Information bank for new international doctoral researchers


  1. Accommodation:

Staff members: University of Helsinki offers housing to staff members via Unihome. You can reserve your place through your department and the price depends on the size of the place.

Doctoral students who are not staff member: The first option would be HOAS that offers reasonable price compared to private market. You should fill in the application before arriving to Finland as soon as you got your admission and your residence permit. However usually there is a long queue to get the offer from HOAS. In that case, it is better to find a temporary room or apartment in private market before your arrival. Another option would be finding a place thorough Facebook pages related to renting houses.

You can find more information clicking these links:

Housing, University of Helsinki

Finland Guide Book


University of Helsinki has a project called UniBuddies. You can sign up to have a unibuddy before your arrival to help you get more information about life in Helsinki.


  1. Furniture

HOAS apartments and rooms are unfurnished. You can find useful information in bellow link where students of University of Helsinki share their experiences:

Where to get furniture


  1. Local registeration Office

After you rented a place, having an address, next step would be registering in Local Registration Office maistraatti, this step is necessary because without this registration you can’t have a travel card for public transportation.


  1. Public transportation and Travel Card

HSL offers different kinds of tickets based on different travel needs. You can buy single ticket or have tickets for specific period. In order to prepare a travel card you need to be first registered in Mastraatti. Please find more information about different tickets for public transportation here.


  1. Finnish ID Card

You can apply for a Finnish ID card at police station. Remember applying for this card is not obligatory but your Residence Permit is not an ID card and if you were asked for an ID card it should be your passport or this Finnish ID card (for non-EU students). More information can be found here: Applying for an ID card


  1. Getting access to IT services

When you are accepted as a doctoral student at the University of Helsinki, you will receive an acceptance letter from your faculty. In the acceptance letter you will find instructions on how to enroll for your first year as a doctoral student. This enrolment can be done online or at Student Service points. After this registration, you get your user name and password to get access to IT services. Please check the links bellow to get more information.

When starting your studies

Beginning your Doctoral studies

Library Card


  1. Health Insurance

Having a health insurance is obligatory to get a residence permit so either you are employed by university and you get occupational health insurance or you have to buy health insurance from private companies for the time you live in Finland. Here you can find more information about occupational health care and university’s offer for those who are not staff

Insurance & Health Care: The University of Helsinki has partnered with Student Insurance Package (SIP) provider MARSH and is able to recommend this insurance package that is pre-approved by the Finnish Immigration Service.  For all European citizens, the European Health Insurance Card is a necessity: it simplifies the procedures for any medical assistance needed during your temporary stay in Finland.Please note that doctoral students are not entitled to use the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS). If you are a doctoral student employed under a contract you are entitled to preventive occupational health services and general medical care by the University. It is however still recommended to have an additional health insurance at least for the first 12 months. Doctoral students employed under a contract may also purchase the Student Insurance Package (Sip).

More information about health care for those doctoral students who are not staff member:


You can also check MeWe group regarding mental health support for doctoral students.


  1. Finnish Social Security Service: Kela and Mela

Kela is Finnish social security institution that offers services to residence of Finland. Kela does not offer services to doctoral students that are not employed. As soon as you get a job and sign a contract you can apply for Kela to through its online service or via post.  Kela can offer its services also in some special cases that you can check from this links Social Security Coverage for students and researchers.

Moreover, if you are a grant or scholarship recipient you can apply for Mela (Farmers’ Social Insurance Institution).  Please check this link to find more information about applying for Mela: Grant and Scholarship Recipients.


9. Funding

We have a separate page related to funding that you can check.