Orientation Handbook for International Students 2012-2013

The Orientation Handbook for International Students 2012-2013 has now been published as a PDF in the university WebPages! The guidebook contains a lot of practical information that will help you get started with your student life and to navigate through daily life. You will probably find answers to many of the questions you might have in the guidebook. Just browse through the table of contents and you will see what the Orientation Handbook has to offer!

The printed version of the Orientation Handbook will be available at the university Welcome Fair 30.8.-1.9.2012.

Housing offers for exchange students


Have you already received a housing offer from Hoas? Worried about the fact that you have not been admitted to the University of Helsinki yet?

Hoas has started making housing offers. If you have received an offer, please follow the advice given by Hoas and pay the housing deposit of 500 euros before the deadline listed in the Housing offer. It’s the only way to make sure that you’ll have secured housing. To confirm the offer sent to you by Hoas, you should also sign and scan the tenancy agreement & scan the receipt of the paid deposit, and send them to Hoas.

Most incoming exchange students have not yet received acceptance from the University of Helsinki, so try to be patient (even though it can be difficult to wait, we know). Acceptance information should be available in mid- to late June at the latest.

What happens if you are not accepted to the University of Helsinki, but have already paid your housing deposit? In that case, Hoas is able to cancel your Housing agreement without any costs an you’ll receive the entire deposit back from Hoas.

Any questions? Please feel free to ask them here, and we’ll do our best to answer.

Kind regards,
Raisa from the International Exchange Services

P.S. When do you know that you have been accepted to the University of Helsinki? You will receive an Acceptance Letter by e-mail, sent by your host faculty… Read more about it here.

Photo by Eeva Anundi

At the University of Helsinki students can get involved

When I received my acceptance letter for the Master’s Degree Programme in European Studies last April, all I knew was that I’m going to study political history in an international and multidisciplinary programme in Helsinki. Now, a year later, I am one of the student representatives in our programme’s steering group. How did this happen and what does it actually mean?

The Master’s Degree Program for European Studies (MES), coordinated by the Network of European Studies (NES), is a quite new programme, only the second generation of MES students will be graduating this year. Therefore, it is constantly developing and changing and needs a little more attention than programmes with a longer history. For overseeing its development, MES has a steering group, including representatives from the network, from all study fields combined in the programme, and also two MES students. A combination of a lucky chance and the fact that I have always been an active student made me end up as one of the latter.

The role of the student representatives is to be the connecting link between the programme and our fellow students. Apart from participating the steering group meetings, our main actual responsibility is to collect student feedback twice a year. I believe that when the feedback is collected by students, it is a lot more advantageous, because while conducting the questionnaires, we can take into account the issues that the steering group needs answers and opinions about, but also the matters we as students believe need to be discussed. Therefore, the steering group will get a more clear picture what the students think. Also, this way even the minor worries come out, because it is always easier to complain to the fellow students than to the teachers 🙂

In addition, we are responsible for finding tutors for the next year students amongst our cohort. I believe it is a nice way of doing it – for the students, by the students. It is also great to know that the steering group trusts our opinion to select the best people.

This kind of flexibility and student involvement is one of the great advantages of the MES programme – things that are not functioning can be changed more easily and student’s opinions are taken into account. Including students to the work of the steering group gives us a feeling that it really matters what we have to say.

For me, being a student representative is exciting on the one hand because I can actually do something to make the programme better for future generations, on the other hand, it is interesting to see this side of the university and how a study programme is actually made. Especially when coming from a foreign country, this kind of experience can make the connection between the student and the university much stronger.

Pilleriin Lillemets
Student in the Master’s Degree Program for European Studies (MES)

Pictures from our Welcome Fairs

UH goes Riyadh!

University of Helsinki was invited to participate IECHE, the largest education fair in Saudi-Arabia, in April for the third time. We would like to thank all the students visiting us at our booth!

We gathered here information and links about the most frequently asked questions on the fair.

What to study in English at UH?

For international students we offer over 30 two-year Master’s Degree Programmes fully in English.  PhD studies can be taken fully in English, too. If you have studied at least for two years in a university, you can apply for an intensive course in Helsinki Summer School.

If you master Finnish or Swedish languages well, you can apply also to undergraduate studies.

Computer Science

Computer Science is among the most popular subjects among our applicants – and among our visitors in Riyadh, too! Department of Computer Science is a world leader in algorithm and machine learning research and the department has over 2300 students. The Department of Computer Science offers two master’s programmes, Algorithms and Machine Learning, and Networking and Services.

