Study Business in Finland

Located in Northern Europe, Finland is a Nordic country bordered by Norway, Sweden, Russia and Estonia. Although it is Europe's eighth largest country, it is the least populated due to its inclement, isolated northern half. Finland's parliamentary republic government is based in Helsinki, the capital of Finland, where most of the population resides. The country is a member of the EU, the Eurozone and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In 2010, Finland was ranked as the best country in which to live by Newsweek magazine.

What Type of Schools Offer Business Degrees in Finland?
Higher education institutions consist of research-oriented universities and profession-oriented polytechnics. Finnish students enjoy free education as well as paid living expenses provided by the socially democratic government. The World Economic Forum puts Finland's tertiary education system as the best in the world, with nearly 40 per of the Finnish population holding some kind of higher education degree.

Although many graduates of polytechnics and universities have degrees in science-related fields (neuroscience, physics, genetics, etc), international students seeking business degrees will be pleased ot know that most of Finland's universities offer bachelor's and master's degrees in international business management, economics, finance and marketing.

How Long is the Academic Year in Finland?
Higher education courses begin in mid-August and end in May. Finland celebrates numerous holidays throughout the year that allows for time off from studies. Some of these include a week off in October, two weeks off for Christmas, the winter Carnival holiday in February and Easter.

Tuition Fees Earning an undergraduate or graduate business degree in Finland is free to Finnish and international students. However, students are responsible for their living expenses while studying at a university. Currently, scholarships that help cover living expenses are only available for those involved in doctorate level research and studies.

How Long Does it Take to Earn a Business Degree in Finland?
A bachelor's degree in business takes three to four years but Finns consider a bachelor's degree just a stepping-stone towards a master's degree. In Finland, degrees earned at a polytechnic school are not considered equivalent to degrees earned at a university. However, other European countries do consider a polytechnic degree the same as a traditional bachelor's or master's degree. Obtaining a Master's degree in business takes another two years of study. Students wishing to earn a doctorate (licentiate) degree must attend a university if they originally attended a polytechnic.

Why Earn a Business Degree in Finland?
In addition to taking advantage of what may be the best higher education system in the world, international students getting their business degree in Finland will also find that Finland offers top quality working conditions, job security, a wide range of free public services to assist in finding employment and internationally respected businesses that are consistently searching for educated employees with specialized business degrees.


If you are a Nordic or EU/EEA citizen, you do not need a visa or a residence permit to Finland. However, you are required to register your residence with Migri if your stay in Finland exceeds 90 days (6 months for Nordic citizens). Additionally, if your stay in Finland lasts for more than a year, you should register in the Finnish population system.

If you are a non-EU/EEA citizen, you will usually need a visa or a student residence permit. Which one you should apply for, depends on the length of your stay in Finland.

  • Short stay visa - for a maximum of 90 days’ visits. For example, you may need this visa if you are invited to take an entrance exam in Finland, or if you take part in a course or exchange that lasts less than 90 days.
  • Residence permit for studies - a long-term temporary residence permit that is usually granted for one year at a time. If you come to Finland for a student exchange period exceeding three months, or if you have been admitted to a full degree program, you need to apply for this one.

You can start your student residence permit application online at, but in the process, it is also necessary for you to personally visit a Finnish embassy or consulate. A Finnish student residence permit application cannot be processed until the applicant visits the embassy, regardless of whether the application has been submitted electronically or at the embassy itself. 

In order to apply for Finland student visa or residence permit, you must provide a number of documents, among others the official letter of acceptance issued by your hosting Finnish university, proof of your financial ability to support yourself financially during your entire period of study in Finland and for your return transportation, and proof of health insurance. Your passport must have a validity that exceeds the duration of the visa or residence permit you are applying for by at least 3 months.

The processing times of a Finnish student visa vary, you can check them here:

A student residence permit is usually granted for one year at a time. After your first year in Finland (in good time before your previous permit expires) you should apply for an extension of your student residence permit from Migri. You can use the Enter Finland e-service for this purpose. It’s also worth noting that when you apply for an extended permit when your initial permit is about to expire, you must be in Finland when submitting your application.