Budgeting for your studies in Finland

Finland is an affordable country for students, living costs are moderate- way below its Nordic neighbors and larger cities in Europe. As a student in Finland, you are most often entitled to discounts in public transports, recreational facilities, meals etc.

Before the beginning of your studies, it might be a good idea to prepare a budget to roughly calculate your estimated living costs. The budget needs to be sufficiently detailed, however, budgeting is not an easy process, so we made a simple yet realistic expenditure overview.

In addition to the tuition fees and the one-time application fee, you need to budget for the following expenses:

  • Flights
  • Health Insurance
  • Visa
  • Accommodation
  • Food

The first three items on the list vary a lot in prices, depending on how you like to fly, where and how you will live and what kind of coverage your insurance will have.

Cost of living in Finland

Below you’ll find more detailed information about the costs of living in Finland. Please note that the prices given below are average prices in Finland. Prices may differ among cities, i.e. prices in Helsinki may not be the same as those in Kajaani.

  • Groceries
    Milk (regular), (1 liter) € 0.90
    Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) € 1.70
    Rice (white), (1kg) € 1.85
    Eggs (10) € 1.20
    Coffee € 0.84
    Chicken Breasts (250g) € 2.99
    Tea € 2.50
    Apples (1kg) € 1.70
    Banana (1kg) € 1.50
    Frozen Pizza € 2.50
    Tomato (1kg) € 2.85
    Potato (1kg) € 0.90
    Onion (1kg) € 1.15
    Lettuce (1 head) € 1.40
    Shampoo € 2.80
    Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) € 15.00
    Domestic Beer (0.3 can bottle) € 1.00
    Spaghetti € 1.10
    Pack of cigarettes € 7.00

    LIDL is a budget-friendly grocery store often used by students, while bigger chains, such as K Market can be more pricey. Large grocery stores such as Prisma is also a good option for students.

  • Transportation
    Local transport € 3.00
    Monthly city pass (local) € 45.00
    Gasoline (liter) € 1.25

    Prices vary depending on the city, e.g. Helsinki is almost always on the more expensive side.

  • Restaurants
    Cup of coffee € 2.50
    Coca-Cola € 2.50
    Meal (inexpensive restaurant) € 8.00
    Meal at fast food chains (McDonald’s, Burger King) € 5.00
  • Accommodation

    All the rates refer to a monthly payment of rent.

    Studio apartment €650.00
    Apartment with 3 rooms € 1,100.00
    Dormitory € 320.00
  • Utilities

    All the rates refer to a monthly payment.

    Water € 25.00
    Electricity € 7.00
    Wi-Fi € 20.00
  • Flights

    The flights to Finland will probably be the most expensive additional cost to your studies in Finland. Flights are usually the cheapest around 50 days before departure, so once you have received your residence permit, you should go ahead and book your flights to Finland.

    Budget for flights: 400-800 EUR

  • Health Insurance

    The price of the health insurance depends on whether you or your family are already on a plan, how much coverage you want etc. There are also some requirements regarding the health insurance in terms of getting a residence permit. More information on travel insurance.

    Budget for travel insurance: 200–300 EUR

  • Visa and student residence permit

    The fee for the online application for a residence permit for studies in Finland is 300 EUR. Find out more here.

    Budget for visa: 300 EUR

Study cost and return on investment

As previously said, Finland is an affordable option compared to many other popular study destinations. While the annual tuition fees and living costs are below those of other countries, the average net monthly salary graduates receive upon graduation is actually higher than in many other countries. Therefore, the return on investment is roughly five years, as shown in the table below.

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