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!

Trip around Finland

Where have you heard about Finland? This question may appear often in a friendly conversation with Finns, or you might stumble upon a stranger trying to start a conversation while waiting for bus at the bus stop or in a university party. Many of us heard about Finland before as a country of midnight sun, Nokia, the real Santa Claus from Lapland, and some of us did more research before deciding Finland as our next home away from home. However, there are much more the land of Sisu has for its visitants to explore and admire.

Studying in Finland brings you an amazing opportunity to explore the hidden beauties Finland has to offer. Starting from the old capital of Finland till the home of indigenous Sami people, there are hundreds of attractive places you can plan trips with friends at reasonable prices and bring back pleasant memories to cherish.

As an international student studying Physics at the University of Helsinki, life has been quite stressful with assignments and exams, but weekends and summer breaks brought unwastable scope for me to visit places I have always dreamed of. In this blog I would like to share some of my trip experiences and information which might be handy for the future tourists.

The old capital of Finland: Turku

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Meet our alumna: “I work in one of the leading ad-tech companies in the world called Kiosked”.

I moved to Finland in August 2010 to study for my master’s degree in Media and Global Communication at the University of Helsinki. Previously, I had completed my bachelor’s degree in Media and Communication at the University of Passau. My bachelor’s degree was less scientific and I enjoyed having a more research based approach to media and communication studies in Helsinki. When our program started, I was positively surprised by our small group size and the extreme dedication with which both our programme coordinator and the thesis advisor took care of us. When I studied in Germany we were over 100 people in the programme and had to fight hard to get a place in interesting courses. Throughout my studies, the master’s programme provided us with a close knit community where everyone supported each other and a perfect learning environment. Not to mention the great facilities such as the library where researching and studying got that special feel.

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Meet our alumna: “It’s rewarding to be working with such a big environmental challenges”.

Hanna-Liisa Kangas was supposed to become an environmental chemist until a doctor forbade her from setting foot in a laboratory. After many twists and turns, Kangas did wind up in an influential position, working with the issues dear to her heart.

“I started studying chemistry at the University of Helsinki because I thought I could use it to save the world. Then I became allergic to the reagents used at the lab, and my doctor told me never to set foot in a laboratory again. He said it would be too dangerous for me,” says Hanna-Liisa Kangas.

Kangas still wanted to study an environmental field, and started to look for interesting disciplines which did not require laboratory work. This meant ecology, forestry sciences and biology had to be dismissed outright.

“Then I discovered environmental economics. And so, through a series of strange coincidences, I wound up studying environmental economics at the Department of Economics and Management,” Kangas explains. Continue reading

Why studying Chinese law is vital in the age of globalisation?

Why studying Chinese law is vital in the age of globalization?

Understanding how the legal system functions in the Chinese society is vital for students who are interested in international affairs and the global economy. China’s increasing economic and political power and its evolving role in global governance have drawn international attention to its legal system.

The Chinese legal system is shaped by the country’s political arrangement and national heritage. China’s long history has produced rich cultural traditions that continue to influence the development of the Chinese legal system. While maintaining some features of the traditional legal culture, the contemporary legal system in China has also developed under the influence of the common law and civil law traditions.

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Beyond Helsinki (vol. 1)

There is a joke or even misconception among Helsinki-dwellers that there is not much to see or do beyond Kehä III, the ring road furthest from the city centre. But there is indeed a lot more to Finland than just Helsinki! Here we have listed three urban centres worth paying a visit to. Finnish nature deserves a whole other blog entry, so let’s just focus on some cities this time! In this instance, they are all around one to two hours away from Helsinki, which is ideal for a day trip if you want to also save some money and not have to pay for accommodation.

  • Tampere

Tampere is sometimes given the nickname “Manchester of Finland” due to its industrial heritage. Have a walk around the so-called Finlayson area, where most of the old, red brick factory buildings are located. If you have a bit of time, go into the Finnish Labour Museum Werstas – admission is free! A museum I have found particularly interesting is the Spy Museum, which is as cool as it sounds: there are lots of gadgets and interesting stories to learn about. And while we’re still on the topic of museums, on May 9th 2017, a Moomin Museum will open in Tampere Hall. It will be the only museum of Moomin art in the world, so it will definitely be worth a visit!

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Rocking Helsinki: Summer School Style!

So, it was about this time two years ago I got an email accepting me to my course at the University of Helsinki! I remember shaking with shock, excitement and disbelief! There were excited phone calls made and I remember checking out the campus on google street view with a friend.

Shortly after, there came an interesting offer of joining the summer school, there was a Finnish course specifically for new master’s students. I decided it was a good time to find my feet, hopefully make a few friends and learn some language skills, even better was that the credits counted towards my final degree so that was a head start. As a side note, you don’t need Finnish to survive here, English is widely used but it’s nice to have a little understanding and you’ll look like a genius going home and speaking Finnish, even if you only order a coffee.

In short, I had an amazing time! I made lots of friends who are here doing their degree but also I keep in touch with other people I met during the summer school parties and events. Summer school appeals to so many people and has such a wide variety of courses that the social events are not to be missed. The people involved are the most eclectic and interesting bunch to get to know. The first day I attended the grand opening, we were warmly welcomed with fun entertainment, a group photo and a social gathering afterwards. We were given name badges with our course on and it was a good talking point, especially finding someone on the same course.

(Photo: Linda Tammisto)

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A roof over your head in Finland!

Come spring all the lucky and talented students who had applied at the University of Helsinki will receive their acceptance letters. Congratulations! We will be so glad to have you here with us. Go on, accept your study place and book your tickets for the incredible journey you are about to begin. But remember to apply for housing well ahead in time so that you may have a roof over your head (place to stay?) when you begin your studies in fall.

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Adventures Ahoy!

They say being born in Finland is like winning a lottery. I say studying in Finland is better. No amount of money can beat the amount of new friends, adventures, and experiences studying here will give you. During the summer you will get a letter from your tutor, but I wanted to greet you with a few welcoming words first.

The University of Helsinki is one of the best universities in the world. This is not only my opinion. The university has been several times ranked among the top 100 universities in the world. We are known particularly for the quality and amount of research. At the University of Helsinki, all teachers participate in research. Believe it or not, our best professors can also be our best teachers!

To keep business and pleasure in balance, the University of Helsinki has an active student life. With over 35 000 students, there is always something happening. Running in the forest with a map and a compass, wine tasting with surgeons, bar touring dressed up in overalls, taking a cruise to Sweden with your fellow students… All of this and a lot more is organised by the students of our university. If you get tired of student life, the city of Helsinki has also a variety of sights and attractions to offer. There are plenty of parks, museums, shopping malls, and cafes where you can take a break and have a moment to yourself. And then return to student life.

It is normal to feel nervous before starting studies in a new country. There is a lot to do and to remember in a new city with new people. This is why we have tutors, students at the University of Helsinki who are trained to take care of you and help you with your journey into the academic and student life. All the questions about certificates, documents, course registrations, and campus area are answered by the tutors. They also take you to the best parties and organise hangouts. A tutor is someone whose goal is to make you feel welcome and like home here.

We are all looking forward to meeting you at the end of August. Let the adventure begin!

Supertutor Eeva Leino, Faculty of Medicine

Welcome new students!

Warm welcome from our International Student Ambassadors! Check out these videos and read our ambassadors stories from Welcome to UH blog.

See you soon in Helsinki!

Videos made by: International Student Ambassadors of University of Helsinki