Unexpected cultural treats

I came to Helsinki straight after several weeks spent in London and Paris.  While I had certain pictures in my mind of what those experiences might involve I had very little idea what the Helsinki experience might entail, especially when it came to the arts and culture.

What a wonderful adventure it has been.  The first day we arrived it was the Saturday of the Kallio Block Party and this was going on in the very street of our apartment. There were at least three stages and a great range of music from jazz to what seemed like Scandanavian regae mixed withhip hop!  We also enjoyed checking out the street fashions, lots of cool hair cuts and sun glasses. Continue reading “Unexpected cultural treats”

First time in Helsinki

I am Aadhavan from India. I am going to pursue my masters in the university of Helsinki during this autumn. I just came to Helsinki summer school to attend intensive Finnish course to learn some language. This was first trip to a foreign country and i did not have any exposure towards the foreign culture and their activities. Since it is a new country, i was bit afraid how to ask someone if i need some help and i was having many questions in my mind. Moreover a new person cannot move as their wish in a new place and cannot find anything as soon as they expect. Here I would like to share my experiences, which i had in the Helsinki airport, summer school and in Finland. Continue reading “First time in Helsinki”

Spicing up your life with Finnish oddities

Last Sunday, about one hundred Helsinki Summer School students found their way to the Kumpula Botanic Garden, to the Finnish Oddities Event.  Weather was gorgeous with sunshine and perfect little breeze of wind to cool us down. I was happy to see that so many students came to the event and seemed to be fully enjoying the “odd” Finnish activities of Humppa dancing, Nordic Walking and Mölkky outdoor games. Also pea soup and Finnish style donuts i.e. munkkis, were according to the comments, tasty. Continue reading “Spicing up your life with Finnish oddities”

Reflections on the HSS student lounge Kontti and Think Corner

Before the Summer School started, our HSS team went to the empty small “cube” in Porthania for decorating it. We put the world map on the empty wall, placed the Finnish comic books and played a little bit of table hockey.  On the opening day, Tuesday the 6th of August I went to look at the place again. The empty room had converted into students’ lounge Kontti and it was full of people: there were plenty of postcards and greetings from different countries and everybody was chatting with each other inside and outside. I was amazed; the place was lively and definitely intercultural. The idea of Helsinki Summer School as an interactive and international community had become true in Kontti! Continue reading “Reflections on the HSS student lounge Kontti and Think Corner”

Smell the Light: A Finnish emotion.

In my Erasmus experience in Barcelona, ten years ago (sic!), some of my closest friends were Finnish. Thanks to them, I got to know some aspects of  the Finnish Culture: food (Karjalan Piirakka!), the openness of Finish people, drinking (mmmh… alcohol?!), some funny words (perkele 😉 and the strong attachment to their land.

Now I finally understand this last point. When I landed at the airport, on the way to my new place (very close to the beach!) I saw, smelled and felt the greeness. And the blue, and air, and water. Continue reading “Smell the Light: A Finnish emotion.”

The Helsinki Summer School Kick-off!

Yesterday was a wonderfully hectic day for the Summer School staff. After registering and helping out dozens (if not hundreds?) of students, the staff, students, course coordinators and the Rector squeezed themselves into the Great Hall for the Opening Ceremony. The event was joyful and relaxed. It started with the speech of Programme Manager Pauliina Mikkonen, who talked shortly and then made the students stand up when their country was called out. The visibly largest country group were the Chinese, who stood up en masse, which seemed to cause a bit of a surprise in most people. Continue reading “The Helsinki Summer School Kick-off!”

Behind the Scenes

Here we have gathered some odd facts about Helsinki Summer School:

  • The first Helsinki Summer School was organised in year 2000.
  • It takes one and a half year to make one summer school happen.
  • Number of HSS staff during November: 2
  • Number of HSS staff during August: 11
  • For 3 team members this is the first summer school year. One of the team members has worked for HSS since 2001.
  • Most of the staff cycles from place to place in the summer time.
  • Total number of students 408
  • The oldest participant of HSS 2013 is 59 years old, the youngest one is 18.
  • The majority of the students are born in 1992.
  • Total number of courses is 18 in 2013:

Helsinki Summer School – The learning experience of a lifetime.


The 14th annual Helsinki Summer School starts tomorrow! This year HSS programme includes 17 fully credited courses combined with a wide range of cultural and social activities. The courses are arranged by three universities: University of Helsinki, Aalto University and Hanken School of Economics. During the past few weeks the HSS team has worked very hard to get all the arrangements done and now we are finally ready to welcome our students to Helsinki. This year our courses have been extremely popular and we are expecting 400 participants from over 60 countries. I’m quite sure that the upcoming three weeks will offer us all a good deal of new experiences and unforgettable memories. Continue reading “Helsinki Summer School – The learning experience of a lifetime.”

One of the best decisions I ever made in my life

Hi, I’m Reza. I am a master student at the University of Helsinki. I came to Finland last year and started my stay here with the Helsinki Summer School. That was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life; everybody was happy and excited, we had a lot of fun there. It was not only an adventurous beginning for my student life in Helsinki but it also gave me, a newcomer, a marvelous view about Finland.

The very advantageous idea was that I joined the HSS Finnish course. I had no clue of Finnish at that time; I had never heard anyone speaking Finnish nor did I know anything about Finno-Ugric languages. Disappointingly I had read on the Internet about it: “hardest language ever”! However, you cannot imagine, after three weeks we all could manage short conversations in Finnish! A few everyday use sentences might not be very much in learning a language but it helps you in many ways, at least you don’t think like you are an absolute stranger who attends an English program, speaks English to everybody and has no connection to the Finnish speaking life. Continue reading “One of the best decisions I ever made in my life”

Welcome to Helsinki Summer School!








Helsinki Summer School (HSS) is a three-week academic event in every August organized by University of Helsinki, Aalto University and Hanken School of Economics. This year HSS is organized in August 6 to 22 and our course offering includes all together 17  fully credited courses covering a wide range of academic fields – from Cognitive Neuroscience to The Welfare City and from Politics of Nations to Representation of Curves and Surfaces. Continue reading “Welcome to Helsinki Summer School!”