Finland: Eligibility and Guidelines for Students and Recent Graduates

Discover Your Ideal Internship in Finland

Ever thought of an internship in the serene landscapes of Northern Europe, specifically Finland? Uncertain about the eligibility and prerequisites? You’ve come to the right place! In this guide, we’ll delve into the essentials of landing an internship in Finland, steering you toward an unforgettable experience.

Finland, recognized as the world’s happiest country, is a nation that perfectly balances its commitment to sustainability, aiming to be carbon neutral by 2035, with its rich cultural heritage. From the architectural wonders of Helsinki to the vast expanses of its forests and lakes, Finland offers a myriad of experiences. As an intern, to truly grasp the Finnish essence, it’s vital to immerse yourself in its traditions, partake in its festivals, and most importantly, engage with its warm and welcoming inhabitants. So, prepare yourself, anticipate a delightful ‘korvapuusti’ (cinnamon bun) treat, and plunge into the mesmerizing world of Finland. Keen to start this voyage? Let’s navigate the domain of Finnish internships together, ensuring your escapade in this Northern European jewel is fulfilling and enlightening. Allow Piktalent to be your compass in discovering the perfect internship in Finland.

Mandatory Internship

in Finland, as in many countries, certain academic programs necessitate internships that are vital for obtaining a diploma. These internships are outlined in the program's curriculum and examination criteria.

Voluntary Internships

these provide a platform for enthusiastic individuals to gain experience, irrespective of their educational or professional stage. Finland, known for its high-quality education system, offers a multitude of opportunities for such internships.

International Internships

these are internships undertaken outside one's home country. For Finnish students and professionals, this means engaging in work or educational experiences in countries other than Finland. Depending on academic or professional requirements, these can be elective or mandatory and may vary in duration.

Finland, with its pristine landscapes and innovative spirit, is also making its mark as a hub for business and technology. As you embark on your professional journey in this Nordic nation, our team of experienced career consultants and internship coordinators is here to guide you. We are dedicated to ensuring that your career goals align perfectly with the vast opportunities Finland’s vibrant ecosystem provides.

Interning in Finland is not merely about acquiring experience or honing skills; it’s about embarking on a transformative journey. With the recent updates in the Finnish internship landscape, interns can anticipate a more structured and enriching experience. It’s crucial to note that many internships in Finland might be unpaid. However, the cost of living in Finland, while higher than some countries, offers a high standard of living, making it an attractive destination for interns. The retention rate of interns post their internship varies, with some companies adopting innovative strategies to optimize resources.

However the essence of Finland’s internship experience goes beyond monetary benefits. It’s a voyage of discovery, where you immerse yourself in a distinct culture, learn from industry pioneers, and make a significant contribution. Your time as an intern in Finland not only offers personal and professional growth opportunities but also a chance to leave a lasting imprint in your chosen domain.

Stay informed, stay inspired, and let Finland be the canvas where you paint your professional masterpiece.

Eligibility Requirements for Internships in Finland

Finland, known for its stunning natural landscapes and innovative technology sector, is a prime destination for interns from around the world. If you’re considering an internship in the Land of a Thousand Lakes, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the latest eligibility requirements. Here’s a guide tailored to the 2023 updates:

For EU/EEA Citizens:

  • Age and University Affiliation: Interns should be between 18 and 30 years of age. If you’re studying the Finnish or Swedish language at a university outside Finland, or if your internship aligns with your field of study or degree, you’re eligible.

  • Educational Credentials: Participation in a higher education program or having recently (within two years) completed a degree in the relevant field is advantageous. Finnish educational institutions frequently partner with industries to streamline student internships.

  • Work Rights: As an EU member, Finland permits EU/EEA nationals to work without a specific permit. However, ensuring your internship conforms to Finnish regulations is paramount.

For Non-EU Citizens:

  • Residence Permit: For internships exceeding three months, a Residence Permit is mandatory. This involves meticulous documentation and an associated fee. The permit can be issued for up to 18 months. Ensure your documents are in order well in advance and coordinate with the Finnish Immigration Service.

  • Financial Stability: You must demonstrate how you intend to finance your stay in Finland.

  • Work Rights: Non-EU interns must comply with specific work rights. Delve into these regulations before commencing your internship.

Dive Deeper:

  • Internship Programs: Helsinki, Finland’s vibrant capital, offers a plethora of internship programs. Each program has distinct criteria. It’s crucial to investigate the specifics of your chosen internship, as stipulations can differ based on the employer, industry, and prevailing policies.

