Finland is known for many things: its cold weather, its nickname “the land of a thousand lakes”, and Lapland, the home of Santa Claus. But Finland is also an innovative country where you can enjoy world-class higher education. But how much does it cost to study and live abroad as an international student in Finland?
1. University tuition fees in Finland
Finland is one of the financial heavens of Europe because public universities do not charge tuition fees for students coming from EU/EEA countries or Switzerland. This means that you can stop focusing your attention on paying tuition fees, and actually use your finances to cover the living costs or even save some money for travelling.
Starting from the autumn of 2017, non-EU/EEA students have to pay tuition fees. They usually vary between 4,000 – 18,000 EUR/year depending on the degree and university you choose.
Keep in mind that if you have to pay tuition fees, you can also apply for a scholarship programme. Each public university in Finland has one, so it’s a great opportunity to reduce the overall costs of your education.
You can also check out the Studyportals Scholarship to get some help on financing your studies abroad.
Read more about tuition fees in Finland.
2. Student living costs in Finland
Average living costs in Finnish cities
In Finland, you will need between 700 – 900 EUR/month, depending on the area in which you will live. Helsinki is the most expensive city, while Laaperanta, Pori and Tampere are known as the most affordable student cities.
Check the average budget you need for the large cities in Finland (including accommodation costs):
- Helsinki: between 980 and 1,580 EUR/month
- Jyvaskyla: between 700 and 1,100 EUR/month
- Oulu: between 660 and 1,000 EUR/month
- Tampere: between 870 and 1,300 EUR/month
We’re sharing these numbers to help you add things up and see what budget you’ll need to study in Finland. You can spend more or less; it all depends on your habits and how well you can manage your finances.
There are two main accommodation options available to international students:
- Student housing foundations: a single room in a shared student apartment costs between 160 – 380 EUR/month. You can also choose a single apartment, but it is more expensive.
- Rent/Share a flat available on the open market: prices range between 400 – 800 EUR/month, and they vary depending on many factors (e.g. how close it is to the city centre, how big is the city). Sharing the flat with other students/flatmates is convenient because it lowers the overall costs and you get to know and interact with other people.
Food expenses vary greatly between cities, but on average, groceries from the local supermarkets would cost you around 200 - 250 EUR/month. You can save money by shopping from discount supermarkets, like Lidl, Sale, Alepa and K-Market. If you choose to shop in the evening, you will often find discounts.
If you wish to eat out, a meal costs around 11 EUR in an affordable restaurant, while a three-course meal for two in an average restaurant will be around 60 EUR.
Most students choose to get around the city using public transport. A public transportation pass for students is between 35 and 50 EUR/month, depending on the city. You can also rent a car, but this would cost you around 230 EUR for 5 days.
If you enjoy strolling and fresh air, you can walk to the university, especially if you don’t live that far from it.
Living costs for students in Finland also include small expenses like:
- The student union membership fee: between 80 - 100 EUR/academic year. You'll receive the student card and enjoy discounts for public transport and student restaurants.
- Social activities: around 100 EUR/month
You can also use the Numbeo website to check out other prices and costs in Finland.