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Financing your studies


Public education in Finland is free, as a rule. There may be some exceptions for courses requiring certain equipment or transportation, so check with your school.

International students can apply for grants, scholarships or other financial aid in their home countries from e.g. their home institution. Most international students are not eligible for Finnish student financial aid.

Student financial aid

Studies at institutes of higher education can be financed with student financial aid from the state, provided that one is generally eligible.If you are not a Finnish citizen, you may be entitled to financial aid with education in Finland if

  • you are registered as a permanent resident of Finland in the population register system and
  • your purpose for residence in Finland is something other than education (for example, work, family ties or return migration).

If you are in Finland for the express purpose of attending school, you are not eligible for financial aid from Finland. Read more about student financial aid from Kela. 

Working in Finland

Nordic nationals
A citizen of any Nordic Country can live, work and study in Finland (or in another Nordic nation) as long/much as s/he wants without a residence permit, but s/he must fill in a notice of change of residence.

EU nationals
An EU national can live, work and study in Finland as long/much as s/he wants, when the stay lasts less than three (3) months. If the stay is longer than three months, an EU national must register his/her right to reside in Finland. After doing that, an EU national can again live, work and study in Finland as long/much as s/he wants. There are some exceptions to this rule with the citizens of new EU nations. Please, contact the local police office for further information.

Non-EU nationals
If a student from a non-EU country studies in Finland for more than three months s/he needs to apply for a residence permit before the arrival in Finland. With the residence permit a student who is a non-EU national can obtain employment, if the work concerned is directly related to the student's studies (practical training) or if the work is part-time (max. 25 hours per week). During a period when there is no teaching in the institution, students who are non-EU nationals are permitted to work full-time. For further information, please contact the local police office or a Finnish Embassy.