  • Salary Requirement:  As of 2023, the internship subsidy must meet the Kela criterion, currently set at 1331 €/month. While the subsidy amount varies between universities, typically ranging from EUR 1,300 to 1,800 for a 3-month internship, it’s crucial to note that this subsidy is distinct from the intern’s salary and does not directly correlate with the amount of the salary. 

    In Finland, internships are usually paid, and the salary can vary depending on the industry. Although unpaid internships are possible, they are not commonly recommended by universities. In addition to the subsidy, the minimum wage for interns in Finland, as recommended by various universities and institutions, is also set at €1,331 per month, aligning with the Kela criterion. This minimum wage is a standard for both part-time work and internships where no collective agreement exists in the sector. Furthermore, TEK, a Finnish union for academic engineers and architects, suggests a higher starter salary range of €3,800-4,300 per month for graduates, indicating the potential for higher earnings in technical fields.

    Internships in Finland are predominantly paid positions, with salaries varying across different industries. The general expectation for a white-collar intern’s salary ranges from €1,500 to €2,000 per month. Employers, especially those hiring international students for internships, are obliged to adhere to these salary guidelines, ensuring that interns receive fair compensation for their work.

  • Cultural Experience: Helsinki is a melting pot for international professionals and students, providing a rich multicultural tapestry. However, stepping outside Helsinki might necessitate some Finnish proficiency, which can be advantageous.

Embarking on an internship in Finland is a transformative experience. Staying current with the latest information is vital. Always consult up-to-date sources to ensure you’re well-informed about the most recent internship prerequisites and opportunities in Finland.

Finnish Student visas

Internship regulations for national and foreigner

Finnish Working Visas

Job regulations for foreigners

Guidelines for Internships in Finland

Embarking on an internship in Finland offers a unique opportunity to gain experience and immerse oneself in the Finnish work culture. To make the most of your internship experience in Finland, follow these guidelines:

1. Start Early: Begin your search for internship opportunities at least six months prior to your intended start date. This will give you ample time to research potential companies, gather necessary documents, and network within the Finnish job market.

2. Prepare Your Application: Ensure your application includes a well-crafted cover letter, a current CV, and any pertinent diplomas or certifications. Tailor your application to the specific internship, highlighting skills and experiences that match the job requirements.

3. Understand the 2023 Regulations: Finland has specific regulations for internships. If you intend to come to Finland for an internship, you must apply for a residence permit. This permit can be issued for a maximum period of 18 months. Internships cannot be carried out visa-free. Additionally, you cannot start your internship until you have been granted a residence permit. Ensure you understand these regulations before applying.

4. Eligibility Criteria: You can apply for a residence permit for an internship if:

  • You apply within a maximum of two years of completing your higher education degree.
  • You are currently participating in a course of study that leads to a higher education degree, and the internship matches your field of study.
  • You are between 18 and 30 years of age, studying Finnish or Swedish at a university outside Finland.
  • You are between 18 and 30 years of age, studying at a university outside Finland, and the internship matches your studies or degree.

5. Be Patient: The Finnish job market can be competitive. Stay persistent and continue exploring opportunities even if you don’t get immediate responses.

6. Language Proficiency: While many Finnish businesses operate in English, especially in sectors like IT and finance, proficiency in Finnish can be advantageous. Consider taking a basic language course if you’re not already fluent.

7. Prepare for Interviews: Research the company’s background, values, and business model before your interview. Practice potential interview questions and prepare some of your own to demonstrate your commitment and interest.

8. Follow-up: After your interview, send a thank-you note or email. This gesture not only displays good manners but also reiterates your interest in the position.

9. Stay Engaged: The journey to securing an internship is unique for everyone. Stay proactive, and open-minded, and always keep your objectives in focus. 

Captura de ecrã 2023-04-12, às 15.09.59

Finland Cultural Considerations

Understanding Finland’s distinct customs and traditions is crucial when starting an internship in the country. Here’s a snapshot of Finnish culture to enhance your experience:

Direct Communication

Finns are known for their direct and straightforward communication style. They value clarity and honesty, so it's essential to be concise and to the point in professional settings. While this directness might seem blunt to outsiders, it's not intended to be rude.


One of the cornerstones of Finnish society is egalitarianism. In the workplace, this translates to flat organizational structures where everyone's opinion is valued. It's not uncommon for even junior employees to be involved in decision-making processes.

Formal at First

While Finns are known for their reserved nature, especially with strangers, they warm up once they get to know you. Initial interactions might seem formal, but as relationships develop, they become more relaxed and friendly.

Piktalent Services for Finland

We can provide a range of services to make the internship experience unforgettable.

If You Are Interested In Finding A Job Or Internship In Finland

Find out yourselfRequest Customised Service