The University of Helsinki is Finland’s oldest and most prestigious university. After being founded in 1640 in Turku, Sweden as part of the Swedish Empire, the university moved to Helsinki in 1829 and quickly became one of the country’s most important institutions. Today, the university is as important as ever, offering the widest range of study subjects across its 11 faculties, and being the largest university in the country with over 30,000 students.

Though Finnish is largely dominant, Swedish and English are also very present at UH as languages of instruction. English is mainly used in masters and doctorate degree programs. The university is a member of plenty of international university networks and organizations and places a high emphasis on the quality of studies and research. In this article, we will be looking at the University of Helsinki scholarships for international students.

International Students

Since the University of Helsinki doesn’t charge tuition for all programs that are in Finnish or Swedish, plenty of international students, especially from neighboring countries decide to go there. International students currently comprise 15% of the student body, with around 4,600 international students from a total of 30,000.

The university offers plenty of services for all of its students, including career services that give guidance, support, and counseling. Across the four campuses throughout Helsinki, there are state-of-the-art labs and study rooms filled with computers and other electronics. Study materials are efficiently distributed through effective e-channels.

Tuition Fee for International Students

Finland is one of the most affordable countries when it comes to tuition fees. International students aren’t required to pay any tuition fees if their chosen program is being taught in Finnish or Swedish. This applies to non-EU students as well. However, students who wish to study in English are required to pay tuition fees that can range from $5,000 to $15,000 depending on the selected program. You can find the program-specific tuition fees here.

International Admissions Guide at University of Helsinki

The first step in the admission process is to check the application dates. For example, master’s degrees accept applications at the end of each year. You then need to select the area of study you are most interested in and submit all of the necessary documents such as high school or bachelor’s diploma, relevant language examination scores, etc.

After your application is reviewed, you will be notified whether you’re accepted or not. This takes 5 months for master’s programs, but undergraduate programs don’t take as long. Please note that applicants from certain countries will have to follow a different application procedure than usual. To see the list of countries you can visit this link.

Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students

Application Fee

For applicants coming from countries in the EU, EEA, or Switzerland, there are no application fees. If the applicant has completed their high school or bachelor’s degree education outside of those zones, he/she will be required to pay a non-refundable $100 application fee.

Admissions Requirements at the University of Helsinki for International Students

The main admission requirement for applying to the University of Helsinki is that you have proof of completing your secondary education or bachelor’s degree if you are applying for postgraduate studies. These documents will have to be translated and adequately certified to make sure they are legitimate. You will also need to be fluent in the language you will be studying in. This can be either Finnish, Swedish, or English. All of the most common examinations are accepted as proof of your language proficiency.

Students also need to prove that they have enough money to cover all of the living and studying costs. This is done through a bank statement that shows the student’s financial situation. Applicants also need to have health insurance and have the necessary residency permits (if from outside the EU, EEA, or Switzerland).

University of Helsinki Rankings

The University of Helsinki is the best and most highly ranked university in Finland, assuming the number one spot for many years in a row, now. It is also very highly ranked in worldwide rankings, as it is currently the 86th best university according to the latest U.S. News University Rankings. It also ranks as the 26th best University in Europe.

University of Helsinki Acceptance Rate

With an acceptance rate of 15%, the University of Helsinki is one of the most selective universities in the EU. This makes sense considering a large number of applicants each year due to the quality of education provided, which saves places for only the best of the best to attend.

That being said, the very low acceptance rate is largely due to a large number of applicants each year, so if you find that you meet or exceed all requirements, you should have no problem getting accepted.

University of Helsinki Scholarships for International Students

Undergraduate Scholarships

1. Dean’s award

The dean’s scholarship is awarded to second and third-year students on the basis of their achievements in the previous year of studies. Top performing students will receive $1,200. Since almost all undergraduate programs are tuition-free, this is the only type of University of Helsinki scholarship for undergraduate international students.

Graduate Scholarships

1. Second Year Study Grant

All students who are required to pay tuition fees are eligible for the Second Year Study Grant offered by the university. This University of Helsinki scholarship, which is in the amount of $11,700 is awarded to five top-performing students based on their academic success, with the hopes of inspiring them to do even better in the future.

Students are required to apply for the grant in their first year of studies. Students who are already receiving financial aid in the form of tuition fees or living cost grants are not eligible to apply for the Second Year Study Grant.

2. Scholarship program

The scholarship program is dedicated to all of the tuition-paying master’s degree students who want to complete their degrees at the University of Helsinki. The scholarships at the University of Helsinki can come in two forms: one that covers the entire tuition fee costs, and also gives the student $11,700, or one that only covers the tuition fee costs.

The scholarship is only valid for two years and requires you to be a full-time student who will graduate on time. After the first year, your progress and success will be checked to make sure that you qualify for your second year of funding as well. If not, your scholarship will be discontinued. The scholarship also comes with other benefits such as food and public transport discounts, free or very affordable healthcare, and more.

For more information on scholarships, you can visit the official FAQ page for tuition fees and scholarships from the University of Helsinki.


I hope that this article on University of Helsinki scholarships for international students was helpful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Programs in Europe for International Students.