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

Fulbright U.S. Student Program

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

Purpose of the Grant Program

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

  • to complete a full graduate degree program in Finland (Master's or Doctoral degree)*
  • to pursue research such as doctoral research
  • to take courses in a Finnish university as a non-degree student
  • 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 grant benefits in the sections below and information on the cost of study on the Study in Finland website.


Award categories

Majority of the awards are university-specific and sponsored by the host university. These awards have their particular eligibility requirements which you can find on the award-specific websites below. A few of the awards are available for grant term in any Finnish institution and are fully funded by the Fulbright Finland Foundation. These awards are targeted particularly at doctoral studies in Finland.

  1. Grants funded in full by the Fulbright Finland Foundation (doctoral studies as a priority). Please see the grant program details of the Fulbright Finland Foundation fully funded awards on this page below.
  2. Fulbright-Aalto University Graduate Award
  3. Fulbright-LUT University Graduate Award
  4. Fulbright-Tampere University Graduate Award (Master’s degree studies only)
  5. Fulbright-University of Helsinki Graduate Award (Master’s degree studies only)
  6. Fulbright-University of Jyväskylä Graduate Award (Master’s degree studies only)
  7. Fulbright-University of Turku Graduate Award 

Note: You can apply to the different award categories by submitting only one application.

Also, please take note of the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowships Program available in Finland.

Graduate studies in Finland

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

For a doctoral program search, visit the Opintopolku website.
 

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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 both 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

Tuition

  • 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 (app. 4 000 - 21 000 USD/year).
  • Finnish universities provide scholarships for tuition. Also, the Fulbright Finland Foundation 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. Exchange students are usually not charged tuition fees, either.
  • Please see more details on tuition fees and university-provided scholarships on the Study in Finland website and on the universities' websites.
  • The student is responsible for finding out if fees apply and for covering fee costs.

Budgeting 

  • Please find living cost information on the Study in Finland website and on the universities' websites.
  • We have also collected living cost information on the Foundation's website.
  • Please note that whether your status at the Finnish university entitles you to student-discounted meals, travel, and housing, has a significant effect on your total budget. For example, doctoral students are not entitled to subsidized meals, travel discounts, low-cost student housing, or Student Health Services. Thus, make sure you find out what benefits you will be entitled to as a student in Finland by contacting your host university’s International Office well before arriving in Finland.

Funding second-year living costs as a Master's student

Find out here how the previous Master's students have funded their living costs during the second year of their studies in Finland.

A 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

Benefits

  • Monthly award of EUR 1 000 -1 900 for 9 months. 
    • Fulbright Finland Foundation fully funded award: EUR 1 900 per month. 
    • University-specific awards: please find detailed information on the award-specific websites. 
  • Travel allowance of USD 1600;
  • Residence permit allowance (based on the actual permit fees, incl. grantee and accompanying family members, funded by the Fulbright Finland Foundation);
  • A supplemental accident and sickness benefit (ASPE) for the grant period;
  • Full support services provided by the Foundation; and
  • Some of the special sponsored awards also include:
    • A tuition scholarship; and
    • a free-of-charge admission to a Foundation pre-approved summer school in Finland consisting of courses on Finnish language, culture, and society.
  • Fulbright Finland Centennial Travel Grant in Architecture, Design, and the Visual Arts: This additional grant can be awarded to U.S. or Finnish graduate student grantees representing any of the three fields to help cover their Fulbright project-related travel expenses in their destination country. No separate application is needed.
  • Education loan defermentWhile 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. More information and help with paperwork can be found at the link above.
  • 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.
     

Please see detailed information on the benefits of the sponsored awards on the award-specific websites.

Eligibility

You are eligible to apply for the program, if:

  • you are a U.S. citizen; and
  • hold a minimum of a Bachelor's degree. Academically talented graduating seniors may also apply before having the degree in hand.

Please see the eligibility requirements for the university-specific awards on the specific award websites. 

The grants funded in full by the Fulbright Finland Foundation are particularly targeted at doctoral studies in Finland, either for those visiting a Finnish university as a doctoral student or those planning to complete the full doctoral degree in a Finnish university.

