Guide: Studying in Åland

Solnedgång över åländska berg och vatten om sommaren, silhuett av en kvinna i förgrunden till höger.
Ozan Öztaskiran / Unsplash
Åland has been an active study destination in the Nordic region for over 20 years, with a wide range of clubs and associations and many nature activities. Here you can read about educational opportunities, student grants and other practical issues related to studying in Åland.

As a student in Åland, you can enjoy an active and varied student life, thanks to the island's many clubs and associations. You can relax all year round with nature activities such as horseback riding, long-distance skating, climbing and kayaking. If you need more action, you can easily travel to nearby cities like Stockholm, Uppsala and Turku in just a few hours by ferry and even faster by plane.

It is wise to prepare in advance for your move to study in Åland, so that everything goes as smoothly as possible. After all, there is a lot to consider, such as where you should be registered, whether you are entitled to student finance and what happens if you fall ill while studying in Åland.

We have produced this guide to help you along the way.

Nordic and foreign citizens can study in Åland

Thanks to a Nordic agreement on access to higher education, Nordic citizens can apply for public higher education in any other Nordic country. You do not need a special work or residence permit to study in Åland.

You can also study in Åland without applying for a work or residence permit if you are a citizen of another EU country, Switzerland or Liechtenstein. However, you need to register with the Finnish Immigration Service if you are staying in Åland for more than three months.

If you are a citizen of a third country, you must apply for a residence permit before coming to Åland to study.

Swedish-language education at various levels in Åland

The Åland education system consists of pre-school, primary and secondary education, upper secondary education, higher education and folk high school education.

Åland Folk High School, Åland Lyceum (Upper Secondary School) and Åland Vocational High School have a common online application system. If Swedish is not your mother tongue, you will need to prove that you have sufficient skills in spoken and written Swedish. In Åland, Swedish is required at B1 level, but Nordic pupils are exempt from this requirement.

The Citizens' Institute (Medis) offers language courses for people whose mother tongue is not Swedish. They are designed, among other things, to prepare you for further studies in Swedish. All schools in Åland are Swedish-speaking.

How to get admitted to higher education in Åland

Åland University of Applied Sciences has several courses leading to a bachelor's degree and one course at master's level. You can also take independent courses through the Open University.

To apply for one of the bachelor's or master's programmes at Åland University of Applied Sciences, you first need to find out if you meet the admission requirements. The Open University has no admission requirements and anyone who wants to can enrol in its stand-alone courses. Åland University of Applied Sciences accepts applications every spring.

Åland University of Applied Sciences bachelor programmes are free of charge for all applicants. The master's programme is fee-based for non-EU, Swiss and Liechtenstein citizens. The Open University charges all its students a tuition fee.

Studying on exchange programmes in Åland

If you are a student in another Nordic country, check whether your educational institution offers exchange studies in Åland. There are also several international exchange programmes for students, including Erasmus+ and Nordplus.

Financial aid for studies in Åland

As a Nordic citizen, you usually receive student finance from your home country when you study in Åland. If you have lived in Åland for at least six months, you can apply for Åland financial aid for students. There are also other types of grants you can get for living and studying in Åland.

Using your Åland education in another country

In general, you can use your Åland education to apply for further education and work in other Nordic countries.

However, some professions and sectors have specific requirements that may differ from country to country. All Nordic countries also have a number of regulated professions that require a licence. This is particularly true for health and vocational education and training programmes.

Therefore you should check whether the Åland programme you are considering will qualify you for the job you want in the country you want to live in after your studies.

Practical information for studying in Åland

If you are going to live and study in Åland, there are some practical things to consider. Below you will find useful information about studying in Åland. You can also read our guide on moving to Åland.


You can rent student accommodation through Åland University of Applied Sciences. There are also private and municipal housing companies that rent out rooms and flats.

Notifying a move and population registration

If you are going to live and study in Åland for more than a year, you must notify your move and register in Finland. For shorter periods, you may need to notify a temporary move. Remember to notify the forwarding of mail to your Åland address!

Social security and health insurance

If you come to Åland from another Nordic country to study, your stay on the island is generally considered temporary. Then you are covered by the social security system of the country where you now live. Students from all Nordic countries are entitled to healthcare services in Åland. If you have a European Health Insurance Card, you should take it with you when you study in Åland.


If you will be working alongside your studies, you need to find out in which country you should declare your income. You usually pay taxes in the country where you work and your social security can be transferred there.


You are not required to have private insurance when studying in Åland, but travel insurance and home insurance can be useful. Contact your insurance company and check whether your insurance is valid when you study in Åland or whether you need to take out new insurance with an Åland insurance company.

Bank accounts

You can generally use your regular bank cards in Åland. Check with your bank what applies to you. You can also open a bank account with a payment card locally in Åland, if you prefer.

When studying in Åland, make sure you have access to all the login details, bank accounts and PIN codes you need to deal with the authorities in your home country.

Student cards and discounts

The Åland Student Union cooperates with the digital student card Frank, which is an app for student discounts.

As a student at Åland University of Applied Sciences, you can have lunch at a reduced price. You also have access to a lunch room, where you can store, heat and eat your own food free of charge.

The educational institutions in Åland can give you further help

Contact the educational institution where you want to study for more information about studying and having a good student life in Åland.

Contact the authority

If you have questions about the Åland education system you can contact Education and Learning at the Government of Åland

Ask Info Norden

Please fill in our contact form if you have any questions or if you have encountered an obstacle in another Nordic country.

NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.

Info Norden is the information service of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Here you can find info and tips if you wish to move, work, study, seek support or start a business in the Nordic region.