I want to study

If you are a student or want to apply for education, you can find advice on how to organize your livelihood and information on different ways to study either full-time or alongside work.

Which profession is right for you? Choosing a profession is an important decision, but it won’t determine who you are for the rest of your life. That’s why it’s better to think of the process as a lifelong one, as you may change professions several times throughout your career, either to follow your passions or due to circumstance – for example, if there are changes in the job market or in your health.

The starting point for career planning is to assess your interests. Think about what hopes and wishes you have for your future career and how your values may influence your choice of profession. It’s also important to identify your personal strengths and limitations. After that, you can begin thinking about different professions and which options may suit you best. Find out what types of education and training are required to access the tasks that interest you. You should also familiarise yourself with the future prospects of your chosen field and profession.

You can receive help and assistance from the psychologist's service for career choices and career-related guidance. You can also participate in career coaching, where you will have the opportunity to reflect on your career path together with a career coach and other individuals who are in a similar situation. And if you feel like talking to a professional who can help you weigh your educational options, don't hesitate to contact the TE Services’ Education Advisory Services. Those under the age of 30 are also eligible for free help and support from the One-Stop Guidance Centers, which can help you with a variety of issues, such as your studies, employment, or housing.

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How can I find a profession that suits me?

There are many different professions, and finding a suitable profession or position may seem difficult at first. You can watch the following short videos to reflect on your ideas and choices.

After watching the videos, you can learn more about different career planning tools and information resources.

Job Market Finland’s Professional information service

You can find out more about different fields and professions in Job Market Finland’s Professional Information section. The job descriptions in this section contain information on the competence and educational requirements and salaries for each profession. You can also read interviews with people who represent different fields to discover handy tips for your career planning.

Job Market Finland’s career stories

You can read the career stories in Job Market Finland's Current Topics section to learn about the career paths of different people and the knowledge and experiences they have to share.

The AVO career choice program

You can use the AVO career choice programme to consider your personal areas of interest and what wishes you have for the content of your future career. Based on your answers, the programme can offer you suggestions for suitable professions.

Töissä.fi

The Töissä.fi website provides information on the careers of those who have graduated from a university or university of applied sciences. You can also read what different graduates have to say about the tasks and positions they have worked in.

Labour Force Barometer

The Labour Force Barometer allows you to examine the employment opportunities that are available in your field of choice in different regions. The Labour Force Barometer contains useful information on the employment prospects and development trends of over 200 different occupations.

Skills Needs Compass

The Skills Needs Compass contains information on what kind of competence is needed in our society and what changes can be observed in our competence-related needs. The Compass also contains information on various professional fields.

Abiliator

The Abilitator service allows you to assess your work-related abilities and capabilities and examine your strengths and development areas.

Training for a profession

Once you have discovered a profession that interests you, find out if it requires any specific education or training. You will typically have a lot of different options at your disposal, as you can develop your competence and vocational skills at a wide range of educational institutions and in many different ways, such as through contact teaching or distance learning.

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Studyinfo

Studyinfo is a national education information service that contains important facts and figures on the degrees, professions and studies offered by Finnish educational institutions. You can use the service to find and apply for different educational paths and options.

Interested in entrepreneurship?

Many people also choose to work for themselves as entrepreneurs. Find out what it takes to become an entrepreneur and whether entrepreneurship could be a good fit for you. If you are interested in entrepreneurship, remember that you can also participate in entrepreneurship training or career coaching.

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Education comes in many forms, so you can choose to study in various ways in different institutions.

You can study at many different educational institutions to acquire and develop your competence and vocational skills. There are many different ways to study these days, from contact teaching to distance and multiform learning. You can even complete a degree by independent study. Depending on your situation in life, you can study full-time, part-time alongside work, or while unemployed.

Your options may be more limited if you are in the integration process for immigrants, on sick leave, retired, or on parental leave, but some form of study is possible in any situation.

While planning your studies, try to answer the following questions:

  • What kind of knowledge and skills do you want to obtain? Where can you learn them?
  • How long are you willing to study?
  • What are the requirements for admission?
  • How will you finance your studies and support yourself in the meantime?
  • What will your studies prepare you for? Will you need further training after completing your degree to achieve your goal?

You can find information on different degrees and professions and learn more about studying in different educational institutions on the StudyInfo website. In addition to exploring your options, you can also use the portal to apply to study programmes online.

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Training guarantee under the Youth Guarantee

The Youth Guarantee in Finland includes a training guarantee, which means that every person completing basic education has the opportunity to attend further education in

  • an upper secondary school or vocational institution,
  • apprenticeship training,
  • a youth workshop or rehabilitation, or
  • some other form of study.

