Cost of living and financial matters

Planning a budget for your studies is important as all the students at the University of Helsinki must fund their studies and living expenses themselves.

Please remember to make arrangements for adequate funding for the entire period of your studies before leaving your home country. Take also into consideration that the price level in Helsinki can be considered fairly high depending on where you come from although it is in line with many European metropolitan cities.

Fin­an­cing your stud­ies

All degree students at the University of Helsinki must fund their studies and living expenses themselves. Ensure that you have adequate funding and enough of financial means to pay for possible tuition fees, your studies and living expenses for the entire period of your study.

Please note that international students who come to Finland only for their studies are usually not covered by the Finnish social security, and thus not entitled to the financial aid for students by the Finnish government.

International House Helsinki (IHH) provides a wide range of information and public authority services in one place to meet the needs of international newcomers in the Helsinki metropolitan area. Their multilingual information and counselling service for internationals is free of charge.

Tuition fees

There are no tuition fees for exchange students, PhD students or citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland and those who have permanent residence status in Finland.

Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries who do not have permanent residence status in Finland must pay tuition fees for Master's and Bachelor's programmes.

Scholarships for applicants

If you apply to an International Master's Programme at the University of Helsinki and are liable to pay tuition fees, you may also at the same time apply for a scholarship from the University of Helsinki scholarship programme.

Please note that the programme is highly competitive as only a limited number of scholarships can be offered.

Cost of liv­ing in Helsinki

All our students have to pay for their own accommodation and living expenses. Living costs in Helsinki—especially the cost of housing— are relatively high but in line with the EU average. Please note that although 6720 euros per year is considered sufficient funds for receiving a residence permit, it won't be enough for living in Helsinki.

Accommodation is a big cost in Helsinki, e.g. one month's rent in student housing is normally 450-800 euros. In addition, you need to cover your monthly costs for basics such as food, communication and transportation (min. 450 euros). It means that the monthly living costs for a student in Helsinki are 900-1250€ or even more, depending on your spending habits.

Please remember that it is very important to make arrangements for adequate funding for the entire period of your studies before leaving your home country. The University of Helsinki does not have any type of fund or support system for students in financial difficulty and cannot provide financial assistance in any case of emergency.

Student Union membership fee

All students studying for a Bachelor's or Master's degree (basic-degree students) at the University of Helsinki are members of the Student Union (HYY) and therefore bound to pay the student union membership fee.

The membership entitles you to various benefits, discounts and services. The fee is paid in connection with your annual registration.

For the academic year 2024-25, the obligatory Student Union membership fee for Bachelor's and Master's degree students is 57,00 EUR.

Please note that if you pay a tuition fee, it covers the Student Union membership fee.

For exchange students and doctoral students, membership in the Student Union is voluntary.

Healthcare fee for students

The Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) provides student health services for those studying for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. You must pay a healthcare fee to Kela (Social Insurance Institution of Finland) which entitles you to general health, dental and mental health services.

In 2024, the student healthcare fee in higher education is EUR 36.80 per term. It is paid to Kela once per term (spring and autumn), i.e., twice a year. You are not billed for the fee but are expected to pay it unprompted.

You do not have to pay the healthcare fee if you have social security coverage from another EU/EEA country, Switzerland, Great Britain or Northern Ireland. However, you need to show your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) when visiting FSHS.

Note that the FSHS does not include emergency medical care or any kind of hospital care. Therefore international students need to ensure that they also have a valid health insurance.

Exchange or PhD students are not entitled to FSHS services.

Stu­dent be­ne­fits

As a student and member of the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY), you are entitled directly or indirectly to various benefits, discounts and services that will make your life easier.

For example, you have access to affordable student housing, student-priced meals as well as sports and training at low-cost. You have access to free libraries and other learning spaces so you do not need to acquire all your study materials yourself. In addition, you get numerous discounts, for example on public transport fares across the country and on tickets to cultural events or attractions.

Grants and schol­ar­ships for stu­dents

Students already studying at the University of Helsinki can during their studies apply for the scholarships offered by the University of Helsinki Funds. There is severe competition for these scholarships and grants, and the majority of them are minor amounts not intended to cover living costs.

Various other foundations as well as scientific or other organisations in Finland offer grants and scholarships. Most of them are also open to international students and researchers enrolled at the University of Helsinki.

Please note that the scholarships to cover tuition fees (fee waivers) are awarded only to new students at the time of the student admission decision. During your period of study, it is not possible to apply for waivers to cover the tuition fee or for an increase in the category of an already awarded scholarship.

Work­ing while study­ing

International degree and exchange students are allowed to work during their stay in Finland – with certain restrictions. The restrictions have to do with the nationality (EU/EEA or non-EU/EEA) and the nature of employment. If you work in Finland, you have to pay taxes on your income.

Please note that you cannot count on financing your studies solely by working.