Studying guidance for immigrants
University of Helsinki offers guidance for immigrants who are interested in studying in a Finnish University or University of Applied Sciences. In the university's guidance service, you will get information about how to apply to a Finnish institution of higher education. If you have already studied in higher education we can give you advice on continuing or complementing your studies.
Come meet us

Are you wondering about studying in Finland or finding your career path? Come and meet SIMHE Counsellors!

You can find SIMHE Study and Career Counsellors at the Guidance Corner in the Kaisa House (Fabianinkatu 30) on the following days from 1 to 3 PM:

  • 7.12.

Please check from this website if there has been any changes before visiting us. You do not need to book an appointment.

If you want more information, please contact




Creating social and professional networks in Finland

by Karelle Bélanger, Human Resources Specialist

Date: 29.11.2022 at 15.00-18.00

Place: Unioninkatu 34, room U3022

Moving to a foreign country comes with challenges, and Finland is no exception. To integrate both the labor market and society, international talents need to make extra efforts compared to local talents.

During this workshop, you will find tools and strategies to create an emotional and intellectual bond with the Finnish society. You will learn in-depth tactics to find employment both traditionally as well as tapping into the hidden job market. Finally, you will get concrete tips that can help you feel more in control, reduce stress, and keep your motivation up during the job search. 


Karelle is a Human Resources Specialist focused on talent attraction and retention, and employer branding strategies. Her core specialties lay in working on employee life cycle, employee experience, relocation, global mobility, and macro/micro employer branding.Strong advocate of diversity and inclusion, she spent the last seven years challenging the Finnish infrastructures to develop better talent attraction & retention strategies and support the making of Finland a more diverse and inclusive place to live, work and grow as individuals!

Make sure that you will have a set and sign up by 27.11.2022.

More information:



Panel Discussion: Job in Finland – How Is It Possible?

Do you want to know how international graduates and professionals have successfully built a career in Finland? Are you looking for tips on how to excel in job hunting in the Finnish labour market? This event is for you!  

Date: Tuesday, 15 November at 16:15-17:30 
Place: University of Helsinki, Swedish School of Social Science, room 210, Yrjö-Koskisenkatu 3  

Secure your seat and sign up by 13 November!
Note that the maximum number of participants is 40.

Looking for your first professional job in Finland as an international talent can be a daunting task. In this panel discussion, you will hear insights from international graduates of the University of Helsinki, an international marketing professional and a recruitment specialist to help you navigate the job market in Finland!

The panelists Morten Jakobsen, Project Manager & Sustainability Advisor at NIVA Education, Nithya Susangi Serasinghe, Research Coordinator at Folkhälsan Research Centre and Fabrizio Trotti, Marketing Director at Lumoa, will share their own career journeys, experiences and tips on how to stand out and succeed in landing a job in Finland as an international. A recruitment specialist Tanja Malo will also join the discussion to bring in the point of view of recruiters on how to be competitive and how to also highlight the benefits that international professionals bring to Finnish companies.  

Want to know more about the panelists? 

Morten Jakobsen graduated from the University of Helsinki in 2017 with a Master's in Political History. Originally from Denmark, he has studied and worked in Denmark, Finland, the UK and the US. He currently works as a Project Manager & Sustainability Advisor for NIVA Education, a Helsinki-based institution under the official cooperation body of the Nordic governments.

Nithya Susangi Serasinghe graduated from the University of Helsinki in 2021 with a Master’s degree in Human Nutrition and Food-Related Behaviour. Currently, she is a research coordinator at Folkhälsan Research Center and she is working on a project aimed at diminishing socioeconomic disparities in children’s diets. World hunger and childhood nutrition are her foremost interests.

Tanja Malo is an HR Specialist, Employer Branding and Recruitment, from the University of Helsinki. She has a long experience of working with international relocation and recruitment.

Fabrizio Trotti currently works as a Marketing Director at Lumoa, a Finnish technology start-up. Fabrizio has been working in Marketing for almost 20 years, half of which in Finland. He has worked at start-ups and fast-growth companies such as Supercell, Yousician, and M-Files, and he has also gone through some failures and wrong career choices.
The panel will be moderated by the international trainee of Career Services, Chandima Ekanayake.

Don't miss the opportunity to boost your career in Finland and to discuss with our panelists!  

The event is organised by the UH Career Services and it is part of the Talent Boost activities of the university.  More information:



Becoming health and social care professional in Finland

24.10.2022 at 14.30-16.30, city centre campus of University of Helsinki

Coming to a new country even with a professional degree in healthcare, is challenging. Application procedures, learning a new language to a native speaker level are some of the challenges faced by internationals having healthcare degree from outside of Finland and want to work in Finland.

We welcome all to our event organized for internationals who want to become health and social care professionals (Doctor, social worker, psychologist, nurse, pharmacist, midwife etc) in Finland and have obtained degree from abroad. In this event we will provide an overview of the application process requirements for healthcare professionals trained abroad who are wishing to practice a healthcare profession in Finland.

