The Republic of Finland is one of the northernmost countries in the world, famous for the 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 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!

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Is Finland good for international students to study in?

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 very 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 – 1180 USD 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 that are EU nationals can work 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.

Best Universities in Finland

1. University of Helsinki (UH)

The University of Helsinki is the best university 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.

The UH offers globally recognized programs for international students. 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 their expertise in research, 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. 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 (TAU)

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 programs are held in collaboration with universities worldwide.

5. University of Turku (UTU)

The University of Turku, a top university in Finland, is the main higher education institution of 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.


I hope that this article on the best universities in Finland for international students was helpful. You can also find more information on different European universities and scholarship opportunities on the Europe Scholarships Page!