For future student
Aalto University believes that education must offer more possibilities than ready-made solutions.
- Welcome guide for International Students
- Visa and immigration
- Living expenses
- Financing your studies
- Insurance policy
- Working in Finland
Students can affect the content of their studies according to their subjects of interest, career goals and strengths by combining studies in different fields. That is why students are encouraged to seek different forms of cooperation.
The content of teaching at Aalto is developed and implemented hand in hand with research. Aalto reaches towards a culture that encourages continuous learning and creativity and where teaching is pioneering and challenges traditional boundaries.
Aalto University is interested in both how studies mould students and in how students can shape their own branch of education and science. Student centred activities have contributed to a reform of teaching. For example, Aalto Social Impact has given the idea for the popular and multidisciplinary How to Change the World course.
Aalto on Tracks took Aalto students to the World Expo in Shanghai in their own train. Aalto on Waves project, on the other hand, involved a trip to Brazil by ship. On both trips, students completed courses and took part in different learning projects. In situations like these, the university aims to be as flexible as possible, so good ideas generated by the students can be implemented.
A guide for international students includes all the necessary information for international students about arrival and settling in, studying and student life, living in the Helsinki region and contact details for international student services.
Welcome Guide for International Students (studyguides.aalto.fi)
EU citizens and citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland do not need a residence permit before arriving, but they must register their right to reside in Finland if their stay lasts longer than three months. This registration of residence is done at the police department in the city where the student lives after arrival in Finland.
A visa must be applied for before departure to Finland in the country where the applicant permanently resides. A visa is granted for a maximum of three months and cannot be extended in Finland. Finland has an agreement abolishing this requirement with about 80 countries. Please, check at your local Finnish Embassy or legation whether your country is among them. If the studies last for less than three months, no residence permit is required as studies can be conducted within the period of validity of the student’s visa.
Citizens of countries other than EU/EEA countries, who intend to stay in Finland more than three months, must obtain a residence permit through the Finnish diplomatic mission in the country in which they legally reside before arrival in Finland. The embassy will provide application forms and further information on the application process. Please check from the Finnish Immigration Service or the nearest Finnish mission for the latest information on how to apply for the residence permit, required documents etc.
Please note that in addition to providing your acceptance letter, you must, among other things, be able to demonstrate that you’ll have sufficient funds to cover expenses during the academic year (approximately 560 Euros/month or 6720 euros/year). International students participating in a scholarship or exchange programme show proof of acceptance to the programme or scholarship instead of the aforementioned funds.
Note! It is also required that any student coming from outside EU/EEA-countries must have valid health insurance if the studies will last for more than three months. Health insurance is a requirement for obtaining a residence permit for studies.
More information about residence permits on the Finnish Immigration Service's webpage.
Post-arrival one-off expenses to consider
Hostel or hotel: you may need to stay in a hotel or hostel for a few days if you arrive before your accommodation is available, or you may be arriving without housing sorted out (not recommended).
Deposit: you may be required to provide one or two (or even possibly three) months' rent as a deposit, especially if you are renting on the private market.
All prices below are listed in euros (EUR).
250 - 450+ /Month
If you get student housing, however, you may need to pay more if you look in the private market.
20 - 50 /Month
This is based on the cost for 30 days of unlimited travel for students (not including PhD or those over age 30) on public transport. The exact price mostly depends on whether you have to travel regularly between the Helsinki and Espoo regions (note that the Arabia and Töölö campuses are in Helsinki and the Otaniemi campus is in Espoo). Helsinki Metropolitan Areas are very bike friendly!
170 - 320+ /Month
Estimate includes one average priced student meal per weekday and groceries/other food at EUR30-80/week.
20 - 40 /Month
This is an estimated monthly price for a phone plan. A ‘pay-as-you-go’/pre-paid phone card might seem like the easier option at first, but check into getting a phone plan once you arrive – go visit any mobile phone service outlet and discuss your options.
0 - 30 /Month
If you want internet access also in your accommodation, this cost will depend on where you live and how many roommates you have, if any, to share the service with you. Also, check to make sure if your housing already includes an internet service in your contract.
8 - 25 /Month
For the benefits of a gym and more, paying a yearly/monthly fee is worth it. UniSport for Aalto students is priced in this range.
Do you like going out, travelling, sports, eating out? All of these will, of course, affect your budget.
