Libraries at the University of Helsinki

Text and Photo: International Student Ambassador Esther Veas

Libraries are the cornerstone of any university student’s degree, especially when writing essays or studying independently. The University of Helsinki has four libraries, one in each campus:

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Autumn

Text: International Student Ambassador Min Wang

Hi everybody! This is the best time to experience the autumn of Helsinki. Trees are getting colorful and appealing now. A little bit raining day may let you down but anyway you deserve to hang out for a while and explore some interesting things to do. Here are some suggestions and hope you like them.

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Exams are here!

Text: International Student Ambassador Iftekhar Chowdhury

The Finnish education system is considered to be the best in the world for many reasons. This praise stems from the main aim of the system: bridge the gap between different pupils by making them more responsible for their own education and provide them with the necessary skills to become an upstanding individual of the society. It is a holistic approach towards education and life. It made Finland became a beacon for better education in the world arena. Finnish University education is a reflection of these principles. One important part in any educational experience are exams or tests or Tentti (“test” in Finnish). Unfortunately, one has to take exams at University level to better align ourselves with the world education system.

Exams are stressful at times (Yes, Even in Finland). Examination process is not uniform around the world and can be extra stressful for people who are not familiar with them. Let me be your guide and I will try to explain it as briefly as I can.

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Ask me!

Welcome new students!

The beginning of the academic year is almost here and more than 250 staff members of the Student Services are waiting for you to arrive! During the past year we have had some big changes in the degree programmes and University Services. We want to make sure that you will find us easily and have no hesitation to ask us anything. You will recognize us from the pink t-shirts with the text ASK ME!

Where is my lecture room or the nearest UniCafe located? Where can I borrow books or find a quiet place to study? You can also turn to our academic staff in many of your questions. That’s why we have challenged them to wear pink ASK ME! pin badges. Don’t hesitate to ask!

We are looking forward to meeting you!

Career paths: Peter works full-time for Leadfeeder, a Finnish startup

Name: Peter Seenan
Study Field: MA political science (Erasmus)
Employer and position: Head of content, Leadfeeder

Why did you choose to study at The University of Helsinki?

– No one else from the University of Edinburgh in 2004 was coming to University of Helsinki
– I loved the idea of being something of an outlier
– Finland and Helsinki had a good reputation for education
– I loved the idea of the Nordics and I liked the idea of experiencing something radically different from life at home
– I thought it was fantastic that I could study in English at a Finnish university; this reduced the risks that my grades might suffer because of language difficulties
– People told me Finland was a wonderful place
– I wanted an adventure and I liked the sound of Finnish values
– I always wanted to go on exchange
just some of the reasons… Continue reading

Career paths: When Afaque got the ac­cept­ance let­ter, he was over­joyed that he’ll be study­ing where Linux was in­ven­ted.

Name: Afaque Hassan
Study Field: Faculty of Science, Master’s programme in Computer ScienceGraduation year: 2015
Employer and position: Helvar, Software Engineer

From my childhood, I was interested in computers as there were limitless creative possibilities with it. During my teen-age years I encountered Linux, to which I was absolutely hooked. Back then, I already knew that Linux was invented by Linus Torvalds at the University of Helsinki (UH). During my bachelor’s studies I interned at Nokia, during which time I got to know more about Finland and UH as some of my colleagues were UH graduates. After my bachelor’s studies, I applied to UH for Master’s studies in computer science. When I got the acceptance letter from the university, I was overjoyed that I’ll be studying where Linux was invented. It’s a privilege and dream come true computer science professionals to study at UH. Continue reading

Travelling from the Airport

New students or people coming to Helsinki for the first time often find it tricky to understand the public transport available from the airport. The Helsinki-Vantaa international airport is located in Vantaa, which is a different municipality than Helsinki. But thanks to the amazing public transport system, the distance can be covered easily. However, some people prefer to take a taxi from the airport which is a bit of a more costly affair. But for students, who are usually on a regulated budget, taking the train from the underground station is an easy and affordable option. The available trains from the airport are the P and I trains travelling to Helsinki. They both go to the city centre but travel in opposite directions as the tracks form a loop. The travel time is almost the same on both trains, so you can choose whichever train. The last stop is called “Helsinki” and it is in the city centre next to the Railway Station Square (Rautatientori), where you can find connecting busses, metros or trains for further destinations.

Ticket vending machine

Tickets are no longer sold on the trains, so you should buy your ticket before stepping on-board. On the platform, there is a ticket vending machine. Contrary to people’s belief, this machine can be used in different languages including English.

