Life in Helsinki—like in any other capital city in the Nordics—is not on the cheapest side. But as a student, you are entitled to many discounts and services that will make your life easier. This is by no means an exhaustive and complete list, but includes some of the most interesting benefits that can be enjoyed by you as a student of the University of Helsinki. The most convienient way to prove your student status and get the benfits is a Frank student ID.
Benefits for students
As in many capital cities, there is a great demand for housing in Helsinki and it might be hard to find something affordable. But as student, you have the right to apply for reasonable-priced high-quality student housing. HOAS is the main non-profit organisation providing student housing in the Helsinki Region.
Student apartments in Helsinki are of high quality, well maintained, usually furnished and with central heating to keep you warm in the cold winter months. The shared option is usually a private bedroom for a single person sharing the kitchen and bathroom with 2-3 other students. There are separate shared apartments for male and female students. The apartments have a kitchen with a stove/oven and refrigerator, usually one bathroom and a toilet. Some apartments may have a balcony and/or a common living area.
Read more about the housing options for international Master's students and exchange students. Make sure to apply as soon as possible.
As a student at the University of Helsinki, you get affordable, student-priced meals at the UniCafes on our campuses and other student restaurants. At UniCafe, the basic lunch costs 2.60 EUR (autumn 2017) and includes beverages (milk, sour milk, juice or water), bread and spreads as well as salad with potato, rice or pasta as side dish. A vegetarian and vegan option is always available. Some UniCafes also offer low-cost breakfast and the meals in the evening for the same price as lunch. The food at UniCafes is made from high-quality, safe and responsibly produced ingredients.
UniCafes are unique in the sense that the students genuinely are the owners of the restaurants as they are owned by the Student Union of the University of Helsinki. Students can influence the operations by giving feedback or attending the restaurant committees at the campuses.
The Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) is an expert in student healthcare and provides basic healthcare services for all degree students based on their student union membership.
Most of the basic healthcare services offered by FSHS are free of charge, for example appointments with general practitioners, public health nurses, physiotherapists and oral hygienists, laboratory or X-ray examinations with a referral from an FSHS doctor/dentist, the first dental examination visit and dentist appointments of max. 10 min, basic vaccinations and speech therapy.
Appointments with FSHS specialists, more extensive dental care including technical laboratory costs are subject to charge. In addition patients referred by FSHS for specialist care will be required to pay the resulting outpatient clinic fees.
Read more about the extensive healthcare services on the FSHS website. The FSHS does not include emergency medical care or any kind of hospital care, so international students need to ensure that they have a valid health insurance.
Make sure life isn’t all about studies but remember to exercise as well. UniSport is an exercise centre for students with several locations where experiences are more important than performance. They offer a wide variety of sports from bodycombat to pilates, and floorball to hot yoga. With the affordable membership card (12/4/1 months) you can attend the group exercise classes and use their gyms and open ball game shifts on all campuses. UniSport also offers diverse training courses in various sports, as well as personal training, massage and testing services. If you put together your own team, you can participate in the ball games series organised by UniSport.
In addition to the basic healthcare and sports services, the students at the University of Helsinki have access to the following services:
The study psychologists offer guidance and counselling to bachelor’s and master’s degree students regarding issues such as academic skills, motivation, time management, well-being and thesis writing.
If you need a friendly ear, someone to chat with or peer support, Nyyti is a support centre for students’ mental health and life management skills. Also the chaplains of the University of Helsinki are there for you, regardless of your religious background and convictions.
For students who are parents as well, Little HYY provides a cheap childcare service where you can bring your child for max. 3 hours per day, for example during a lecture or an examination.
To take care of your mental or spiritual wellbeing, you are welcome to use the multi-faith prayer room in the main building of the university.
As an attending degree student, you are entitled to significantly discounted fares in public transport both in the Helsinki metropolitan area as well as in long-distance transport with trains and buses across Finland. A valid student card is required.
The Helsinki metropolitan area has a highly effective public transport system of metro, tram, bus and train lines overseen by HSL. It has been named as the second best public transport system among European cities.
The most convenient way to prove your student status and get your student benefits is to present a Frank student ID. It provides your student identification and student benefits under one roof, either digitally as the Frank App or as a plastic card.
Frank unlocks more than 400 student discounts either online or directly in the store from insurances, electronics, mobile subscriptions and electricity plans to cruises, restaurants, magazine subscriptions and cultural or sport events.
Around 250 student organisations operate within the Student Union of the University of Helsinki. The Student Union offers various facilities, device rental and financial assistance to these organisations that cover everything from faculty and subject organisations to political and societal organisations, and from international organisations to choirs, orchestras, theatres and other cultural organisations, sports and game clubs. Joining one or more of these organisations gives you an opportunity to learn many things which are not included in the actual university curriculum, but are an integral part of university studies and growth into an educated individual. And you will make friends and have fun along the way.
Whatever your interests are, you are likely to find like-minded people and the right activities for you. And if not, you can always found a new student organisation.