Travelling from the Airport

New students or people coming to Helsinki for the first time often find it tricky to understand the public transport available from the airport. The Helsinki-Vantaa international airport is located in Vantaa, which is a different municipality than Helsinki. But thanks to the amazing public transport system, the distance can be covered easily. However, some people prefer to take a taxi from the airport which is a bit of a more costly affair. But for students, who are usually on a regulated budget, taking the train from the underground station is an easy and affordable option. The available trains from the airport are the P and I trains travelling to Helsinki. They both go to the city centre but travel in opposite directions as the tracks form a loop. The travel time is almost the same on both trains, so you can choose whichever train. The last stop is called “Helsinki” and it is in the city centre next to the Railway Station Square (Rautatientori), where you can find connecting busses, metros or trains for further destinations.

Ticket vending machine

Tickets are no longer sold on the trains, so you should buy your ticket before stepping on-board. On the platform, there is a ticket vending machine. Contrary to people’s belief, this machine can be used in different languages including English. Continue reading “Travelling from the Airport”

Health Insurance and Students

What is health insurance?

Health insurance is a type of insurance coverage that pays for medical and surgical expenses incurred by the insured. Health insurance can reimburse the insured for expenses incurred from illness or injury, or pay the care provider directly.

A student must have insurance

Health insurance is one of the obligatory requirements you will need for obtaining a residence permit for studies. If you are not insured by an insurance system from your home country, you should obtain insurance from a private insurance company. You are strongly advised to purchase good medical and accident insurance before your arrival at the University of Helsinki and Finland in general.

Your health insurance must be valid upon your entry to Finland and your residence permit will only be valid for as long as the health insurance that you buy.  Also when applying for an extension for your residence permit, you must have valid health insurance.

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Trip around Finland

Text and Photos: International Student Ambassador Shirajum Monira

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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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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Not Getting Lost in Law in Helsinki

Hey! My name is Alexandra, I am a second-year master degree student at International Business Law programme. I run my own Lostinlaw blog (https://blogs.helsinki.fi/lostinlaw/). Today I am going to tell you how not to get “lost in law” actually in Finland. I base my observations on my common sense, a couple of years of experience of working in legal/related field and my experience of being an international student myself.

First, a couple of general advice. You shall remember that it is impossible to know EVERYTHING about the risks you may possibly meet when renting your first apartment in Finland, signing your first work contract in Finland or opening a bank account. But you should always ask yourself following questions:

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The Ambassadors Visit Helsinki Observatory

On Monday 30th January we visited the Observatory, one of the Helsinki university museums. It is incredibly easy to get to, a leisurely short walk from the city center. We were greeted by Paula, a very energetic, bubbly and extremely knowledgeable tour guide who made us all feel at home.

The observatory was completed in 1834 is now a museum but was lived in as recently as the 1960’s by the professor of astronomy. There are several fun reminders of its residential history such as a section of the wallpapers through the years or the antique cooker near the cloakroom.

The tour begins in a room with some fascinating old equipment such as telescopes and documents and we even discover that the lounge ceiling would have opened to allow the astronomer to lounge back on his chair and study the night skies. It sounds very idyllic and extremely romantic until we discover that the fireplace in the room would have remained cold as the heat would cause visual disturbances. Perhaps a little chilly in the winter!

The actual chair of the professor set up as he would have viewed the night skies.

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The Power of Thought

On the 27th of January, a bunch of us Student Ambassadors were lucky enough to get a guided tour of our university’s museum. We are definitely privileged as a university to have a museum dedicated to safeguarding the entirety of our institution’s history.

The University of Helsinki’s rich and long history can be divided into three main eras. It was established in 1640 as the Royal Academy of Turku. In the 1800s it was moved to Helsinki during the Russian Imperial era, hence becoming the Imperial Alexander University in Finland. It was during this period that the university became increasingly more scientific and research-based, kind of like we know it today. Finally, in the post-Independence era, it became the University of Helsinki. These periods are all easily colour-coded in the museum’s itinerary, a set of informative displays under some gorgeous and ever-changing ceiling lights.

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Meet the International Student Ambassadors of 2017!

Get to know our team of student volunteers who can’t wait to tell you more about their experiences at the University of Helsinki and living in Finland. The international student ambassadors are students from a wide range of fields and different campuses of UH. Read more about their interests and what they love about UH, Helsinki and Finland here.

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