The core of any University are their students, and the University of Helsinki is no different. Students of the University of Helsinki have a possibility choose between multiple student organisations that suit their vision of the ideal student life!
The Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) is the roof organisation of all student activity at the University of Helsinki. The main purpose of the Student Union is to promote the interests of its 27 000 members both at the university and in society. There are also more than 250 organisations that operate within the Student Union.
Subject and faculty organisations are the most common and popular student organisations at the University of Helsinki. Nearly every subject and programme at the univeristy has their own student organisation, and their activities range between cultural events, get-togethers, excursions, parties and much more. Many faculties also have their own organisations connecting the subject organisations, and there are also many multidisciplinary organisations.
The University of Helsinki has a wide range of different student organisations intended for international students. Most of the Finnish student organisations also provide some events and communication in English, but the international student organisations are run completely in English or other languages other than Finnish, Swedish or English.
Student Nations are the oldest and most culturally varied student organisations of the University of Helsinki. Their history spans to the 15th century, and originally they gathered together students coming from the same area with the aim of keeping control over students coming from all over Finland. Nowadays student nations are open to all students despite of their origin, but they still promote local customs and culture from their area. There are no purely English speaking student nations, and traditionally they have been split between Swedish and Finnish speaking nations. However, this is not a problem as the English language skills of Finnish students are excellent.
Student nations have friendships with student organisations in different countries, particularly in Sweden and Estonia. Student nation members regularly visit the events of international friendship organisations, and vice versa take care of the representatives of these organisations and thier programme when they visit teh events of their own student nation.
Recreational, cultural, religious and political organisations make up a huge percentage of organisations within the University, but especially with recreational organisations, a single group might only have a handful of members. The recreational organisations vary from sports groups, photography clubs to arts and craft.