The guarantee also involves changes to the admissions process for vocational education and training. The joint selection procedure for general upper secondary schools and vocational institutions prioritises young people who have no prior degree and have not been admitted to study anything else after completing their basic education. This ensures that those applying to their first study programme are admitted.

Supplementary applications

If you are not admitted in the primary application round, you can take part in the supplementary application round. Vocational institutions also offer rolling admissions.

Interrupted studies

If you have previously started studies but not completed them, it is usually possible to pick up where you left off. However, if your right to study has expired, you have to reapply. It is possible to include your previously completed studies in your degree after your right to study has been restored. Contact your own educational institution to ask about the possibility of completing your interrupted studies.

Studying while working

If you are working, you can take multiform studies or ask your employer about the possibility of taking job alternation or study leave.

Multiform studies are designed to be taken alongside work, so contact teaching is reduced and mostly takes place in the evenings and on weekends. Multiform studies combine different forms of study, which may include contact teaching, online learning, working in study groups and independent study, for example. 

Job alternation leave is an arrangement where you and your employee agree upon a longer period of leave. You can use this leave to study, for example.

Policies on study leave vary from workplace to workplace, so you should discuss them with your own employer. 

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There are at least as many ways to cope financially during studies as there are students. There are different alternatives for you to explore, whether you are currently unemployed, laid off, working part-time, an entrepreneur, or working full-time.

As a student, your potential sources of income consist of student financial aid from Kela, potential earnings from your work, and unemployment benefits. If you are further along in your career, you may also be entitled to adult education allowance or job alternation compensation. Other possibilities include a paid apprenticeship arrangement and various grants and scholarships.

In addition to earnings from your work, you can only receive one benefit at a time. You should also take into account that your pay affects the amount of benefits you can receive. There are income limits applicable to student financial aid, the adult education allowance is subject to an additional income limit, and unemployment benefits are adjusted to your earnings. Job alternation compensation is also reduced if you receive other income during your leave.

You must register as a job seeker to be entitled to unemployment benefits. As a job seeker, you are obligated to notify your local TE Office or local government pilot of all studies to determine their potential impact on your eligibility for unemployment benefits. Note that if you cut back on your working hours or quit your job to study, you also lose your right to receive unemployment benefits.

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Financing your studies in different situations

Studying while unemployed 

While unemployed, you can finance your studies with either unemployment benefits, or student financial aid from Kela if your studies last two months or longer. Studies agreed in advance with your expert at the local TE Office or local government pilot do not prevent you from receiving unemployment benefits. Labour market training is free of charge, and you can also be paid an expense allowance.

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Studying while working full-time 

If you are working full-time, you can finance your studies with your earned income, student financial aid, adult education allowance, or job alternation compensation. In addition to earnings from your work, you can only receive one benefit at a time. You should also take into account that your pay affects the amount of benefits you can receive. If your studies last longer than two months, you are entitled to student financial aid or adult education allowance.

Studying while working part-time 

When working part-time, you can finance your studies with your earned income or an unemployment benefit adjusted to your earnings. If your studies last longer than two months, you are also entitled to student financial aid or adult education allowance. 

Studying while laid off 

If you are laid off, the options for financing your studies are the same as if you were unemployed. You must register as a job seeker and notify your local TE Office or local government pilot of your studies.

Studying as an entrepreneur 

As a full-time entrepreneur, you can finance your studies with the income from your business or if your studies last longer than two months, with student financial aid or the entrepreneur’s adult education allowance. Part-time entrepreneurs have the same options as unemployed persons.

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Different types of benefits

Student financial aid

Student financial aid is meant to support you during your studies. The conditions for granting financial aid are different for higher and upper secondary education.

Adult education allowance

If you have at least eight years of work experience in any field and have been employed by your current workplace for at least a year, an adult education allowance paid by the Employment Fund may be a good solution for supporting yourself while studying. 

You can only receive the allowance while on study leave or other unpaid leave. If you wish to work alongside your studies or you have other sources of income, you may be entitled to an adult education allowance adjusted to your earnings.

There is an adult education allowance for entrepreneurs, as well.

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Job alternation compensation

If you are working full-time, you can make a job alternation arrangement with your employer. You will receive job alternation compensation during your leave. If you are a member of an unemployment fund, you claim job alternation compensation from the unemployment fund. If you are not a member, you submit an application to Kela.

