How to Study in Finland from Nigeria In 2024

How to Study in Finland from Nigeria

Finland is becoming an increasingly popular study destination for students from around the world, including Nigeria. With high-ranking universities, tuition-free education, and a high standard of living, it’s easy to see why Finnish universities attract thousands of international students each year.

As a Nigerian student, you may be considering applying to universities in Finland but have questions about how to go about it. This comprehensive guide provides everything you need to know, from start to finish, about studying in Finland from Nigeria. We’ll cover the application process, student visas, costs, scholarships, finding accommodation, working in Finland, and tips for adjusting to life as an international student.

Whether you’re just starting your research or getting ready to submit applications, this guide will walk you through the steps and requirements to study in Finland as a Nigerian student. With thorough planning and preparation using the information here, your study abroad experience in Finland can be smooth, successful, and unforgettable. Let’s begin exploring how to make the Finnish study dream a reality!

Why Study in Finland as a Nigerian Student?

There are many excellent reasons to consider Finland for your higher education as a student from Nigeria:

High-Quality, Tuition-Free Education

One of the biggest appeals is that public universities in Finland do not charge tuition fees for domestic or international students, including those from Nigeria. You pay only a small administrative application fee. This allows you to obtain a world-class education completely free of tuition fees.

World-Class Universities

Finland is home to cutting-edge universities that rank among the best globally. Two of its most prestigious institutions are the University of Helsinki and Aalto University, located in the vibrant capital of Helsinki. Other excellent options include the University of Oulu ranked among the top young universities.

Multicultural Environment

Finland today has a highly international student body. You’ll be able to meet students from around the world and from various backgrounds. This multicultural environment allows you to make diverse friends and connections.

High Standard of Living

Finland is renowned for its extremely high quality of life. It ranks high on indices measuring education, happiness, and safety. You’ll be able to focus on your studies while also enjoying Finland’s nature, vibrant cities, and peace of mind.

Increased Job Prospects

A degree from Finland will boost your employability not just in Finland and Europe but also back home in Nigeria. Tech companies like Nokia provide excellent employment opportunities, as do startups and research centers across various fields.

Application Process for Universities in Finland

The application process to study in Finland involves a few key steps:

Eligibility Requirements

Make sure you meet the entry requirements set by both the Finnish government and the university. This typically includes things like:

  • Having completed the equivalent of a senior secondary school degree in Nigeria.
  • Meeting language proficiency requirements through exams like TOEFL or IELTS.
  • Having a valid Nigerian passport.
  • Demonstrating sufficient funds to cover your living costs as a student.

Finding Programs and Universities

Extensive research is crucial for finding the right programs and universities that align with your academic interests and career goals.

  • Use the Study in Finland search tool to find degree programs taught in English.
  • Check out university websites to learn more about the admissions criteria and program details.
  • Reach out to admissions office with any questions you may have.

Submit Online Application

Once you’ve identified programs you’re interested in, you can submit an online application directly through the university’s website. The required documents typically include:

  • Official high school/university transcripts
  • English proficiency test scores
  • Copy of passport
  • CV
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Motivation letter

Make sure you pay close attention to the application deadlines, which are usually between December and April for programs starting in autumn.

Acceptance and Residence Permit

If accepted, you’ll need to apply for a residence permit from the Finnish Immigration Service. We’ll cover the visa process in more detail later on.

Cost of Studying and Living in Finland

With tuition-free education at public universities, your main expenses as an international student in Finland will be daily living costs:

Tuition Fees

Public universities in Finland do not charge tuition fees for Bachelor’s or Master’s degree programs regardless of nationality. You only pay a small application processing fee ranging from €100-150.

Some specialized Master’s programs aimed at non-EU students do charge tuition fees. But these are quite rare.

Living Expenses

Your monthly living costs in Finland as a student will be around €800-1000 depending on your location and housing choices. Major expenses include:

  • Housing: €300-500 per month for student dormitories or shared apartments. Utility bills may be extra.
  • Food and supplies: €300-400 per month for home cooking or campus meals. Groceries and dining out.
  • Health insurance: €150-200 annually for student health coverage.
  • Phone and internet: €20-40 per month.
  • Leisure activities: €150-200 for hobbies, entertainment, gym, etc.

Overall, an annual student budget in Finland is estimated at €10,000-12,000.

Books and Study Materials

You should also budget €200-300 per semester for books, laptops, and any supplies like lab equipment needed for your program. Some universities have lending libraries to reduce costs.

Housing Deposit

When renting an apartment, you’ll need to pay 1-2 months’ rent as a security deposit upfront. This is usually €300-600.

Part-Time Work

Many students take part-time jobs to earn extra income for expenses. With a residence permit you can work up to 25 hours per week alongside studies. Wages are typically €10-12 per hour.

Scholarships Available for Nigerian Students

There are various scholarships available that can fund your studies and living costs as an international student from Nigeria:

Finnish Government Scholarships

The Finnish government provides scholarships through the CIMO Fellowship Program covering full tuition and living expenses for Master’s and PhD programs. These are extremely competitive, aimed at top academic talent.

University Scholarships

Many Finnish universities like the University of Helsinki and Aalto University offer scholarships for international students based on academic merit. These provide partial funding for living costs.

Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degrees

The Erasmus program funds over 140 English-taught 1-2 year Master’s degree programs across Europe. Many Finnish universities participate in this.

Fulbright Finland Grants

The Fulbright Finland Foundation offers grants for Finnish or American master’s and doctoral students for programs including teaching assistantships.

