Exchange student survival guide

Your tutor studies physics just as you do, and they are your best bet at getting answers to any questions you might have. If you have any paperwork that needs to be filled out, then speak with your tutor. The papers will most likely be filled out at the Welcome Fair, which is held just days after meeting with your tutor.
If you have given the university your email address, your tutor will contact you before the start of the academic year.

At the Welcome Fair you can

  • pay the Student Union fee (NB! only during the Welcome Fair in August)
  • pick up your certificate of student status, a discount certificate for the travel card
  • pick up your IT username to the university’s network
  • get your arrival certificate signed and stamped (exchange students, if applicable)
  • receive information on and sign up for Finnish language and other language courses
  • find out more information about sport facilities at the university and student health care, and much more!

Joining the Student Union is optional for exchange students. Click for more information.

Academic practices in Finland

  • The academic quarter: Most lectures and events (but not exams!) start 15 minutes after the hour: if a course description says from 14-16, the class will start at 14:15. (Also remember Finland uses the 24-hour clock, where 1 pm = 13 o’clock and so on.)
  • Most courses don’t have required attendance, however it is always best to check whether this is the case.
  • Don’t be scared to approach professors or assistants! Student-assistant-professor relations are very relaxed in Finland.
  • We have an exam week at the end of every teaching period, ie. every 7 weeks. The exams aren’t as rigorous as a finals week in some countries, but you should do all your hand-in’s and study to expect to pass them. Resonanssi has an exam archive that you can use to look at old exams.
  • Most courses have assignments that need to be turned in weekly. They are often returned digitally on the Moodle online platform. Make sure your files are clear and easily readable. Scanners for scanning your handwritten assignments can be found on campus, and some phone apps also do the job well. Your assistant is the one to ask if you’re confused about a course’s homework policies.
  • The university’s website has information on studies and on the degree structure at the university.

Important locations in and around Kumpula Campus

Kumpula Campus is the home of the Department of Science. It is comprised of several buildings:

  • Physicum: the home of the physical sciences, where most of your classes will be held. It also contains the library, student services, physics students’ lounge, and a cafe.
  • Exactum: connected to Physicum by a passage, it is the home of the math and computer science divisions. One branch of Unicafe, the university’s lunch restaurant, is situated on the bottom floor.
  • Chemicum: Across the street from Physicum, it is the home of the chemistry department. Another Unicafe restaurant is located on the first floor.
  • Unisport: near to the main entrance of Physicum, Unisport  provides sports facilities and showers to students.
  • Dynamicum: the atmospheric sciences research building. Classes are generally not taught at Dynamicum.
  • The accelerator laboratory: home of the accelerator, used by researchers. It can be found on the hill behind Physicum.

Down the hill, past the bus stops, the Arabia shopping center has several grocery stores and a few restaurants. Many buses go from Kumpula to downtown and the other campuses.


Useful links

For exchange students in Kumpula
Student Union website – & the more specific International students portion
Help with finding housing
Services for students