Services for immigrants

The University of Helsinki advice service provides information on how to apply to a Finnish higher education institution. If you have previously studied at a higher education institution, we can advise you on continuing or supplementing your studies. We also offer preparatory training for higher education studies as well as qualification training in various fields.
Talent Boost programme

The development of services for immigrants is part of the national Talent Boost programme, which aims to promote the attraction, immigration, and integration of international talents in Finland, as well as improve the employment of international talents in positions corresponding to their skills. 

Goals of the Talent Boost activities at the University of Helsinki: 

  • Promoting the employment and networking of international talents, especially degree students and doctoral researchers
  • Developing guidance and counseling services for international talents
  • Enhancing the participation and integration of international talents
  • Developing the service paths for international talents
  • Increasing societal discussion on the status and needs of international talents, as well as societal diversity and openness
SIMHE services

Under its Supporting Immigrants in Higher Education in Finland (SIMHE) scheme, the University of Helsinki guides and advises immigrants interested in studying at a Finnish higher education institution or seeking support for career planning. We provide advice on applying to higher education as well as continuing or supplementing your studies. We help you perceive your opportunities in the Finnish labour market.  

You can book an individual appointment for education or career guidance and take part in other activities. 

AKVA -training in academic readiness

The AKVA training programme is targeted at immigrants who wish to study at a university or a university of applied sciences as well as pursue a professional career in Finland. The training boosts academic skills and Finnish language proficiency, and provides an opportunity for participants to familiarise themselves with studies in their field. 

In AKVA training, students receive personal education and career guidance. Participants will improve their Finnish language skills in all of the training options under the scheme. The required language skill level is YKI level 3 (B1 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). The training is free of charge. 

  • The AKVA training began in August 2023 and ends in June 2024, and the application period for these studies has ended  
  • Information on the next AKVA training round, if any, will be added to this page

AKVA training is coordinated by the University of Helsinki Centre for Continuing Education HY+. 

Studying Finnish

You can study Finnish by taking courses at the Open University of the University of Helsinki. They are open to everyone, not just students of the University of Helsinki. The courses are organised as web-based and contact instruction. T e Open University courses in Finnish are for beginners and intermediate students (CEFR levels A1.1–B2.1). Open University courses are subject to a fee. 

The University of Helsinki is participating in the Language Boost project, which develops methods for learning Finnish and Swedish. Among other things, the project has designed an online portal to support the study of the languages and to serve as a source of information for language learners and teachers of Finnish and Swedish as well as employers and career counsellors working with international talent. 

Supplementary studies and upgrading of qualifications

The University of Helsinki offers a range of supplementary and qualifying options to persons who have completed a higher education degree abroad. 

If you have qualified outside Finland for a profession which in Finland is subject to a specific regulation, that is, if a specific training, degree or licensing for the relevant profession is required by law in Finland, you will most likely need a decision by the authorities on the recognition of your degree or the right to practice the profession or study in Finland. 

For further information on the recognition of qualifications, visit the websites of the Finnish National Agency for Education, the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health Valvira and the Finnish Food Authority.  

Further information for recipients of decisions on the recognition of a degree or studies is available on the website of the Finnish National Agency for Education.  

Non-degree teacher qualification studies based on a decision on the recognition of prior learning  

The studies are intended for people who have completed a teacher’s degree outside Finland and who have received a decision on the recognition of their degree from the Finnish National Agency for Education. 

In the application procedure for non-degree teacher qualification studies based on a decision on the recognition of prior learning, you can apply to complete the Finnish-language early childhood education teacher, class teacher, special needs teacher and subject teacher studies arranged by the Faculty of Educational Sciences required by the recognition decision. 

Read more about studying and how to apply on the Faculty of Educational Sciences website. 

Read about the background of the Pätevänä töihin (‘Get qualified and get a job’) project carried out in 2021–2022 and the experiences gained in it. 

Enquiries: siltavuori-student@helsinki.fiand 

Aptitude test for teachers 

If you have received a decision from the Finnish National Agency for Education on the recognition of professional qualifications, which includes an adaptation period or an aptitude test as an additional requirement, and you wish to complete an aptitude test for teachers, you should contact the University. 

For further information on completing the aptitude test for teachers at the University of Helsinki, see the Faculty of Educational Sciences website

Obtaining a licence to practice the profession of veterinarian 

Obtaining the right to practice the profession of veterinarian on the basis of a degree completed in a country outside the EU or the EEA, that is, a third country, requires, as a rule, supplementary studies and sufficient skills in Finnish or Swedish in Finland. 

Further information on licensing examinations at the University of Helsinki is available on the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine website

Other study opportunities

Open University 

The University of Helsinki Open University offers a wide range of courses from a variety of disciplines open to all. Courses commence throughout the year and are subject to a fee. 

There are also introductory courses available, which are one- or two-credit courses that allow you to familiarise yourself with university studies and a discipline that you are interested in. 

The teaching is provided online, enabling students to attend flexibly.  

Explore our introductory courses

MOOC on web application development  

Also available is the Full Stack open course, which can be completed in varying scopes. The course includes an interview promise – by completing the course as a whole and the related 10-credit project, you will get a job interview with one of the partners collaborating on the course. Further information on the interview promise and the course itself is available on the course website. 

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