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 2020 as well as the Social Programme listed below was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Kindly note that Helsinki Summer School 2021 will not be arranged due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Helsinki Summer School students paddling in Nuuksio



  • 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 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

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

After the first course day, the city of Helsinki welcomes HSS students to explore our wonderful city. We will gather at the Helsinki City Hall before heading out on guided walking tours in smaller groups. 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 archipelago of Helsinki consists of around 330 islands, providing a great getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. We will take a ferry to Suomenlinna Island, a Unesco World Heritage Site, where a tasty supper will be served. After the meal, you will have a chance to explore the island at your own pace. Take a relaxing stroll, walk around the whole island or sit down on a scenic spot and enjoy the view. The choice is yours!

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 and 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 walking in the forest and canoeing guided by professional nature guides. Afterwards, we'll enjoy a meal of Finnish sausages & salad (vegetarian option available) and relax in a traditional Finnish sauna by the lake. 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 Eurohostel/Unihome Pihlajamäki to Nuuksio 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. Helsinki Think Company supports changemakers on their journey, for instance by organizing various events from workshop nights to weekend-long hackathons. In addition, Helsinki Think Company co-working spaces are free and open to use for all entrepreneurial projects and freelance work.

Come down and visit Helsinki Think Company to learn more about the life of an entrepreneur and how to think differently! You will also meet an entrepreneur launched by Helsinki Think Company who will share experiences and tips.

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

Come and join a guided tour of the Helsinki University Museum! On display are exhibits related to the history of science, teaching and the University, such as imperial portraits, microscopes of different ages, anatomic models and the Silver Sceptres from 1640.

During this Sunday afternoon, you will dive into the world of plants, ponds and flowers. Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden is part of The Finnish Museum of Natural History, which is an independent research institution functioning under the University of Helsinki. In addition to a 1-hour guided tour of the garden, we’ll enjoy traditional Finnish cinnamon rolls with coffee and tea.

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 stretching. 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)!