How Much Does It Cost to Study in Finland from Nigeria?

Cost to Study in Finland from Nigeria

Studying abroad is a dream for many Nigerian students, and Finland has become an increasingly popular destination. With high-quality universities offering degrees taught in English, Finland provides top-notch education completely free of charge for bachelor’s and master’s students from Nigeria and beyond.

But what are the real costs involved in moving to and living in Finland as an international student? With flights, visa applications, housing, food, and other expenses, how much can you expect to budget for your studies if Finland is your destination of choice?

In this detailed breakdown, we will look at every expected cost, from tuition fees (or lack thereof!), to processing fees, living expenses, health insurance, and travel. You’ll get a full picture of what to factor into your budget if you plan to study in Finland from Nigeria so you can work out what fits within your means. We’ve consulted real Nigerian students in Finland to assemble realistic estimates.

Tuition Fees for Finnish Universities

One of the biggest advantages of studying in Finland is that public universities do not charge tuition fees for bachelors or masters students from Nigeria or elsewhere. This applies to over 20 universities across Finland offering high-quality degree programs completely free for admitted international students.

This tuition-free policy enables huge cost savings on your education. For example, attending a top masters program in the UK or USA can cost between $30,000-$50,000 per year in tuition alone. Studying the same degree in Finland cuts these college costs down to zero.

Some exceptions include specialised masters degrees that are professional qualifiers, such as those to become a medical doctor or architect. These specialist programs do charge tuition ranging from €10,000-€20,000 total for the entire program.

Additionally, while public school is free, if attending a private university like Aalto University, international students should expect to pay:

  • €15,000 per year for bachelor programs
  • €18,000 per year for masters programs

So while private schools have fees, public Finnish universities offer an affordable high-quality education with no tuition costs at all. This makes earning your masters or bachelors degree very attainable as a Nigerian student when it comes to tuition and college costs.

Application and Processing Fees

While tuition itself may be free, there are some initial application and processing fees to budget for when applying to universities in Finland:

Application Fees:

  • Most Finnish universities charge between €100-€150 euros for just submitting your application as an international student

University Admission Exam Fees:

  • Some degrees also require you take and pass university-specific entrance exams, which cost around €140 euros

Student Residence Permit:

  • To study in Finland for over 3 months, you need a residence permit, which costs €375 euros for fast processing or €310 euros for normal processing

Visa Application Fee:

  • Applying for your student visa to enter Finland requires paying an application fee of €60 euros

Health Screenings:

  • As part of your visa application, health screenings like blood tests or chest x-rays may be required, which cost approximately €200 euros

Document Translation:

  • Any documents not in Finnish, Swedish or English must be professionally translated, at a fee of around €17 per page

In total, these mandatory administrative fees tally up to €1,000-€1,500 euros even before you get accepted. While not cheap, paying them is necessary for approval to study in Finland.

Cost of Living Expenses in Finland

Once you arrive in Finland as a student, you’ll have to budget for general living costs like housing, food, transport, and other daily necessities.

Compared to the cost of living in Nigeria, expenses in Finland can initially come as quite a shock. However, Finland provides quality services and infrastructure that make daily life easy for residents. As a student you’ll also get discounts for things like public transport, food, and entertainment.

Here is a breakdown of average student living costs in Finland:


  • €300-€500 per month for rented student accommodation


  • €200-€300 per month for home-cooked meals

Public Transport:

  • €30-€60 per month for a student transport pass

Mobile Phone & Internet:

  • €15-€30 per month for a data plan

Other utilities (electricity, heating):

  • €50-€100 per month


  • €0 as students have access to Finland’s public healthcare

In total, usual living costs work out to roughly €700-€1,000 per month. While more expensive than Nigeria, Finland’s high quality of life helps justify steeper costs. Also, students are eligible for subsidies, discounts, and part-time work to assist with expenses.

Student Accommodation Costs

As an international student, one of your biggest expenses will be finding housing in Finland. Student dormitories and shared apartments offer affordable accommodation specially catered to students.

Here are average costs for student housing in some of Finland’s biggest university cities:


  • €300-€500 per month


  • €300-€450 per month


  • €250-€350 per month


  • €200-€300 per month


  • €250-€350 per month

To apply for student housing, you generally need an acceptance letter from your university. Applications open 5-6 months before the semester starts, so prepare to seek housing as soon as you are accepted. Competition can be fierce for centrally located units in the most popular cities like Helsinki and Tampere.

Some student dorms offer private rooms with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities, while others provide fully equipped private studios. Do your research to find the best housing configurations based on your budget and preferences.

