Coronavirus: information for incoming exchange students

The instruction belongs to the following themes

By selecting a degree programme you are able to see the general content as well as the possible degree programme-specific content. You do not have to select a degree programme to see the Open University's instructions.

The University of Helsinki’s International Exchange Services has created this page for international non-degree (exchange and visiting) students and applicants and for partner universities regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and its influence on student exchanges. We have done our best to collect links to pages and bulletins including important information that may affect incoming non-degree students. 

EU digital COVID certificate for non-EU nationals

The European Commission's website lists 16 countries whose covid certificates are accepted in Finland. For other vaccinated non-EU nationals the digital COVID certificate or the so called corona passport is in the development phase. Please follow the Kanta.fi page, where current releases are published.

Coronavirus and student exchange to Finland, academic year 2021 - 2022

Updated on 1st October. Latest updates concern: the university's activities will return to normal on 1st of November, face mask recommendations

 (this webpage will be updated regularly, please continue to check for updates)

  • We welcome exchange students to the University of Helsinki for the academic year 2021 - 2022. Subject to the government restrictions, our campus is open and the activities will return to normal on 1st of November 2021.Notice that Faculty of Medicine (including medicine and psychology, but not social psychology) has made the decision not to admit exchange students or clinical internships for the whole academic year 2021 - 2022. This decision does not apply to international research internships or research work in research groups.
  • Studies. Teaching, supervision, guidance, and examinations are carried out as planned during the first teaching period. The plans and schedules for teaching in the second teaching period have been completed, and they will be implemented primarily as planned. When restrictions are lifted on the national level, the University will increase the amount of contact instruction in the second period, whenever possible. The planning of teaching for spring 2022 is currently being carried out according to the premise that no pandemic-related restrictions will be in effect at that time.
  • Learning Agreement. Follow information regarding your courses (https://studies.helsinki.fi/courses) for updates and possible alternatives. Detailed course descriptions may be available only in November for spring semester.
  • Online exchange is not available. University of Helsinki requires all incoming exchange students to be in Helsinki physically. Please, take a possible self-quarantine period into account in your travel plans to Helsinki and make sure that your insurance is valid starting from the beginning of the quarantine. We expect you to arrive to Helsinki latest on January 12th 2022, which is the beginning date of your study right for exchange students.
  • Cancelling your exchange. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we understand that you might have second thoughts about your exchange at the University of Helsinki. Please, contact your exchange coordinator at studentexchange@helsinki.fi if you have doubts or questions. In the meantime, the Exchange Team warmly welcomes you after being admitted, and will do its best to make your exchange as successful as possible.
  • If you wish to cancel your exchange before the beginning of your stay, please let the International Exchange Services and your home institution know as soon as possible.

After acceptance to the University of Helsinki

  • Travel restrictions. Please note that a student’s exchange and journey to Finland are also affected by decisions made at the student's home university, and  national decisions and regulations in the host country and in the student’s home country and/or countries through which the student travels. Remember to check also the guidelines of airlines, ferry companies and so forth on requirements they have. The guidelines of Finnish airport operator Finavia
  • Insurance. Before making any arrangements regarding your exchange, please make sure that your insurance cover is comprehensive, includes crisis cover and follows the requirements of the Finnish Immigration Service https://migri.fi/en/insurance. Also, be careful with expenses and try to minimize risks as much as possible by booking refundable flight tickets etc. Please, take the necessary quarantine period into account in your travel plans to Helsinki. Please make sure that your insurance is valid starting from the beginning of the quarantine, i.e. for example, starting from January 12th, if you arrive on January 12th.
  • Take possible expenses into account. The exceptional circumstances may cause you extra expenses. These expenses may include, for example, testing for COVID-19. Try to minimize risks as much as possible by booking refundable flight tickets etc. 
  • Housing. You will only receive one housing offer, which means that if you reject the offer, you will not receive a new offer from Unihome or HOAS. Please note that you are required to pay a refundable housing deposit to the housing provider by the deadline they will give you. The housing deposit can be returned, and housing cancelled if you cannot arrive in Finland due to official decisions by the government or late residence permit (this rule applies only for exchanges in autumn 2021). The cancellation must be made to the housing provider before the start of the agreement and the academic teaching period. You are responsible for your housing costs starting from the first day of the housing agreement, if there is no immigration related official obstacle to your arrival to Finland. This means that if you are living in the apartment and the exchange is cancelled for any reason after the first day of the housing agreement, you are responsible for paying the rent for the whole tenancy.  Please follow the guidelines of the housing provider regarding the key pick-up and arrival. More information in your housing offer. Hoas has information on their web pages as well. It is only possible to pick up the key on weekdays (Monday to Friday) during designated office hours. 
  • Residence permit application. If you are coming from outside EU/EEA, you need to apply for a residence permit. Please begin your student residence permit application online at Enterfinland.fi as soon as you have received an acceptance letter from the University of Helsinki and book your visit to the closest embassy or consulate as soon as possible, because your residence permit application will be processed after you visit the embassy or consulate. You can use this website to check for latest updates: https://migri.fi/en/you-are-not-in-finland. You can find more information about residence permit applications during the COVID-19 outbreak on the Instructions for Students -website. Please apply for your residence permit so that it includes the duration of a possible quarantine, i.e. for example, residence permit should be valid starting from January 12th, if you arrive on January 12th. At the moment, many Finnish embassies and consulates are accepting residence permit applications from students whose educational institutions are known to give contact teaching on campus. If the embassy or consulate asks for a certificate that attendance is required, please ask the embassy or consulate to check details from this website (you can include a link to this webpage in your application). 

