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Last Updated: March 27, 2022

Study in Turku, Finland

The peaceful city, Turku, is a city beside the Archipelago Sea having the world's most beautiful group of islands. Finland's former capital city, Turku provides a flexible work-life structure to its citizens. This city has a lot to offer to its international students apart from being an acclaimed destination of higher education studies. The city is well known for many things such as the rich historic culture, multilingual society, good transport linkages with other cities, and the student village that makes it a student-friendly city.

Benefits of Studying in Turku

Life can be very difficult when students move to a new city. The core values and culture can be very different from one's own, but Turku is a student-friendly destination. Some of the benefits of studying in Turku are:

Places to Live in Turku

As compared to other countries, most of the universities in Finland do not provide housing facilities, so many housing options have cropped up to provide international students with affordable housing options. Some universities like the Abo Akademi University provide housing at Tavasthem Student Residence, but for other universities, the students will have to look out for accommodation options on their own.

Many students live in apartments that are managed by the Student Village Foundation of Turku. The Student Village Foundation of Turku or TYS provides thousands of apartments in around 20 locations within the city, most of these locations being around the universities. The Student Village is one such establishment that houses roughly 4,000 people. It is the largest student housing complex in entire Finland. It is located close to both, the Abo Akademi University and the University of Turku. The cost of an apartment will depend upon the type of apartment, and if the student is willing to share the space.

Another option would be to look for private housing options, which are hard to come by but an option on the table. There are many websites where property owners list a room or an apartment for rent, for example, Airbnb. This option is relatively more expensive.

Other less popular options include Retrodorm, which is an accommodation option for exchange students.

Cost of Living in Turku

Finland, in general, is a student-friendly country and promotes higher education for international students. International students must register in their university's Student Union. Students get a Student Discount Card upon paying the membership dues. This paid membership provides the students with a horde of discounts and access to free activities, that would otherwise cost them a substantial amount. Some of those benefits include subsidized lunch at various restaurants, discounted transport Foli tickets, and access to sports and other activities. That being said, students can expect to spend an amount of 500-700 EUR/month on basic monthly expenses. In the beginning, students might face difficulties staying up to that budget, as it takes time to adjust to a new place, but after that life in Turku is reasonable.

Accommodation and Utility Expenses

Most of the universities do not have on-campus accommodation, but the Student Union works endlessly to provide affordable housing options to international students. Most of the students choose to live in the apartments provided by TYS for at least the first year and then move on to other options.

The housing options managed by the Student Village Foundation of Turku are affordable and cost around 300 - 600 EUR per month. Almost all of them include internet, water, electricity cost in the rent. Students can apply for accommodation here, even before applying to the universities. This is because there is usually a waitlist of 6 months to 1 year.

Renting from the private market can be a costly affair. Many online websites provide private housing options but they can be expensive and unreliable.

Grocery Expenses

Registering at the Student Union provides students the option to get subsidized meals at a bunch of restaurants. The cost of a subsidized meal is around 2.60 EUR. Students can always get basic grocery items from the local shops if one wants to save money. An estimated price list of some of the basic daily used grocery items are:

Transportation Expenses

Traveling using public transportation is cheap in Turku. Bus and water bus transportation, known as Foli is the most popular mode of transportation, and students who live in the Foli municipalities can avail themselves of student discounts while traveling. To get the student discount, they can purchase a re-loadable card for 5 EUR and top it up with the ticket they want to use: In addition, there is a full day ticket available for 8 EUR for all adults. People can purchase this ticket for up to 7 days. A 7 day ticket costs 26 EUR.

Other popular options include renting bikes, electric scooters, cars, and electric rickshaws called Biketaxi. If students want to go across the Aura River, there is a free ferry service called Fori.

Universities in Turku

There are 2 universities and 4 UAS (Universities of Applied Sciences) in Turku.

University of Turku

With over 20,000 students on-campus, among which almost half of them are enrolled in Bachelor's degree, and over 3,000 staff members, University of Turku provides degree and non-degree courses in 8 different faculties, namely: Various Master's and Doctorate degrees are offered in these faculties, along with Bachelor's degrees offered in Education and Social Sciences.

Abo Akademi University

With over 5,000 students on-campus, among which 4,000 are enrolled in Bachelor's degree, and over 1,000 staff members, Abo Akademi University is the only university outside Sweden that offers all programs exclusively in the Swedish language. All the specialties are broadly broken down into 4 faculties, out of which only 3 are present in the Turku campus, namely: There are various language degrees offered as well, for example, Master's in Finnish and German language. The class sizes are very small and the student-to-teacher ratio is much lower compared to other universities, owing to the language restriction.

Turku University of Applied Sciences

With a strong multi-diverse community of over 10,000 students and 700 staff members, Turku University of Applied Sciences provides several Master's and Bachelor's programs in English, but the majority of the programs are offered in Finnish. There is also an option to earn double degree programs in the fields of ICT, business, and engineering. The 3 faculties are: Students can also add to their knowledge and develop working skills through open courses offered by Turku UAS. These are not full-time courses and will not lead to a complete degree but students who wish to gain some extra knowledge can enroll in these programs.

Novia University of Applied Sciences

With over 4,500 students and 300+ staff members, Novia UAS has 4 campuses in the country, one of them being in Turku. This university of applied sciences offers Bachelor's and Master's degree programs in the following faculties:

Humak University of Applied Sciences

With over 2,000 students on-campus, this university has 4 campuses. The Turku campus provides degrees in the following faculties: All but one course is offered in Finnish which can only be taken by students who are fluent in the language. Only Bachelor of Adventure and Outdoor Education is the course offered in English at the Turku campus.

Diaconia University of Applied Sciences

This university operates on five campuses in Finland- Turku, Oulu, Helsinki, Pori, and Pieksamaki. Health care, Interpreting, Diaconal Work, and Social Work are some of the fields this university provides degrees in. A work-oriented university, Turku campus offers Bachelor's and Master's level programs in Community Interpreting and Sign Language and Interpreting.

Entertainment Options in Turku

A city of many secret picnic spots, Turku has several tourist attractions and historic sites. Students can hang out with friends, cycle, and roam around the pathways of the Aura River. They can plan a day out at the Turku water park, enjoy visiting the beer garden at the brewery and do some adventurous tasks at the adventure park. Students can also avail the benefits of student discounts in sports places, city museums, and theatres and enjoy the lively shopping market and energetic nightlife of the city. In addition, the various Turku events that happen throughout the year prove to be a good entertainment option for students.

Career Events and Support Programs in Turku

Be it the Turku study fair that organizes an orientation program for the new students and introduces them to the career opportunities in Turku or the friendship program that connects the non-native students with the natives of the Turku region, these events help students in finding a suitable career for themselves. There are many virtual events also that are being organized for career-oriented students. All of these events are free of cost and only require the participants to register in advance to secure a spot.

Places to Visit in Turku

Turku is well-known for the historic attractions that date back to the 1400 century or earlier. These buildings have been renovated to withstand the test of time. There are also natural attractions that attract people to this beautiful city.

Things to Do in Turku

For a student, who is new to the city and wants to be familiar with the lifestyle of the Turku locals, and their interests and beliefs, this city offers a wide variety of options.

Studying in Finland