Studying in Finland

Thinking about studying in Finland? Nearly 90% of the international students at the University of Helsinki recommend their studies in Finland for a reason. Find out what the university and country have to offer international students when it comes to education and a way of life, and get a taste of Finnish.

Finland has been chosen as one of the happiest countries in the world thanks to the high quality of life and education as well as the overall stability. We have one of the most advanced educational systems in the world and Finnish schoolchildren have excelled in PISA surveys for several years. Finland is also one of the safest countries in the world where the values of equality, integrity, and openness are important.

Check a list of things in which Finland is one of the best in the world.

As a nation, Finland is simultaneously at the forefront of technology and still has its roots deep in nature. It is a tech-minded society that incorporates state-of-the-art innovations to further improve the quality of life. The air is amongst the cleanest in the world and it is the most heavily forested country in Europe with wide-ranging rights for everyone to explore nature and enjoy outdoor activities. Even in the Finnish capital, Helsinki, nature is an essential part of the vibrant city scenery.

Find out more about Finland on the This is Finland website.

*according to the EF English Proficiency Index

From the first lessons in elementary school to specialising in your field of interest at university, the Finnish education system is widely recognised for its greatness. But what are the key elements that helped Finland progress from austere conditions to the global forefront? An equal school system, high regard for teachers and top-quality teaching have played a significant role in the process.

Also the University of Helsinki is internationally renowned for its high-quality teaching, research, and innovation. All teaching is strongly research-based: all teachers are researchers and all researchers teach. This interaction between students and other researchers is an essential part of the academic life at the University of Helsinki and means that our students learn from top scientists. It also means that becoming a student at the University of Helsinki is an excellent way to experience the wonders of the Finnish education system.

Read more about Finland’s world-renowned education system:

"Education lif­ted Fin­land out of poverty, but we need to keep de­vel­op­ing to re­main at the cut­ting edge". Interview with Kirsti Lonka, professor of educational psychology at the University of Helsinki.

"The long-term ap­proach is a win­ning as­set for the Finnish education sys­tem". Interview with Jari Lavonen, professor of education at the University of Helsinki.

The University of Helsinki is a significant international university and a multicultural institution, attracting students and staff from all over the world. Out of 32 000 students altogether 6% are international students coming from some other country than Finland. More than 20% of the research and teaching staff and nearly a third of the doctoral trainees and postdoctoral researchers come from abroad.

In nearly all of the most important international university rankings, the University of Helsinki ranks amongst the top 100 universities worldwide. It is the largest university in Finland and one of the leading multidisciplinary research universities in the world, aiming to produce high-impact knowledge and know-how that contribute to solving global challenges. You can choose from more than 30 Master's or Doctoral Programmes in English.

Student life is also an important part of your study experience. At the University of Helsinki, student life blooms in more than 250 student organisations. Whatever your interests are, you are likely to find like-minded people and the right activities for you.

Read more about why choosing the University of Helsinki is a good option.

Check out all the degree programmes at the University of Helsinki in the Degree Finder.

Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is one of the most livable cities in the world and a vibrant city for students. With several higher education institutions in the Helsinki area and 60 000 university students, the city is well set up to cater to the needs of students from all walks of life. There are many student activities, services and leisure activities on offer.

Helsinki is a safe, clean and compact city with half a million inhabitants where everything works and is within your easy reach. It is a green seaside city with beautiful islands and parks, cool urban culture and a great public transport system.

The University of Helsinki operates on four campuses in Helsinki. In addition, the university operates at 15 other locations in Finland and abroad.

Check out what makes Helsinki such a great city to live and study in.

It is easy to get by in Finland with English as the Finnish people are among the best non-native English speakers in the world*. However, learning the local language will make your stay more rewarding and gives you more career options after graduation.

Finnish is part of the Finno-Ugric family of languages, and the structure and vocabulary are very different from the Indo-European languages. But it doesn't mean that it is difficult - it is merely different!

A Taste of Finnish is an online course that has been designed especially for students planning to come and study at the University of Helsinki for a term or longer. It gives a good picture of the Finnish language and a toolbox for simple everyday situations with the Finns – a taste of Finnish.

Get a Taste of Finnish and learn basic Finnish online.

For enrolled exchange, visiting and international degree students, the University of Helsinki offers free Finnish language courses. They are a fun way to learn the language and network with other international students, and you to get to know the culture as well.

* EF English Proficiency Index

If you've ever met a Finn, they might have mentioned the reserved nature of their countrymen. It's true that not all Finns are big small talkers and quiet moments in conversations are not considered awkward. Silence just means that the person doesn’t have anything essential to say. On the other hand, Finns are usually genuine and mean what they say. This straight and honest approach explains why lots of people like to do business with us.  

Finns are masters of self-deprecating humor and regularly rip on themselves for being shy and introverted. Finnish people also love to tell tales and test the listener if they buy everything they are told. Joking with someone (or even at someone’s cost) is part of Finnish black humour. One should not get offended by this sort of treatment – it is our peculiar way of telling we like you. If you get invited to a Finnish home you have earned your place in a Finnish heart and are building up to a life-long friendship with a Finn.

Read more about the Finns and what they are like on the Visit Finland website.