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Education for immigrants

Male student works with his model. Photo: Olli Häkämies

What can I study

In this section you can find information on the possibilities immigrants have for education in Finland. The sub-pages in the left column provide information about different forms of education in Finland as well as on improving and demonstrating your language skills.

As an immigrant, you can participate in

  • basic education
  • post-basic education preparatory training
  • general upper secondary education
  • vocational education and training
  • higher education.

You can often draw on the studies, degrees and work experience you have completed abroad, if you wish to supplement your studies in Finland.

Asylum seekers

You can participate in basic education as an asylum seeker. After basic education, you can apply for and accept a place for post-graduate studies if you meet the criteria for student admission for the education in question. An exception to this is education that prepares for the general upper secondary school for which a residence permit is required in the application phase.

For more information about the studies of asylum seekers, see the website of the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Residence permit

If you study in Finland for more than three months, you need a residence permit. If you are a citizen of an EU state, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you do not need a residence permit in Finland.

For more information about the residence permit, see the website of the Finnish Immigrant Service.

Non-Discrimination Act

The Non-Discrimination Act safeguards and promotes equality in working life and education. The Act prohibits discrimination based on age, ethnic and national origin, language, religion, belief, opinion, state of health, disability or sexual orientation.

Useful information for an immigrant

Recognition and international comparison of degrees and qualifications on the website of the Finnish National Agency for Education

Finnish Immigration Service

Infopankki.fi: information about Finland in different languages

TE services

Kela (The Social Insurance Institution of Finland)

Non-Discrimination Ombudsman

The Family Federation’s Centre for Multicultural Expertise

Folk high schools

Adult education centres

Summer high schools