The American-Scandinavian Foundation



Finland's 20 universities and 30 polytechnics offer a wide array of programs in English and other foreign languages to choose from. At the moment, there are more than 300 programs being offered in English, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Some of these are short courses and yet others can extend over several years and lead to a baccalaureate degree or a training certification.

A comprehensive list of all these international study programs can be found in Study in Finland - International Programmes in Finnish Higher Education, published by the Finnish Centre for International Mobility (CIMO).


A database of English-language degree and non-degree programmes, information about Finland as a study destination, our higher education institutions, and practicalities concerning scholarships, admissions systems and living in Finland. Maintained by the Centre for International Mobility CIMO.


The American undergraduate students can receive course credit directly from their institution for their participation in the following programs. These programs are available to students from any college or university.


Exchange Program at University of Art and Design

The University of Arts and Design is the largest art school in Scandinavia and it is ideally suited for students who are looking for a new setting to unleash their artistic creativity. Students enrolled in this program pay their tuitions to Northern Arizona University for the courses taken at University of Art and Design, and they can take advantage of tuition waivers offered by the NAU, if applicable, while earning course credit towards the degree requirements of their colleges.
All participants in the program take a basic Finnish language course taught by English speaking teachers. Some other courses taught in English are: history of art in Finland, art education, ceramics and glass, fashion and textile design, graphic design, spatial and furniture design, product and strategic design, among many others.

Oulu, a city of over 125,000, is the cultural and commercial capital of Northern Finland. The University of Oulu, established in 1958, is one of Finland’s largest universities, with two expansive and spacious campuses, and modern premises, it currently accommodates more than 11,000 students.

The picturesque harbor and the overlooking market place give the city of Oulu a wonderful maritime ambiance. A visitor to Oulu will find a rich array of historical libraries, museums, concert halls, cinemas, and theaters. Recently it has also acquired an international reputation for being on the cutting edge of high-tech research.

At the University of Oulu, the courses are taught in Finnish and English. International students may also enroll for courses taught in Finnish.

SUNY Albany now offers an exchange program with Åbo Akademi in Turku.

Location: Oulu
Dates: Check website
Eligibility: Juniors, seniors, and high achieving sophomores; 3.0 GPA;
Instruction: English; Finnish
Credits: 15 undergraduate

SUNY Albany also offers an exchange program with Åbo Akademi in Turku.

Location: Åbo Akademi Turku
Dates: Check website
Eligibility: Juniors, seniors, and high achieving sophomores; 3.0 GPA;
Instruction: English; Finnish
Credits: 15 undergraduate


University of Oulu
The UND-University of Oulu exchange program offers students a rich combination of academics and cultural adventure. The University of Oulu is Finland's second largest university, with over 14,500 students. Courses available include, but are not limitedt to, Scandinavian Studies, Northern Cultures and Societies, and Japanese Studies.

Location: Oulu, Finland
Dates: Autumn: mid-August or early September to mid-December; Spring: early January to May
Eligibility: Undergraduate students with sophomore status in good academic standing with a grade point average of at least 2.5
Instruction: In English
Credit: 12+ Credits
Housing: Residence halls
Financial Aid: Available on case by case basis
Contact: UND Office of International Programs


Student Internships and Independent Study
Scandinavian Seminar offers students of all ages the opportunity to study in Finland through independent internship and study programs. Schools and programs are custom fit to students' interests and goals. This program may last from one semester up to a full academic year. Choices in study of language and culture, folk arts, traditional dance, environmental studies, outdoor life and deaf culture are available among many others.

Location: Various locations throughout Finland
Dates: Check website
Eligibility:  Varied, students must fill out application to specify what type of experience they are looking for.
Instruction:  Varied
Financial Aid: Not available 
Folk High School Program
Scandinavian Seminar offered tostudents of all ages.
Location: Various locations throughout Finland
Dates: Check website
Eligibility:  Varied, students must fill out application to specify what type of experience they are looking for.
Instruction:  Varied
Credit: Must be pre-arranged
Financial Aid: Not available


Learn to speak Finnish as a guest in the home of a certified teacher. The programs are available to students of all ages and all levels and are customized to particular needs of each student. Some programs may run from 15 to 25 hours per week and take place in a typical home setting or in the luxury of 4-star hotel. There are three programs to choose from: learning the standard language in a teacher's home; the business and specialized vocabulary; and the 5-star luxury. The last two are ideally suited for business executives.

Location: Home or hotel environments
Dates: Ongoing
Eligibility: Available to students of all ages and all levels and is customized to particular needs
Instruction: In English and Finnish, according to level
Housing: home or hotel.
Financial Aid: None

The Language Centre offers instruction in Finnish for foreigners who are not enrolled at a university or college.  The open-enrollment for courses begin in September and last until January of each year, and range from elementary to advanced levels.  In the summer, shorter, more intensive courses are offered. Costs range accordingly from ~$50 - $300, not including books. Room and board are not provided. 

