Welcome new 2020 Master's Students

Students holding up letters that form the word welcome

You are about to start a new exciting phase in your life, an International Master's Programme at the University of Helsinki, one of the top 1% research universities in the world. Begin your journey by reading this welcome letter with rector's greetings and other useful information for starting your studies in autumn 2020.

This page includes information for the new students in the International Master's Programmes with teaching in English at the University of Helsinki. You can also find pages with information for the new students in the Bachelor's Programme in Science and the new students in the Bachelor's and Master's Programmes with teaching in Finnish and/or Swedish.

The admission results for our International Master's Programmes from the application round between 3 Dec 2019  and 10 Jan 2020 have been sent to all applicants by 15 April 2020 at the latest to the e-mail address given on the application form. The results can also be found by logging into the My Studyinfo –service.

Congratulations! You have made an excellent decision in selecting the University of Helsinki and I am both happy and honoured to welcome you to our academic community.

At the University of Helsinki, we strongly believe that science has the power to change attitudes, people and society – for the world. The extraordinary situation in the world right now shows that university research is more important than ever, and we also aim to produce knowledge that contributes to finding sustainable solutions for global challenges.

As a student, you benefit from the high-standard research that places us in the top 1% of the world’s universities. The solid link connecting research and teaching guarantees a high quality of learning. Many of our Master’s Programmes link to research that is key to building a better and more sustainable world. You will learn from and work with world-class researchers. You become a specialist in your field with a capability to understand broad topics, acquire and analyse information as well as manifold interrelationships and their consequences. You will be able to seek answers and solutions that benefit the world.

Despite the exceptional circumstances around the world, I wish you can feel enthusiastic about your future studies but I also challenge you to take time to grow as a human being. Extracurricular opportunities are an important part of your study experience. Take advantage of the numerous student organisations and spend time on hobbies and friends. Make sure to counterbalance your studies as your coping depends on allowing time to recover from intensive periods of study. In other words, studying should also involve joyful social life and networking.

So why should we care about growing as a human being? One of the most important values of our 380-year-old university is education, or more accurately, sivistys, a Finnish word for which there is no direct translation in English. It means that it’s not just important to be bookish but also to know how to be empathic and appreciative. I hope you’ll learn the true meaning of the word while studying with us.

I hope to welcome you to our campuses in Helsinki soon! Until then, take care and stay safe!

Kind regards,

Jari Niemelä
Rector of the University of Helsinki

Start your journey at the University of Helsinki and ensure your study place by taking the following steps:

If you are an international student:

Make sure to monitor your inbox. You will receive e-newsletters with more useful information about starting your studies and life in Helsinki. If you missed an issue, you can find them in the newsletter archives.

*Please note that the coronavirus situation is heavily affecting the operations and services of the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri). You can find more information about residence permit applications during the COVID-19 outbreak on the Instructions for Students -website.

The University of Helsinki closely monitors the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and takes measures following the instructions by the authorities. Our top priority is always the health, welfare and safety of our students and staff. You can follow the coronavirus situation at the University of Helsinki on the University website.

It is also understandable if the current circumstances cause uncertainty and worries when it comes to your future studies. Therefore, we have put together a page with coronavirus (COVID-19) related questions and answers for admitted students. It is continuously updated when new information is available.

Academic freedom is highly valued and a capability to study independently is required at the University of Helsinki. However, you will not be left alone. Many helping hands and events will guide you through the start of your studies.

  • Your student tutor will contact you in August and meet you personally when the orientation activities begin.
  • The orientation activities (starting as of 24 Aug 2020) and the Welcome Fair (25-26 Aug 2020) will help you to start your studies and life in Helsinki. You get support with administrative matters, visit the university campuses and facilities as well as learn about the studies in your own Master’s Programme. More information about orientation and tutoring (remember to select your own programme in the dropdown menu). Final schedules will be updated during August. Please note that due to the coronavirus situation, the orientation activities will be organised partly or entirely online.
  • During the first week of your studies, the pink ASK ME! -logo will guide you with any questions you have!
  • The Student Union (HYY) organises a completely new and remote event, Fresher Week, on 21−25 Sept 2020. It will introduce freshers to the activities of the Student Union and its organisations. Read more about the Fresher Week on the HYY website.
  • The Student Service Points give you guidance and support all year round.
  • According to our students, professors and teachers are easily approachable when you need help or consultation.

What do our students think about studying at the University of Helsinki? How is student life or housing in Helsinki? Chat directly with our students to get answers to your questions.

The blog posts by our students on the chat platform are also a great way to get an overview of student life in Helsinki.