Please note that young post-docs who will not have received their doctorate before the Fulbright Student Program deadline are also eligible to apply.

Applicants currently enrolled in a Finnish university (and registered for attendance) and/or residing in Finland are not eligible for consideration. 

Clinical Medicine is not recommended as a field of study.

Wondering whether you are a right fit for the Fulbright program in Finland? Read 2021-22 U.S. Fulbright Fellow Meg's blog post "Who is a Fulbright Finland Grantee", be inspired to celebrate diverse academic backgrounds, and apply!

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.

The application deadline for the 2025-26 academic year ends on 

  • TBC for At-Large applicants. This is the National Deadline.
  • Please note that Campus Deadlines will precede the National Deadline. The campus-specific deadlines typically range from August 1 to October 1, 2024. 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 the Fulbright Finland Foundation fully funded grant and any of the university-specific sponsored grants, please submit only one application. All the applications are automatically considered in all the different grant categories which the applicant is eligible for (Fulbright Finland Foundation fully funded and university-specific awards).

Remember that you have a dual application procedure;

  1. the Fulbright grant competition and
  2. admission to the university.

University admission guidelines can be found on the university websites. 

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

Candidates applying through a U.S. institution usually have 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's Fulbright program advisor.

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 the Fulbright Finland Foundation in Helsinki. The applications are evaluated according to evaluation criteria set by the Fulbright Finland Foundation Board.

Affiliation

Candidates are responsible for securing affiliation or study placement with a Finnish institution of higher education, research institution, or other acceptable organization. Please see tips below:

The affiliation confirmation content requirement varies according to your plans in Finland and the university application schedule. If you plan 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 Foundation ([email protected]).

Each year current U.S. Student Fulbrighters in Finland may apply for additional funding from the Lois Roth Foundation (this funding is applied for 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, there 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 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 in the "Bringing Your Family" section.

Grant Timeline

  
Application period startsApril 2024
Virtual Advising Event for Fulbright U.S. Student Program Applicants to FinlandJune 6, 2024, 17:00-18:00 Finnish time
Application period endsOctober 8, 2024, 5 pm Eastern Time. 
Campus deadlines are typically 4-6 weeks earlier.
Semi-finalists selectedEarly 2025 (tentative)
Grantee selections publishedMarch-May 2025 (tentative)
Pre-arrival webinarApril-May 2025 (tentative)
Grant term beginsAugust 2025
Orientation in HelsinkiMid- to Late August 2025

 

See Finland Studies MOOC to learn about studying at Finnish universities!

Alumni Experiences

Fulbright Finland Outreach Ambassadors are happy to share their knowledge about studying/doing research in Finland. Feel free to contact them.

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

Blog posts

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Mitchell Donovan, 2014-2015, University of Turku
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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.
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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 Foundation YouTube Channel! 

Partner Organization Contact Information

Institute of International Education (IIE)
Kyler Castro
Regional Program Officer, Europe and Eurasia
Fulbright Student Scholar Program
Email: [email protected]

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.


What is the Fulbright Finland Foundation?

The Fulbright Finland Foundation is a private, independent, not-for-profit organization based in Helsinki, Finland. The Foundation’s aim is

  • to promote a wider exchange of knowledge and professional talents through educational contacts between Finland and the United States, and
  • to support the internationalization of education and research in Finland, and help U.S. and Finnish institutions create linkages.

What Makes the Fulbright Finland Foundation Programs Unique?

  • In addition to the grant, the Fulbright Finland Foundation offers the grantees several additional benefits and free support services, as well as access to a global, multi-professional network.
  • We are looking for applicants who want to impact the future and make a difference – applicants who want to facilitate positive change, develop and advance their own profession or discipline, and find solutions to national and international challenges in their field.
  • The grantees also act as ambassadors for the Fulbright Finland Foundation, their home country, and their home organization and, in this way, do their part in sharing their home country and culture and contributing to the relations between Finland and the U.S.
Global Fulbright Program logo

Fulbright U.S. Student program is part of the global Fulbright program operating in over 160 countries worldwide.