Last updated: 01/06/2020 at 11.30 am
COVID-19, better known as coronavirus disease, is a new strain that was first discovered in Wuhan, China at the end of December 2019. After that, the virus has spread to every continent in the world, including Finland.
Please refer to our FAQ page about COVID-19 if you want to know how the epidemic affects Edunation’s applicants.
Spread of the epidemic in Finland
The most reliable source of information about coronavirus in Finland can be found on The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) website. Most reported cases have been in the Helsinki Metropolitan area, but the virus has spread to all other parts of Finland as well. The Finnish government has taken serious actions to prevent corona from spreading more in the country. This shows that Finland is taking the situation very seriously. And so do we at Edunation. We are still as committed as ever to have international students experience the quality of the Finnish education system. We are doing everything to ensure that students can still apply to Finnish universities through us.
Effects on new applicants to Finnish universities
The Foreign Ministry of Finland has made a statement on 19 March 2020 to suspend the reception and processing of visas and residence permits until further notice. This will also affect the processing of residence permits of students who are supposed to start their studies in August/September 2020. Residence permit applications that were submitted before 19 March 2020 are being processed normally by Migri if the student has visited the Embassy or VFS Centre already.
Students who have not yet applied for the residence permit or visited the Embassy or VFS Centre are advised to prepare their finances and needed documents while waiting for the closures of Embassies to end. Students can already fill out and submit the residence permit application in EnterFinland.fi online portal. Your application will be accepted for processing once you have been able to visit the Embassy or VFS Centre. We will keep all our applicants informed about the upcoming developments once there is more information about the duration of the closure of Embassies.
Applications through Edunation will continue according to the original deadlines. Our partner universities are working to find solutions, for example, online study modules, to offer students who might be delayed from their autumn 2020 studies. Universities in Finland are committed to providing all international students the chance to start their studies in autumn 2020 by providing studies online.
Restrictions imposed by the Finnish Government
The Finnish Government declared a state of emergency in Finland in March 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak. The number of restrictions that the government initially imposed was extensive – however, all the precautions were done to stop the virus from spreading more. The regulations took effect on 18 March 2020 and since then they have been eased and the status is getting better.
The current status:
- Public spaces such as schools and universities, museums, theatres, libraries, hobby facilities opened during May/June 1. The government recommends remote learning solutions until the end of the school year.
- Gatherings of up to 50 are permitted. Public events of more than 500 people will be prohibited at least until 31 July 2020.
- Finland’s state borders are closed until further notice. Travel for business and other necessary trips abroad within the Schengen area is permitted. Personal trips inside Finland are permitted.
- Anyone arriving in Finland from overseas is ordered to home-quarantine for 14 days.
- Restaurants, cafés and bars opened on June 1.
Information to our current students in Finland and those arriving in autumn 2020
Many students might now be worried about what will happen to the progress of their studies. Although all the university facilities in Finland are closed, teaching will not end! Finland has a great distance learning system and tuition is not dependent on contact learning. Finnish universities have several online platforms that enable taking classes from home. Finland is a highly technologically developed country and both students and workers can often work from home remotely. As of now, the autumn 2020 semesters at our partner universities are planned and scheduled to start online at the end of August/beginning of September. Students who are already in Finland can start the autumn semester either on the campus or online.
The Finnish healthcare system is among the most advanced in the world. Public healthcare will continue corona-testing for only those people with severe symptoms. The reason why public healthcare doesn’t test everyone is that they want to guarantee fast and effective treatment to those who have a higher risk of getting severe symptoms. However, Finland has increased the scope of coronavirus testing since the outbreak started. If you are in Finland and experience any symptoms related to the coronavirus, please check with the local health authorities whether you can be tested. In any case, whether you are with symptoms or totally symptom-free, please avoid close contact with other people as much as possible! These isolation regulations apply to all people in Finland until further notice.
During these uncertain times, we want to remind you that Edunation is always here for you. We understand every concern and if you have anything you would like to ask or talk about, please don’t hesitate to contact the Edunation team!
To get more updated information about the corona situation in Finland, check the Finnish institute for health and welfare and Finnish Immigration Service websites. You can follow the news from Finland in Englis here.