How much money do you need to study in Finland?

For many applicants, the financial aspect is the most important. I decided to summarize the living costs of studying in Finland. How much is the rent? Food, transport, visa?

I will not include tuition fees here. Please, check yourself whether you have to pay those. If you do, you might get a grant and end up not paying any.

This is what you get for lunch for 2.60€. A glass of milk, bread with hummus, rice with chicken in curry sauce, salad, beans. You can get more, I just don’t eat so much 🙂

I will start with unavoidable expenses.

  1. When you come to Finland you most definitely need to live somewhere. Student housing is very cheap. A room for yourself in Helsinki metropolitan area would cost 250-300 € per month.
  2. If you are not an EU citizen, you will most likely need to get a Finnish residence permit. The first permit costs 300 €, all the following – 200 €. In addition, you will need special 365-day health insurance with prices ranging from 100 €. The residence permit and health insurance have to be renewed every year.
  3. If you get student housing in the campus, in theory, you do not need to use public transport. But I bet you will want to escape the campus area and make trips to the city centre every now and then. Lucky you, students are granted 50% discount on public transport and this will only cost you 53 € per month.
  4. Food. For breakfast, I usually have a simple toast with jam and a cup of tea (costs nearly nothing). Student cafeterias offer a nice lunch for 2.60€ (you can take as much as you manage to fit on a big plate). If you are really not into cooking, you can also eat dinner there for 2.60€. Overall, I spend around 250€ on food per month. That includes occasional cafe visits and my addiction to avocado toasts…
  5. Regardless if you have to pay the tuition fee or not, you will also have to pay around 120 € in order to get you enrolled for the academic year.

Thus, unavoidable expenses make around 600-700€ a month. Yearly it is 7000-8000 € which is exactly how much you are asked to have on your account when you apply for a Finnish residence permit. The rest will depend entirely on you. Do you like going out and buying designer clothes? Are you more of a home-buddy and all you need is enough rice? Do you want to go home for Christmas?

On a positive side, you are allowed to work while studying and most of the students are able to cover their living expenses with their salary. Also, in Aalto you will not need to buy study books or pay for printing as in other universities and countries.


Ekaterina Sakarinen

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