Finland is a country located in Northern Europe, with Helsinki as its capital. Finland is a well-developed industrial country with major industries such as electronics, telecommunications, chemicals, wood processing and financial services.
Finland offers universal health insurance and free education (for its residents). Finland also has a high standard of living and welfare, and a relatively liberal immigration policy.
Transgender-related resources #
For more details before, during and after the application for a residence permit, there is an article available here.
The Finnish Digital Population Authority (DVV) has amended the gender change recognition provisions in accordance with the latest Transgender Act, which has took effect on April 3, 2023. And the conditions are:
- Reaching legal age.
- Citizenship/permit to remain.
- An official declaration is issued.
After the application is made, the applicant must reconfirm the application within 30 days to 6 months, after which the application will be processed.
More information could be found at Sukupuolen vahvistaminen - DVV.
Medical Resources #
Content currency and accuracy remain to be seen
See Github issue for related discussion .
Student Health Services, by Finnish Student Health Service. FSHS provides dental psychology and general outpatient services, and will refer you to other hospitals if your condition/request cannot be handled by a physician. In the Helsinki region it is often the Helsinki University Hospital (HUS).
As a foreign student, hormonal medications are relatively easy to obtain in Finland and FSHS can often provide prescriptions (this information needs to be further verified). If additional needs arise, a referral can be requested, but the queue is longer. As a result, some transgender patients apply for referrals in GenderGP to obtain prescriptions.
On February 1, 2023, Finland passed the gender self-identification bill 1, which allows transgender people to change their gender without any additional steps such as diagnosis or surgery by a doctor.
Please refer to the kela website for reimbursement rules for various medications such as hormones. Please note that reimbursement will count if you are already registered with DVV, otherwise it will not count. Standard drug prices can be found at Medicinal Products Database - Kela and there is an additional delivery fee of about $3 for picking up the drug at the pharmacy. If you pick up your medication at a pharmacy, there is an additional delivery fee of about $3.
In Finland’s education system, there are two main types of higher education institutions: universities and universities of applied sciences, with some differences between them.
- Universities in Finland provide more traditional academic education, emphasizing research and in-depth study in academic fields.
- Universities offer more master’s and doctoral programs, allowing students to obtain higher degrees such as Master’s degrees and Doctorate degrees.
- Universities typically offer a wide range of disciplines in areas such as theory, science, engineering, medicine, arts, and humanities.
Universities of Applied Sciences
- Universities of Applied Sciences focus on practical and vocational education, aiming to equip students with the skills and knowledge needed for practical work.
- Universities of Applied Sciences offer bachelor’s degree programs, and they encourage students to engage in practical projects and internships during their studies.
- Universities of Applied Sciences prioritize collaboration with industries and practical applications to meet the demands of the job market.
The importance of university rankings for undergraduate schools in Finland is not very high. Therefore, if you have decent academic achievements, you can consider applying to better universities. Additionally, the admission requirements for applied science and technology universities in Finland are relatively lenient. Although most of them require SAT/entrance exams, math ability tests, and English language scores, the specific requirements vary among different schools. You can find more information in the list of applied science and technology universities below. However, it is worth noting that the number of English majors offered at the undergraduate level is not very high in Finland, but there are usually more options at the master’s level. Both universities and applied science and technology universities in Finland generally have tuition fees that are not cheap, usually ranging from a few thousand to over ten thousand euros per year. Therefore, if you have financial constraints, you can consider choosing programs that are more likely to offer scholarships. Undergraduate scholarships often depend on academic performance.
Finland provides a website, Study in Finland, where you can find more information about higher education in Finland. Additionally, Finland plans to increase the number of international students to three times its current amount by around 2030, which theoretically may offer more learning opportunities in the future.
Finnish universities are not ranked very high globally, but they have a good learning and research atmosphere.
Due to the relatively low international reputation of Finnish universities, many universities, especially newly established ones like Aalto University, are often overlooked. However, different universities have their strengths in various disciplines. For example, Aalto University excels in design and architecture, Tampere focuses on library and information management, Helsinki specializes in religious studies, education, agricultural sciences, and media communication, the University of the Arts Helsinki excels in performing arts, the University of Jyväskylä is known for its sports-related programs, Turku University offers nursing, and the University of Oulu specializes in communication.
The Finnish government and universities place great importance on research and innovation, and many universities have advanced research centers and laboratories that provide opportunities for students to engage in research projects and practical activities.
However, it is important to note that many bachelor’s programs at Finnish universities are often taught in Finnish or Swedish (which may improve in the future), limiting the choices for English-taught programs. Taking Aalto University as an example, in its undergraduate program applications, only the fields of art, finance, international business, chemical engineering, computer science, data science, digital systems and design, and quantum technology offer English-taught programs. Moreover, for bachelor’s applications, many programs are structured as 3+2 bachelor’s and master’s degrees, considering changes in residence permit regulations. In theory, even as a student, one can apply for permanent residency after studying for 4 years.
At the same time, there are abundant scholarship options available. For undergraduate studies, scholarships are often related to GPA. For master’s studies, the focus is more on undergraduate GPA and academic achievements. Many international students receive scholarships to assist them in completing their studies.
In Finland, receiving a sword is a tradition upon completing a doctoral degree.
Universities of Applied Sciences #
Universities of Applied Sciences offer many undergraduate programs, and almost every institution has some English-taught bachelor’s degree programs. Common English-taught programs include IT technology, engineering, nursing, and others.
For more information, you can refer to Employment - Statistics Finland.
BOTH offers most rooms that are gender neutral, such as Studio.
UniHome is similar to the above, but offers more short-term apartments.
Tuition fees in Finland range from approximately EUR 4,000 to EUR 18,000 per year. StudyInFinland also has an overview page. Different schools also have pages with information about the cost of living in their cities, such as.
- [Cost of Living and Financial Matters - University of Helsinki]( https://www.helsinki.fi/en/admissions-and-education/international-students/student-life-helsinki/cost-living- and-financial-matters)
- Tuition and Scholarships - Aalto University]( https://into.aalto.fi/display/enopisk/Tuition+fees+and+scholarships)
- Financial Matters - Aalto University
*The Aalto University website is in the process of being migrated and may be subject to future changes.
Local employment requirements in Finland often require a good knowledge of Finnish, which makes it difficult for non-computing majors to find jobs.
The main career path for computer science graduates is consulting, i.e. providing solutions to other companies, which pays better. Therefore, for computer science students, certain engineering and development skills can help them to find a job better.
Data shows that the median income in Finland in 2022 is over €3,300.2
Finland does not issue visas to students, but residence permits.
At the beginning of 2022, Finland renewed its residence permit policy for students, so that they can get a Class A residence permit. The visa is also granted for two years after graduation, which makes it less difficult for students to find a job after graduation.
Regarding proof of property, Finland requires 6,720 Euros/year in the InfoFinland, which can be reduced when the school provides housing or food. The terms can be reduced when the school provides housing or food.
Class A residence permit #
A residence permit is a long-term residence permit that allows the holder to stay and work in Finland and is usually valid for a period of one to five years, which can be extended on demand.
After five years, the holder can apply for a permanent residence permit. If certain conditions are met, four years is also sufficient to apply for Finnish citizenship. 3
Type B residence permit #
Residence permit category B is a temporary residence permit and does not count towards the application for permanent residency.