Finland is a go-to place for international students. Not only is it home to world-class universities, but it also has tons of beautiful scenery, a vibrant cultural environment, friendly people, career opportunities, and a high standard of living. Finland was dubbed as the happiest country on Earth for very good reason, after all!
Finnish universities make great efforts to invite students from all over the world. They offer hundreds of English-taught courses at very affordable rates. If you’d like to pursue your bachelor’s degree at any university in Finland, it is very easy to do so.
Here is important information you need if you’d like to study bachelors in Finland.
Application Requirements for Applying for Bachelor’s in Finland
Required admission documents in Finland may be shorter or longer depending on which university you’re applying to. You should always check university websites to see the complete list of documents you will need. However, below is a standard and general list of admission requirements in Finnish universities.
Matriculation examinations are university entrance tests that are commonly required for an individual who wants to apply for a bachelor’s in Finland. It is typically held towards the end of secondary school. With the school-leaving certificate and/or high school diploma, matriculation exams serve as proof that students are qualified to study at a university level.
There are several equivalents to the Finnish matriculation examination. American SATs, British A-Levels, German Abitur, and International Baccalaureates are just some post-secondary tests that may be accepted by Finnish universities. You should ask your applied universities if your post-secondary documents are enough to be considered for admission.
Transcript of Records
A transcript of records is another main requirement in applying for a bachelor’s degree in Finland. It is a detailed list of all the courses you took in high school and the grades you earned for them. You can request official copies of these (with a school seal and signature) from your high school. If this document is not written in English or Finnish or is from a country with a different grading system, you will be required to send in certified translations and grade equivalents.
Proof of Nationality and Other Related Identification Cards
This is needed by the university to determine whether or not you pay tuition fees. In Finland, college education is free for the most part except for certain circumstances. Some universities are free for both domestic and international students, some universities may offer free tuition fees for EU/EEA students, some universities may offer free tuition fees only to international students who can speak Finnish, etc. Always make sure to research tuition fees for your preferred universities before applying to them!
Bachelor’s Degree Language Requirements for Finland
Luckily for international students, most Finnish universities offer courses taught in English. Presently, there are over 500 undergraduate degrees in the arts and sciences offered by top universities across Finland. If you’re looking for a comprehensive list of all English-taught courses, the Finnish National Agency for Education has a handy search engine here.
Most Finnish universities will require proof of English language proficiency in the application process. The required level of fluency will depend on where and what course you’re applying to—generally, however, you should have a minimum score of 5.5 (IELTS) or 79 (TOEFL). If you come from a country whose native language is English or have obtained a previous degree from a country whose native language is English, this will not be required of you.
Additionally, unlike most other countries, international students in Finland do not need to learn the native language. Most people in Finland speak English and would love to practice their skills with you. You can definitely go through your entire study period without studying a lick of Finnish. However, we highly recommend learning Finnish regardless! This will significantly enhance your experience as an international student in Finland, and most universities offer Finnish language classes you can sign up for.
How to Apply for Bachelor’s Programs in Finland
There are three application periods in Finland—two in the spring, and one in autumn. There are two in spring because applications for English-taught programs and arts-based programs take longer to process.
To increase your chances of getting into a university in Finland and degree you prefer, we highly recommend you apply by the first round in spring. Not only will you have more time to compile post-admission documents, but you will also have a wider selection of courses to choose from. Most of the English-taught courses are available during the first round, and slots go by quickly. Furthermore, if you apply by the first round, you can be accepted into more than one university—apply later than that, and you will only be selected for one university in order of preference.
1. Research Preferred Courses and Universities
There are two kinds of higher education institutions for aspiring applicants who want to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Finland.
The first kind is the university. These institutions prioritize scientific and artistic research and can be found anywhere around the country. Below are two examples of some of Finland’s top universities:
Meanwhile, the second kind is the university of applied sciences (UAS), or institutions that are professionally oriented and train students for the workplace. These universities specialize in courses that are in high demand by the labor market, and they usually last a year longer than university ones because of work placements and practical training. Furthermore, universities of applied sciences emphasize regional development, which is why most of them will be found away from Finland’s metropolitan cities.
There tend to be more English-taught courses available at universities of applied sciences, like the two below:
Before starting your application, you must be sure about your preferred university and course. Eligibility criteria, required documents, application processes, and aptitude examinations will be different for every university or UAS you apply to.
2. Apply Using the Studyinfo Portal
Studyinfo is an official, all-in-one website that hosts a variety of information about university education in Finland. It is run by the Finnish National Agency for Education in cooperation with all universities across the country. This is where schools can advertise their services, upload details on their application processes and required documents, and receive applications from international student applicants who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Finland.
Once you register for an account, you will be receiving a confirmation email with a link. This will direct you to an application form where you can fill in up to six of your preferred courses at your preferred universities. This is called a joint application and allows you to apply for multiple universities with one application. Upload all required documents and apply by the dates indicated on the website.
Additionally, you can also apply to universities without Studyinfo. These are called separate applications and are a bit more tedious. You will need to apply for each degree you apply for, but there are no limits to how many you can send. Again, take note of application deadlines by visiting university websites.
3. Process Any Post-Application Documents or Processes
After you submit your application/s, you may be asked to take an entrance exam. This will depend on the degree you applied for and the qualifications you submitted. Studyinfo will usually post more information about entrance exams when the application period opens, so make sure to read up on that.
You will hear back about your application by early June. If you’ve been accepted, we highly recommend you confirm your acceptance of studies as soon as possible. Some universities offer an early-bird discount for students who accept their place within a week of results. If you fail to accept any of your offers by the indicated deadline, your offer/s will be rescinded.
Besides confirming your acceptance, you should also register for the upcoming academic year at your new university. At this stage, you will be asked to pay your tuition fees, sign student agreements, submit medical reports and other necessary documents if applicable. If for any reason you need to defer, you’ll have to let the university know before the end of registration. Otherwise, you’ll be tagged as a registered student for the present year.
After all that’s said and done, read through all of the helpful articles available on Studyinfo. It has a lot of helpful tips and tricks for any first-time international student in Finland!
I hope that this article on Study Bachelor’s in Finland was helpful. To know more information on how you can study in Europe, visit the Europe Scholarships Page.