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 and scholarships

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 (March 2020).

For the Master's and Bachelor's programmes, citizens of non-EU/EEA countries, who do not have permanent residence status in Finland, are liable to tuition fees.

Check if you are liable to tuition fees or not on the Studyinfo.fi website.

If you apply to an International Master's Programme at the University of Helsinki and are liable to pay tuition fees, you may also apply for a scholarship from the University of Helsinki scholarship programme. However, please note that it is highly competitive as only a very limited number of scholarships can be offered.

Tuition fees and the scholarship programme at the University of Helsinki.

The  Fulbright Center has a  Fulbright-University of Helsinki Graduate Award intended for a US student admitted to one of the Master’s programmes at the University of Helsinki.

COLFUTURO offers loan-scholarships to Colombian students admitted to study at the University of Helsinki.

Cost of liv­ing in Helsinki

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

The monthly living costs for a student in Helsinki for basics such as food, rent and transportation are on average 700-1000 euros or even more, depending on your spending habits. You can check some specific examples of living costs on websites like Numbeo.

Accommodation is a big cost in Helsinki, e.g. one month's rent is normally 450-700 euros. Read more about housing on the Instructions for Students -website.

It is important to make arrangements for adequate funding for the entire period of your studies before leaving your home country.

Stu­dent Union membership fee

All the 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 offered directly or indirectly by the Student Union.

For the spring term 2021, the obligatory Student Union membership fee for Bachelor's and Master's degree students was  21,00 euro (please note that as of 2021 the Student Union fee no longer includes the fee for the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS)).

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

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

More information about the Student Union membership on the HYY website. The membership fee is paid in connection with your annual registration.

Healthcare fee for students

The Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) provide 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 2021, the student healthcare fee in higher education is EUR 35.80 per term. It is paid to Kela once per term (spring and autumn), i.e., twice a year.

Please note that if you pay a tuition fee, it covers the healthcare fee.

Also 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 the FSHS services.

Stu­dent be­ne­fits

As a student and member of the Student Union of 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.  In addition, you get numerous discounts, for example on public transport fees across the country and on tickets to cultural events or attractions. 

More information about benefits and services for students.

Grants and schol­ar­ships for stu­dents

Students already studying at the University of Helsinki can apply for the scholarships offered by the University of Helsinki Funds.

Also 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.

Read more about the different grant and scholarship options on the Instructions for Students website. There you can find both information about the grants and scholarships offered by the University of Helsinki Funds and links to some other funding databases.

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.

Find out more about working while studying on the Instructions for students website.