Moving to Finland for study or research

If you come to Finland for study or research, you can use the services of school and student healthcare. School and student healthcare services are free and they are provided to all full-time pupils and students studying for a degree.You also might have the right to use Finnish public and private health care services.


School and student healthcare includes:

  • Health inspections
  • Healthcare services
  • Medical care within basic healthcare.

Studying at a comprehensive school, upper secondary school or vocational school

The municipality in which the educational institute is located organises the school and student health care services. School and student health care is usually organised on school premises.

Healthcare for university students

The Finnish Student Healthcare Service (FSHS) organises  student health services for students of  applied sciences and universities.  You can use FSHS services if you are studying for a degree at a university of applied sciences or university and you have registered for attendance for the term. Every student in higher education who is entitled to use FSHS services must pay a health care fee to Kela. Please note that you are obliged to pay even if you are studying remotely from abroad, if you have registered for attendance. FSHS also provides students with electronic services and remote appointment services that can be used by students living abroad. Further information on paying the fee can be found on the Kela website.

If you are an exchange student coming to Finland, you do not have the right to use FSHS services. If you are an exchange student from the EU, United Kingdom, Australia or Quebec, Canada, you are entitled to medically necessary treatment in public health care. Exchange students from other countries need private medical expenses insurance.

Your right to use Finland’s public or private health care

If you are a student or researcher arriving in Finland from another EU or EEA country, Switzerland,  Australia or Quebec, Canada, you will be eligible for treatment in public health care and you will receive reimbursement for the costs of private medical care, medicines and travel from Kela.

  • If you come from an EU or EEA country or Switzerland, demonstrate your right to treatment in public health care with the European Health Insurance Card. With the card, you will receive medically necessary treatment, meaning treatment that, according to a physician’s assessment, cannot wait until your return home. The duration of your residence in Finland affects the extent of treatment provided.
  • If you come from the United Kingdom and have your own certificate of entitlement to medical care issued by the UK, you can get medically necessary treatment in public health care. The card must contain the Finnish country code (FI).
  • If you come from Quebec, Canada, you must register the certificate provided by your health insurance institution at Kela. Kela will give you a certificate that you can use to demonstrate your right to treatment within Finland’s public health care.
  • If you come from Australia, demonstrate your right to treatment in public health care with an Australian passport. Your permanent address of residence must be in Australia.

If you arrive in Finland as a student from outside of the EU and EEA countries, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Australia or Quebec, Canada, you must have private insurance for the costs of health care and medication. Valid insurance is a prerequisite for receiving a residence permit. You will receive emergency treatment within public health care and be responsible for its costs yourself. You can also use private health care services at your own expense. You can also take out insurance to cover the costs.

Working while studying may affect your rights to treatment

Inform Kela if you work while studying. Kela will determine your rights to treatment in Finland.  For example, nationals of third countries from outside of the EU and EEA countries, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Australia or Quebec, Canada who have a residence permit entitling them to work in Finland and a valid employment contract are entitled to use Finnish public health care services.

Grant researchers

If you work in Finland as a grant researcher, information on social security coverage is available on the Kela website. For example, nationals of third countries from outside of the EU and EEA countries, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Australia or Quebec, Canada who have a researcher’s residence permit may be covered by health insurance in Finland. When you are covered by health insurance in Finland, you can use public health care and get Kela reimbursement for using private health care.

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