How To Study Medicine in Finland for International Students

Embarking on a journey into the world of medical studies is both exciting and challenging. In this article, we delve into the unique landscape of medical education, focusing on the enriching experience of pursuing medical studies in Finland. From its renowned universities to the distinct characteristics of the healthcare system, let’s unravel the opportunities that await aspiring medical professionals in Finland. 

Why Study Medicine in Finland for International Students 

Finland’s commitment to high-quality education extends seamlessly into the medical field, making it an ideal destination for international students pursuing medical studies. The fusion of theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience, combined with a multicultural atmosphere, also sets Finland apart. 

Moreover, according to the World Happiness Report, Finland is the happiest country globally. It offers a unique student life characterized by academic excellence, social activity, and a relaxed lifestyle. Finnish universities are globally recognized and highly ranked. They boast qualified teaching staff, modern facilities, and an exciting curriculum. 

Notably, studying medicine in Finland comes with a significant advantage – no tuition fees. This makes it accessible for both residents and EU citizens, aligning education excellence with affordability.

How Many Years is Medical School in Finland?

Basic medical studies in Finland span six years, resulting in a Licentiate of Medicine degree. Universities also oversee specialist training. Moreover, medical student admissions vary, with the Finnish Medical Association emphasizing the need for sufficient doctors. However, they prioritize improving remuneration and working conditions over increasing student numbers. Early patient engagement, problem-based learning, research programs, and hands-on clinical periods shape a comprehensive education for competent medical professionals.

Medical Courses in Finland: Program Structure

When it comes to the course structure of medical studies in Finland, the program unfolds over six years, seamlessly blending Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees into a Licentiate of Medicine. The journey starts with a two-year foundation course delving into anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, biology, and chemistry, gradually incorporating clinical practice. 

The subsequent clinical phase focuses on diagnosis, treatment, and prevention through diverse internships. The six-year endeavor culminates in achieving the esteemed “Lääketieteen lisensiaatti” (Licentiate of Medicine). It’s noteworthy that the entrance examination takes place annually in May. It is also the sole gateway to becoming a medical student in Finland, with all studies conducted in Finnish or Swedish.

Medical Studies in Finland: Requirements

The key requirement for pursuing medicine in Finland is a school-leaving certificate or its equivalent. Good A-level grades can boost your chances due to high competition. Strong grades in natural sciences matter too. Alongside your certificate, you’ll need a passport copy, completed application form, and medical exam results. 

To enter medical school, you must take the yearly entrance exam in May. It evaluates your biology, physics, and chemistry knowledge, and is in Finnish. Moreover, applicants must be aged 17 to 25. And they must demonstrate strong Finnish or Swedish language skills, crucial for hospital training. Some universities offer English courses. 

Furthermore, for medical studies in Finland, health insurance is mandatory. This should cost you €50-€100 monthly. Additionally, budget €500-€1,000 annually for textbooks and supplies.

Documents to Provide for Your Medical Studies Application in Finland

Here are the documents to provide for your application to medical studies in Finland:

  • A fully filled application form is a must; make sure all the details are correct.
  • High school diploma or secondary school leaving-certificate is necessary, translated into the required language (Finnish or Swedish). Also provide original and photocopies of your 10th and 12th-grade mark sheets.
  • The results of your entrance examination
  • Original passport and its photocopies are required.
  • Other necessary documents, like a birth certificate, if required.
  • Passport size (3cmX4cm) photographs.
  • Guardians’ bank statement or a proof of scholarship to prove the candidate’s financial capability.

Moreover, keep in mind that you can apply to only one school at a time. And lastly, a certificate of good code of conduct must be included in the application.

Read also our guide on how to apply to Finnish universities.

Studying Medicine in Finland as an International Student: Application Process 

Application to universities in Finland, including medical studies, is done online at Here’s your 5-step guide: 

Choose Your Program

Firstly, use to find your ideal program. Explore university-specific admission pages for more options.

Check Admissions Information

Once you spot a program, check admission details and procedures on Studyinfo. Reach out to the university for eligibility criteria and application guidance.

Apply to Programs and for Scholarships

Apply on during the open application period. Be aware of deadlines and scholarship opportunities for non-EU/EEA students. Apply for scholarships simultaneously with your admission application.

