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 of the interesting benefits and services that can be enjoyed by Bachelor's and Master's students at the University of Helsinki.
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.
Check out the Instructions for students for more information and tips for house hunting:
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 3.05 EUR (Aug 2020). It includes along with the main dish also potatoes, rice or pasta as a side dish, beverages, bread and spreads and salad. A vegetarian and vegan option is always available. Some UniCafes offer low-cost breakfast and evening meals for the same price as lunch. 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 as they are owned by the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY). The students genuinely are the owners of the restaurants. They can influence the operations by giving feedback or attending the restaurant committees at the campuses.
Find out more and check out the weekly menus at the UniCafe website.
As an attending Bachelor's or Master's student, you are entitled to significantly discounted fares in public transport both in the Helsinki metropolitan area as well as in long-distance transport with trains and buses across Finland. A valid student card is required.
Find out more and check your eligibility for student fares on public transport on the Instructions for students.
The Helsinki metropolitan area has a highly effective public transport system of metro, tram, bus and train lines overseen by Helsinki Regional Transport Authority (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 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
Find out more about the Frank student ID and check out the discounts on the Frank website.
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.
More information on the UniSport website.
The Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) provide student health services for those studying for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. After paying the student healthcare fee to Kela (2021 fee: 35,80 € per term), you are entitled to general health, dental and mental health services.
Please note that the FSHS services do not include emergency medical care or any kind of hospitalisation. Therefore international students need to ensure that they also have a valid private health insurance. EU-citizens should have their EU Health Insurance Card.
For more information:
Note that exchange or PhD students are not entitled to the FSHS services.
In addition to the basic healthcare and sports services, the students at the University of Helsinki have access to the following services:
The study psychologists offer guidance and counselling to Bachelor’s and Master’s degree students regarding issues such as
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.
For students who are parents, Little HYY provides a cheap childcare service. You can bring your child to the childcare for max. four hours per day, for example during a lecture or an examination.
To take care of your religious needs, and/or your mental or spiritual wellbeing, you are welcome to use the multi-faith prayer room in the main building of the university.
Read more about the services for students related to healthcare and wellbeing.
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 24/7 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.
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.
Check out the Finnish courses for international students on the Instructions for Students.
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 by: