Student life in Helsinki is lively and packed with opportunities, but as a capital city in the Nordics it's not always on the cheapest side. Luckily when you are a student in Finland and also a member of the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY), you are entitled to various services and benefits that make your life easier and more fun.
This list includes some interesting benefits and services available to Bachelor's and Master's students at the University of Helsinki. For an overview of the services available throughout your studies, check out the International Degree Student's Journey.
As a student at the University of Helsinki, you do not need to acquire all your study materials and equipment yourself. Instead, you get access to inspirational learning spaces, technology and state-of-art laboratories that our international students rank to top positions globally.
All four campuses have modern libraries with about 73.5 shelf-kilometres of printed books and journals, plus e-resources that can be remotely accessed. Instead of having to buy your study materials, you can use the library resources for free. In the award-winning Main Library Kaisa House, a magnificently designed building full of light, you can find 1000 workplaces and peaceful spots for relaxation.
The learning centres offer workspaces for individual studying as well as group work.
The comprehensive ICT services include:
At the Language Centre, you have the possibility to learn languages and complete courses fully or partly independently.
As in many capital cities, there is a great demand for housing in Helsinki and it might be hard to find something affordable. However, as a student, you have the right to apply for reasonable-priced high-quality student housing.
HOAS is the main non-profit organisation providing student housing in the Helsinki Region. Please note that the University of Helsinki itself does not provide accommodation for students.
Student apartments in Helsinki are of high quality, well maintained, and with central heating to keep you warm in the cold winter months. Furnished and unfurnished options are available.
The shared option is usually a private bedroom for a single person, sharing the kitchen and bathroom with 1-3 other students. There are usually separate shared apartments for male and female students. However, you can apply together with friends of any gender for a shared "roomie" apartment. The apartments have a kitchen with a stove/oven and refrigerator, usually one shower and a toilet. Some apartments may have a balcony and/or a common living area.
The Career Services at the University of Helsinki, in cooperation with degree programmes, supports the growth of your expert identity from the start of your studies until one year after the completion of your degree.
Their services include:
For our international Master's students, the University of Helsinki also offers a traineeship programme as well as a mentoring programme, the HelsinkiUNI International Talent Programme (UNITalent).
As an attending Bachelor's or Master's student, you are entitled to significantly discounted fares in public transport in the Helsinki metropolitan area as well as in long-distance transport with trains and buses across Finland. A valid student ID card is required.
The Helsinki metropolitan area has a highly effective and reliable public transport system of metro, tram, bus and train lines as well as a city bike network overseen by Helsinki Region Transport (HSL). It has been named as the second best public transport system among European cities.
The train services in Finland are operated by VR, a government-owned railway company. Matkahuolto operates and maintains bus ticket services and stations throughout the country.
The entrepreneurship society of the University of Helsinki, Helsinki Think Company, consists of students, researchers, and entrepreneurs of all kinds. They transform academic knowledge into concrete action by providing entrepreneurial education, tools and support for those who want to make an impact on their surroundings.
The Helsinki Think Company offers communal coworking spaces at each of our four campuses. They also facilitate events and programmes from idea competitions to thematic challenges and hackathons.
No matter what your level of knowledge or experience is in entrepreneurship, there’s always content and activities available to you.
University studies is a time of self-discovery, and there is no better way to figure out your strengths and interests than by taking a variety of classes. It can also help you to identify your passion and career calling.
The course selection at the University of Helsinki includes thousands of options and students are encouraged to take courses across academic disciplines and faculties. With the help of our wide range of multidisciplinary study options, you can build a degree that is truly yours.
You can easily get by in Helsinki with English—the Finns are amongst the best non-native English speakers in the world—but learning the local language will make your stay more rewarding and give you more career options after graduation.
The University of Helsinki offers free Finnish language courses for enrolled exchange, visiting and international degree students. They are a fun way to learn the language, network with other international students across the fields and get to know more about Finnish culture.
