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Study in Finland Overview

                       Finland is famous as the most livable country in the world

Finland is an ideal destination for those looking for high-quality education. Because, now, Finland is becoming a fairly popular study abroad destination for international students. With a cost that is considered cheaper than some other study abroad country with world-renowned quality education, studying abroad in Finland is gradually gaining the trust of many foreign students. Many international students, including Vietnamese students.

So what makes Finnish education different?

That is the Government's encouragement of learning. Education is highly regarded in Finland and set a high standard since education is one of the strategic cornerstones of the country. Tuula Haatainen, Minister of Education of Finland, said: “The Finnish government invests heavily in education and training because we believe that this is the key to economic survival and development. Education is a pioneer in creating jobs, in our country, there is always a need for skilled human resources, so investing in education is essential.”

The quality of education is among the top in the world

Another thing that Finns can be proud of in their country is the quality of education. In recent years, Finnish students have often taken the lead in the international PISA competition (Program for International Student Assessment).

Universities in Finland are consistently ranked among the top in the world for the quality of their teaching, which is an attraction that captivates numerous international students to study in this country. Finland has 6 universities in the Top 500 in the world on The Times Higher Education rankings in 2020, including the University of Helsinki (ranked 96), Aalto University (ranked 184), the University of Oulu (ranked 251), Tampere University (251), University of Turku (351) and University of Eastern Finland (401). In addition, for many years in a row, Finland is also at the top of the OECD education rankings.

Diverse subjects with training programs in English

Universities in Finland have a wide variety of training programs for students to choose from, depending on their interests and abilities. Finland enrolls international training programs in many fields such as Tourism and Restaurant and Hotel Services; Computer Science and Information Technology; Social Sciences and Communication; Applied Science and Basic Science; Business and Management; Skill; Creative Arts and Design…

Finland offers more than 400 programs taught in English, from summer courses to Bachelor, Master, and PhD degree programs. In addition, almost everyone in Finland can speak English, so international students can communicate in English in everyday life.

Very reasonable tuition and living costs

From 2017, non-EU and EEA international students will have to pay their own tuition fees. However, tuition fees at Finnish universities are very affordable. At the same time, Finland is also one of the countries with the lowest cost of living in Europe.

Many attractive scholarship opportunities

Most universities in Finland have scholarship programs for non-EU, EEA international students. These scholarships are usually based on academic merit and divided into many categories such as full or partial tuition fee waiver, living expenses support, etc.

Great environment to live, study and work

According to the United Nations' annual report, Finland is the happiest country in the world for the third year in a row. Finland is indeed a safe and livable country because this place was voted by the Economist Intelligence Unit as the 6th country in the peace index. Not only that, according to Travel Risk Map 2018, Finland has the lowest danger rate in the world. And for many years in a row, the Netherlands has also been voted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as one of the most competitive economies in the world.

Attractive tourist destination

Besides the quality education system, Finland is also an ideal place for nature-loving international students, with many attractive tourist destinations. Here, you can participate in many interesting activities such as: water skiing, kite surfing on frozen lakes; visit Santa's “hometown” in Lapland village in Rovaniemi province to see reindeer pulling sleighs; and also don't forget to experience the famous Finnish sauna.

Finland offers an excellent educational opportunity in every discipline. And if Finland is where you want to embark on a new intellectual journey, you're not alone. Because of the above reasons, Finland is an interesting destination that international students want to come to study and work.


The Finnish education system is known for being a free education, with more than 12.2% of the state budget devoted to education. Therefore, all expenses such as tuition fees, lunch money, school supplies and extra-curricular activities are all free. The main goal of education is to provide all Finnish citizens with an equal opportunity to receive an education.

In Finland, the country's educational focus is on learning rather than testing. Therefore, the student's learning results will be based on the results of student assessment in each subject corresponding to the criteria in the teacher's curriculum. For that reason, another highlight of the Finnish education system is the absence of standardized tests. The only exam that is applied nationwide is the national entrance exam held at the end of the high school year. Universities will consider admission based on the results of this test along with the entrance exam.

Specifically, the Finnish education system includes:

Early childhood education and care

This is a combination of education, teaching and care aimed at promoting the development and reflexes of young children.