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Figure 3

Figure 4

Figure 5

To buy a ticket from the machine, press start in your preferred language (fig 2). Now comes selecting your destination. These images were taken at Rautatientori, hence you can see one of the destinations as Helsinki airport (fig 3). While using the ticket machine at the airport, one of the destinations will be “Helsinki” or “Helsingfors” (Helsinki in Swedish). After choosing the right destination, you need to buy a single ticket for the Helsinki region (fig 4 & 5). You can pay the ticket either with cash or by card, but it could be simpler to pay by card if you are doing this for the first time.

 

 

 

Commuter trains are the fastest option if you are arriving to the airport before midnight. But if you are arriving between 12 am and 5 am (5 am is when commuter trains start), taking a bus is also an option. The bus stop is located outside, right in front of the airport. Take a bus which is heading towards Rautatientori if you want to get to the city centre. Busses with the number 615 go there and tickets are available from the vending machine and from the bus driver.

I hope this piece of article would be helpful for you to buy your first ticket and commute to Helsinki. Have a safe travel!

 

 

Text: International Student Ambassador Abhishek Singh

More information available on Finavia’s website.
See also the Journey Planner.

 

See you at the Welcome Fair!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In no time at all it will be August and we are looking forward to greet all our new international students here at the University of Helsinki.

Your student experience at the University of Helsinki will begin with a visit to the Welcome Fair on August 29th or 30th, 2017, as well as your Faculty orientation. Please note that you will need to take part in both! Remember to bring your official ID (passport, ID card or residence permit) with you to the Welcome Fair!

The Welcome Fair is the perfect place to get to know the University and the Campuses as well as to get all the official matters out of the way. The venue for the Welcome Fair is the Language Centre of the University of Helsinki (address: Fabianinkatu 26). Please see our Welcome Fair and orientation week map for locations.

At the Welcome Fair you can among other things:

  • pick up your certificate of student status and local transport discount certificate,
  • pay the Student Union fee (we however recommend that you pay it in advance)
  • register at the Local Register Office and apply for a personal identity code
  • get your username for the University computer network,
  • get information on e.g. language courses and on how to register for them,
  • talk to people from the Student Union and student organisations such as the Erasmus Student Network (ESN),
  • and of course meet a lot of new friends!

In order for your studies in Helsinki to begin as smoothly as possible, we encourage you to take some time and go through the materials on our New students website. You will find all necessary information on the practicalities there.

The Faculties at the University of Helsinki also arrange Faculty specific orientations. During these you get to know your Faculty and department and get a good start in your studies.

All dates, hours and locations for the different orientations, sessions and the Welcome Fair, are available on the New students website.

We have also created a Facebook event for the Welcome Fair, if you are on Facebook, please join the event and you will see who else is coming.

In July most of the staff at the University of Helsinki are enjoying their summer vacation, so if you do not get an answer to your emails straight away we ask you to be patient.

See you all in August!

Health Insurance and Students

What is health insurance?

Health insurance is a type of insurance coverage that pays for medical and surgical expenses incurred by the insured. Health insurance can reimburse the insured for expenses incurred from illness or injury, or pay the care provider directly.

A student must have insurance

Health insurance is one of the obligatory requirements you will need for obtaining a residence permit for studies. If you are not insured by an insurance system from your home country, you should obtain insurance from a private insurance company. You are strongly advised to purchase good medical and accident insurance before your arrival at the University of Helsinki and Finland in general.

Your health insurance must be valid upon your entry to Finland and your residence permit will only be valid for as long as the health insurance that you buy.  Also when applying for an extension for your residence permit, you must have valid health insurance.

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Enjoying midsummer celebrations – Juhannus

Midsummer in Finland

Midsummer (Juhannus in Finnish) for Finns means celebration and the long, white night which is said to be the “nightless” one (yötön yö). In the Helsinki region the sun sets at about 22.50 and rises again already around 4.00 o’clock in the morning. In the Northern Finland the sun does not set at all! The nightless night of Finnish midsummer gives a great contrast to the darkness of the winter time.

Many Finns leave the cities for Midsummer and spend time in their countryside cottages. Midsummer celebrations traditionally include bonfires, sauna, good food, possibly swimming and of course spending time together with family and friends!

If you’re in Helsinki but you don’t have the possibility to visit a Finnish summer-cottage, there are also some midsummer events in the city area. You can take it easy or party all night long.

  • Seurasaari Midsummer Bonfires will be organized by the Seurasaari Foundation on Friday 23.6.2017.
  • Juhannus in Pihlajasaari: Friday 23.6.2017, starting at 21.00 when the bonfire will be set on fire. Also grilled  food  and traditional dance music. Location and how to get there instructions can be found here Please note that the last ferry back from Pihlajasaari to the mainland leaves at 01.45 o’clock in the morning.
  • Midsummer in Finland 

Practical information for Midsummer
Shops have limited opening hours and the public transportation operates on weekend timetables during the Midsummer weekend.

Hyvää Juhannusta, have a lovely Midsummer!