Other University Language Courses
Academic year courses in Finnish for foreign students are also offered at many other university language centers.  Further information can be obtained from the foreign student advisor of the university in question.


Center for International Mobility allows international students interested in studying in Finland to pinpoint the programs taught in English by Finnish colleges and polytechnic universities.  Using this great resource, the students can search for any program taught in a Finnish college.
Summer courses are primarily intended for students of Finnish language or linguistics who have at least a working knowledge of Finnish language. There are four different levels to choose from and each course last for 3 to 4 weeks. The course descriptions and brief instruction on how to apply to the program can be found on the CIMO website.

Location: Various locations throughout Finland
Dates: Check webiste
Eligibility: The applicant must be a resident of a non-Scandinavian country.
Instruction: In Finnish, and some other languages according to need. The coursework consists of grammar, reading, conversation and listening, plus lectures on Finnish culture and history.
Credits: Available to European students.
Housing: Provided
Financial Aid: Some scholarships for transportation or board will be granted by CIMO..

A three-week course in Finnish language and culture, organized by Suomi-Seura (Finland Society).  Mainly intended for descendants of Finnish emigrants.
Location:Laajasalo Folk High School (in a suburb of Helsinki)
Check website
Eligibility: Preference to those aged 18-45 and to descendants of Finns
Instruction: Finnish classes (appr. 50 hours) on three levels: beginners, intermediate and advanced), lectures (appr. 20 hours) in English and excursions.
Housing: Double room in dormitory

The Jyväskylä Summer School offers science, computer and mathematics courses for advanced undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students. One of the main objectives of the school is to encourage interdisciplinary study and the students are expected to show interest in other scientific fields besides their own.

Location: Jyväskylä
Dates: Check website
Elibility: Advanced undergraduate students, graduate students and post-docs
Instruction: In English
Housing: Student apartment, summer hotel, hotel
Financial Aid: Check website


The Academy of Fine Arts is one of the four highest university-level art schools in Finland that provides grounding in theory and practice of visual arts education, with particular attention paid to trends in contemporary art.

Full-time teachers are all practicing artists. In addition, the Academy invites lecturers and foreign artists to become artists-in-residence.

Location: Helsinki
Eligibility:  A person who has shown artistic talent in examples of previously done artistic works and in the admission course may be admitted as a student to the Academy. BA degree or equivalent is required. There are certain national regulations regarding qualifications for university-level studies. However, the Academy can make exceptions concerning the basic level of studies. Students can also be admitted based on academic and theoretical skills. 
Instruction: Most instruction is in Finnish, though some exceptions apply.  See website for application and deadlines.
Housing: Full-time students may apply for housing through the University.

The Sibelius Academy is the only music university in Finland, and the largest in Scandinavia, as well as among the top music universities in Europe. The academy seeks to promote all SIBELIUS ACADEMYforms of musical talent in an international setting while creating opportunities for higher levels of artistic activities, research and associative learning.

Location: Helsinki
Dates: Check website
Eligibility:  Exchange students must apply through a university already participating in an exchange program with the academy.
Instruction:  Students pursuing a Master’s Degree in Music are required to take a beginners’ course in Finnish Language.
Financial Aid: Not available

The Theatre Academy is a university for the performing arts, as well as a research centre for the art of the theatre and dance. The academy THEATER ACADEMYoperates with the goal of enhancing the creative potential of its students by giving them theoretical and practical tools to work with, and at the same time offering them a multifaceted educational experience. It offers degree programs in acting (Finnish and Swedish speaking), directing, dramaturgy, performance and theory of the theater, choreography, dance, lighting and sound design, as well as theatre and dance pedagogy.

Location: Helsinki. (The Department of Sound and Lighting Design is in Tampere.)
Eligibility:  Exchange students must apply through a university already participating in an exchange program with the academy.
Financial Aid: Not available:

The University of Arts and Design is the largest art school in Scandinavia and has a strong international presence. The university encourages research and provides education specializing in design, audiovisual communication, art, and art education.
Location: Helsinki
Dates: The academic year, August to May, is divided into four periods.  See website for more specific information.
Eligibility:  Foreign students may apply as students working toward academic degrees (BA, MA, and Doctor of Arts) or as non-degree students. 
Instruction: Most of the teaching and instruction is given in Finnish. Some individual courses and seminars are also held in English. Tutoring and counseling can also be given in English. For foreign MA students, the University recommends studies in the Finnish language during the first year. The University of Helsinki Language Centre organizes language courses for foreign students.  Application information is available on the University’s website.
Housing: The University provides information about housing on its website.

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