Arrival and general instructions

  • Please see the section about housing above for details regarding arrival.
  • Border control. At the border, please show documentation regarding your student status, i.e. bring your acceptance e-mail from the University of Helsinki and all other documentation with you to the border. Please, check the updated instructions from the link regarding border control
  • Conditions from different countries to enter Finland. Depending of the country where you come from, you may be directed to receive a health examination and you may have to stay in self-quarantine until you receive two negative test results within 72 hours from each other. If you have a certificate of an approved full-course COVID-19 vaccination (no less than 14 days from the last dose) you do not need to quarantine after arriving in Finland. List of accepted vaccine series. Always check the updated instructions of the Finnish institute of health and welfare before arrival: 

         Official instructions and recommendations regarding travelling to Finland.

         Everyone have a joint responsibility to make sure that the COVID-19 epidemic does not accelerate.

  • Orientation. We will make arrangements enabling safe participation for the orientation for all. Follow up the detailed instructions from Q&A page. We will inform all incoming students about the practicalities in the emailed newsletters. The orientation week will be organized mainly online. See updates on orientation.
  • Social events. Social events might be organized taking safety regulations into consideration, if possible. However, students' social life might be less intensive this academic year.
  • Insurance. Please, make sure that your insurance cover is comprehensive, includes crisis cover and follows the requirements of the Finnish Immigration Service https://migri.fi/en/insurance.
  • Face masks. At the moment, protective face masks can be used at your own discretion on University premises. It is strongly recommended to wear protective facemask in
    • public transportation
    • public spaces and events
  • Instructions for self-quarantine
    • Voluntary quarantine means that a person avoids close contact with others whenever possible, and stays at home.
    • The recommendation is that, to lower the risk of infection, you will not go to your university campus or elsewhere outside your home. Instead, you should stay home for the length of the self-quarantine.
    • Engaging in essential activities is permitted. Essential activities include going to a doctor's appointment, taking safe distance into consideration. Attending hobbies is not considered an essential activity.
  • Remember the following safety instructions in all situations:
    • Do not organize or participate in private get-togethers or parties.
    • Wear protective facemask in public places when required.
    • Follow good hand, coughing and sneezing hygiene.
    • Stay home if you feel unwell.
    • Follow the instructions provided by the health authorities.

      Act responsibly – protect yourself and the others!
      Corona situation in Finland is good. Let’s keep it that way!

On departure

  • Covid test when leaving Finland?
    • The country you are travelling to may require proof of a negative test result, or your airline may require it. It is not required by Finland when leaving the country, or by University of Helsinki.
    • If you need the test result, the public healthcare test will not help. You need a PDF of the result which is offered by private healthcare providers (200-250 €).
    • University of Helsinki or the City of Helsinki are unfortunately not able to arrange a cheaper or free test. Please check whether your insurance would cover it and/or ask your home university for possible financial support with the test.
    • If you are travelling with an airline that does not require a test result, but the country you are travelling to requires one, you can check from their authorities whether you are able to take the test at the destination airport.
      • This might only be possible for citizens of the country, i.e. if you are flying directly to your home country. Make sure you are allowed to board the flight!

Coronavirus situation at the University of Helsinki

On the University's main page you find updates on the most current information about the coronavirus situation at the University of Helsinki.

The effects of the coronavirus on studies at the University of Helsinki

For those currently studying at the University of Helsinki we have gathered information on the effects of the coronavirus on your studies. 

Regional instructions for the Uusimaa -region

A regional coordination group coordinates and carries out the measures required by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The group convenes on a weekly basis to monitor the epidemic situation and the need for recommendations and restrictions. Read more about the regional situation in the coronavirus epidemic and the issued recommendations for Uusimaa region.

Finnish government's information on coronavirus

Finnish immigration services

Coronavirus affects among others the handling of residence permits. Follow migri's updates on coronavirus to stay up-to-date. 

FINENTRY - easier travel and booking a coronavirus test in Finland

FINENTRY is a new service launched January 7th 2021 and it aims to make it easier to travel to Finland during the coronavirus pandemic. It provides travellers with information and instructions on coronavirus testing and self-quarantine.

We recommend using the service, as it can speed up the arrival process and help you get coronavirus testing in Finland free of charge. Getting a negative result from a coronavirus test can shorten your self-quarantine period.

FINENTRY enables you to do the following:

  • make an appointment for a coronavirus test in Finland
  • get instructions for arriving at your test via SMS
  • get your coronavirus test result via SMS.

What to do if you have symptoms?

Check what to do if you suspect a coronavirus infection on the City of Helsinki's coronavirus page.

NOTE: If you don't yet have the Finnish personal identity code, contact either the Laakso or Malmi health station to get tested if you have any of the coronavirus symptoms. Everyone else should see the City of Helsinki's instructions for booking a test. 

Download the Koronavilkku app

Download and start using the Koronavilkku app. Koronavilkku is a contact tracing app produced by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) to help you find out whether you may have been exposed to coronavirus.

YLE news in English

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