Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) and student nations

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HYY’s members consist of all basic degree students of the University of Helsinki as well as postgraduate and exchange students who have joined the Student Union. HYY

The Student Union is a student community that protects students’ interests and provides services. All students pursuing a bachelor’s or master's degree at the University of Helsinki are members of the Student Union. Postgraduate and exchange students can also apply for membership.

The Student Union protects your interests at and outside the University. Thanks to student lobbying, you have at your disposal, among other things, the following benefits:

  • Student meals subsidised by the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela)
  • Inexpensive student housing
  • The Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS), which provides healthcare services to students. Please note that postgraduate and doctoral researchers as well as exchange students are not entitled to the services provided by the FSHS. Further information on healthcare for exchange students is available here.

The Student Union provides a range of services to students. Further information on member benefits is available on the Student Union’s membership page. The benefits available to members of the Student Union include the following:

  • legal advice
  • Ylioppilaslehti magazine (in Finnish)
  • Studentbladet magazine (in Swedish)
  • student calendar
  • Fresher Guide
  • student card
  • child care service
  • student discounts across Finland

Over the year, the Student Union organises various events where you can meet other student across disciplinary boundaries and enjoy a sense of community. The diverse range of Student Union events include the following:

  • Opening carnival
  • Fresher Adventure
  • Student Union anniversary
  • Students’ Independence Day torchlight procession

You can join in Student Union activities at any time! The Student Union has several committees developing its operations. In addition, there are some 250 associations active under the Student Union of the University of Helsinki. Whether you are interested in politics or choral singing, you are sure to find activities suited to you during your studies, for example, in student nations, faculty- and subject-specific student organisations, hobbyist organisations and political organisations.

For new students, further information about the Student Union and its operations is available in HYY's Fresher Guide.

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Student nations

The University of Helsinki student associations known as student nations (osakunta in Finnish) are crossdisciplinary communities that bring together students of different ages and fields. The members of a student nation often come from the same region of Finland, but students are free to join any student nation. The University of Helsinki has 15 student nations (11 Finnish-language and four Swedish-language student nations) with members from all University faculties and other higher education institutions.

All student nations have their own building or facilities where members gather for leisure activities and celebrations, to organise activities and, above all, to spend time together. In addition to organising events, student nations aim to provide their members with a welcoming environment where they can come in their free time to read newspapers, study or simply spend time. Student nations also offer their members housing, scholarships and friends across faculty boundaries.

Regular activities include weekly evening get-togethers focused on different themes. Student nations also host numerous clubs, such as choirs, orchestras and sports clubs. Each academic year, student nations organise a variety of celebrations, ranging from formal sit-down dinners to themed parties. Student nations also collaborate in organising annual events, such as the Suursitsit (a traditional academic dinner party) and the Osakunta-appro (a student nation adventure and party).

Student nations also cooperate with student associations in other countries, particularly Sweden and Estonia. Contact with international associations is promoted, for example, by sponsoring members’ visits to the partner associations’ events.