Don't wait - get prepared for your studies

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.

New students, welcome to the University of Helsinki! This website offers useful information on what new students should explore and do before the beginning of the academic year. You might even be able to embark on your first course before the orientation activities start! Have you already done everything described on the website First steps of a new degree student

To access all the information relevant to your degree programme, remember to select your programme in the menu above.

Digital skills course

Congratulations on your admission to the University of Helsinki! To get your studies off to a good start this autumn, you can learn more about the University’s online environments before your studies actually begin with an orientation week. You can start to explore the material connected to the Student’s Digital Skills course 1 July onwards and can complete the course 1 August onwards after you have been registered as an attending student for the 2022 autumn term and when you have activated your user account.

If you are able to activate your user account already during summer (requires Finnish e-banking rights), we recommend that you complete the first part of the course, Student´s Digital Skills: Orientation (2 cr) in the beginning of the semester to gain an understanding of the digital environments used at the University and to earn your first credits!

The course is compulsory for all bachelor’s students. If you have completed a bachelor’s degree at another university or institution of higher education and are now beginning to complete a master’s degree at the University of Helsinki, we recommend that you complete the course or at least read the course material. 

Find out more about the course Student’s Digital Skills

Finnish courses for international students

"Survival Finnish" for international students 

In August, the University of Helsinki organises “Survival Finnish” for international students, consisting of three (3) online meetings and a Moodle platform with useful information and tools. The aim is to give you a glimpse of the Finnish language and culture in order to make your first weeks in Finland easier.

In the meetings, you get a short introduction of the Finnish language and learn useful phrases that will help you in everyday life. In addition, you have the opportunity to meet future student peers and make new friends!

The 1,5-hour meetings will take place online via Zoom making it possible for you to join wherever you are. There are two options for every meeting - A and B have the same content - so you can decide the day that suits you.

The “Survival Finnish” meeting schedule:

Meeting 1 A: Mon 15 Aug 2022 at 15:00 (local Finnish time)

Meeting 1 B: Tue 16 Aug 2022 at 15:00 (local Finnish time)

Meeting 2 A: Wed 17 Aug 2022 at 15:00 (local Finnish time)

Meeting 2 B: Thu 18 Aug 2022 15:00 (local Finnish time)

Meeting 3 A: Mon 22 Aug 2022 at 15:00 (local Finnish time)

Meeting 3 B: Tue 23 Aug 2022 at 15:00 (local Finnish time)

To participate, register online before 15 Aug 2022.

Please note that no ECTS credits can be gained from the meetings.

For more information, you can contact the teacher Verna Pelkonen by email (

You will need an activated user account to join the Moodle. If you have questions about the activation of your user account, please contact IT-Helpdesk:

Tervetuloa Suomeen ja nähdään pian! Welcome to Finland and see you soon!


Intensive Finnish course in August for international degree students

Do you want to start learning Finnish language before the academic year kicks off? In August we start an intensive Finnish course that meets every weekday (15.8.–25.8.) for two hours on the city centre campus. Once the 1st period of the academic year starts in September, this Finnish course continues with two short online meetings a week until the 19th of October. The course gives you in total 3 ECTS.

The course is intended for new degree students (exchange students, check out this option) who are about to start their studies at the University of Helsinki and who have no prior knowledge of the language. There is room for 35 students and the group is filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

On this course you will learn some basic vocabulary and useful everyday phrases in Finnish. Also, you will get to know people in the same situation as you are to help you settle in the new country.

To enroll on this course, please fill in this form by the 1st of July 2022. In case you have questions about the course, please contact the course coordinator Emmi Pollari (

Tervetuloa suomen kurssille! Welcome to study Finnish!

About your studies

Students working in the library of Kaisa House

Find out more about the University organisation and matters related to your studies. Do you have questions? Write them down so that you remember to ask them during your orientation week!

Recognition of prior learning

Have you completed any previous studies that could be recognised for your new degree? The recognition of prior learning will be considered on a degree programme-specific basis during the autumn term. More details will be provided during your orientation week. However, you can already read about the recognition process here. If you have questions about the recognition of prior learning, you should wait until the beginning of the academic year because teachers, student advisers and education planning officers cannot make recognition decisions concerning individual new students in the summer. 

Language studies

All degrees include compulsory language and communication studies worth at least 10 credits (second national language, foreign language and native language), in addition to which degree programmes may include other language studies. At the University of Helsinki, the Language Centre is responsible for language studies. In addition to the compulsory language studies, you can pursue other language studies offered by the Language Centre in approximately 15 different languages. You can read more information about the language studies and other language activities in the Language Centre's newsletter for new students.

You can also read more about the language studies and other language activities on the Language Centre’s summer orientation in Moodle. You can log in to Moodle after you have activated your University of Helsinki user account.