Social assistance

As a student, you may be entitled to basic social assistance, also known as income support, in certain situations, such as when your financial aid payments have been stopped or you have used up all of your eligibility for financial aid. You may also be entitled to social assistance over the summer if studying is not possible and you have not managed to find employment. Please note that your situation in life and your existing assets affect your right to basic social assistance. Social assistance is a last-resort form of financial assistance.

When unemployed, you have plenty of different possibilities to develop your competence or try something completely new. If you are registered as an unemployed job seeker, it is important to always contact your expert at the local TE Office or local government pilot before starting your studies.

You may be entitled to receive an unemployment benefit during your studies under certain conditions. Before you start your studies, your expert at the local TE Office or local government pilot will assess whether you meet the conditions for the unemployment benefit, so contact them as early as possible. If you are an unemployed job seeker, it is important to remember to notify your expert of all studies before starting them. Notifications are required for all studies, even if you do not receive student financial aid.

Labour market training

Vocational labour market training allows you to complete a vocational qualification, a further or a specialist vocational qualification, or a vocational qualification module. Further or continuing education is also provided in many sectors. Vocational labour market training is free of charge, and it is provided at vocational adult education centres, higher education institutions, and private educational institutions.

If you plan to start your own business or are considering it, you can take part in entrepreneur training organised in the form of labour market training. Starting a business can be flexibly combined with entrepreneur training.

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Independent study 

If you wish to develop your competence during unemployment and you are over the age of 25, find out more about options for independent study. The term ‘independent study’ refers to education provided by an educational institution, which is also responsible for the student selection. The studies are not provided by TE services. The studies must be agreed upon with your expert.

Short-term study supported by unemployment benefit

If you are over the age of 25, you have previously interrupted studies just short of a degree, or you wish to take a short complementary course, it may be possible for you to study short-term on the unemployment benefit. The studies can last up to six months.

Immigrant’s independent study

Independent study is an option for the TE Services integration training. Independent study is useful if the TE Office or local government pilot cannot offer you a place in integration training or you can find some other training that is better suited to your needs. Sometimes independent study can help you find work and integrate faster.

Studying part-time

Studies which do not prevent you from working full-time and applying for full-time employment are considered part-time studies. They can consist of learning a new skill, completing basic studies at an open educational institution, or completing previously interrupted studies leading up to a degree.

Use a pay subsidy to find employment you are not yet fully qualified for

If you find it challenging to find employment because you are missing some of the required areas of competence, you may be able to find a job with a pay subsidy. This allows you to develop your professional competence while working.

Ask your expert at the local TE Office or local government pilot if you are entitled to a pay subsidy. If yes, you can contact employers you are interested in and tell them they may be granted a pay subsidy if they hire you.

As a full-time student, you usually receive your income from financial aid for students. In some cases, you may be entitled to unemployment security during your studies.

Financial aid for students and unemployment security 

As a full-time student, you receive your primary income from financial aid for students. Kela is responsible for the financial aid for students.  
You cannot receive financial aid for students and unemployment security at the same time.

Studying with unemployment security

If you are unemployed and you wish to start studying, you should acquaint yourself with labour market training, the possibilities for short-term or part-time studies, and independent studies with an unemployment benefit (not available for those under the age of 25). When you study in these ways, you may be able to receive an unemployment benefit during your studies.

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Full-time studies  

As a full-time student, you are not usually entitled to unemployment security. This also applies to study holidays.    

Full-time studies are studies with the aim of completing

  • a vocational school degree,
  • a higher vocational school degree,  
  • a lower or higher university degree, or 
  • upper secondary school studies comprising at least 150 credits. In practice this means upper secondary school studies aimed at young people as well as upper secondary school studies in a boarding school.

Full-time studies include studies corresponding to the Act on Vocational Education aimed at completing

  • a vocational upper secondary qualification or module,
  • preparatory training for vocational education and training, or  
  • preparatory training for work and independent living.  

Other studies are also full-time studies when

  • the study plan comprises a minimum of five credits or three course credits or 4.5 ECVET points in a month of study or
  • the studies in the syllabus comprise an average of at least 25 hours per week unless it has been defined in terms of study credits or study weeks or ECVET points.

The TE office or the local government pilot will ascertain if your studies are part-time or full-time.

Concluding studies  

Your studies are considered to be full-time until you show that they have concluded. If you are completing the full syllabus of basic education or upper secondary school, you are considered a full-time student through the end of the term.  

If needed, you can show that your studies have ended by producing, for example,  

  • a diploma,
  • a certificate of the termination of studies, or
  • a clarification showing that the studies to prepare for a skills test have concluded.  

