Starting your studies and a new life in another country can be very exciting, but at the same time slightly intimidating too. The staff and students at the University of Helsinki are there for you to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible before and upon your arrival in Finland.
Ensuring easy arrival
What are all the actions that you need to take before and upon arrival in Finland? The Uni Arrival Advisor is a simple electronic service that will guide you through the process. Answer the questions on the Uni Arrival Advisor and you will get a checklist of the necessary steps to take before and upon your arrival to Helsinki, Finland.
Joining the Helsinki Summer School before the autumn semester starts is a great way to get to know Helsinki, earn credits and meet other students already before your studies begin.
You can choose from a great selection of courses that cover a wide range of academic fields and multidisciplinary topics. You will learn from top scientists and network with students and experts from around the world. Alternatively, you can take a Finnish intensive course to get the skills to cope with simple everyday situations in Finnish.
The next Helsinki Summer School takes place on 6-22 August 2019.
Read more about the Helsinki Summer School.
You can easily get by in Finland only speaking English as the Finnish people are among the best non-native English speakers in the world*. However, learning the local language will give you more career options after graduation and make your stay more rewarding.
A Taste of Finnish is an online course that has been designed especially for students planning to come and study at the University of Helsinki for a term or longer. It gives you a good picture of the Finnish language and a toolbox for simple everyday situations with the Finns – a taste of Finnish.
Get a Taste of Finnish by learning basic Finnish online.
For enrolled exchange, visiting and international degree students, the University of Helsinki offers free Finnish language courses. They are a fun way to learn the language and network with other international students, and you to get to know the culture as well. Check out the courses.
* EF English Proficiency Index
Pronounced as written
All new students at the University of Helsinki are assigned a tutor (or a peer counsellor) and a tutoring group based on their study programme and faculty. The tutors assist the new students during their first days and during the orientation week with practical things like registering as a resident, where to get a student travel card and what are the most important services on the campuses. Tutors contact the students before the orientation week starts.
Tutoring is a good introduction to the Finnish university life and makes it easier to settle into the new environment and get in contact with other students.
Each autumn and spring, before the semester and the classes begin, there is an orientation week full of activities for all new international degree and exchange students. It will make it easier to start your studies and life in Helsinki as you will get to know the university campuses and facilities, and get support with administrative matters. The week also includes tutoring, orientation meetings with your own study programme or faculty and the Welcome Fair.
At the Welcome Fair you can get a lot of the official paperwork and other admin done, but also get information about language courses and various university services like UniSport, the University Library, the Finnish Student Health Service and the Study Psychologists. And most importantly, you will meet a lot of new people while talking to people from the Student Union and other student organisations.
Read more about the orientation week.
When arriving in Helsinki, it is easy to get around by public transport in the Helsinki metropolitan area. The Helsinki public transport system has been named the 2nd best among European cities, with a highly effective public transport system of metro, tram, bus and train lines.
If you prefer cycling, an extensive bike share system with over 250 bike stations and more than 2 500 bikes is available from April to October.
Go to the route planner of public transport in Helsinki at the HSL website.
Read more about student fares in public transport and other student benefits. Please note that a valid student card is required to get the discount.
During the first two weeks of the academic year, you can easily recognise all staff by a pink logo. They are there to help and support you with any study related issues. The ASK ME! campaign welcomes new students to the university community and makes it easier to ask for help.
For the rest of the year, you can turn to the student service points on each campus. They provide services for all students at the University of Helsinki the whole year around.