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Living in Finland

Welcome to Finland! On this page, we have gathered some important information for our international students while living and studying in Finland.

Residence permit and EU citizens' registration

Are you a citizen of EU, Liechtenstein or Switzerland?
- If your answer is ‘yes’, you do not need a residence permit. However, all citizens of the EU/EEA who stay in Finland longer than three months (90 days) need to register their right to stay in Finland.

- Citizens of a Nordic country register their right of residence at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.

- If your answer is ‘no’ and you plan to study in Finland for more than three months, you will need a residence permit.
- If you plan to study in Finland for 90 days or less, you may need a visa.
Information on visas is available at

- You can come to Finland to carry out part of your studies for a period up to 360 days, if you have been granted a residence permit for studies by some other EU Member State than Finland and if you are covered by a programme or an agreement specified in section 19 of the Finnish act on residence permits for students (719/2018). If this is the case, you must submit a mobility notification to the Finnish Immigration Service. For information on a mobility notification, please go to the Finnish Immigration mobility notification page.

If you need to apply for a residence permit for your exchange in Finland, please also remember to request a personal identity code in Finland at the same time with your residence permit application.

Finnish personal identity code

All Laurea's incoming international students have to get a personal identity code in Finland. For a foreign citizen moving to Finland from abroad, a personal identity code is issued when he or she has been registered in the Population Information System. Laurea exchange students can make the registration for the personal identity code during the Laurea Orientation days for exchange students. The request may also be filed together with an application for a residence permit (students from other than EU/EEA country or Switzerland). Finnish embassies abroad receive these applications. 

In general to get the personal identity code in Finland:

  • You have to fill the e-form  students and personally visit a Local Register Office in Finland. Exchange students will get more information during the orientation days.
  • You should take with you to the office: passport, certificate of attendance from Laurea, residence permit (if you have one)

Insurance and Health

Insurance is recommended for all international students. EU/EEA country residents are entitled to public healthcare in other EU member countries at the same price as local residents, if you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC card). The EHIC card is NOT an alternative to travel insurance. It does not cover any private healthcare or costs such as a return flight to your home country or lost/stolen property. Anyone can use private health care services in Finland by paying the treatment costs themselves. You will need to check with your own health insurance institution if any reimbursements are possible.

Make sure you are covered for your entire stay including journeys to and from Finland. Your insurance must cover expenses and transportation to the home country in case of an emergency. Also consider that your insurance covers health care in case of the corona pandemic and possible extra travel expenses caused by it.

Please, read more about seeking treatment and using health services as a foreigner in Finland on the -pages.

Social services and nursing students

Before practical training (social services and nursing) all general vaccinations (tetanus/diphtheria, polio, measles, parotitis, rubella, chicken pox, pertussis, hepatitis B) and some cases negative salmonella result need to be in order and all available certificates of vaccination need to be brought to Finland (proof of vaccination in English).

It is recommended to get the necessary vaccinations already before arriving to Finland.

The tailor-made programme students will get these vaccinations at their own expense.


Cost of Living

The general cost of living is more or less comparable to the price level of larger European capitals. The monthly living expenses of a single student are around at least EUR 700-900 per month depending on the area you are living in/studying in. Temporary expenses include the housing deposit, which will be refunded at the end of the tenancy period. The expense for textbooks is very low, since most of the course books can be borrowed from libraries. Please note that there are always unexpected expenses for any international traveller.


Settling in Helsinki area



The Helsinki Metropolitan Area has a very efficient public transport system. There are four forms of public transportation: buses, trains, trams and the underground. Information about public transport, including ticket prices and schedules are available at the HSL Helsinki Region Transport web pages. The HSL Journey planner gives route suggestions and maps for how to get from student accommodation to Laurea campuses.

Laurea Porvoo and Laurea Lohja are best reached with a bus, whereas train is the easiest way to reach Hyvinkää. The VR Finnish railways services and Matkahuolto bus services provide information on trains and buses that operate to Laurea’s campuses outside the Helsinki Metropolitan area.

Student Benefits

Students with a Finnish student card are entitled to various discounts. Student cards are provided by the student union Laureamko.

  • Student priced lunch - Laurea students are entitled to discount priced student meals at Laurea student canteens as well as other universities’ and university of applied sciences’ student lunch canteens. Student lunches can be obtained only with a valid student card.
  • Student priced transport - Students are also entitled to certain discounts on public transport. For example students living in the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen, Kirkkonummi, Siuntio, Kerava, Sipoo or Tuusula can get student discount tickets from HSL. Students can also get a 30% discount on VR long distance trains.

Accessibility in studies

Most of Laurea’s premises are new and therefore suitable for various learners and disabled customers. Every unit has a lift and unrestricted access into the building. The spaces inside the buildings vary in their standard of equipment, but most teaching facilities are suitable for wheelchair users. The furnishings of most IT facilities also allow for wheelchair use. Every unit has a disabled toilet. There is also unrestricted access to dining and catering areas. Disabled parking spaces are available for every unit. Read more about accessibility at Laurea.

Sports and Leisure

Some Laurea campuses have a gym. Student union Laureamko organizes some sports activities. All Laureamko members can also benefit from sports activities provided by other higher education institutions in the region. Helsinki Metropolitan Area offers a variety of other sports and leisure activities.


LINKS for Finland facts 

Study in Finland 
Visit Finland 
This is Finland - Things you should and shouldn't know!
Finnfacts - interface between international media and Finnish industry and business
Helsinki Times - leading English language publication in Finland 
Infopankki - municipal information in English
International House Helsinki - guidance services for International Newcomers in the Helsinki region.


One day in the life of a Laurea student

A funny video of what student life at Laurea can be.



This page contains information about the different accommodation options for students.

Read more about housing in Finland