Another indication of the conclusion of your studies is that they have been interrupted for at least a year. Interruption of studies means that you have not completed any credits and you have not taken part in studies or, for example, prepared a final thesis under guidance.

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Studying abroad allows you to develop your language skills and gain valuable experience which is sure to benefit you in the future.

Studying abroad

You can study abroad at different stages of your life. The study period can be anything from a few weeks to several years.

If you are studying in Finland, you can apply to a student exchange programme. While abroad, you can complete part of the studies for your degree in Finland. Contact your own place of education for more information on student exchange.

You can also complete an entire degree abroad. In this case, the studies will take several years depending on the scope of the degree.

Interning abroad

If your studies include an internship, you can do this abroad. This opportunity is primarily open to students and recent graduates. An internship supports

  • professional development,
  • language skills, and
  • international connections for you and your employer.

If you are in vocational education, you can apply for an internship abroad through your own institution.

If you are in higher education, you can use, for example, the following means to find internships abroad:

  • the contacts of your own place of education,
  • the Finnish National Agency for Education (EDUFI traineeships),
  • international student organisations, or
  • contacting employers directly on your own.

Check with your own educational institution whether you can apply for an internship subsidy. You may be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant if you intern in a member state of the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia, or Turkey. You can search for available internship positions via the EURES portal, for example.

Newly graduated or unemployed young persons can apply for

  • an internship abroad via various programmes and initiatives, or
  • preparation for working life abroad.

If you are between the ages of 18 and 35 and have recently graduated from upper secondary vocational education, you can apply for an Erasmus+-supported internship abroad through the Allianssi Youth Exchange Ready for Life project.

If you are currently attending higher education or have graduated with a higher education degree no more than a year ago, you can apply for an EDUFI traineeship through the Finnish National Agency for Education. The EDUFI traineeship supports your studies and helps to expand your competence. The Finnish National Agency for Education will also grant you a subsidy for the duration of your traineeship.

You can find more information on different international experiences on the Maailmalle.net website maintained by the Finnish National Agency for Education or their advisory services.

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Workcamps and other voluntary work

International workcamps are a great way to get to know the culture of the target country while doing voluntary work in a multicultural group to benefit a local non-profit organisation.

The camps usually last two to three weeks. They are organised all over the world, primarily in the summer. Most attendees are between the ages of 18 and 30, but there is no maximum age. You are not paid for the work, but food and accommodation are provided as compensation. If you are interested in an international workcamp, you can apply through organisations such as Kansainvälinen Vapaaehtoistyö ry.

If you are taking a gap year, longer-term voluntary work could be a good option for you. A period of voluntary work often incurs some expenses that you have to pay on your own. However, the European Voluntary Service does offer young Europeans aged 17 to 30 years an opportunity to volunteer for a longer time with financial support from the EU.

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Would you like to study in Finland short-term or complete an entire degree? Find out if you need a visa or residence permit.

You can study in Finland for up to 90 days without a residence permit. You may need a visa for a stay lasting up to 90 days.

If you come to Finland to study for over 90 days, you will need a residence permit. A residence permit is usually granted for the entire duration of the studies. However, a residence permit can only be granted up until the date your passport expires.

You can get a student’s residence permit if you have been admitted to a higher education institution or other educational institution located in Finland and your studies lead to a degree or profession, or if you participate in an exchange programme between educational institutions or some other exchange programme.

If you come to Finland to study for over 90 days, you will need a residence permit. A residence permit is usually granted for the entire duration of the studies. However, a residence permit can only be granted up until the date your passport expires.

You can get a student’s residence permit if you have been admitted to a higher education institution or other educational institution located in Finland and your studies lead to a degree or profession, or if you participate in an exchange programme between educational institutions or some other exchange programme.

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If you consider becoming an entrepreneur, plan on setting up a business, or have already set up a company, you can take part in entrepreneurial training, career coaching or labour market training.

Entrepreneurial training offers you information on the daily running of a company and helps you plan your business.

In career coaching, you can clarify your thoughts on entrepreneurship as a career option.

In training for the purposes of establishing a business, you can deepen your understanding of, for example, marketing and the risks linked with running a company. You can also familiarise yourself with procedures related to setting up a business and develop your business idea and business plan further.

You can develop your business idea and receive support in the drafting of a business plan in a short-term entrepreneurial training, which is organised as labour market training. You can complete entrepreneurial training and courses for entrepreneurs as independent studies. Training for completing the Further Qualification for Entrepreneurs or parts of it is also organised as labour market training.

You can start your business while enrolled in entrepreneurial training.

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