Hokkaido University lands in Helsinki

Hokkaido University from Japan opened an office at the University of Helsinki on 1 June 2012.

Hokkaido University lands in Helsinki

The branch office is Hokkaido University's third, and the first to be established outside of Asia. President Hiroshi Saeki of Hokkaido University says that the office aims at increasing interaction between Hokkaido and Europe.

– We welcome new international students from outside Asia. We also wish to encourage our own students to apply for exchange programmes outside Japan.

Helsinki and Sapporo – like two peas in a pod

According to the President, Finland was chosen as the location of the European office mainly because of research cooperation.

One of Hokkaido University's areas of focus are Slavic studies, an area for which Helsinki with its Russian history can offer excellent libraries and expertise.

The Nobel-level university, located in Sapporo on the northernmost island of Japan, specialises in the study of cold environments such as the sea under ice. The water areas north from Hokkaido carry a strong resemblance to the Baltic Sea.

President Saeki himself studies frozen environments. He has already made several visits to Helsinki in the name of research cooperation.

– Our decision was also influenced, of course, by the nature of Helsinki as a city. It is a nice size and safe for our students. It also has a climate very much like that of Sapporo.

Feel free to drop in

The Hokkaido office, located at Fabianinkatu 24, is not a large one. The branch office is an administrative unit meant to aid Japanese students and researchers as well as Finns who are interested in Hokkaido.

– We have no openings for researchers, but we wish to offer all possible assistance to our researchers coming to Helsinki.

Finns are also welcome to find out more.

– We are happy to tell more about the opportunities that Hokkaido University offers exchange students or undergraduates, Saeki says.

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Text: Juha Merimaa
Photo: Eetu Lampsijärvi
Translation: AAC Global
University of Helsinki, digital communications

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