What our students say:

"When I began my studies, I was like a kid in the candy store as I can take courses from other disciplines than my own from several faculties. I value the broad course selection and the freedom to choose the ones most useful to me.” - Gabrielle Mantell, European and Nordic Studies

"You are treated more as a peer than as a student: instead of being told to sit down and listen, you can have real scientific discussions with your teachers." - Eric Schaedig, Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology

"We have all the things we need to study: cutting-edge facilities, talented researchers, wonderful staff and motivated students. And I can work towards my goals without feeling pressure about my studies, field or gender.”  - Miho Otaki, Chemistry and Molecular Sciences

"As a student, you are given a lot of responsibility for your own studies. I enjoy the independence." - Jonathan Gaddis, Forest Sciences

“The courses are interesting, well-organised and all about the latest methods and tools. Already after my first year, I felt confident to face challenging, real-world problems and was able to propose novel solutions.”  - Ionna Bouri, Data Science

More stories about our students and alumni.

Student life offers many extracurricular opportunities, an important part of your study experience. Our active community of students, the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY), will help you to make the most of it.

All degree students are members of the Student Union (HYY). They look after your interests as a student both at the university and in society. As a member, you are entitled directly or indirectly to various membership services and benefits, like affordable student housing and basic healthcare services, low-cost sports facilities, student-priced meals and discounts on public transport fees.

Thousands of events are organised by more than 250 student organisations operating within the Student Union (HYY). Whatever your interests are, you are likely to find like-minded people and the right activities for you.

Established in 1640 - University of Helsinki is the oldest and largest institution of academic education in Finland.

31 200 students, 7 800 employees -  6% international students. 57% of the employees represent teaching and research staff (24% international).

Bet­ter than 99.5 % -  International university rankings consistently place the University of Helsinki in the top 100 worldwide.

11 faculties, 4 campuses - All faculties and campuses are located in Helsinki within 10 kilometres from each other.

LERU member - A member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), an association of 23 leading European universities.

Check out the University of Helsinki in numbers and read more about university rankings.

University of Helsinki is an innovative centre of science and thinking that since 1640 has played a major role in the development of the Finnish cultural life and welfare state. We have been part of building a fair and equal society and helped to foster Finnish education and learning.

The radical openness combined with international collaboration makes University of Helsinki's impact global. Together we seek solutions to problems that affect everyone. As one of the world's top 1% multidisciplinary universities, we believe that science can change attitudes, people and society – for the world.

Watch our story: With the Power of Thought for the World.

With the Power of Thought for the World – University of Helsinki

Watch our story to get to know us, our values and our goals.

At the University of Helsinki, we believe in a multidisciplinary approach that offers a wide perspective into research and science. Therefore, it is important to bring together students, researchers and people from different fields also outside the classroom:

Think Corner is a spectacular public meeting place where you find the best talks in town, get inspired by science, absorb multidisciplinary knowledge, meet people and work in a relaxed environment while drinking a cup of coffee or tea.

Helsinki Think Company brings together students, researchers and people interested in entrepreneurship providing a platform for testing business ideas and the tools needed for it: free co-working spaces, bootcamps, idea accelerator programmes, hackathons, mentoring, mini-challenges, workshops and a community of like-minded individuals.

Helsinki, the seaside capital of Finland, is a compact and safe city. Urban culture, green parks, beautiful islands and wild nature are all at your doorstep. The city is renowned for offering a high quality of life, clean air, a modern public transport system and great infrastructure. Everything simply works.

  • 643 000 inhabitants, 1.4 million in the metropolitan area
  • 15% of the population speak a mother tongue other than Finnish, Swedish or Sami
  • Air quality is good or satisfactory 95% of the time
  • 1/3 of the city consists of green space, the gorgeous archipelago consists of almost 330 islands
  • 1200 kilometres of cycling tracks, 818 indoor sports facilities, 216 km jogging tracks and footpaths, 172 outdoor ice rinks, 25 official beaches, 16 swimming halls, 14 winter swimming places.

Get to know Helsinki and make it your own at myhelsinki.fi

Finland is a Northern European nation bordering Sweden, Norway and Russia. It has been an independent state since 6 December 1917 when Helvi was only two and a half weeks old. A lot has happened since then.

Watch the story of Finland in 100 seconds through the eyes of six different generations.

Video by Finland Toolbox, published by the Finland Promotion Board.

Finland in 100 seconds

Do you have questions? You can contact the Admission Services or one of the other units that provide services for applicants and students at the University of Helsinki. We are there to support you.

Useful links