Social Programme

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. That is why Helsinki Summer School arranges a wide range of social events to help students get to know their colleagues and Finland better while having fun. Most events are free of charge for HSS students.

Certain special events hold payments (see descriptions below) and need to be booked and paid for in advance.

Helsinki Summer School picture for social programme, canoeing at a lake



  • University's Welcome Reception and Opening Party, Tue Aug 6, 2019
  • City’s Welcome and Helsinki Surprise Walking Tour, Wed Aug 7, 2019
  • Evening on an Island (Suomenlinna), Fri Aug 9, 2019
  • Wildlife and Sauna Trip (Nuuksio), Sat Aug 10, 2019
  • Coffee, Buns and Botanic Garden, Sun Aug 11, 2019
  • Helsinki Summer School goes Think Company, Tue Aug 13, 2019
  • Finnish Movie Night, Wed Aug 14, 2019
  • Helsinki University Museum, Thu Aug 15, 2019
  • Farewell Get-together, Thu Aug 22, 2019

The University's Welcome Receptions is the official welcoming event for the HSS participants and it marks the beginning of the Helsinki Summer School. During the event you can mingle and get to know your fellow participants and new friends from all over the world while enjoying the delicious buffet provided by the University of Helsinki. The event continues with a Welcome Party. It is the perfect occasion meet everyone. Come hang out, make new friends and enjoy the international and intercultural company of your fellow Helsinki Summer School participants!

After the first course day the city of Helsinki welcomes HSS students to explore our wonderful city. We will gather at the city hall before heading out on guided walking tours. Each group will be escorted through the city with a professional guide and get a unique glimpse of some of the great things Helsinki has to offer.

The Finnish archipelago is famous for its beauty, and is definitely worth visiting. We will take a ferry to Suomenlinna sea fortress island right in front of Helsinki and spend the evening hanging out in a relaxing environment. In addition to a tasty supper we will enjoy the cultural and natural sites and the sea. This is a great chance for relaxing at the end of the first hectic school week.

NB! We only have a limited number of places available for this event. Please register to the event in your online application form. You will get a confirmation of your participation when we process your application.

The event costs 25 EUR, which includes:
• a ferry ride to and from the island (private ferry only for HSS students and staff)
• a supper at one of the restaurant on the island. The meal consist of salmon soup (vegetarian version available), bread, Finnish pancake & coffee or tea.

Come experience the two things Finns love the most about Finnish summer: Finnish nature and sauna! You'll have a chance to experience both on this trip to the beautiful Nuuksio National Park. We'll spend the day hiking and canoeing. Afterwards we'll relax in a traditional Finnish sauna by the lake and enjoy Finnish sausages (vegetarian option available) and salad. This is an event you don't want to miss!

NB! We only have a limited number of places available for this event. Please register to the event in your online application form. You will get a confirmation of your participation when we process your application.

The event costs 75 EUR, which includes:
• Bus ride on a private bus from the Eurohostel/Pihlajamäki to the National Park and back.
• Guided walk in the forest with a professional nature guide.
• Rental of canoeing equipment & guidance by a professional nature guide.
• Food: sausage (vegetarian option available) & salad.
• Private sauna (women and men separately) with the opportunity to swim in the lake.

After your first week of studying we’ll take you to the Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden. During this Sunday afternoon you will dive into the world of plants, ponds and flowers.

“Ten glasshouses open to the public offer a glimpse into the plant life of torrid deserts, humid rainforests and tropical wetlands. Come and see the world’s biggest seed, or find out what it means when someone says, ‘It’s a jungle out there!’ “.*

Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden is part of The Finnish Museum of Natural History, which is an independent research institution functioning under the University of Helsinki.

After the 1-hour guided tour we’ll enjoy some traditional Finnish cinnamon rolls with coffee and tea.

* Source

Helsinki Think Company is the entrepreneurship society of the University of Helsinki. Their aim is to help the university community develop ideas and projects of their own – and execute them with success. They support changemakers on their journey for example by organizing various events from workshop nights, to weekend-long hackathons, to months-long accelerators.

Come down and visit Think Company with Helsinki Summer School to learn more about the life of an entrepreneur and the Helsinki Think Company way. You will also meet an entrepreneur launched by Helsinki Think Company who will share experiences and tips.

Did you know that the University of Helsinki was originally located in Turku, or that the ‘Baby in the box’ exhibition tells you the story and shows you the content of the worldwide known maternity pack (in Finnish äitiyspakkaus) from the 1969 until today. The University Museum offers a guided tour to those interested in the history of the University and science.

All good things must come to an end. It’s time to gather around for the last night of Helsinki Summer School with your new-found friends.

Have a drink or two, discuss all the things you’ve learnt and say 'näkemiin' (‘See you’ in Finnish)!