Study a graduate program in Finland
Graduate programs in Finland
Finland is one of Europe’s most northerly countries, with a climate and wilderness to match. This is a country of endless summer light and frozen winter darkness. You can expect plenty of beautiful scenery, from canoeing on lakes to hiking through forests, but it isn’t all outdoor activity. Finland is also home to cutting edge cities like capital Helsinki, where you’re able to visit art galleries and drink in quirky bars.
Studying a graduate program in Finland will allow you to live and study in one of Europe’s most exciting and unique countries.
Finland’s education system is split into two distinct sectors:
- Traditional universities – these institutions focus on research based Masters
- Universities of applied sciences – these universities focus on vocational programs
All traditional universities are owned by the Finnish state, whereas applied science universities can be governed by state municipalities or private entities, depending on the institution.
A graduate program in Finland will normally take two years to complete and most importantly for international students, no tuition fees apply in most cases.
Immigration and visas in Finland
EU citizens are permitted to take a graduate program in Finland without a visa providing they can demonstrate the following:
- You are studying for more than three months
- You have sufficient income or savings to support yourself during your studies
- You are enrolled at an approved or accredited institution
- You have comprehensive health insurance
Non-EU students will need to apply for either a short-term entry permit or a student residence permit depending on the length of the Masters degree. A short-term entry permit will allow you to stay in Finland for up to three months, whereas a student residence permit is required by students looking to study for longer periods.
Life in Finland
Finland has an extremely high quality of life, which combines the country’s unique mix of indigenous heritage and Scandinavian culture. The short daylight hours in summer means that Finns take every opportunity to get out and experience the country. Summer is the time for music festivals, lake cruises and the novelty of midnight drinks – in the sunshine.
One thing international students may struggle to adapt to is Finnish cuisine – which tends to focus on fish, berries and wholemeal products like rye, barley and oats.
Relaxation in Finland centres around the sauna. There are more 1.5million saunas in Finland, and are a perfect way of unwinding from the stress and cold of the day.
Working in Finland
Finland has a strong economy with a per capita output that could match major European powerhouses like France, Germany and the UK. The strongest industries in Finland’s economy are electronics, machinery and vehicle production, forestry and chemicals.
Much of the country’s industry is focused around capital and major city Helsinki, which houses the headquarters of telecommunication giant Nokia.
EU students are permitted to work in Finland while studying a graduate program. Unusually, non-EU students are also allowed to work in Finland during their studies up to a maximum of 25 hours a week.
There are two main housing options for international students coming to study a graduate program in Finland:
University accommodation – such as halls of residence
Private accommodation – House and flat rentals
Most universities in Finland will be able to provide halls of residence accommodation for international students. You’ll share kitchen facilities, study areas and a common room with other students, while sleeping in a single, twin or triple room.
Private rooms or flats are generally easy to find, but hard to arrange from outside the country. This option might suit students with families or those who want a little more privacy.
Climate in Finland
Finland is a cold country, particularly in the north near Lapland. Winter temperatures regularly stay below OC, with snow covering the country between November and mid-April. Summers are short and surprisingly warm, with temperatures able to reach 30C.
International students on graduate programs in Finland will have to get used to the different daylight conditions – the sun doesn’t set for 73 consecutive days in summer and doesn’t rise for 51 days in winter.
Most Finnish people get around using the country’s extensive road and rail network, with more than €350 million spent annually on supporting and maintaining this infrastructure.
Finland’s main international airport is Helsinki-Vantaa, which accepts more than 15 million passengers each year.
The currency of Finland is the Euro.
What to do next
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