Costs and finances

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Information about required funding, budgeting, banking, and prices in Finland.
Before you come to Finland to study you should
  • make sure that you have sufficient funds to cover all expenses during your stay.
  • make sure that you have sufficient insurance coverage.

To obtain a residence permit, a certificate to prove that you have sufficient funds for your studies is required.

For students admitted in 2016 or earlier, the university education in Finland is funded by the State through the Ministry of Education and Culture.

However, from autumn 2017 onward, the Finnish government has decided to introduce tuition fees for non-EU/EEA students enrolled in English Bachelor’s or Master’s degree programmes. The degree studies will continue to be tuition-free for EU/EEA citizens. You can read more about the fees and scholarships here.

Budgeting

The extent of funds needed for living naturally vary with individual spending habits. The monthly costs (Helsinki) could be roughly broken down into:

  • Rent EUR 400–800
  • Food EUR 200
  • Transport EUR 50
  • Personal/incidental EUR 130

A reasonable sum to cover costs for housing and living (Helsinki) would be EUR 750–1020, if the rent is EUR 400-800 per month. Master’s degree students also pay the annual student union membership fee of approximately EUR 120 before starting their studies.

Note! Students will have to pay a deposit for all types of accommodation, which will be refunded when the accommodation is given up. The deposit for accommodation and the first month’s rent should be taken into account when setting up a budget. Remember to reserve enough cash for expenses you will have during the first weeks!

Banking

To ease everyday life, we recommend all students open a bank account in Finland immediately after arrival. The account types offered for daily banking by different banks do not differ significantly in terms of features or service charges.

In the beginning of term, the Masters' Committee (see below) will help you with the process of opening a bank account. You will need a passport, visa, or residence permit, your Finnish personal identity code, and the certificate of enrollment you that you will receive during the Orientation Day. Remember to bring your Finnish address with you as well. The required documentation can vary slightly between banks. Read more about banking in Finland on Expat Finland.

Most shops, restaurants, etc., accept bank cards/credit cards as method of payment. The major credit cards (Visa, Eurocard, Access, MasterCard, Diner's Club, and American Express) are accepted throughout the country. Automatic cash points (ATMs) accept credit cards.

The currency used in Finland is the Euro (€, EURO). Money can be exchanged at most banks in Finland as well as at many currency exchange offices in larger cities. Please consult your own bank on how to best handle your money transactions while in Finland. It is advisable to bring cash with you to cover the first weeks' expenses before you open a bank account.

Approximate prices in Finland:

Groceries 

(Source: Statistics Finland, Price statistics. For the latest up-dates please visit Statistics Finland page.

Beef, ground1 kg10,68€
Butter½ kg3,06€
Cheese1 kg14,13€
Coca Cola1.5 l2,20€
Coffee½ kg3,56€
Eggs1 kg4,25€
Milk1 l1,05€
Oranges1 kg1,61€
Potatoes1 kg0,94€
Beef, topside1 kg16,88€
Sausages1 kg4,80€
Toast1 kg1,94€
Wheat flour2 kg1,38€


Leisure

Entrance fee to a municipal swimming pool4-6€
Monthly gym card50-90€
Entrance fee to a nightclub2-15€
Cinema ticket10-15€
Renting a movie2-5€
Student lunch (Bachelor and Master's students)2,60€
Hotel room80-150€
Hostel20-50€


Necessities

Cell phone call 0,066-0,10 €/min
Public transport, single ticket2,90-5,50€
Public transport, 30-day travel card (Bachelor's or Master's student)27,40€