Application period for our Master’s Degree Programmes opens 19 November, 2012 and closes 31 January 2013. Language skills are crucial in the admissions process, so please make sure you have e.g. IELTS or TOEFL. More information about the language requirements and the application process is available at the How to Apply website.

PhD studies

You can start searching for the faculty contact details and some general guidelines of the application process on the How to Apply website. There is a more comprehensive PhD Guide in the making and it will be available from the above mentioned website latest in the beginning of next autumn term.

Please note that procedures and admission requirements may vary from one faculty to another.  Some Faculties require that you have found a research group or at least a supervisor for your thesis before sending the application to the Faculty. Please contact the administrative person in charge of postgraduate student’s admissions before leaving your application. The administration has the most recent information/regulations of the application process as well as of the timetable of the admitting governing body.

Summer School

This is perhaps the easiest way to get to know Finland, Helsinki, our university and hundreds of other students from all over the world during three weeks in August. There are many courses given by our Master’s Degree Programmes, see the list of courses here.

Tuition fees and cost of living

What surprised most of you was the fact the UH does not charge tuition fees. Only in three Erasmus Mundus programmes non-EU students may be required to pay tuition fees. More information about cost of living is availabe at the New Students website. For newly admitted degree students UH offers start up-grants. The amount of each grant is about 1500 euro.

Helsinki and Finland

Helsinki has about half a million inhabitants, in the whole metropolitan area the number is closer to a million (and the public transport really works and it is quite cheap for students). According to our international students one of the most important things about Helsinki is the safety.

To find out more, there are videos about Helsinki are available at the Visit Helsinki Youtube channel (one of the most popular videos is actually a video by UH). General information about Finnish higher education is available at the Study in Finland website.

If you are interested to find out more about study options at UH, feel free to contact us!

Kind regards,
Admissions Services

The application period for the International Student Grants 2012 has started!

The application period for the International Student Grants 2012 has started! Accept your placement in the university and apply now!

Photograph by Eeva Anundi
Photograph by Eeva Anundi

The University of Helsinki is giving about 50 start-up grants this year to qualified students who are accepted to study in an International Master’s Degree Programme. The amount of each grant will be in total 1000-1500 euro tax free. The grants are not meant to cover living expenses, but we hope that the little extra money will help you to settle in Helsinki!

Applications can be submitted through an online application form. The application time begins on Monday, May 7th 2012 and the closing date for applications is on Friday, August 31st 2012 at 15:00 (3:00 p.m.) Finnish time.

See more info on the grants, criteria and how to apply on the application pages.

Acceptance letters are sent in April

This year the University of Helsinki received for its international programmes close to 3000 applications. The 10 most popular programmes out of our 35 master’s programmes this year were:
1.    Computer Science (Algorithms and Machine Learning & Networking and Services)
2.    Information and Communications Technology
3.    International Business Law and Public International Law
4.    Biotechnology
5.    Food Sciences
6.    Ethnic Relations, Cultural Diversity and Integration
7.    Media and Global Communication
8.    Translational Medicine
9.    Research Master’s Programme in Social Sciences
10.    Democracy and Global Transformations

The faculties will send the results by email and/or regular mail during April. Accepted student will receive necessary documents for the enrolment with the acceptance letter and we have gathered information about how to get started at the New Students website. You will meet staff and other new students latest at the Welcome Fair (there are pics from last year’s fair on Facebook).



If you found this blog, you are probably someone who just got accepted to study at the University of Helsinki (UH). So, congratulations from all of us here at UH. We are happy that you are considering joining us and the community of 36 500 other students at UH.

This blog is one way for you to keep up-to-date on what is going on at the University from the perspective of a new student. We, i.e. staff at the Education Services of UH, as well as representatives of the Student Union of the University of Helsinki and current students at UH will let you know what things you should be aware of when planning a move to Finland to study, both all the fun stuff as well as the more bureaucratic necessities that just needs to be done.

Apart from new degree students we hope that all you new exchange students will find this blog as well. This information is for all of you!

Apart from this blog, you will find information on our New Students website. If you are on Facebook, make sure to like our New Students at UH Facebook page. It will keep you updated on when there are new posts on this blog and you’ll be able to connect with other new students coming to the University of Helsinki already before you arrive in Finland. Who knows, maybe you’ll find a future roommate there?

Looking forward to seeing you all in Helsinki when the studies begin!

Education Services and Student Union of the University of Helsinki