The Guide to the Complete Finnish Student Experience – Student Associations, 1/3

No Finnish student life experience is complete without joining a student association or two (or ten…)! Student life at UH and within the student union (HYY) is very active, and the New Student House hosts a variety of events and parties every single day!

The student associations within HYY are open to all students, and you too are invited to join! There are so many different student associations, though, so we’ve made joining one a bit easier for you: representatives of different student associations have written about what they do, and why and how to join them. These stories will be shared in a series of blog posts in February.

So, without further ado, here’s Emilia and Östra Finlands Nation, one of the 15 student nations of UH:

Hi there!

Have you been wondering where you could meet new people, make a lot friends and get to know the REAL Finnish student life? Joining a student nation is the answer for you! There are many student nations in Helsinki that you can join. What makes the nations different from another is that people from a certain area in Finland gather in a certain nation, but as an international student you are welcome to join any nation. I am here to tell you about our lovely nation – Östra Finlands Nation (ÖFN)!

Members of Östra Finlands Nation enjoying the students’ First of May picnic ©ÖFN

Our nation is a Swedish-speaking nation located at the New Student House in the Helsinki city center (Mannerheimintie 5A, 4th Floor). So… who’s in the student nation? Our nation consists of students from all kinds of studies: social sciences, medicine, economics, etc. Most of our members come from eastern Finland. And, what do we do at our nation? ÖFN organises activities at least once a week, mainly on Thursday evenings. Basic chilling, sports, movie evenings, cooking, whatever comes to your mind! Members are welcome to suggest the kind of activities they would love to try.

Curling and a summer trip to an idyllic Finnish town ©ÖFN


The year has just begun and we have already enjoyed a sushi-evening, a pole dancing class, and much more! Occasionally we also educate our cultural side and visit museums etc., and once a year ÖFN celebrates its anniversary with a very big and fancy party with magical ball dances and all!

The ÖFN Anniversary Ball ©ÖFN

Beside these Thursday evening events we offer parties, of course. Who doesn’t love enjoying food and drinks with fun people? Parties, “sitz” as we call them, are a fun way to get to know the traditional Finnish student life: enjoying a three course meal, singing a lot, and talking with everybody! Sometimes we even decide to organize a sitz party with a theme, for example a Disney-sitz. During the after party you can show off your dance moves on the dance floor, or just chill and talk with people.


Fancy-dress parties and sitz are just some of the events organised by ÖFN ©ÖFN

Joining a student nation is very easy and you will get new experiences and new friends! Wondering if you want to join ÖFN or not? Feel free to come and check out our doings one Thursday evening! Joining happens by contacting our recruitment chief, who will then meet you at the nation to sign you in. The membership fee is only around 12 euros for the whole year.

Our website is mostly in Swedish, but if you have any questions, and for more information about upcoming events, please send an email to rekrytering(at)!

I hope you’ll all have a great time in Finland!

The text about Östra Finlands Nation was written by Emilia Sundholm, ÖFN’s recruitment chief 2016.

Student nations are student associations for students of the University of Helsinki, as well as for students in higher education in the capital region, so by joining one you’ll not only meet people from UH, but from other universities as well.  All students, including international exchange and degree students are free to choose whichever student nation they wish to join. Previously membership was determined by the geographical area of Finland that a student was from, so if you’re interested in a certain part of Finland, you might consider the student nation where students hail from that particular region.The University of Helsinki has 15 student nations, 11 Finnish-language, and 4 Swedish-language.

Student nations, some of the oldest student organisations in Finland, host a wide range of activities and facilities including sports, clubs and associations. Weekly activities for each student nation include so-called “nation-nights” where members gather around a chosen theme. The student nations are also a social gathering place where one can read newspapers, play games, meet up with friends or just hang out. In addition, the student nations organise parties, balls and trips throughout the academic year.

If you have any questions about the other student nations, please contact the chairperson of the Co-Delegation of the Student Nations at oyv-pj(at)