Samples on-going costs
|Bus Fare:||3.00 within Helsinki, 5.00 Regional fare|
|Taxi (from the airport to Campus):||about 30 - 50|
|Haircut (men):||from 20|
|Haircut (women):||from 40|
|Public Telephone:||The last public phone was removed from Helsinki in 2007.|
|Eating and drinking (out and about)|
|Meal in a restaurant:||12 - 30|
|Coffee:||2 - 3|
|Soft Drink:||2.50 - 3.50|
|Meals in the student cafeteria:||2.60 - 4.00 (includes drink, hot main course, salad bar and bread)|
|Movie Rental:||3 - 6|
|Movie (cinema):||9 - 14|
|Hockey game:||from 15|
|Museums:||0 - 20|
Other monthly expenses:
|Photocopying 200 copies||around 16|
Students are expected to cover all living expenses (app. EUR 800 per month) and other study related costs from their own financial resources.
There may be other programme-specific opportunities such as part-time work offered to finance studies as well. Please visit the programme websites and Working in Finland section for further information.
Tuition fees and scholarships
For the intake of 2016 no tuition fees will be charged. Aalto University does not offer any scholarships for the intake of 2016. Tuition fees will be introduced for non-EU/EEA students in Finland from August 2017 onwards.
Some of Aalto University's partner universities are already charging tuition fees in some of the international joint degree programmes Aalto University participates in. For further information, visit the programme websites.
Student financial aid
The aim of financial aid is to provide an income for students during their studies.
Financial aid comprises Study Grant, Housing Supplement and a government guarantee for student loans. To be eligible for financial aid, a student needs to be a Finnish citizen, have been admitted to the university, be a full-time student, make satisfactory progress in his or her studies and be in need of financial support.
Financial aid may be granted to Finnish citizens and also to foreign citizens, provided certain conditions are met.
Students who complete their degree within the set time are entitled to a student loan tax deduction.
More information about the Student financial aid (into.aalto.fi)
To make your everyday life easier, it is recommended that you open a bank account in Finland as soon as possible after your arrival.
The account types offered for daily banking do not usually differ from each other significantly, either in terms of their features or service charges. When it comes to choosing your Finnish bank it may be the easiest solution to just pick one that has a branch office within a convenient distance from your student flat or your campus, so that if you need to visit the bank in person it is always near.
You may want to contact the bank in advance and set up a meeting to open a bank account. This ensures that you get service in English. Check what documents are required to open an account with the bank you choose, as this can vary from bank to bank. You will need at least a passport, visa or residence permit, your Finnish personal identity number and proof you are studying. The account can also be opened with the temporary personal identity number. Remember to bring your Finnish address with you as well.
See also Information about banks in Finland (expat-finland.com)
Finland is very safe and healthy country with world leading health services.
However, health insurance is a mandatory requirement for obtaining a residence permit (non-EU/EEA citizens) for studies lasting more than three months. You must be covered when applying for a residence permit. This requirement is the same for degree-seeking and exchange students.
Students from Quebec, Canada, are exempted from the health insurance requirement. A residence permit cannot be issued for a period exceeding the period of the insurance cover.
What insurance is right for me?
If you are a degree-seeking student coming to Aalto University to study for more than a year, you will be applying for SIP Complement insurance.
If you are coming as an exchange student and will become a member of the Student Union, then you can apply for SIP Complement insurance. If you are coming as an exchange student but don't plan to become a member of the student union (not the recommended option), you then need to get the SIP integral insurance.
Getting the right insurance is very important for your stay in Finland, make sure you get the right one!
Note also that the fact that you have a right to use the FSHS services, does not exclude the health insurance requirement.
Residents of an EU/EEA-country are entitled to medical care while staying temporarily in another EU/EEA-country. The European Health Insurance Card now serves as a proof of such entitlement. The card entitles you to the same benefits in case of emergency as the local population.
You should get the European Health Insurance Card at the local health institution in your home country before coming to Finland. Please be aware that health care in Finland is not totally free of charge.
As of June 2011 Aalto students have access to a simple, fast, affordable, and most importantly, pre-approved by the Finnish Immigration Service, health insurance package that will cover all your needs while in Finland (as set out in the law).
These packages are primarily for non EU/EEA students but can be bought by EU students if they wish to have private health insurance during their stay in Finland. These were negotiated with MARSH/SIP.
For exchange students who will not have access to the student or national health care system here in Finland due to their length of study (students staying in Finland less than 2 years) and will not become members of the Student Union (although this is recommended to ALL students due to benefits and the money you will save on this insurance).
For students who have access to the student or national health care system here in Finland because they have access to the YTHS (FSHS) student health system or they are covered by the national health system through obtaining a ‘home municipality right’ (meaning their studies are considered to be 2 years or more).
The costs of these two products:
SIP Integral: €1.18/day or €431/356 days (1 year)- this insurance can be purchased by the day with a minimum of €25 coverage plus an admin fee of €3.50.