Pre-primary education

Pre-primary education, also known as early childhood education, is provided to children in the first year before entering compulsory education age, plays an important role in preparing for the transition from preschool education to basic education. And since 2015, participation in early childhood education is compulsory for all children in Finland and is provided free of charge.

Basic Education

Basic education is compulsory education for all children aged 7-16 and is seen as a comprehensive school. All children in Finland are required to attend basic education and receive absolutely no tuition fees, including free school meals. The study program is approximately 9 years long.

Preparatory education and training

After completing the compulsory 9-year basic education, students in Finland have the right to choose one of two directions, namely: Upper secondary education or Vocational training education.

General upper secondary schools

General secondary education usually takes 3 years to complete. After completing the training program, students will take part in the national entrance exam. Those who pass this entrance exam will be eligible to apply for further study at universities, universities of applied sciences and vocational training institutions.

Vocational institutions

Similar to the upper secondary education program, vocational education and training must also undergo 3 years of training with 120 professional credits. After completing the vocational intermediate level, students can progress to the vocational high school level, the high professional level and the professional vocational level. Vocational institutions provide practical instruction to students and training programs designed to meet the needs of the labor market. After completing a vocational education and training program, students can also continue on to higher education.

University education

Finland has an educational program after graduating from high school, students can enrol in: University of Applied Sciences (University/Research University), University of Applied Science (University of Applied Science), training institutes (institute). But most of the students choose to study 2 forms of universities and universities of applied sciences.


The mission of universities is to conduct scientific research and provide training based on that scientific field. For example, in the field of Social Science and Communication, it is possible to train majors in this field of studies such as Economics and Communication.

Universities offer training programs in the fields of higher sciences and arts, equivalent degrees from bachelor's, master's to doctoral levels. Completion of a bachelor's degree program at a Finnish university requires 3 years, and for a master's degree a minimum of 2 years.

Universities of applied sciences

Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) offer more practical education than universities in response to the needs of the labor market. These universities offer bachelor's and master's degrees in applied sciences. Therefore, completing a program at UAS schools usually takes between 3.5 and 4.5 years.

Education and training in the spirit of lifelong learning

Adult education and training is an adult education and training program that includes certification, degree awarding, apprenticeship training, and extension and enhancement of professional skills, research topics related to life and social skills, etc.

The Education Index, published with the United Nations Human Development Index in 2008, listed Finland with a score of 0.993 among the highest in the world. And the Finnish Ministry of Education attributes its success to an “education system with a unified basic curriculum for all age groups, highly qualified teachers and autonomy for schools”.


Studying in Finland has always been known for its impressive scholarship policy, up to 100% of tuition fees as well as scholarships to support living expenses. This creates favorable conditions for students with high GPA as well as outstanding English proficiency to have the opportunity to study abroad at a relatively low cost. Therefore, if you are cherishing the dream of studying abroad in the happiest country in the world, do not hesitate to learn about the extremely attractive scholarship policies in Finland.

In recent years, Finland has always been a familiar academic destination for international students from all over the world. In addition to the top quality of education and training in industries that are always in need of high-quality human resources, Finland also attracts the majority of international students by its scholarship policy with high-value scholarships encouraging study.

Types of training in Finland

Higher education programs in Finland are divided into two types: universities of research and universities of applied sciences (UAS). Both types of training offer undergraduate and graduate programs, taught in English, Finnish, or Swedish. Moreover, graduates of any type of training will be awarded a Bachelor's or Master's degree of equivalent value. Each study program at these two types of universities will have different teaching methods and the ability to respond to jobs. Besides, the tuition fee, scholarship value according to the training block is also different.

So in Finland, are there scholarships that can help you realize your dream of studying abroad? The majority of scholarships to study in Finland originate from universities and government educational institutions.

