Welcome to the Student Union!

You’ve arrived, all the paperwork is done, and you’ve registered for courses. Now you’re all set for your student life, the only thing to do is to wait for the lectures to start? Think again!

The key to an unforgettable time at the University of Helsinki is being active, joining student organisations, and meeting new people! The student union, HYY, offers you a student card with countless student discounts, affordable health care, and discounts on transport. Most importantly, though, the student union is home to a huge network of student organisations, new hobbies and awesome people from different faculties and countries – everything a student will need in Helsinki!


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There’s still time to apply for the International Student Grant 2016!

Photo by Veikko Somerpuro

This autumn the University of Helsinki is giving about 50 start-up grants to our international degree students. The International Student Grant, or ISG as we say, is meant for students who are accepted to study in one of the chosen International Master’s Degree Programmes. The amount of each grant will be 1000-1500 euro (paid once) and the application time is open until August 31st 2016 15:00 o´clock (Finnish time GMT +2).

If you are an international degree student moving to Finland from abroad and have already been accepted to the University of Helsinki, you can apply for the grant. You are eligible to apply as soon as you have accepted your placement and registered for studies at the University of Helsinki.

Learn more about the grant and applying for it from the ISG web pages.

Begin your stay in Helsinki with a visit to the Welcome Fair!

Welcome Fair at the University of Helsinki

In no time at all it will be August and we are looking forward to greet all our new international students here at the University of Helsinki.

Your student experience at University of Helsinki will begin with a visit to the Welcome Fair on August 31st or September 1st, 2016, as well as your Faculty orientation. Please note that you will need to take part in both! Remember to bring your official ID (passport, ID card) with you to the Welcome Fair!

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Summer in Helsinki

Classes have already ended or will end soon, and summer is nearly here! Wondering what to do in the sun? These tips will help you make the most of your summer in the city,  whether you are staying in Helsinki for an internship, studies, or just a holiday.

A summer evening in Helsinki – the light offers a pleasent contrast to the long winter nights
  1.  Short on money? Don’t worry! This facebook page advertises free events in Helsinki.
  2. Up for a swim or just wanna bask in the sun? You can check out all beaches and public swimming pools in Helsinki on the Helsinki City website. All beaches are free-of-charge, but the swimming pools have a small entrance fee. Water quality is monitored at the beaches by the Helsinki City Environment Centre during the period of 15.6.-31.8.. If you’re in an exploring mood, pick an island to visit from this list (unfortunately only in Finnish). Uunisaari and Pihjalasaari are most easily accessible by public transport.
  3. Into sports? Anyone can play on the city’s tennis or basketball courts. Just go wait by the court for your turn, no reservations needed! There’re also lots of jogging tracks and sports parks where you can enjoy all sorts of games, all listed on this website.
  4. Summer is the high season for fleamarkets! Whether you need to get rid of your stuff before leaving Helsinki, or you feel like checking what’s on offer, Hietalahti and Hakaniemi fleamarkets are sure to satisfy your needs! Hietalahti fleamarket is open every day and the Hakaniemi fleamarket on Sundays. Read more on opening hours and how to book a table to sell your own stuff here.
  5. It’s fun to barbecue! You can do it for free at the Teurastamo barbecue spot (unfortunately the website is currently only available in Finnish). There’s lots of space to hang out and cook. Coals and lighter fluid are usually found at the spot since people leave behind whatever they don’t need. There are also shops around the area where you can purchase anything you might need for cooking.
  6. Nuuksio is lovely no matter the time of year, but camping is easier when it isn’t freezing. See hiking routes, sights and services here.

Remember also to check out Helsinki summer classics! Run your own restaurant on Restaurant Day on May 21, celebrate Midsummer’s Eve in Seurasaari with the traditional midsummer bonfires, attend a Helsinki Pride event between June 27 and  July 2, enjoy Kallio Block Party on August 6 (the Facebook event will be updated closer to the event), and marvel at the Night of the Arts on August 25 when the whole city will be taken over by art.

The Night of the Arts is celebrated as part of the Helsinki Festival between August 19 and September 4, when a host of events will overtake Helsinki and celebrate the city. Festivals in general are popular throughout the summer, and cater to most every taste in music.

We hope your summer will be unforgettable, sunny, and filled with friends and new discoveries in this lovely city of ours!

The First of May – like Christmas for Students!

Whether you’re a freshman on the verge of your first May Day celebration or a more experiensed celebrator, there’s not a better way to end your rough study year than the first of May. In Helsinki, the celebration of May Day, Vappu in Finnish, Vappen in Swedish, celebrations begin on 30 April.

MANTA 2014kuvaaja_mikko_virta_mainittava
The capping of Manta in 2014, photograph by Mikko Virta

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Spring Flora Day Celebration on 13 May – Food, Drinks, Music, and Miniature Animals!

On Friday 13 May, the students and staff of the University of Helsinki will get together to once again in an annual celebration of spring and Flora Day. The celebration, lasting from 3 pm to 8 pm, spreads the spring spirit to Kumpula, as Physicum (at Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2A) fills up with music, festive events, food and refreshments and, of course, the joys of academia.


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Art for us! – Free Entrance to Ateneum!

Come enjoy art free of charge on April 20, 2016 at Art for us! at Ateneum.

Art for us! means free entrance for students to the Ateneum art museum, Finland’s national gallery. Grab your student card and join us on a vibrant journey that will take you from the history of Finnish art to Japanomania in Nordic art, as well as including Auguste Rodin’s dramatic sculptures.

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Students at an art workshop at one of the past Art for us! events.

On top of the exhibition, the museum offers lectures on the exhibitions and collections, introductions to the artists and movements, and a workshop. You can also slow down and participate in the mindfullness-inspired guided tour taking place at 16:30 and 18:00, or One Picture at a Time tours at 17:00 and 18:30 if you want to just focus on a few pieces of art at a time. The full programme of the day can be found on the museum website.

So come and look at something inspiring! Follow the event on Facebook and with the hastag #taidettameille or #artforus.

Art for us! is organised twice a year, this time for the 12th time. The event is in co-operation with Frank, HYY, KPMG Finland, HOK-Elanto, HS.fi and Helsingin Sanomat.

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

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Friends and Benefits: Welcome to your Student Union!

Student life is not just about completing your degree. Student life is also about meeting new people, dialogue, sharing ideas, learning together, and forming lifelong friendships

One of the best things about studying at the University of Helsinki is the active community of students. Community spirit improves your well-being, and over 250 different student organisations within the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) open up a field of opportunities. Participating in the events and activities of these organisations is a great way to not only make friends and have fun, but to learn new skills and gain access to networks which can prove useful in your future working life.

The First of May eve, the biggest student event of the spring term, and definately something to look forward to! Photograph © Mikko Virta

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Welcome Fair – Thank you for visiting and info for exchange students arriving late


The University of Helsinki Welcome Fair for new international students is once again over for this spring term.

A big thank you from all of us at the Student Services and International Exchange Services to you who visited and worked at the fair! Once again, an awesome fair!

All in all almost 300 new international students paid the Welcome Fair a visit. Some photos from the fair can be found on our New Students Facebook page and on the  University of Helsinki Instagram.

Did you miss the Welcome Fair?

In case you missed the Welcome Fair or did not have a chance to get all official things sorted out there, we have gathered a checklist of the things you will need to do after your arrival:

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