UniPID Scholarships

Finnish universities provide the UniPID Scholarship for students from developing countries to pursue a Master’s degree completely tuition-free.

Thoroughly exploring every scholarship opportunity can make studying in Finland incredibly affordable as a Nigerian student.

Student Visa Application for Finland

Once you have received an acceptance letter from a Finnish university, the next crucial step is applying for your Finnish student residence permit:

Required Documents

Submit your visa application to the Finnish Immigration Service along with:

  • Valid passport
  • Proof of acceptance from university
  • Proof of sufficient funds – at least €560 per month
  • Health insurance coverage document
  • Application processing fee

Health Insurance

You must show proof of comprehensive health and medical insurance that covers your entire study period in Finland. Private insurance costs €150-300 annually.

Application Process

  • Submit online application and book an appointment at your closest Finnish embassy.
  • Provide biometrics and documents at in-person appointment.
  • Wait for processing, then collect your residence permit.
  • Arrive in Finland and complete student registration.

Following the proper visa application process is vital for transitioning to life as an international student in Finland.

Finding Accommodation as a Student in Finland

Finding suitable student housing is an important task when preparing to study in Finland. Here are some of the main options to consider:

University Dormitories

Most Finnish universities offer affordable on-campus dormitories for degree-seeking international students. These include:

  • Single bedroom with shared kitchen and bathrooms
  • Monthly rent of €300-500 including utilities
  • Convenient campus location
  • Community events and activities

Apply early once accepted to secure a spot.

Private Student Apartments

Major cities have private student apartment companies offering furnished, short-term rental units just for students. These studio or shared flats cost €400-800 per month.

Examples are HOAS, LOAS and TOAS. Sign up on their waiting list.

Shared Housing

Renting a room or apartment with other students is a popular option. Use university noticeboards or sites like to find shared houses and rooms for rent. Prices are €300-500 per month.

Recommended Areas

Look for housing in student-friendly neighborhoods like Kallio, Punavuori, Kamppi and Viikki in Helsinki. Or Tammela and Kangaslampi in Tampere.

With early planning, you can secure comfortable and affordable student housing in Finland.

Working While Studying in Finland

As an international student from outside the EU/EEA, you are eligible to work part-time along with your studies in Finland. Here are key details:

  • Your student residence permit allows you to work up to 25 hours per week.
  • You do not need a separate work permit for part-time jobs.
  • Full-time work is not allowed during academic calendar periods.
  • No restrictions on work hours during holidays.

Types of Jobs

Common part-time jobs for international students include:

  • Retail jobs in supermarkets, stores, malls
  • Restaurant and cafe work
  • University jobs like library assistant, IT support, research assistant
  • Translators or language tutors
  • Childcare like babysitting and tutoring

Your university’s career center can help connect you with open positions.

Wages and Earnings

Student employees typically earn €10-15 per hour in Finland. This wage depends on your skills, experience, language fluency, and the job sector.

You can reasonably earn €600-1000 per month working 10-15 hours weekly alongside your studies.

Part-time work is a great way to gain professional experience while covering some living expenses as a student in Finland.

Experiencing Finnish Culture as an International Student

Studying in Finland is about much more than just academics. You’ll also have the chance to embrace Finnish culture and traditions as an international student:

Learn Finnish

Finns appreciate when foreigners take the effort to learn their language. Learn key phrases like greetings, please, thank you, how much, etc. This will help you interact at restaurants, stores, and more.

Join Student Associations

Joining student associations, clubs, and activities is a great way to meet Finns and international friends. Most universities have an ESN society to welcome exchange students.

Experience the Sauna

Visiting a sauna is quintessential Finnish culture. Sweating in the dry heat and jumping into cold water is rejuvenating. Stadium Sauna in Helsinki is a favorite.

Attend Events and Festivals

From music festivals to the unusual Wife-Carrying Competition, attending local cultural events will give you memories for a lifetime.

Explore the Outdoors

Finland’s vast forests, lakes, and natural parks provide the perfect setting for biking, hiking, camping, and observing the Northern Lights.


Studying in Finland can be an amazing life-changing experience for ambitious Nigerian students looking to gain a high-quality international education.

Finland offers a peaceful, tolerant, and inspirational environment to focus on your education and personal growth. The friendships and memories you build will stay with you for a lifetime.

Check out StudyInfo and university websites to start your journey today! Or Contact us for any application help to study in finland as a nigerian student.


Q: What is the admission criteria for Nigerian students?

A: You typically need a secondary school leaving certificate, English proficiency (IELTS/TOEFL), academic transcripts, passport, financial proof, and application documents. Entry criteria depends on the program.

Q: How costly is living in Finland compared to Nigeria?

A: Finland has high living costs – about €800-1000 monthly for housing, food, and other expenses. But education is free. Overall costs are manageable with part-time work and scholarships.

Q: Do I need to learn Finnish before applying to universities?

A: Finnish skills are not required. Numerous degree programs are offered fully in English. But learning basic Finnish will help you integrate better.

Q: Can I work part-time during studies as an international student?

A: Yes, your student residence permit allows up to 25 hours of part-time work per week alongside studies. This helps to cover living expenses.

Q: What types of student visas are available?

A: Non-EU students need a study-based residence permit for degree studies over 90 days in Finland. This permit allows part-time work also.

Q: How early should I apply for residence permits?

A: Apply up to 3 months in advance but not before receiving your official acceptance letter. Processing can take 6-12 weeks.

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