Two senior officers from Valvira,  are coming to walk us through the requirements of these applications, and we will give the opportunity to our participants to ask questions from our guests as well. Another speaker Ms. Sajida Kazi, who herself has crossed these hurdled and became a doctor in Finland, will share her story with us.  

The recording of the event is available. Please send email to to get the link, if you are interested!

Personal counselling

You can schedule a personal counselling meeting. We can discuss your background, career plans, dreams, and what kind of education, degree or training would be the best option for you in higher education. We will meet online in Zoom. You will get more information about Zoom by email when your booking is confirmed.

Please contact us:

Before the meeting consider the following:

  • What have I studied before and what skills do I have?
  • Am I interested in complementing my previous studies, for example by taking individual courses or a whole new degree?
  • Am I interested in studying a completely new field?
  • What do I want to do for a living?

The duration of the meeting is no more than one hour. If necessary, the discussion may be continued with a new meeting.

Contact us

We are here to help you! Check the answers to frequently asked questions or contact us by e-mail:

When you contact us, please tell us about

  • your possible plans and questions
  • your previous studies: what have you studied, have you graduated
  • your language skills (especially English and Finnish/Swedish)
  • what do you want to study, and how much (a single course – a whole degree)
  • if you have a recognition decision, please attach it to the e-mail 

With this information we'll be able to help you better.

Fre­quently asked ques­tions

1. What are SIMHE guidance services?

The University of Helsinki offers guidance for immigrants who are interested in studying in a Finnish University or University of Applied Science. The University’s guidance services you will give information on how to apply for studies. If you have already studied in higher education, we can advise you in continuing or supplementing your studies in Finland.

2. I have a degree from abroad and I want to work in Finland, what to do?

If you want to work in Finland in an occupation that is regulated (for example teacher, psychologist, nurse or medical doctor), you need to get your degree recognized.

Finnish National Agency for Education (OPH) grants decisions for people working in the field of education, such as teachers.

If you want to work as a teacher in Finland, you need to apply for a decision of your foreign degree. For more information, please see Finnish National Agency for Education for more information

National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira) grants the right to practice as a licensed healthcare professional and the use of the occupational title of a healthcare professional. For more information, please see National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health for more information.

You can contact the SIMHE Service after you have gotten the recognition decision. We will help you regarding supplement studies!

Full List of regulated professionsFinnish National Agency for Education - regulated professions

Employers assess foreign qualification themselves when recruiting employees if national legislation does not specify qualification requirements for the position. If you have a profession that does not appear in the list of regulated professions, you do not need to ask for recognition of your degree.

3. Language requirements and where to study Finnish?

Studies in Finnish as a foreign language are available at the Helsinki University’s Open University. You can find Finnish language courses here: Finnish courses

If you apply for a degree programme in Finnish or Swedish, you need to prove your Finnish or Swedish language skills first. Your language skills must be at least on the level B2. On how to prove your language skills, please see the degree programme’s requirements listed here: Proving your language skills 

4. I am an asylum seeker and I do not have access to official documents from my previous education. How can I apply?

If you are unable to submit all the enclosures usually required for application, or if your enclosures do not meet the country-specific requirements, contact In your message, state your application number and that you are a refugee. Also, explain why you cannot submit all the required documents (for example certified copies, certificate of language proficiency etc.) For more information: Applicant with a refugee status.

5. I want to study individual studies without applying to a degree programme, what options do I have?

You can study courses of most faculties without being a full time student. In the Open University, you can study for your own pleasure, in order to learn new things or study courses in the field of your interest to improve your language skills and vocabulary. Studies in Open University are subject to a fee. See more details about the Open University here: Studies in Open University 

The Open University offers some courses in English, but most of the courses are only in Finnish. More options are available for degree students. Most faculties can grant a right to pursue their studies as a non-degree student. Non-degree studies are subject to a fee and they will not lead to a degree.

You can check the structure and scope of the degree programmes here

More info on non-degree studies, and how to apply to them, please read the following web page: Instructions for students - Non-degree studies 

As a rule, the right to complete non-degree studies cannot be granted if the studies in question can be completed at the University of Helsinki Open University.

SIMHE – Sup­port­ing Im­mig­rants in Higher Education

University of Helsinki is a member of the Supporting Immigrants in Higher Education in Finland (SIMHE) network. The network aims to support immigrants in their studies in higher education and in integration. The other higher education institutions in the network are Universities of Turku and Jyväskylä, and Metropolia, Karelia and Oulu Universities of Applied Sciences.

The activities aim at guiding immigrants in questions regarding the Finnish higher education system. In addition to guidance in applying to education, the subjects can be, for example, the processes of recognition of prior learning, and complementary studies. The goal is to speed up the immigrants integration and to facilitate entering a position in the Finnish labour market matching the immigrants professional profile.