Wait for the Results – And Confirm Your Study Place

Patience is key! Universities will notify applicants of admissions outcomes. Accepted students will receive guidance on confirming study places. Don’t miss the confirmation deadline! And last, verify details with the Finnish university’s Admissions Services.

Prepare for Arrival

If you’re from a non-EU/EEA country, apply for a student residence permit promptly upon admission confirmation. Ensure valid insurance, arrange housing, and secure your ticket to Finland. And lastly, get ready for an exciting academic journey!

How Much Does it Cost to Study MBBS in Finland?

If you’re a non-EU student in Finland, you’ll likely pay tuition for medical studies. However, scholarships can offer free education. For both EU and Finnish students, studying medicine is free. Tuition fees for non-EU/EEA students studying medicine vary, ranging from €10,000 to €25,000 per academic year. Make sure therefore to explore scholarships for financial support in your medical studies in Finland. Other major costs are living expenses. As for the figures, rent, food, activities, and transport can range from 900 to 1,500 euros. 

Check here our breakdown of the living cost in Finland as well as how to obtain a scholarship to fund your studies.

Top Medical Universities in Finland for International Students

Medical studies in Finland happen at five universities: Helsinki, Tampere, Turku, Oulu, and Eastern Finland (Kuopio). International students can pursue medicine at these universities. While most lectures are in Finnish, some medical courses are available in Swedish. 

Medical University of Helsinki 

The very first medical school in our list is the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Helsinki, the best university in Finland. Recognized as the country’s finest, it ranks 93rd in the US News & World Report. Undergraduate education at the faculty equips students to critically assess scientific information and qualifies for postgraduate studies.

Programs cover medicine, dentistry, psychology, and speech therapy. Moreover, postgraduate offerings include specialist training and general medical practice. With degree programs like Translational Medicine, the University of Helsinki excels in healthcare education, preparing students for licensed healthcare professions. Admission details are available online, and student feedback guides continuous improvement.  

University of Turku, Faculty of Medicine

The University of Turku, known for top-notch medical studies in Finland, provides medical degrees in Finnish. The study programs value collegiality, community, expertise, and commitment. Moreover, attention to quality theses and ongoing teacher development is key at the university. 

With multidisciplinary research-based education, the Faculty offers degrees in medicine, dentistry, health sciences, and science. Internationally acclaimed, it also collaborates closely with local, national, and global partners, making it a hub for quality medical education. 

Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology at Tampere University 

The third top institution where you can pursue medical studies in Finland is Tampere University. The Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology (MET) at the University of Turku excels in biomedical engineering, biotechnology, medicine, and health technology. Dedicated to world-class research, MET is also the second-largest provider of medical specialist training in Finland. 

Offering training in 50 medical specialties and 5 dental specialties, they also offer training in general practice. This way, the faculty provides a pathway for graduates to practice medicine in EU Member States. With a focus on collaboration, they partner with research institutions and hospitals, ensuring an ideal learning environment for students.

University of Oulu, Faculty of Medicine

The next top-notch medical university in Finland is the Faculty of Medicine at Oulu University. Situated beside the University Hospital of Oulu, it’s part of the Kontinkangas Life Sciences Campus. It therefore offers a unique blend of research, education, health services, and business. 

The faculty offers diverse health sciences education, including MD, DDS, and Master’s programs in nursing, health management, teacher education, and medical bioengineering. Integrated with society, it also contributes to innovative industries and aids municipalities and the state in enhancing basic services. Research spans cardiovascular, pediatric, medical imaging, and technology, fostering collaboration via the Finnish Center for Health and Technology.

University of Eastern Finland School of Medicine

The last institution in our list is the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Eastern Finland. Located in Kuopio by Lake Kallavesi, it’s a multidisciplinary school committed to sustainable development. Partnering with Kuopio University Hospital, it collaborates with hospital districts and healthcare providers. 

The School of Medicine offers programs in Medicine, Dentistry, Biomedicine, Nutrition, and Health Promotion. With units like Biomedicine and Dentistry, they emphasize research, especially in understanding and preventing chronic diseases. Moreover, they are active internationally, offering English-language Master’s programs in Public Health and Biomedicine. 

Check out these universities in our review of the best universities in Finland.

About Herilalao

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