The Åland Islands follow the Finnish educational system. The Åland University of Applied Sciences is the only higher education institution in the Aland Islands. It was established in Mariehamn in 2003. There are currently around 600 students studying at the university.
Seven undergraduate courses are offered in subjects including business administration, navigation, hospitality management, engineering, and health sciences. Bachelor’s degrees usually take between 3.5 to 4 years and often involve at least one year of work experience as the university emphasises contact with business, industry and services. The language of instruction is Swedish though a number of courses in English are available. The academic year is divided into two semesters. The autumn semester starts at the end of August and ends in January. The spring semester starts in January and ends at the end of May.
Because the university follows the Finnish educational system, studying at the Åland University of Applied Sciences is free for students coming from EU/EEA countries and Switzerland. Non-EU/EEA students enrolling in English-taught degrees may be required to pay tuition fees.
Information for International Students
The university welcomes Erasmus applications from international students studying at partner universities. There are 60 partner universities in 16 European countries. All Erasmus exchange programmes begin with a mandatory Swedish course for beginners. Potential exchange students are advised to contact the international coordinator at their home institution and to apply in advance of the application deadlines to ensure that they will secure student accommodation. International students will be expected to provide the following documentation: completed application form, copy of health insurance, official educational transcripts, and a copy of their passport. International students whose first language is not English may be required to provide proof of language proficiency. International students may also apply for programmes taught in Swedish if they can prove language proficiency and the university provides intensive Swedish language courses throughout the academic year. All international students are assigned a student tutor who will meet them on arrival and guide them through life at the university.
The university provides housing for students and students can expect to pay about 370 euros per month in rent. Students should budget for between 800 and 1,000 euros per month for living expenses including rent and food. International students from the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland do not need a visa or residence permit to study in the Åland Islands. Students from other countries must obtain a residence permit from a Finnish embassy before their arrival.
International students from outside the European Union should have private health insurance for the duration of their stay in the Aland Islands and will be required to provide proof of this when applying for a residence permit. International students can find more information on immigration requirements here.