The Helsinki University Library operates in the Main Library in Kaisa House on the City Centre Campus as well as campus libraries in Kumpula, Viikki and Meilahti. The Library also has two learning centres on the City Centre Campus: Minerva and Aleksandria. The Library facilities feature group work areas, computers and reading spaces – in short, everything a student needs!

You can start reading e-books immediately when your university username is activated. Activate your customer information in the Helka database by signing in with your Helsinki University user credentials. You need a Helka card only to borrow printed books. Students at the University of Helsinki can acquire a digital Helka library card via the Studies Service.

Find out more about the Helsinki University Library

Student exchange

Although you are just beginning your studies, you may also be considering exchange studies at a university outside Finland or minor subject studies at another Finnish university. International Exchange Services can help you with your plans! 

The specialists at International Exchange Services coordinate both student and staff mobility. You can contact International Exchange Services during office hours, by phone or by email for information about exchange opportunitiestraineeships and short courses abroad, funding for student exchange and the Flexible Study Right Scheme (JOO).

The bilingual university

The two main official languages in Finland are Finnish and Swedish. The University of Helsinki is the only bilingual multidisciplinary university in Finland. Together the University students and staff members create a multilingual community where Swedish plays its own unique part. The University also contributes to the debate concerning the Swedish society in Finland. Over a hundred Swedish-speaking researchers and teachers work at the University of Helsinki to offer you courses and student services in Swedish. There are around 2,000 Swedish-speaking students within the university!

The various kinds of student services are provided in Finnish, Swedish an English. IT Helpdesk, Student Services such as student counselling, International Exchange Services and Admissions Services are available in these three languages.

The Bilingual Affairs (Svenska ärenden) at the University Services co-ordinates and develops bilingualism at the University. In our newsletter we communicate about Swedish speaking courses and events. If you wish to subscribe to our newsletter (in Swedish), please contact us at

For more information on the bilingual university, please click here.

Support for studies

Several units and individuals at the University of Helsinki can help you during your studies. Guidance Corner (City Centre Campus) provides low threshold advice and guidance services on, for example, wellbeing, digital skills and job seeking – and even a weekly energising exercise break. See the Guidance Corner section for more information.

  • On the Instructions for students website, see the Study support section for information about the individual arrangements and student counselling available to students. 
  • Career Services can support you with career planning, job seeking and traineeships – read the instructions available on the Instructions for students website: Jobs and career and Traineeships.
  • Sometimes you may need someone to talk to. The University of Helsinki’s university chaplains can help you in situations related to studies and personal life regardless of your religion or beliefs!

Everyday student life

Wellbeing in everyday life is important for students. Read about various services below and get a head start on student life!

Health care

During your studies, you can contact the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) in all matters related to health and illness. You can read from the FSHS page on the Instructions for students about the services available through the FSHS.


UniSport is for members of the University community on each University of Helsinki campus. UniSport’s wide range of sports and exercise opportunities has something for everyone – at a reasonable price! Physical activity is an excellent counterbalance to studying. Learn more about UniSport's services here.


The University offers appetising dishes at low rates. UniCafe believes that student restaurant services delivered proficiently and with care make the everyday life of students healthier, smoother and tastier. UniCafe restaurants and cafés serve students with all kinds of preferences on all campuses. And don’t forget the UniCafe theme weeks!

Mental wellbeing and the promotion of the ability to study

There is a network of supporting services for your study ability and mental well-being. See more about them on the Mental well-being page. Also it is important to get to know The Nyyti association, which supports students’ mental health through easily accessible services (e.g. themed web chats, online self-help courses and volunteer activities). Find out more about Nyyti!

Student life

Student life and the academic year feature a wide range of academic traditions and student events. The Student life website features an event calendar and information on the University of Helsinki Student Union HYY.

Orientation and tutoring

Each faculty and degree programme organises its own orientation week, during which you can learn more about your degree programme and its teachers and practices as well as your campus, and be integrated into the academic community. You will also meet your tutor and tutor group and will likely get to participate in your first student events.

Click here for more information on your faculty’s orientation week!

Ask Me!

Staff in Ask me!- campaign T-shirts

The entire university community is already looking forward to your arrival! We want to make sure your first weeks at university go as smoothly as possible. During the first week of your studies, this pink logo will guide you with any questions you have! The Ask Me! campaign will be held on 5 to 9 September. Ask Me! campaign is also active on the university's Instagram account @universityofhelsinki, where e.g. Kaisa House Student Information is answering students' questions at the beginning of their studies. The timetable will be specified in August.

Get to know the University's ethical guidelines

The goal of the training focused on the ethical guidelines of the University of Helsinki is to increase students’ and staff's awareness of themes associated with ethics. As a university community, we strive to promote ethically responsible conduct also in terms of public engagement.

The training helps students and the university community familiarise themselves with the different perspectives of ethical conduct by reviewing the guidelines as well as by watching videos and completing reflection assignments. The training is completed in Moodle as a single self-study offering and it takes about fifteen minutes to complete. Link to the Ethical guidelines course page.