Cost of Study and Living in Finland

If you are planning to study in Finland, or have already been admitted to a degree course at a Finnish higher education institution, you have to make certain arrangements for your stay in Finland. Your mind is flooded with many questions regarding “studying and living” in Finland. In this post you can find details about accommodation, living expenses, tuition fee, travel, health insurance and working conditions etc. 

Student Organisation/Union

In Finland, all the higher education institutions have student organisation or Union. These Union take care of the interest of the students. To be a member of the local student union, you must have a Finnish student card. 

The university student unions have a national umbrella organisation, the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL)

The Universities of Applied Sciences/Polytechnics student unions have an organisation- the Union of Students in Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences (SAMOK).

With the student union membership, students are entitled to receive various student discounts. These unions also possess student clubs and association that focus on any interest area or hobby.

Tuition Fees

In Finland, presently no tuition fee is charged irrespective of your nationality

Living Expenses

The average monthly living expense for a student in Finland is about € 700-900. The living expenses vary depending on the location. The accommodation and other living expense are higher in the Helsinki metropolitan area and other bigger cities.

Accommodation in Finland

To get the accommodation in Finland, students must first contact the institution they have applied, or the local student housing foundation.
Different student accommodation options are:
  • Shared flats/apartments: This accommodation option is safe and reasonable. Basic facilities are provided. Generally 2-4 students share the flat.
  • Studio apartments: These are generally expensive, though have all the facilities available. These are for single students.
  • Dormitories: These are owned by institutions. Facilities like bathroom, kitchen, food and so on are available.
The monthly rent varies depending on the location, type, size and amenities offered. The average monthly rent for a single room in a shared flat range between 160 and 340 Euros. Single flats or apartments are also available, but the rent is high. 

Insurance and Health in Finland

Students must have an insurance policy. The permanent residents of Finland are covered under the Finnish National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme of KELA. International students living in Finland on a temporary student residence permit are not covered by the NHI scheme. The health insurance is compulsory for the Non-EU/EEA citizens. Also, while applying for a student residence permit, it is mandatory to have insurance.  
Healthcare services are offered by the higher education institutions-Universities & Universities of Applied Sciences/Polytechnics in Finland.  

Student healthcare services for those studying at universities are provided by the Finnish Student Health Service- FSHS (In Finnish: "YTHS").

Students studying at polytechnics/universities of applied sciences (UAS) will receive healthcare through municipal healthcare providers. 

The kind of the insurance a pupil requires depends on duration of the studies in Finland.
  • For studies of less than 2 years : Students can go for private health insurance that includes medical treatment costs of at least €100,000 .
  • For studies of two years or more: Students can go for insurance that mainly covers the medicine costs, doctor fees etc. of at least €30,000.

Marsh SIP International Health Insurance

Students who are enrolled at higher education institutions in Finland can apply for Marsh SIP International Health Insurance. To find about the Finnish higher education institutions that have contract with SIP, check webpage 

The Marsh SIP policies are mainly for Non-EU/EEA nationals. EU students who want to have a private health insurance can also apply for Marsh SIP. 

European Health Insurance Card

Students who possess a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) do not require a separate insurance. As per the EU legislation, students have access to health care at the same cost and under the same terms and conditions as people residing permanently in Finland.


Public transport is well maintained and organised in Finland. Most towns and cities in Finland have local bus services. Certain places have buses, metro, trams, and local trains. Students are entitled to get discounts. 

Electronic Travel Card

Students can get electronic card on metro, buses, trams or local trains. There are two types of electronic cards-
  • Multi-user travel card: This card is costly and can be used by anyone.
  • Personal electronic travel card: This card is the most preferred one by the students.  To get this card, students are required to submit a document from Institution they are enrolled at. 
If you do not travel daily, you can also take single tickets. They are available from bus or tram drivers, ticket machines, or conductors on commuter trains. 

Travelling in and Around by Bicycle and Bikes

You can travel by bicycle or bikes in Finland. The facilities for cycling are good in Finland. You should wear your helmet while cycling. 

Getting Around by Taxi

Students can easily get the taxi by taxi station, or phone. The taxis in Finland have meters and they are expensive. 

Getting Around by Trams and Metro

Students can travel in and around Finland metropolitan areas via metros and trams. They are the easiest and comfortable mode of transport for students. 

Working in Finland While Studying

Students can work part-time during weekends or in evenings. 

Nordic or EU/EEA National

Such students do not require any special permits for working in Finland while studying. There is no limitation as to how many hours per week you are permitted to work.

Non-EU Nationals

Such students should possess student residence permit and can work within certain limits. Students are allowed to work part-time for 25 hours a week. There are no time limits for full-time work outside academic term times.
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