Studies or practical training abroad as a higher education student
As a higher education student, you can complete part of your studies abroad. You can utilise a ready exchange programme or search for a suitable institution of higher education or practical training place independently. If you complete your entire degree in another country, check in advance whether it will also be valid in Finland. As a new graduate you can get valuable work experience from a traineeship in a foreign country.
You can complete part of a Finnish higher education degree in another country whether you are a university student or university of applied sciences student. You can also complete a traineeship that is included in your Finnish studies or part of this in another country. Check with your Finnish institution of higher education in advance to ensure that your studies or traineeship in another country can be included in your Finnish degree.
A higher education student’s exchange period generally lasts for one semester or an entire academic year. Sometimes there are intensive courses available that last a few weeks and during which a student can complete a module. Practical training usually lasts some weeks or months.
Please note that if you are a student at a Finnish university of applies sciences, exchange studies will commonly take place at a foreign university. Few countries have educational institutions that are equivalent to Finland's universities of applied sciences, these include the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark.
Find out what international exchange programmes your institution of higher education provides and its foreign partner universities. Partner universities have generally been carefully selected and the equivalence of their curriculums have been considered in advance. For example, you can go on student exchange in Europe through the European Union’s Erasmus+ exchange programme. Alternatively, you can utilise the services of organisations that arrange student exchanges. These organisations usually charge a fee for their services.
If you are unable to find a suitable foreign university through your institution of higher education or an exchange programme, you can arrange your exchange independently with a university of your choice as a freemover exchange. In this case, you will be responsible for all arrangements and any costs resulting from the exchange. Discuss the accreditation of your foreign studies in advance with your Finnish institution of higher education.
Read the Maailmalle.fi website (in Finnish)Opens in a new window. maintained by the Finnish National Agency for Education, which contains information on studying abroad. Also check out the opiskeleulkomailla.fi website (in Finnish)Opens in a new window., which provides comprehensive information on searching for foreign study options and their comparison.
If you are looking for a suitable university in another country first look at international rankings. For example, the World University RankingsOpens in a new window. compares study environments and the quality of teaching at over one thousand universities around the world. The European ENIC and NARIC networksOpens in a new window. produce information on the quality of higher education in different counties also those outside of Europe.
Compare the websites of various institutions of higher education and the information provided on these. Where necessary contact the institutions of higher education directly for more information.
Read the country guides and study experiences on the Maailmalle.net website. You will get a comprehensive picture of what day-to-day life as a student at a foreign university is like by reading other students’ experiences. Reserve enough time for collecting information and comparing your options.
Please note that the educational institutions that show up for in the results for web searches are often those that use the most money in marketing. Other educational institutions that are not as well-known also offer teaching of high quality.
If you have completed a degree in the European Union and do not intend to work in a regulated profession, you are likely qualified for the Finnish labour market. However, remember to check the competence and further education options that the degree you have completed gives you. If you have studied outside the European Union, check separately the equivalence of your degree to requirements in the Finnish labour market.
Please note that if you apply for the position of a government official or the right to work in a regulated profession in Finland, you will need your foreign degree to be recognised. Regulated professions include doctors, teachers and accountants. For more information, see the Professional competence and equivalence of qualifications web page.
Please note that the name and content of qualifications and degrees will vary by country. In Finland, further studies refers to studies after completing a Master’s degree, while, for example, in Great Britain and the United States this refers to studies after completing a Bachelor’s degree. Before applying for an educational institution, check what the qualification or degree is equivalent to in Finland.
You can apply for an EDUFI traineeshipOpens in a new window. nearly anywhere in the world. Apply for a place via the Finnish National Agency for Education. The traineeship must begin within a year of getting your degree. If you are chosen for an EDUFI traineeship, the Finnish National Agency for Education will automatically give you a grant.
Student organisations in different fields arrange international training for new graduates. Also, many organisations under the auspice of the EU or UN and other international organisations have their own training programmes.
You can also find traineeship places in Europe on the EURES website and in the Nordic countries on the Nordjobb websiteOpens in a new window.. Additionally, many international corporations have trainee programmes that you can apply for. If you want, you can go for practical training through a company that arranges international traineeships. You can also be directly in contact with companies located abroad to ask them about the possibility of a traineeship.
If you do not get paid for practical training, ask the TE Office whether you can get unemployment subsidies for the duration of your traineeship.
As an EU citizen, you can often complete practical training related to your studies also in Finland. Find out your opportunities to complete practical training and the practices related to it on a case-by-case basis together with your educational institution. For example, you may be able to complete a traineeship through the Erasmus+ programme.
As an EU citizen, you can live and complete your practical training in Finland freely for a maximum of three months. However, you must have a valid identity card or passport.
As a student, you can stay in Finland for more than three months if you meet the following conditions:
If you stay in Finland for longer than three months, also remember to register your right of residence at the Finnish Immigration Service.
As an EU citizen, you do not need a separate right to work or a residence permit for your practical training.