The most convenient way to prove your student status and get your student benefits is to present a Frank student ID. It acts as your student identification and provides numerous student benefits, either digitally as the Frank App or as a plastic card.
Frank unlocks hundreds of student discounts either online or directly in the store, for example
The Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) provides basic student health services for those studying for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. After paying the student healthcare fee to Kela (2023 fee: EUR 36,80 per term), you are entitled to general health, dental and mental health services.
When having social security coverage from another EU/EEA country, Switzerland, Great Britain or Northern Ireland, no healthcare fee needs to be paid. Instead, bring your EHIC or GHIC card.
Please note that the FSHS services do not include emergency medical care or any kind of hospitalisation. Therefore international students need to ensure they also have a valid private health insurance.
Note that exchange or PhD students are not entitled to FSHS services.
As a student at the University of Helsinki, you get affordable, student-priced meals at the UniCafes on our campuses and other student restaurants across Finland.
At UniCafe, the standard lunch costs 2,95 EUR (Feb 2023). It includes along with the main dish also potatoes, rice or pasta as a side dish, beverages, bread and spreads and salad. A vegan option is always available for 2,85 EUR (Feb 2023). Some UniCafes also offer low-cost breakfast and evening meals.
The food at UniCafes is made from high-quality, safe and responsibly produced ingredients. The meals are near always fair-trade and organic.
UniCafes are unique in the sense that they are owned by the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY). The students are the owners of the restaurants. They can influence the operations by giving feedback or attending the restaurant committees at the campuses.
Degree students at the University of Helsinki have the possibility to participate in an exchange abroad. It is possible to choose from more than 450 destinations across the world.
If a long exchange is not an option for you, short courses and summer courses abroad might be an alternative.
The specialists at the International Exchange Services and Education Cooperation coordinate student mobility and are there to help you with your plans.
It’s always good to remember life is not just about studying. Exercise can help the body, mind and soul.
UniSport is an exercise centre for students with several locations on all campuses. UniSport offers a variety of sports from body combat to pilates and floorball to hot yoga. With an affordable membership card of 1, 4 or 12 months, you can attend the group exercise classes and open ball game shifts on all campuses. UniSport also offers diverse training courses in various sports, as well as personal training, massage and testing services. If you put together your own team, you can participate in the ball games series organised by UniSport.
If it is simply a gym you are looking for, UniSport has five across its six locations. This includes its premier three-story facility housed underneath the Think Corner, which at 800 square meters makes it the largest gym in the city centre.
As a student at the University of Helsinki, you get help and support from our competent staff at every step towards your graduation.
Student Services help you with questions concerning your studies and student life with service locations at every campus. There you can also get your official transcript and other study certificates.
Student Services also operate the Guidance Corners at the City Centre and Viikki Campuses. They are student spaces where many types of low-threshold activities are organised to support your well-being and your studies.
In addition to the basic healthcare and sports services, the students at the University of Helsinki have access to other services supporting their well-being:
The study psychologists offer guidance and counselling to Bachelor’s and Master’s degree students regarding issues such as
The University and its partners organise low-threshold activities to support your well-being and your studies, e.g. about topics like `Studying and stressing´ and `Self-criticism and self-compassion in studies´..
If you need a friendly ear, someone to chat with or peer support, Nyyti is an organisation supporting students’ mental health and life management skills. In addition, the chaplains of the University of Helsinki are there for you, regardless of your religious background and convictions.
Every campus has a prayer and meditation room to care for your mental or spiritual well-being. The spaces can be used for calm contemplation, prayer or meditation.
For students who are parents, Little HYY provides a cheap temporary childcare help. You can bring your child to the childcare for max. four hours per day, for example during a lecture or an examination.
Students have lots of services at their disposal from the moment they apply to life after graduation. However, you need to know the services to fully benefit from them.
The International Degree Student's Journey has been designed to help applicants and students understand and navigate the services available to them.