Orientation and Tutoring

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Here you will find information concerning the orientation period and student tutors.

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

If you are a new degree student, please read the article First Steps of a New Degree Student first.

If you are a new incoming exchange or visiting student, please read the article Important Information for Incoming Exchange Students first.

Due to the current coronavirus situation, the orientation week is prepared to be organized partly or entirely online. You will receive detailed information on orientation week activities in your faculty on this page before orientationweek.

The Student Tutors are here for you

Tutoring is a support arrangement for the new students at the University of Helsinki. It introduces you to the Finnish university life and makes it easier for you to settle into the new environment. You will be assigned a tutor (or a peer counsellor) and a tutoring group. Students are divided into groups on the basis of the faculty or the degree programme in which they begin their studies at the University of Helsinki. The groups are led by student tutors of the same faculty.

The student tutors assist you with the most important things you need to do during the first couple of days. Your tutor can point out where to register as a resident, where to get your travel card, where your faculty is, and who to contact there and where the most important services on the campuses and around the city are. Tutoring is successful when the members of the tutoring group cooperate. When the group and the tutor work together, each student will get the most out of the tutoring sessions.

You can already get to know some of our tutors for autumn 2020 on Instructions for students!


Orientation Week

Welcome Fair

Each autumn and spring, before the classes begin, there is an orientation week which is a week full of activities for all new international students. It is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to get to know the campuses and the university and to get all the official matters out of the way.

Please note that if you miss the orientation week, the start of your studies will be more time-consuming and challenging as you have to take care of everything independently.

Degree students might receive some credits for the orientation. Please ask more information from your degree programme.

Important dates

Autumn 2020

  • Welcome Fair: 25 August & 26 August 2020
  • Orientation Week: 25 August – 28 August 2020

Spring 2021

  • Welcome Fair: 12 January 2021
  • Orientation Week: 12 January – 15 January 2021

Wel­come Fair

The Welcome Fair (25–26 August) will be arranged in autumn 2020 on a smaller scale, divided to all four campuses in order to minimize the contacts and unnecessary travel. Only the necessary services for getting your studies started will be present. At the Welcome Fair, you can get your student certificate, activate your university user account, get your travel card, register your right of residence and apply for a personal identity code. All the other services offered to students will be presented in a separate newsletter instead. More detailed information will be added here closer to the event!

The Welcome Fair is the perfect place to get to know the University as well as to get all the official matters out of the way. The event is part of the orientation week and takes place at the Language Centre of the University of Helsinki (address: Fabianinkatu 26). Please see our Welcome Fair and orientation week map for locations. 

At the Welcome Fair you can

  • pick up your certificate of student status and local transport discount certificate,
  • pick up your username for the University computer network
  • register your address and apply for a personal identity code from the Digital and Population Data Services Agency
  • get your arrival certificate signed and stamped (exchange students, if applicable)
  • get information on language courses (incl. Finnish) and on how to register for them
  • get information on various other services available for you, e.g. Unisport, Study Psychologists, University Library, the Finnish Student Health Service
  • talk to people from the Student Union and student organisations such as the Erasmus Student Network (ESN)
  • and of course meet a lot of new friends!

If you have not paid the Student Union fee before your arrival and you wish to join the Student Union, you can pay the fee also at the Welcome Fair in August (not in January). However, we recommend that you pay the fee before your arrival. For payment information please see the instructions for annual registration. Remember to bring the receipt with you!

Remember to bring your official ID with you to the Welcome Fair (passport or ID card; it is recommended that EU citizens also bring their passports for their stay in Finland). Otherwise you will not be able to get all of the official matters out of the way. 

For EU/EEA citizens: Bring also your European Health Insurance Card with you. We will check the card at the Welcome Fair as it is required by the Finnish health care system. 

We recommend that you visit the Welcome Fair together with your tutor. The faculty will give you more information on when your tutor group is visiting the Welcome Fair.

Get to Know Your Campus

The University of Helsinki comprises four campuses. Get to know yours in advance!

  • City Centre Campus (Faculties of Arts, Educational Sciences, Law, Theology and Social Sciences, Swedish School of Social Science)
  • Kumpula Campus (Faculty of Science)
  • Viikki Campus (Faculties of Biological And Environmental Sciences, Agriculture and Forestry, Pharmacy and Veterinary Medicine)
  • Meilahti Campus (Faculty of Medicine)


All Bachelor’s or Master’s students who have registered as attending are entitled to an affordable student-priced lunch at the UniCafe cafeterias on all campuses. For lunch prices and the contact details of the cafeterias, please visit the UniCafe website. Exchange Students will get a certificate of student status from Welcome Fair event, before that they can get a staff member discount from UniCafe.

Rector’s reception for new students

Kuva: Ari Aalto

In the fall of 2020, the event will be held as a remote event due to the coronavirus situation. More information about the implementation closer to the event.

The rector’s reception for new students will be held during the orientation week. At the reception, the rector of the University of Helsinki will speak about current affairs at the University, and new students will have the opportunity to ask the rector, for example, about studying, the rector’s own field of science and his work. The reception includes traditional handshakes with the rector and signing one’s name in the University’s register.

In conjunction with the reception, new student groups should put aside some time to familiarise themselves with the long history of the University at the University Museum.

Get to know Kaisa-house Student information and Guidance Corner

The services offered at Kaisa House Student Information include registration for the academic year, year tags, changes in name or address information, official transcripts of records, and other general advice regarding enrolment and student benefits. Guidance Corner provides low threshold advice and guidance services on, for example, wellbeing, digital skills and job seeking. Read more on Student services' page and Guidance Corner's page.

Get to know Career services

Studies as part of your career

Congratulations! Gaining a place to study is a wonderful achievement. It is also of vital importance for your career prospects.

You are about to embark on a new and exciting phase of your life that may, at first, also appear quite hectic. Now is a good time to stop and reflect on your path: where you have come from, where you are now and where you hope to go.

Consider and write down the following for yourself:

  • What made you choose this degree programme? What are you interested in within the field?
  • What factors played a role in your decision to apply? What do they say about your way of making decisions?
  • How would you describe your field to your grandmother?
  • Please return to these questions after the first teaching period, term or academic year. Have your answers changed?
  • Challenge your perceptions: Search for concrete information on what graduates from your field do after graduation. You can start by exploring the töissä.fi website, the alumni search feature on the University of Helsinki’s LinkedIn page, and the career tracking data on the Instructions for Students website.
  • The next time you find yourself pondering the question “What will I do when I grow up?”, try changing the question to “What next?”. Does it change anything?

Your career is a journey through education, employment and life, and you cannot plan your professional life separately from the other areas of your life. Our thoughts, hopes and plans are also continuously changing and evolving, as is the world around us, including the world of work.

The University’s Career Services is here for you throughout your studies and up to one year after your graduation. When considering your future, your skills or your expertise, or searching for support or advice for a traineeship or job-seeking, please explore the sections Work and career and Traineeships on the Instructions for Students website.

If you don’t want to watch the video, you can read the narration as text (pdf).

Get to know the Study psychologist services

Welcome and warm congratulations on your acceptance to the University of Helsinki, new student! On this video, the study psychologists share a few words with you about studying at university and study skills. The study psychologists offer guidance and counselling to bachelor's and master's degree students regarding issues such as academic skills, motivation, time management, well-being and thesis writing. You can check out the tips compiled by study psychologists on the Support for studies -website. More information about the services can be found on the Study psychologists services for students –website.