The Fulbright U.S. Student Program

The Fulbright Finland 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.

Please note that you need to apply for the grant approximately one year before beginning your studies or research in Finland!

Candidates currently residing in Finland are not eligible for consideration.

Destination Finland (pdf)

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

Fulbright Finland News article (fall 2018): Working for a Healthier Marine Environment: U.S. Fulbright Science Student Chooses Finland for Baltic Sea Algae Research

Fulbright Finland News article (fall 2018): Fulbright Changes Lives

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

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 Finland YouTube Channel!

Study facilities and study environment in the Finnish Higher Education Institutions

Watch a video "Time to Study"


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

Fulbright grant (monthly allowance) is awarded for one academic year. However, in many cases Fulbright grant includes a full tuition waiver for the full Master's degree (2 years). Doctoral studies are in any case tuition-free in Finland. Please see further information on the Fulbright benefits in the sections below and information on cost of study at Study in Finland website.

In addition to grants funded in full by Fulbright Finland, there are five sponsored award categories:

Please note 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 monthly award is 1 000-1 500 euros. Grantees also receive a travel award of 1 600 dollars and a supplemental accident and sickness benefit (ASPE) for the grant period. Additionally, grantees receive the full support services provided by the Fulbright Finland Foundation.

Some of the special sponsored awards also include a tuition scholarship and a free of charge admission to a summer school in Finland consisting of courses on Finnish language, culture and society. Please see detailed information on the benefits of the sponsored awards on the sponsored award websites.

Education loan deferment: While on a Fulbright in Finland, U.S. Student  grantees have often been able to defer loans. Fulbright grants usually fall under the Graduate Fellowship deferment category. Grantee should confirm this with the lending institution.

Alumni who successfully complete the Fulbright U.S. Student Program are eligible for 12 months of non-competitive eligibility (NCE) hiring status within the U.S. federal government, with the possibility of extensions if certain criteria are met.

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 and Studyinfo for more information.

Fulbright Finland News Magazine 1/2017: Innovative Approaches and Leading Scientists Attracted U.S. Graduate Students to Lappeenranta and Kuopio


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 and living in Finland

If you are a non-EU/EEA student applying to English-taught Master's degree program in order to complete a full degree at a Finnish institution, you will be required to pay tuition fees (app. 4 000 - 21 000 USD/year).

Finnish universities provide scholarships for tuition. Also, the Fulbright Finland awards funded in partnership with Finnish universities include a full tuition scholarship as part of the Fulbright grantee benefit package (please see further information at the spesific award websites).

In Finland, tuition fees are not charged for Doctoral studies, or degree courses offered in Finnish or Swedish. Usually exchange students are not either charged tuition fees.

Please see more details on tuition fees, university provided scholarships as well as living cost information at the Study in Finland website and on the universities' websites. We have also collected living cost information on the Fulbright Finland website. Please note that whether your status at the Finnish university entitles you to student discounted meals, travel and housing, has also a significant effect on your total budget.

Healthy couple of dollars hot student meals available on Finnish campuses and the affordable student housing truly lowers students' living cost in Finland
- U.S. university representative visiting Finnish campuses -

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 of affiliation from the host university with the Fulbright grant application, except in a situation where candidate is applying to a degree program in Finland and the university admission decisions are made after the Fulbright deadline. Please see specific affiliation 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 Fulbright Finland 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 2020-2021 Fulbright Competition opens in the United States in April 1, 2019. The application deadline is October 8, 2019 at 5pm Eastern Time 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.

>> Online Application

>> Detailed application information and instructions

The general application procedure for all categories of Fulbright student grants for Finland is the same. If you wish to apply for Fulbright Finland 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 Finland fully funded, university and EDUFI 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 Fulbright Finland in Helsinki. The applications are evaluated according to selection factors set by the Fulbright Finland Foundation 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 current U.S. Student Fulbrighters in Finland may apply additional funding from Lois Roth Endowment. (This funding is applied after arrival to Finland).

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

Further Information

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

Institute of International Education (IIE), U.S.
Mary-Rolfe Zeller
Regional Program Officer, Europe and Eurasia
Fulbright Student and Scholar Programs
Tel: +1 202 326 7855

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