships as part of the admission process. The University of Turku also provides opportunities for students to apply for full scholarships that cover 100% of their tuition costs. Upon admission, successful applicants will have to earn at least 45 credits for the scholarship to continue on their succeeding academic years, up to three years.

Tuition-free Options for Master’s Studies in Finland

The University of Helsinki provides graduate students scholarships for international students to give them an opportunity to study master’s in Finland for free. Aside from tuition costs, its grant also gives discounts on meals, student union fees, and public transportation. The program’s duration is two years, and students’ performance needs to be reviewed and earn at least 55 credits annually. Aside from its Bachelor’s level scholarships, the University of Tampere also offers scholarships to applicants at the Master’s level. The program duration is two years, and recipients have to earn at least 55 credits every year in order to stay in the program for the next academic year.

The University of Oulu and the University of Turku also offer scholarships for students in the master’s programs. These scholarships include full tuition coverage for two years though recipients have to earn at least 60 credits in their first year to continue their inclusion in the program.

Successful applicants vying for one of these prestigious scholarships will have the opportunity to obtain a degree without having to pay for tuition.

Tuition-free Options for Ph.D. Studies in Finland

Unlike in the bachelor’s and master’s programs, international students accepted in the doctoral programs of most Finnish universities are exempted from paying tuition regardless of their home country. This policy is a huge financial relief for struggling future researchers. However, students may still need to get additional funding for their living expenses and research costs that may not be provided by their host university. The EDUFI Fellowship works with universities that are looking for scholarship funding to attract international students so that international students can enjoy full funding during their studies in Finland.

In the meantime, a university worth mentioning is the University of Jyvaskyla. The university offers multiple funding and scholarship options that ensure overseas students can complete their doctoral education without having to shell out money.


We hope this article will encourage you to study in Finland. To know more information, visit our Study in Finland page as we have a list of useful topics about before, during, and after studies in Finland! And if you are still unsure of what study program to take, here’s a list of Available Programs in Europe for international students!

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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  1. Abel Ndege September 26, 2023 1:27 am - Reply

    Hi. I have read about how to study free in Finland and I am very happy.

    I’m a parent of two high school daughters who are doing well in their studies. They have the passion of studying medicine or software engineering in Finland. The only challenge I have is finance. How can I secure an admission letters for them? Kindly.

    • Hyun Lee October 16, 2023 8:32 pm - Reply

      Hi Abel, please take a look at the “Study Undergraduate in Finland for Free” section. We’ve listed out some scholarships in Finland that are available for undergraduate students. Right now, these undergraduate scholarships cover up to full tuition, so you do need to have enough finance to cover their living expenses.

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