SIP Compliment: €0.71/day or €260/365 days (1 year)- this insurance can be purchased bythe day with a minimum of €25 coverage plus an admin fee of €3.50.
Please note: Once the €25 mount has been reached, you can purchase as many or as few days as you will need. BUT remember a residence permit cannot be issued for a period longer than the period of the insurance cover.
Instructions for obtaining insurance from the Student Insurance Program (SIP)
To purchase Marsh SIP insurance visit the Marsh SIP website, where you will find all the information on the insurance coverage.
This website allows you to purchase your health insurance online with a credit card. It is as easy as that! If you have any questions about the insurance, you must contact Marsh directly (see their “contact us” section of the website).
SIP Student Insurance Program on Marsh SIP website (sipinsurance.eu)
Degree students at Aalto University are, for the most part, responsible for arranging their own accommodation.
Because degree-seeking students are generally considered in the same application process as Finnish students, it is crucial that you start looking early! Finding suitable accommodation in the capital region can be challenging.
The rental level is high for private accommodation (approx. 600€/month for a studio apartment in Helsinki) and there is high demand for housing in the region. The peak time is at the beginning of the academic year. Apply early and reserve time for finding an apartment!
AYY - Aalto University Student Union
The Aalto University Student Union (AYY) owns around 2 500 apartments in Helsinki and Espoo. Students who have registered as present and have paid the AYY membership fee can apply for the apartments, which are either rooms in shared apartments or apartments with one to four rooms. Water and internet connection are included in the rent for all the apartments. The apartments are not furnished. Wanting to make sure that as many first-year students as possible can start their studies right at the beginning of the term, AYY gives them priority for some of the apartments.
The apartments are all well situated with good transport connections to the centre and the university. The rent for the apartments is well below the market prices. You can and should send your application as soon as you receive your letter of acceptance.
HOAS - The Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region
HOAS student accommodation can be applied for by anyone undertaking full-time studies in a higher educational institution or university. HOAS provides different types of housing units ranging from dormitory-style shared apartments, family apartments to studios.
Rent for rooms in shared apartments is approximately €200–320/month, studios approximately €330–520/month and family apartments approximately €450–900/month. Please note that there are a limited number of the cheapest rooms. The rent includes broadband internet connection, electricity and water. HOAS is a safe and easy option.
It is advisable to apply for an apartment as soon as you receive a confirmation on your place of study but no sooner than four months before you need the apartment. However, please remember that applying as soon as possible does not guarantee that you will get an apartment when your studies begin.
MOAS, Mikkeli Student Housing Ltd.
MOAS, Mikkeli Student Housing Ltd. offers the student housing for those Aalto University students who study in the Mikkeli Campus.
Other housing options
AYY and HOAS are not able to supply student accommodation to all applicants. In the capital area (Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen), finding a reasonably priced apartment to rent is challenging, particularly at the beginning of the autumn term. Therefore, it is recommended to submit an application to several places in good time before the term starts.
Practical information section provides helpful advice e.g. for buying furniture, getting an internet connection as well as some good-to-know tenancy information.
International exchange and degree students are allowed to work with certain restrictions. The restrictions have to do with the nationality (EU/EEA or non-EU/EEA) and the nature of employment. The regulations for study-related work, compulsory training or employment having to do with thesis work tend to be more relaxed. For postgraduate research work, the regulations are more vague and must be checked from the local employment office. For general regulations, see Ministry of Labor's Working in Finland website.
Citizens of EU/EEA-countries or Nordic countries can work without the restrictions during their studies. Non EU-citizens are allowed to work for a maximum of twenty-five hours a week during the terms. There are no limitations on working hours in full-time employment during the holidays.
You will also require a Finnish personal number (henkilötunnus) and a tax card (verokortti) but both of these cannot be acquired until you are in the country.
Aalto University students' first stop when searching a job is Aalto University Career Services. It provides support for your career planning, a job hunting guide, contacts to employers and much, much more. Aalto CareerWeb is a valuable resource to provide you with the skills and tools required for your job hunt. Services are provided both in Finnish and in English and at all campuses.
You can also contact the Employment Offices in the Helsinki region. There you can also find a listing of job openings. The search is in Finnish or Swedish, but with a little help (or a little language knowledge), you can find what you are looking for.
If you work in Finland, you have to pay taxes on your income. The taxation policy depends on how long you stay in Finland - less than six months or over six months - and on the type of your employment. International tax agreements sometimes allow tax deductions for students. In most cases, you can get deduction only if your work in Finland is directly related to your studies at home.
Finnish Tax Administration´s website (vero.fi)