Helsinki Summer School Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the Helsinki Summer School FAQ's page where you can find answers to the most frequently asked questions. If you cannot find what you are looking for, contact us at summerschool(at) .

Kindly note that Helsinki Summer School 2021 will not be arranged due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Helsinki Summer school picture of pupils for the frequently asked questions page


When will the next Helsinki Summer School courses be organised?

Helsinki Summer School 2021 will not be arranged due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay tuned and sign up for the HSS newsletter!

When is the application deadline?

Kindly note that Helsinki Summer School 2021 will not be arranged due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The earlier you apply the better, as students are accepted on a first come, first served basis and we only accept a limited number of students to each HSS course.

I am 18 years of age and just finishing high school. Am I eligible to participate in Helsinki Summer School?

Unfortunately no, because our courses are designed for university students who have already studied for at least two years. Please check the course description for detailed information on the target group of each course.

I have already graduated and am working now. Can I still apply to Helsinki Summer School?

As long as you have studied at a university for at least two years, you are welcome to apply to Helsinki Summer School. However, the number of places open to professionals is limited.

Where do the courses take place?

On the University of Helsinki campuses. The exact campus is mentioned on the page of each course.

How many students are there in each course, and where are they from?

The course sizes vary, but there are normally between 15 and 30 students per course. The students come from dozens of different countries all around the world. Usually, there are also some Finnish students on most of the courses.

Does Helsinki Summer School offer language courses?

Although all of our courses are taught in English, they are not language courses. If you are looking for summer language courses in Finnish, you can find useful links here. University of Helsinki Language Services offers open-enrolment Finnish courses all year round.

English language requirements?

All courses in HSS are taught in English. Although applicants are not required to present an official certificate of language proficiency, all students must be fluent in English. A good command of English is necessary for completing the course (following teaching, participating in classroom discussions, writing essays) as well as managing day-to-day matters in Finland.

An applicant can be rejected if his/her level of English is not deemed equivalent to the standards. An applicant’s level of English is sufficient if he/she: “Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and Independent disadvantages of various options.”

This description is based on the common European Framework of Reference.

What documents are required for the application process?

You only need to attach a scanned copy of your passport to your application if you need a visa.

Can I take more than one course at the same time?

The courses are extremely intensive (normally 2–3 lectures per day), so it is not possible to take more than one course at a time.

Will I receive a certificate at the end of the Helsinki Summer School session?

After the session has ended, we will email a course diploma, a transcript, and a course description to each student who has successfully completed their course. Paper versions of the documents can also be sent, if requested.

Can Helsinki Summer School help me obtain a visa?

If you need a visa, remember to upload a copy of your passport into the application system. If you have been accepted to Helsinki Summer School and have paid the course fee, we can send you a letter of acceptance and invitation. We cannot, however, guarantee that you will be granted a visa, as that is entirely up to the Finnish Consulate. If you are not granted a visa and have to cancel your participation, please see our cancellation policy here.

Where can I apply for a scholarship?

Unfortunately, Helsinki Summer School is not able to provide you with contacts to scholarship sources. We recommend that you contact your own university for more information on possible scholarships and/or grants.

Will someone come and meet me at the airport?

Regrettably, no. You can find the instructions on how to get from the airport to the city centre, how to find the hostel, what to do on the first day, etc. on the Newsletter that we will send to the accepted students in July.

My university has an exchange agreement with the University of Helsinki. Do I still have to pay the full Helsinki Summer School course fee?

Yes. You are required to pay the normal course fee. A discount on the course fee can be granted only to applicants who are studying as exchange students at the University of Helsinki the same calendar year they participate in Helsinki Summer School. See the page Prices, Accomodation and Cancellations page for more information for more information.

Does Helsinki Summer School have insurance for its students?

No. We strongly recommend that all students obtain travel insurance prior to leaving their home country.

Should I bring my own computer with me or can I use the computers at the university?

The University of Helsinki has excellent computer facilities, and we provide our students with a computer username. With the username you will have access to the computer labs. If you do bring your own laptop, the University offers you a free wireless Internet access at its premises. Please note also that both the Eurohostel and Unihome Pihlajamäki also provide free Wi-Fi Internet access.

Am I entitled to student discount in the Helsinki Region Transport?

Helsinki Summer School students are entitled to the student discount if they meet the eligibility criteria set by the Helsinki Region Transport (See HSL website for more information). HSS students need a travel card application form bearing the stamp and signature of the university. The form will be given to you at the HSS Info desk during your registration. You can find the complete list of fares on the HSL transport website.

What are the academic guidelines of the Helsinki Summer School?

HSS follows the academic guidelines of the University of Helsinki. For instance plagiarism is strictly forbidden. Any applicant caught of plagiarism (motivation letter) will be automatically rejected. Cheating and plagiarism are strictly forbidden also at all stages of the studies in all HSS courses.

I would like to organise my own course at the Helsinki Summer School

All the courses organised by the Helsinki Summer School are part of the official curriculum of the University of Helsinki, and thus the teaching is done by the staff of the University of Helsinki. For other options to come to the University as a visiting lecturer, please contact the units and Faculties.

How is my data and application information protected?

You can find more information on University of Helsinki data protection from our website and from our Guide for students.

I need special arrangements / personal assistance, can I join Helsinki Summer School?

If you have any questions concerning accessibility or any special arrangements or if you are visually impaired and need assistance with our application system, please contact the HSS team well in advance before applying at summerschoo(at) We're happy to help and answer any of your questions.

  • Kindly note that the HSS application system can be switched to high contrast mode by clicking on the “High contrast mode” text on the bottom left.
  • If you need personal accessibility assistance during Summer School please consult the HSS team at summerschool(at) already before applying. Your personal assistant can join the HSS course with you for free but kindly note that you will need to take care of any other charges related to your assistant such as accommodation yourself.
  • Ac­cess­ib­il­ity at the Helsinki Uni­versity Library fa­cil­it­ies

Living costs in Helsinki?

Living expenses/overall costs for a student in Helsinki depends highly on your spending habits. You can check some specific examples of living costs on websites like Numbeo. For HSS student the overall costs depend on various factors, for instance:

  • Course fee: Are you a student or a professional?
  • Travel costs to Helsinki
  • Which accommodation option you choose?
  • Do you need a travel card for public transportation or will you walk to different locations in Helsinki?
  • Will you attend HSS social programme events with separate fees (certain events hold separate fees and need to be booked and paid in advance)?
  • Do you cook at your hostel or eat in restaurants?