Student life is an important part of your experience at the University of Helsinki. The best way to make most of your student life is to be part of the active community of students, the Student Union of University of Helsinki (HYY). All degree students are members of HYY and exchange students are welcome and encouraged to join, too.  HYY provides its 28 000 members with various membership benefits and servises, advocacy work and several events throughout the year.

The student organisation culture is exceptionally rich and diverse in Finland and in Helsinki. Over 250 different student organisations within HYY open a field of opportunities and make sure you find the right people for right activities. Participating in organisations and their events is a great way to network, meet people, make friends, have fun, learn new skills and challenge yourself.

Subject and faculty organisations represent students of different study subjects and bring them together in several events. There are also fifteen student nations (osakunta) affiliated with the University. Originally, the student nations were founded by students coming from the same part of Finland, but today all nations are open to any student interested in their activities. Although most activities might take place in Finnish or Swedish, both organisations and nations warmly welcome international students as members.

In addition there are many other organisations from sport to culture organisations operating within HYY. More information about organisations you can find from the links below.


HYY also arranges several events and festivities for members throughout the year. 

  • Sep 5: The Opening Carnival takes place on the City Centre Campus in the Main Building of the University and in Porthania.
  • Sep 28: The Freshman Adventure is a city race where you get to know the student organizations, their clubrooms and other new students.
  • Oct 26 – Nov 2nd: Student union elections where the highest decision-making body of the student union, the representative council, is elected. All student union members are entitled to vote
  • Nov 21–26: HYY celebrates its anniversary on 26 November. HYY Anniversary Week offers various cultural activities.
  • Dec 6: Independence Day is celebrated with university students’ torchlight procession.
  • Apr 30 – May 1: May Day (Vappu) is the largest university students’ celebration that starts each year on May Day Eve 30 April. On May Day thousands of students gather in Kaivopuisto park for a picnic.
  • 12 May: Flora’s Day is a spring festival in the end of the academic year.

If you wish to learn about living in Helsinki, check out the 10 reas­ons to study in Hel­sinki!