Books, Supplies, and Miscellaneous Expenses

In addition to basic living costs, you’ll need to budget for expenses like books, course supplies, clothes suitable for Finland’s cold climate, phone bills, and leisure activities. Here are some estimates:

Books and Supplies:

  • €100-€300 per semester depending on degree

Computer and Software:

  • €500-€1,000 for laptop and programs like Microsoft Office

Winter Clothes:

  • €200-€500 for warm jackets, boots, thermals etc.

Mobile Phone Plan:

  • €15-€30 per month

Leisure Activities:

  • €50-€150 per month for gym, movies, eating out, etc.

Travel Within Finland:

  • €30-€100 for occasional domestic trips

Other Supplies:

  • €100-€200 per year for bedding, kitchen items etc.

So in addition to basic living expenses, budget about an extra €200-€500 per month to comfortably afford studying and living as a student in Finland.

Travel Costs to Finland

As an international student, one of your main upfront costs will be flights from Nigeria to Finland at the start and end of your degree.

Average return flights from Lagos, Nigeria to Helsinki, Finland cost approximately:

  • €500-€800 for economy class
  • €1,200-€1,800 for premium economy
  • €3,000+ for business class

While economy is the cheapest option, the total cost can quickly add up when flying with luggage. Many airlines allow 1 checked bag up to 23 kg for international flights. With extra baggage, expect to pay:

  • €100 per extra checked bag
  • €50 for each additional 5-10 kg over the 23 kg allowance

If possible, try to minimize baggage since excess weight fees get expensive. Ship any non-essentials via freight/courier services instead of bringing it along.

Lastly, factor transport from the airport to your accommodation. A taxi from Helsinki Airport to Helsinki city center costs approximately €45-€55. Or take the train for just €5 to save money.

Health Insurance Costs

Finland requires all higher education students have comprehensive health and travel insurance valid for studies and living in Finland.

As an international student from outside the EU/EEA, you must purchase private insurance that meets criteria mandated by the Finnish Immigration Service. This student health insurance covers:

  • Medical and hospital care
  • Prescriptions
  • Medical transport
  • Dental care
  • Repatriation of remains

Average costs for international student health insurance plans are:

  • €150-€300 per year for basic coverage
  • €800-€1,500 per year for comprehensive coverage

So remember to budget annually for health insurance. Some universities have partner agreements with insurance companies to offer discounted rates for degree-seeking students.

Total Estimated Costs for 1 Year of Study

Given all the expenses covered, what’s the total budget needed for one year studying in Finland?

Here is an overview of estimated average costs:

Tuition Fees:

  • €0 (for public universities)


  • €3,600 to €6,000

Living Costs:

  • €8,400 to €12,000

Health Insurance:

  • €150 to €300

Books & Supplies:

  • €1,200 to €1,800


  • €500 to €800

Total Costs for One Year: €13,850 to €21,700

So in total, budget between €14,000 to €22,000 euros to comfortably cover your first year of studies in Finland as an international student from Nigeria.

The second year is slightly cheaper without initial move-in costs and flights. But ultimately Finland offers world-class education with total yearly costs comparable or lower than other top study destinations.


Finland provides world-class higher education with no tuition fees (for public universities), allowing Nigerian students to access top quality degrees at an affordable cost. While daily living expenses are higher than Nigeria, the total estimated budget of €14,000-€22,000 euros per year is comparable or lower than other leading study destinations. Plus Finland’s high standard of living, beautiful natural landscape, and English-taught programs make it a desirable choice.

We hope this detailed breakdown of expected study costs helps you determine if studying in Finland fits your budget. With careful planning, achieving your academic dreams in Finland can absolutely be within reach as a Nigerian student. If Finland captures your interest, also research available scholarships and student housing early. By preparing financially and applying smartly, you’ll be ready to take advantage of Finland’s tuition-free education and graduate with a world-class degree without breaking the bank.


Q: What funding options exist for financing studies in Finland?

  • Scholarships – Finland offers over 900 scholarships for international students based on merit and need
  • Part-time work – Work up to 25 hours a week during studies and full-time during holidays
  • Tutoring jobs – Well-paid opportunities to tutor other international students
  • Bank loans – Some Nigerian banks provide education loans with favorable terms

Q: What discounts are students eligible for in Finland?

  • 50% off public transport
  • Subsidized student meals
  • Reduced rates for gyms, events, mobile plans
  • Numerous student discounts across stores and services

Q: Can you work while studying in Finland?

  • Yes, students can work up to 25 hours per week and full-time during vacations
  • Popular jobs are in restaurants, cafes, stores, offices

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