Steps On How To Study In Finland From Nigeria

Finnish flag on a windy day.

The innovative education system, experienced teachers and success story best describe Finnish education. Finland is ranked among the best study destinations for Nigerian students. Recently, the World Bank named the country “a miracle of education”. There are many benefits to studying in this North European country, from the cultural experience to easily landing a job and lower living costs. Finland also boasts beautiful sceneries, unique architecture, and design, which makes learning lots of fun. Are you looking to study in Finland? Here’s a step-by-step guide to enrolling in a Finland university. Let’s get started!

1) Choose a program

Start by choosing your course of choice. You can search for options and preferred institutions online at portal. The Finnish National Agency for Education (EDUFI) managesĀ portal, providing the latest information concerning degree programs, institutions, and requirements. Though many courses are taught in English, it’s best to double-check that your course is English taught. Also, check application deadlines to ensure proper preparation.

2) Prepare your documents

While each university has its requirements, the basic documents needed by most universities include:

  • Original educational documents and original official translations
  • Official translations for all documents in Finnish, Swedish, or English
  • Copies of completed or soon-to-be-completed qualifications documents

When you start the application process, your preferred university will give you a comprehensive list of all the requirements for a successful application. Note that all documents must be in English or one of Finland’s official languages. As a Nigerian applicant, you’ll be required to write English proficiency tests like IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). Also, ensure you consult the university or admission office for enquiries about the admission process. Typically, the admission year starts in September and January for the autumn intake and spring intake. For undergraduate programs, you’ll be required to present proof of eligibility for higher education, a Certificate of English language proficiency, SAT subject test results, photocopy of your passport, among others.

If you’re applying for a graduate program, you will need the following:

  • Your original certificate of relevant Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, original copy and translated copy of your Transcript of Records of your completed degree.
  • Your college diploma, if applicable
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Copy of the first page of your passport where your name, date of birth, nationality, and photo are indicated
  • Residence permit in Finland

3) Submit your application

Depending on your chosen degree program, you can opt for a joint or separate application. For most Bachelor’s degree programs taken in English, a joint application may be the best option. In a joint application, you can apply to 6 study programs (from one or more institutions) with just one application. You’ll need to prioritize your 6 choices from the most preferred to the least preferred. Ensure you choose right as you can’t change this after the application deadline. For separate applications, you’ll need to apply directly to the institution’s study program. Here, you’ll fill out application forms separately for each study program or institution. Furthermore, you can apply to as many study programs as you want.

4) Take your entrance examinations

If you’re applying for a bachelor’s degree program, you’ll need to write an entrance exam. This exam can be in one or several phases. For study applications to the Universities of Applied Science (UAS), an entrance exam is needed. The entrance exam can be used for any other UAS applied to. You can choose to take the exam in Finland or in a country where the Finnish Network for International Programs ( FINNIPS) operates.

5) Apply for your student visa or residence permit

After you have been offered admission to study in a higher institution in Finland,

what next? Apply for a student visa or residence permit. According to, a non-EU/EEA citizen studying in Finland for more than 3 months (90 days) must apply for a student residence permit before arrival. An EU/EEA or Switzerland citizen does not need a residence permit but will have to register their residence in Finland. For studies less than 90 days, the applicant will need to apply for a short-term visa.

Below are the steps to take when applying for a visa.

  • When applying for your student visa, ensure you have all the requirements for the application. This will include your valid passport, degree certificates, certificate of acceptance from an institution in Finland, proof of income, and health insurance.
  • Also, make sure the essential documents are legalized and translated. If you filled out your application correctly, the processing time would be short.
  • Fill out the application form
  • Pay the application fee via the online service, Enter Finland. You can also pay the fee at a Finnish mission, consulate, embassy, or the Finnish Immigration Service (precisely at the service point).
  • If you are in Nigeria, visit the Finnish embassy or consulate. If you are in Finland, consider booking an appointment at the Finnish Immigration Service.
  • Wait for the Finnish Immigration Service to contact you regarding your application.
  • Once your application is approved, you’ll be contacted.
  • Check the processing time and date of release of your residence permit on

6) Plan your finances

When applying to study in Finland, you’ll need to present proof of income or source of funds. This might not be applicable if your university is going to support you throughout your study in Finland. You’re expected to have at least EUR 560 every month (approximately EUR 6,720 a year) to cover food, accommodation, etc.

Ensure you know the deadline for payment of tuition fees, the amount to pay, the mode of fund transfer, and currency conversion. Knowing this will save you a lot of stress and hassle.

7) Prepare to travel to Finland

Once you’ve resolved your visa and financial issues, begin flight bookings and accommodation arrangements. Some universities organize orientation for international students before the actual day of resumption. Thus, it will be best to book your flight in due time to make it in time for the orientation program.

We hope this guide helps make your study in Finland a smooth transition. A different culture and study lifestyle awaits you there. Have fun studying in Finland.


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