1. Scholarships from universities 

Most universities in Finland offer scholarships to tuition-paying students. Scholarships are often in the form of tuition waivers, even partially supporting living expenses for students. Scholarship policy at Finnish universities often supports scholarship packages with a value of 10 — 100% for students. Scholarships from universities are usually reserved for students with excellent academic achievements based on transcripts, merit certificates, and scientific research works. Specific scholarship packages of Finnish universities are as follows: 

Tampere University Scholarship

Scholarship of 50 — 100% of tuition fee for Master program for 2 years 

Global scholarship for 2 years for a Master's program for some excellent students, including 100% of tuition fees and 7,000 EUR of living expenses. 

Note: To be eligible for the scholarship in the second year, you must earn at least 55 credits. If the student is not eligible for the scholarship during the entrance exam, however, completes 65 ECTS credits with a GPA of not less than 3/5, he can apply for a scholarship of 50% of the tuition fee for the 2nd year. 

Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) Scholarship

The scholarship covers 50% of tuition fees. 

The scholarship covers 100% of tuition fees. 

Full scholarship: covers 100% of tuition fees in a 2-year Master's program along with living expenses of 600 EUR/year. 

Note: Full scholarships are very rare scholarships and are only awarded to students who have achieved exceptionally high scores in the selection process. 

Helsinki University Scholarship

Support 100% of tuition fees and 10,000 EUR 

2. CIMO Scholarship

CIMO merged with the Finnish National Council for Education, creating the Finnish National Education Agency. However, the scholarship program from this organization remains the same. The Finnish National Education Agency currently supports many scholarships for PhD and research programs at Finnish universities. Scholarships from this institution are open to all disciplines. In particular, the scholarship program called CIMO Fellowships is open to PhD students and researchers from around the world with all disciplines. In particular, this program prioritizes international students from countries such as China, Russia, India, Chile, and North America. This scholarship covers living expenses excluding housing costs. 

3. EU Scholarship (Erasmus Mundus) 

Finnish universities participate in many programs supported by Erasmus Mundus. Students can hunt for this scholarship by applying directly to existing programs in the EU at the PhD and Master levels. 

4. Luigi Einaudi Foundation Scholarship

If you are studying social studies, you can also apply for a scholarship from the Luigi Einaudi Foundation. Approximately 1200 scholarships and research grants are awarded annually to students within the social sciences. 

However, to be able to apply for scholarships and realize your dream of studying abroad, you must meet the requirements of the scholarship grantor. Most scholarships from research universities and universities of applied sciences (UAS) require students to have a truly outstanding academic record. For all scholarships, students are required to study full-time and must accrue at least 55 ECTS per year. However, this will not be too big an obstacle if you have the desire to study and live in a country that is considered the happiest country in the world.


Part-time work is a quite popular choice for young people because they learn many new things, practice communication skills and foreign languages, and better understand the working environment and culture in the country they are studying in. 

Regulations on part-time work for Finnish international students

Unlike some other countries in Europe, Finland allows international students to work part-time while studying abroad for 25 hours/week during the academic year and can work full-time in the summer with jobs that relate to the student's field of study. For international students, part-time jobs not only earn extra income to cover a part of living costs but also develop skills, work attitudes, expand social relationships, etc. 

So what jobs can international students find while studying in Finland?

First, the most ideal jobs would be related to your field of study. If you are pursuing a master's degree program, research work in the faculties may be right for you. In addition, there are also jobs that are not related to the field of study. At each Finnish university, there are career support services and job fairs where you can find information that matches your interests. Another job, but quite rare, that still relates to the field you are studying, is the job of a teacher assistant at school if you are really excellent in a certain subject.

The internet is open to everyone who really knows how to take advantage of it. Creative, online, freelance jobs such as writing, translating, etc., depending on each person's ability, can still help you earn extra income.

There are also part-time jobs that are quite popular with international students, such as cleaning houses, hotels, rooms and cruise ships. These jobs usually have an income of 7 – 9 EUR. Taking care of children, the disabled and the elderly is also a part-time job with a salary of around 9 EUR. However, these jobs often require you to know Finnish and otherwise there are quite a few conditions attached.

And some other jobs can be done in the summer such as working on vegetable farms, picking strawberries, packing in factories, and supermarkets. There are many ways to find part-time jobs such as: self-searching through websites, asking senior students, contacting directly where you want to work, looking for jobs through the school's Intranet. You can visit the page to find a part-time job that's right for you.