Extra General Meeting on the 11th of October

In order to approve some changes in our board, CISSI will hold an Extra General Meeting at Weber in the New Student House on the 11th of October at 20.00. 
The most important tasks of the EGM is to officially elect Maria as our second event coordinator, and to elect a new deputy member to our board. Every member is entitled to vote in those decisions. However, at an EGM it is also possible to revise the organizations rules and discuss other matters. CISSI will provide our members with needed document a minimum of 1 week before the EGM and with an agenda a minimum of 2 days before the EGM, as stated in our rules.

If you have any questions about the EGM, do not hesitate to contact us by emailing cissi-board(at)helsinki.fi or saying hey in person.


Greetings from: Valeriya, CISSI’s Corporate Representative

Dear everyone,

My name is Valeriya Kushchuk, and I’m the Corporate Representative of CISSI. I study Media and Global Communication and am originally from Russia. I learned about CISSI just an hour after I went to my first university Welcome Fair and met my tutors, one of which was excited talking about CISSI events (which I, of course, started attending right away). Through CISSI I met many of my current friends who don’t let me feel lonely in the new country.

Valeriya, CISSI's Corporate Representative
Valeriya, CISSI’s Corporate Representative

One of the first things I learned when I moved to Finland was that for expats it’s extremely difficult to get a job here. I experienced it myself, and having work experience from my home country, it was a bummer. Many international students find themselves in such situation, and I’m sure it hurts everyone of us when we are told that our expertise is not needed because we don’t speak Finnish.

But we, internationally-minded students, can help each other. If we unite, help each other with networking and information, it’ll become easier for many of us. That’s why at CISSI we organize visits to companies and organizations to get to know people who work there and inquire about opportunities for international students. There’s no harm in asking — so let’s do it together! And this Thursday CISSI is going to the Labor union of social science professionals. The union is a perfect place to ask all questions you have about working in Finland, so welcome to join us: https://www.facebook.com/events/1742625399320014/

Greetings from: Marguerite, CISSI’s Environmental and Equality Representative & Vice Chair

Dear Everyone <3 ,

My name is Marguerite Beattie, and I am the Vice Chair and Environmental and Equality Representative of CISSI. I study social psychology, and I am originally from the US. I have been with CISSI since its founding so this is my third year with CISSI (–yeah, I am feeling old 😉 ).

Marguerite, CISSI's Environment and Equality Representative
Marguerite, CISSI’s Environmental and Equality Representative & Vice Chair

Before CISSI, we international social scientists felt a little left out. The “independence” approach from the university and the language barrier left us lost in the new country we had moved to. So Jaakko Haarala initiated CISSI to help us to integrate into student life. Now we have our own English-speaking events, events coordinated with Finnish-speaking organizations, and international student inclusion is promoted in the university and among other student organizations. And ta-da! A social life for international students was made more attainable. 😀

One big reason I came to the Nordic countries was because I admire its high rankings on gender and income equality and its environmental conscientiousness. So naturally I wanted to promote these values in our events. Moreover, if you have any discrimination or equality concerns while studying here, I am here to listen and try to improve the standards of equality. The University of Helsinki and CISSI stand against discrimination based on gender, age, ethnic or national origin, nationality, language, religion, conviction, opinion, health, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and other discriminated personal characteristics. You can send me an email at marguerite.beattie@helsinki.fi.

Greetings from: Mong, CISSI’s Secretary

My name is Mong-Han, Chau or you can just call me Mong. I am from Taiwan and I’m doing my Master’s degree in the program ‘Democracy and Global Transformation’.

My position in CISSI is the secretary. As that, my tasks are keeping track of all the files and minutes of each meetings and publishing them on our blog so that everyone can read what CISSI is dealing with at the moment. Also, I am in charge of membership forms and email-list – to be honest, sometimes it’s quite hard to understand handwritten email addresses 😉 Besides this I however also help in other events because in CISSI we valued teamwork a lot and we can not accomplish each event without the effort from the whole board.

Mong, CISSI's Secretary
Mong, CISSI’s Secretary

I moved to Helsinki about one year ago, it was a big change in my life and a completely new environment as well, but joining CISSI has helped me to make the most of it. By participating in CISSI, I have made lots of good memories and, more importantly, good friends! Living in a foreign surrounding can be tough sometimes but that’s where CISSI as an organization for international students in social science comes in handy: we keep you company during the long and dark winter!

I hope you will experience the same thing whenever you join our events. If you want to know more about CISSI just contact us through Facebook or come to our meetings in the future, you are more than welcome!

Last but not least, if you haven’t done it yet, you can sign up here to become a member and so I can add you to our emailing list and you won’t miss any future events:


Greetings from: Maria, CISSI’s Integration Specialist and Event Coordinator

Hello all,

My name is Maria, I’m a second year master student in the REMS programme majoring in Urban Studies. I moved to Helsinki just one year ago, so I sometimes feel I am as new to this city as the international students I study with. CISSI has been a big part of my life here, and joining the board has really been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made (sounds dramatic but it’s true!). I have been an integration specialist at CISSI since the beginning of this year and events coordinator since this autumn, and am loving both of these roles. I feel they really fit my personality, since I love talking to people and I love hosting parties, so, there you go!

Maria, CISSI's Integration Specialist and Event Coordinator
Maria, CISSI’s Integration Specialist and Event Coordinator

My goal in CISSI is to make it an open, warm and fun community for everyone – exchange students and degree students, international or not. There are so many ways to make this: to translate Facebook events (and everything else) in both languages, to have a fun vibe at our events, to collaborate and have conversations with other organisations about how to develop student organisations further. Even though organising events is a lot of work, it is such a rewarding feeling to see people having fun and feeling included.

Our last two parties WTF Welcome to Finland and CISSI’s Introductory Sitsit were both absolutely awesome, thanks to everyone who came! Hope to see you at our next events!

Greetings from: Sarah, CISSI’s event coordinator


I’m Sarah, a second year student of the Ethnic Relations, Cultural Diversity and Integration program (majoring in social psychology). I am one of two events coordinators at CISSI and absolutely love my post! I have put together the Summer Hits themed party tonight and look forward to seeing you all there!

Sarah, CISSI's event coordinator
Sarah, CISSI’s event coordinator

I had somewhat of a rocky start when I first came to Helsinki, roommate woes, bureaucratic issues related to my registration and of course generally struggling to adapt to a new country! However, joining CISSI really helped me to fully immerse myself in university life, meet new people and pull my life together nicely! I organised my first event before I even became an official part of CISSI’s board and chose to represent Ireland with an Irish Dancing and Irish Coffee making workshop. I came to Helsinki from Ireland hoping to recreate some of the adventure of my exchange year in Hong Kong! Although things happen at a slightly different pace here, I wouldn’t alter my decision for the world. I love the Nordic lifestyle here, living in a small, but beautiful city, surrounded by nature, a crazy language and of course lots of new friends. And yes, the winters can be tough, for those new students, the rumours are true! But the best way to deal with this is to keep active and go out as much as possible! And what better way to distract yourself from the cold and dark than with wonderful CISSI events and parties! If you have something in particular that you would like to see us organise or if you want to help us with hosting event, please always feel free to drop me a line or a send a message to the CISSI page!