Go to College in Finland for Free

Finland Flag downloadWhile this idea might be out of your comfort zone, I would like to suggest that studying abroad, in English, is a viable option for many students. While you would have some expenses certainly, such as housing and airfare, it would certainly be cheaper than almost anything you could imagine in the U.S.

One country where this is possible is Finland.

Finland has 38 schools (14 universities and 24 technology institutes) that offer many undergraduate programs in English. Surprisingly, for such a relatively small country, Finland has 6,000 foreign students each year.

In terms of which type of school to choose in Finland, if you are looking for an initial bachelor’s degree program in a more traditional environment with a broad array of majors, it may make more sense to choose one of its 14 universities.

These links will take you to the admissions pages for each of the universities. It is important to know that there is no central admissions office for English language programs. You would apply directly to the school (whether it is a university or a polytechnic).


As mentioned above, Finland also have twenty-four polytechnic institutes. Unlike traditional universities, these polytechnics focus on business and industry. In total, these 24 schools offer over a hundred degrees where English is the language of instruction. The list below is a starting point.

So why do it?

Apart from the fact that you would save a great amount of money, it could be a grand adventure. Going to college in Finland would give you the opportunity to visit not only Finland, but also much of Europe (if you have saved your pennies). You would be able to experience a different culture for an extended period of time.

However, a word of caution: Don’t take all of the money that you saved from paying for college and instead pay for traveling in Europe. It’s very easy to do if you are not careful.

A second word of caution: Study carefully where these universities are located. Finland certainly has cities, but it also has rather remote villages as well. When my wife was an exchange student there long ago, she lived in Lehtimaki. Far north and so small that it has now been absorbed. Very different from, for example, Helsinki.


1. The Study in Finland website provides a great deal of information that will be of help to you as you consider where to study. It offers the very cool Study Programmes Database where you can search for the right program for you.