Coronavirus: information for incoming exchange students

Select degree programme

Search for degree programme

Bachelor's Programmes

Master's and Licentiate's Programmes

Doctoral Programmes


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 virus 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. 

Coronavirus and student exchange to Finland, academic year 2020 - 2021

Updated on 1st July 2020: Some missions have opened their reception. 

Starting from 19 March 2020, Finland suspended the reception of normal visa and residence permit applications in Finland’s missions but activities relating to residence permit applications will be gradually resumed in the missions on 16 June 2020.

Exchanges at the University of Helsinki during the Academic Year 2020-2021 

  • We welcome exchange students to the University of Helsinki for the next academic year 2020-2021. Subject to government restrictions, our campus will be open.   
  • Acceptance letters have been already sent to citizens of non-EU/EEA-member states and will be sent to  citizens of EU/EEA-member states and Switzerland between 16 and 18 June.
  • The planning of teaching for the autumn is currently based on the assumption that no teaching-related mass events will be organised, social distancing rules will be observed and people are advised to avoid contact. Most of the teaching and supervision is organized online. Contact teaching can be organised for groups of no more than 50 individuals, taking safety regulations into consideration. Whenever possible, independent studying is offered as an option to people in at-risk groups. The number of users in independent learning facilities will be restricted. 
  • Please note that exchange students are required to be here in Helsinki even if they attend only online courses. It is not possible to take online courses from your home country. 
  • Follow Finnish public health authorities' recommendations and we will inform you if new decisions on teaching and being on campus will be made.

After acceptance to the University of Helsinki

  • Please note that a student’s exchange and journey to Finland are also affected by national decisions and regulations in the host country and in the student’s home country and/or countries through which the student travels. 
  • 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 Also, be careful with expenses and try to minimize risks as much as possible by booking refundable flight tickets etc.   
  • The coronavirus situation is affecting the operations and services of the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) but non-EU/EEA students still need a student residence permit to come to study in Finland. Kindly begin your student residence permit application online at as soon as you have received an acceptance letter from the University of Helsinki and visit the embassy or consulate immediately if the Embassy has reopened for registration. You can use this website to check for latest updates: You can find more information about residence permit applications during the COVID-19 outbreak on the Instructions for Students -website. International Exchange Services has sent non-EU/EEA students an update on the 1st July regarding immigration.
  • At the moment, many Finnish embassies and consulates are accepting residence permit applications again for those students whose educational institutions are known to give contact teaching at the campus during the autumn semester of 2020. Should you need a certificate for the embassy proving that attendance is required, you can request such a certificate from the International Exchange Services. You can read on the latest updates on the effects of the coronavirus for those wishing to apply for residence permit from abroad in the Finnish Immigration Services web page. Please check the situation of your nearest embassy and apply for the residence permit as soon as possible. If you don't get a residence permit or can not enter Finland by the beginning of September the latest, your exchange will unfortunately be cancelled. Please inform us if this happens to you so we can take care of the necessary
  • At the moment "All persons arriving in Finland are recommended to self-isolate for 14 days. Self-isolation is not required if the person arrives from Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania." (Finnish government). We recommend arriving to Finland two weeks prior to the orientation week, if possible. However, if you don't have any symptoms, you can attend the Welcome Fair also during the quarantine period. We will make arrangements enabling safe participation for all.
  • You will only receive one housing offer which means that if you reject the offer, you will not receive a new one neither from Unihome nor 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. The cancellation must be made to the housing provider before the start of the agreement and a cancellation fee may occur.
  • Next autumn the orientation week will be organized mainly online and in face-to-face meetings  following rules of social distancing and parts may be online.
  • Be prepared that all courses in your Learning Agreement may be based on distant learning. Follow information regarding your courses ( for updates and possible alternatives. Please note that for some host Faculties, detailed course information will be published by the beginning of August. At this point, we are not able to answer questions regarding which courses are offered as online teaching and which courses will include contact teaching, because at some Faculties, course-specific decisions will be made later in the summer.


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

Finnish government's information on coronavirus

YLE news in English

You can follow the latest news on the YLE's English news cite

Finnish immigration services

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