The Fulbright U.S. Student Program

The Fulbright Center awards grants to U.S. students who hold a minimum of Bachelor's degree. Academically talented graduating seniors may also apply before having the degree in hand.

Videos on Fulbright U.S. students in Finland

Mitchell Donovan
University of Turku

Sophia Albov
University of Helsinki
University of Eastern Finland

Karli Storm
University of Eastern Finland

Olivia Jamandre
Sibelius Academy


See more grantee interviews on the Fulbright Center YouTube Channel!

Study facilities and study environment in the Finnish Higher Education Institutions

Watch a video "Time to Study"

Why have previous U.S. Fulbright student grantee chosen Finland?

Fulbright Center News article (spring 2012): Spending a Fulbright Year in Finland: Strengths of Finland Attract US Student Grantees


Read Blogs by Fulbrighters

Grantee blogs


Tips from Fulbright Alumni

Alumni Tips

The grantee’s Fulbright period in Finland can have one of the following purposes:

  1. to complete a full graduate degree program in Finland*
  2. to take courses in a Finnish university as a non-degree student
  3. to pursue research
  4. to pursue research and take courses

*If you wish to enroll in a full graduate degree program (Master's or Doctoral) in Finland as a degree seeking student, you can use your Fulbright funding for the first year of study. The second or consecutive years of study of the Master’s or Doctoral program need to be funded by other means. Please read on student financing at the Study in Finland website.

In addition to grants funded in full by the Fulbright Center, there are four sponsored award categories:

Please not that you can apply to the different award categories by submitting only one application.


The Fulbright Student Grant is available for one academic year (9 months). The award is 1 000-1 500 euros per month. Grantees also receive a travel award of 1 600 dollars and an accident and sickness insurance for the grant period. Additionally, grantees receive the full support services provided by the Fulbright Center.

Opportunities in Finland

Finland offers excellent study and research opportunities in a wide range of disciplines. Universities offer high quality programs in humanities and social sciences, fine and performing arts, as well as science and technology. Finnish universities also have a wide selection of special Master’s and Doctoral programs taught in English. Visit Study in Finland website (Study Program Database) and for more information.


An international student or researcher does not necessarily need to know Finnish or Swedish in order to be able to study in Finland. Many universities offer programs in English and the language is widely spoken in academic circles and in the country as a whole. Candidates should consult the academic department as to the availability of courses and the possibility to conduct research in English.

Cost of study

Currently, no tuition fees are charged in regular degree programs - regardless of your nationality. Tuition fees for non-EU/EEA students will however be introduced from autumn 2017 onwards. Please see more details on the cost of study in Finland and the university provided scholarships at the Study in Finland website.

The student is responsible for finding out if fees apply and for covering fee costs.

Academic year

The academic year usually lasts from September to May. Please consult the department for details on the term structure and teaching periods.


Candidates are responsible for securing affiliation with a Finnish institution of higher education, research institution, or other acceptable organization. Please see tips for arranging an affiliation below and a hand out to pass on for your prospective host.

The applicant must attach a letter from the host university with the Fulbright grant application. However, if you are applying to a degree program, this may not be possible by the Fulbright deadline. Please see specific letter instructions below.The letter of affiliation content requirement varies according to your plans in Finland and the university application schedule.  If you are planning to take courses and pursue research, please see both sections 2 and 3 below.

If you have any questions regarding the affiliation requirement or university letter, please contact the Fulbright Center in Helsinki (karoliina.kokko(a)


"Studying political science in Finland might not at first pass seem incredibly relevant to someone who has spent most of their career in US state politics, but it was incredibly valuable and continues to be relevant. Learning how students and academics from other political systems view the US, and experiencing how non-US political processes work has helped me be a better issue advocate and a more intelligent public officer in New York State government. Perhaps most importantly, I was able to personally experience the importance of "soft power" programs like Fulbright, particularly in an age of increasing global tensions. In my opinion, here is no more efficient diplomatic tool than international educational exchange."

