2018-2019 U.S. Fulbright Fellows sitting in two rows and hugging each other, smiling at the camera at the Helsinki City Hall after 2019 Fulbright Award Ceremony

Scholarships to Study in Finland

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

Purpose of the Grant 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.

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.

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

Language

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 specific 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.

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

Benefits

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.

Eligibility

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

  • to complete a full graduate degree program in Finland*
  • to take courses in a Finnish university as a non-degree student
  • to pursue research
  • 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:

  1. Fulbright-Tampere University Graduate Award 
  2. Fulbright-EDUFI Fellowships
  3. Fulbright-University of Helsinki Graduate Award
  4. Fulbright-University of Turku Graduate Award
  5. The Fulbright-Lappeenranta University of Technology Graduate Award

Please note that you can apply to the different award categories by submitting only one application.

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.

How to Apply

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.

Application deadline for the 2020-2021 academic year ends on October 8, 2019 at 5pm Eastern Time for At-Large applicants. Please note that campus specific deadlines range from August 1 2019 to October 1 2019. Please contact the Fulbright Program Adviser at your campus for information on campus specific deadlines.

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.

Application form

Online Application

Instructions for filling in the application

Detailed application information and instructions

Evaluation criteria

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.

Affiliation

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.

Tips for finding a suitable host institution
Information sheet for a 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 ([email protected]).

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).
"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.

Dependents

The Fulbright Finland Foundation 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.

Application deadline for the 2020-2021 academic year: 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.

Alumni Experiences

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

Steffaney Wood shares her experience in the Fulbright Finland News article (2/2018): Working for a Healthier Marine Environment: U.S. Fulbright Science Student Chooses Finland for Baltic Sea Algae Research
Read about Andrew House's experience in the Fulbright Finland News article (2/2018): Fulbright Changes Lives
Fulbright Center News article (1/2012): Spending a Fulbright Year in Finland: Strengths of Finland Attract US Student Grantee
Mitchell Donovan, 2014-2015, University of Turku
Sophia Albov, Fulbright U.S. Graduate Student 2013-2014 in organic agriculture at the University of Helsinki and the University of Eastern Finland shares why her year in Finland has been life-changing.
Olivia Jamandre, Fulbright-CIMO Grantee 2013-2014, tells how her Fulbright year at the Sibelius Academy (doctoral studies in Sibelius' piano music) in Finland has changed her life.
See more grantee interviews on the Fulbright Finland YouTube Channel! 
Get inspiration and insights from the Fulbrighters grantee blogs.

Further Information

Fulbright Finland
Karoliina Kokko, Senior Program Manager
E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]

Institute of International Education (IIE)
Mary-Rolfe Zeller, Regional Program Officer, Europe and Eurasia Fulbright Student and Scholar Programs
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +1 202 326 7855

IIE hosts informational guidance sessions monthly 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 fulbrightonline.org.