Study in Finland: Tuition Fees and Living Costs

Finland is not just a country with a cold weather, known as the land of a thousand lakes or a thousand forests, or the place in the world where you can meet the real Santa Claus. Finland is actually an innovative country where you can enjoy world-class higher education. Here, you can choose from 14 universities and 24 polytechnics and if you come from an EU/EEA country, you benefit from the tuition-free programmes.

One of the safest countries in the world and apparently, the best state in the world to live in, according to Newsweek, are just a few additional ingredients that turn Finland into a great study destination. But how much does it cost to study and live abroad as a student in Finland?

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1. University tuition fees in Finland

Finland is one of the financial heavens of Europe since 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 living costs or even save some money for travelling.

Starting from autumn 2017, however, non-EU/EEA students will have to pay tuition fees. If you fall into this category, make sure to check the exact tuition costs of your programme before applying.

Read more about tuition fees in Finland.

2. Student living costs in Finland

Average living costs in Finnish cities

In Finland, you will need a total amount of 700 – 1100 EUR/month, depending on the area that you will live in. Helsinki is the most expensive city, while Laaperanta, Pori and Tampere are known as the most affordable student cities.

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Check the average budget you would need for each of the large cities in Finland (including the accommodation)

  • 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

Accommodation costs

Housing is a top priority in Finland and this expense represents 44% of the total monthly costs of international students, according to a European study.

Here are the average prices for accommodation in Finland:

  • Student living alone: 400-500 EUR/month
  • Student living with partner/child: 350-550 EUR/month
  • Student living in residence halls: 380 EUR/month

Accommodation in residence halls is a time-limited option that only 32% of the students get to earn. Out of those, 84% are satisfied with their stay, which is the highest percentage for a European country in terms of student satisfaction when it comes to housing.

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Food costs

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 such as Lidl, Sale, Alepa and K-Market and if you choose to shop in the evening, as often times, you will find discounts.

If you wish to eat out, a meal in an inexpensive restaurant cost around 11 EUR, while a three-course meal for two in an average restaurant will be around 60 EUR.

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Transportation costs

Most students (around 33%) 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
  • 26% of students prefer to walk to their campus
  • You can also rent a car and this would cost you around 230 EUR for 5 days

Extra costs

Living costs for students in Finland also include small expenses like:

  • student union membership fee (when registering at the university): around 100 EUR/academic year
  • social activities: around 100 EUR/month

Ready to study in Finland? Here's some more helpful information like the best Scandinavian universities, applying for the student visa in Finland, or enrolling in a Finnish university.

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