Shrove Tuesday the Finnish Way

Laskiainen‘, Finnish for Shrove Tuesday, is a celebration traditionally held in February, and celebrated especially by students. This year Shrove Tuesday falls on Tuesday, February 9th. In previous times, laskiainen was the last celebration before the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday, but nowadays it mainly means a day of sleigh-riding. Laskiainen is not a public holiday, however, so you’ll still have lectures!

Overall-wearing sledders at Ullanlinnanmäki on Shrove Tuesday, ‘laskiainen’.

During the day traditional Finnish Shrove Tuesday dishes, pea soup and Shrove Tuesday buns, are offered also at UniCafes. The Shrove Tuesday bun, or ‘laskiaispulla‘ in Finnish, is a special type of bun made just for this occasion by filling a traditional Finnish bun with whipped cream and either raspberry jam or almond paste. Both types of filling have their avid supporters, and the nation remains divided about which of them is the best. We recommend you to try both, and decide for yourself!

Continue reading “Shrove Tuesday the Finnish Way”

Running in Finland: An International Student’s Perspective

bridge_austinMy name is Austin Sears and I am currently one of University of Helsinki’s International Student Ambassadors. Last year I checked out the Midnight Run on a whim after seeing the Facebook post about it and found myself cheering on the runners from the steps of the University’s Main Building in the Senate Square. I thought about participating, but I was recovering from an injury I got while running last summer.

This year is a bit different. Like Dina, who wrote this handy little guide, I am participating in the Midnight Run on August 30th and I am very excited about it! Continue reading “Running in Finland: An International Student’s Perspective”

Getting ready for the Midnight Run: solo runs or in a group?

Midnight run pikkukuvia-16We will not surprise anyone by carrying a winning smile and a happy attitude during the Midnight run, as most people will have those on as well. The ability to wear them in case we like is precious though, and few things are better for building up the confidence than fitting in some training beforehand. Practicing running solo or in a group – each has its perks.

We will start the 5-10 km runs every Saturday at 10 am. Check out the schedule at the end of the post and join us! Continue reading “Getting ready for the Midnight Run: solo runs or in a group?”

Unisport: A place to warm the winter up

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Unisport at the Opening carnival. Photo Veikko Somerpuro / UH.

As a student in University of Helsinki, one can enjoy countless discounts and benefits such as meals, accommodation, transportation, flexible-study opportunities…

However, the one that I have enjoyed most so far, is doing sports. And Unisport is just the place. It offers students wide range of services including group training and gym, individual services, court and gym reservations, courses and ball sport with very favorable prices. But the quality and facility are by no mean discounted. It operates in all campuses thus greatly facilitates the students’ needs. The free Sauna is another big plus. Continue reading “Unisport: A place to warm the winter up”

Survival tips for autumn

autumnleavesSummer seems to be over for this year and autumn is knocking on our door. The seasonal changes in Finland can be both wonderful or not-that-appreciated – it depends on who you ask 🙂

Below we’ve collected some things you can do in and around Helsinki, hopefully these activities makes autumn and the shorter days a little easier for you.

  • Take a break from studying and go for a walk in the nature. What could be more beautiful than the colorful leaves in the trees. One place to get close to nature is the Finnish Nature Centre Haltia.
  • Check out the sports activities organized by Unisport.
  • Check out the traditional Herring Market at the Market Square, October 6th to 12th, 2013.
  • Visit the Carnival of Light at the Linnanmäki amusement park, October 12th to 20th, 2013.
  • Go see a movie in one of the several movie festivals: Love & Anarchy September 19th to 29th, Cinemaissi October 16th to 20th, Night Visions October 10th to November 3rd. For a full list of all the movie festivals, visit the Cinemania website.
  • Join the next Restaurant Day with your own restaurant or just go and enjoy the food and atmosphere, November 16th 2013.
  • Follow the Finnish Autumn traditions by lighting a candle, putting on warm woollen socks, sipping a hot drink and reading a good book in the warmth of your sofa.

Wish you a nice Autumn,
Anna & Emilia
Student Services

Photo by 123rf

Helsinki Midnight Run and summer 2013 in the capital of Finland

MidnightRun_Facebook_kapeaOne of the biggest events to consummate the Finnish summer is the Helsinki Midnight Run on the 31st of August. The total distance of the marathon is 10km and the last year almost 9000 runners attended. The run starts right in the heart of the capital, the Senate Square, where the Runners’ corner will be arranged with different facilities and an entertainment area.

Student Ambassadors will be representing the University of Helsinki team at this magnificent marathon. Indeed, preparation in advance is required for an event of this scale. Participating in the marathon requires that you be in good physical condition. I enjoy jogging during my free time, but I will definitely need to step up my training this summer to be in better shape for the run. However, of course, jogging is not the only option for being active during this time of year. Continue reading “Helsinki Midnight Run and summer 2013 in the capital of Finland”

UniSport invites you to check out both new and traditional sports and fitness activities


A world-class university needs to have world-class sport services. UniSport is a directorate commonly owned by University of Helsinki and Aalto University who provides a wide range of high quality health and wellness services, activities for students, staff and the wider community across our six campuses. A range of membership options and casual visit possibility are available with qualified and experienced fitness professionals to assist you in keeping active and having fun while studying or working at the University of Helsinki.

Our slogan is “more than exercise” and that is truly so. Our services were ranked third best University sport service in the world according to ISB survey (International Student Barometer, 2010). I think it is safe to say that we offer something for everyone who is interested in exercising in some way or another and we offer inspiration to those who have not taken that step yet. Our big goal besides making people move is to foster a social environment within the University. Our facilities, classes and events are a great platform to meet new people in a relaxed atmosphere. The only suits we wear are track suits.

You do not have to worry about the weird sounding Finnish language either. Everybody speaks English if necessary and some of the classes and courses are even held in English. UniSport warmly welcomes you to Helsinki. Please show up at our our service desk in any of the six campuses to register and get started!

For further information have a look at our website

Janne Pakarinen
Head of Sports