Social Programme

Charge your batteries in between classes! 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 events hold payments (see descriptions below) and need to be booked and paid in advance.

  • N.B. We only have a limited number of places available for these events. Please register to the event in your online application form. You will get a confirmation of your participation when we have processed your application.
  • Kindly note that the system does not update in real-time so it might be possible to select a social programme event through the online form even when the activity may already be fully-booked.
  • Also note that the social programme fees are non-refundable.
Helsinki Summer School picture for social programme, canoeing at a lake



  • University's Welcome Reception and Opening Party, Tue 4 Aug 2020
  • City’s Welcome and Helsinki Surprise Walking Tour, Wed 5 Aug 2020
  • Evening on an Island (Suomenlinna), Fri 7 Aug 2020
  • Wildlife and Sauna Trip (Nuuksio), Sat 8 Aug 2020
  • Helsinki Summer School goes Think Company, Tue 11 Aug 2020
  • Finnish Movie Night, Wed 12 Aug 2020
  • Helsinki University Museum, Thu 13 Aug 2020
  • Coffee, Buns and Botanic Garden, Sun 16 Aug 2020
  • HSS Run, Mon 17 Aug 2020
  • Farewell Get-together, Thu 20 Aug 2020

The University's Welcome Reception 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.

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!

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.
• Guided group canoeing, rental of canoeing equipment, guidance by a professional nature guide.
• Food: sausage (vegetarian option available) & salad, bread, beverages.
• Private sauna (women and men separately) with the opportunity to swim in the lake.

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.

Find out what the Finnish films are like, and what you can learn about the Finnish culture by watching one! Join us for a screening of a Finnish with English subtitles at the SES, the Finnish Film Foundation. The movie theatre is situated in a historic brick warehouse in Helsinki's Katajanokka, and has a 150-seat auditorium with the latest screening technology.

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.

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

It is essential to take breaks from the hectic studies. Enjoy the thrill of running with a guide on the HSS Run! This one hour running class is suitable for different levels of runners. The class includes a running warm-up, a technique section for improving running efficiency and preventing running injuries, an interval session, a muscle training section and some post-exercise flexing. The content of the interval section varies and can be adjusted to suit the level of the participants. Bring along outdoor clothing, running shoes and a drinking bottle. After the HSS Run, students can use the Unisport Kluuvi shower and sauna facilities.

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)!