Josh Meltzer studied Political Science on a Fulbright at the University of Helsinki in 2002-03 and serves now as the Deputy Chief of Staff at the Office of the Attorney General in State of New York.


Candidate profile

Candidates should hold a minimum of Bachelor's degree. Academically talented graduating seniors may also apply before having the degree in hand. Current Ph.D. candidates or students seeking to complete a full graduate degree program in Finland may be given preference. Please note that also young post-docs who will not have received their doctorate before the Fulbright Student Program deadline are eligible to apply.

The sponsored grants can have a specific profile emphasis. Please refer to this specific information on the sites for each of the sponsored grants.

Candidates currently residing in Finland are not eligible for consideration.

Clinical Medicine is not recommended as a field of study.


The Fulbright Commission does not provide maintenance for dependents. Candidates must ensure that they have sufficient funds to support accompanying family members during their stay. Public schooling for children is easily available and free of charge. You will find more information on this topic at the "Bringing Your Family" section .


The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is administered on the U.S. side by the Institute of International Education (IIE), which oversees the application process and pre-screens applicants.

Candidates will apply either through a U.S. institution or At-Large. If you are currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at a U.S. college or university, you are required to apply through that institution, even if you are not currently resident there. If you are not currently enrolled, you may apply through your alma mater, provided that the institution is willing and able to accommodate alumni applications. All other candidates will apply as At-Large applicants from their states of permanent residence, even if they are currently overseas.

The 2017-2018 Fulbright Competition opens in the United States in March 31, 2016 and the deadline for online applications is 5:00 p.m., October 11, 2016 for At-Large applicants.  Candidates applying through a U.S. institution have usually a separate campus deadline for their Fulbright application which is typically 4-6 weeks earlier than the final October deadline. Please confirm the campus deadline with your home institution Fulbright program advisor.

Please see detailed application information and instructions at

The general application procedure for all categories of Fulbright student grants for Finland is the same. If you wish to apply for Fulbright Center fully funded grant as well as any of the sponsored grants, please submit only one application. All the applications are automatically considered in each of the grant categories which the applicant is eligible for (Fulbright Center fully funded, university and CIMO sponsored grants).

Remember that you have a dual application procedure; the Fulbright grant competition and admission to the university. University admission guidelines can be found at the university websites.

Selection Criteria for U.S. Students

The U.S. student grantees final selection is made by the Fulbright Center in Helsinki. The applications are evaluated according to selection factors set by the Fulbright Center Board.

The purpose of the Fulbright Program is to increase mutual understanding between the peoples of Finland and the United States by means of educational and cultural exchange, and to promote international cooperation for educational and cultural advancement.

U.S. student applications are judged by:

  • academic or professional qualifications,
  • originality and feasibility of the proposed project*
  • the importance of conducting the project in Finland,
  • contribution to the advancement of knowledge in the candidate’s field,
  • contribution to personal and professional development,
  • contribution to the objectives of the Fulbright Program,
  • personal factors: adaptability and suitability of the candidate to act as a Fulbright Ambassador for the US in Finland.

* including availability of academic supervision for the project, availability of suitable courses and programs, etc.

Applicants residing in Finland are not eligible.

Additional Funding for U.S. Student Fulbrighters in Finland

Each year U.S. Student Fulbrighters may apply additional funding from Lois Roth Endowment.

You may also read more on the finances topic at the Study in Finland site.

Further Information

Fulbright Center
Ms. Karoliina Kokko, Senior Program Manager
E-mail: office(at) or firstname.lastname(at)

Institute of International Education (IIE)
Marla Mazer
, Senior Program Manager
212.984.5326, MMazer(at)

IIE hosts informational guidance sessions on a monthly basis on the US Student Fulbright program in each of IIE's regional centers and some university campuses via video conference. Information on the guidance session schedule can be found at