Where to find housing, how to get money, where to see a doctor and how to get there? And where can I get help if I need it? Here is a package of basic information on how to survive.
Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region Hoas, www.hoas.fi
Many student nations, religious communities and student organisations in different fields also provide housing for students. Students can also apply for the city's rental housing. The University of Helsinki and the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) have together compiled a guide about How to find a flat in the Helsinki metropolitan region.
The HYY House Hunting Wordlist is also useful when looking for a home on the Finnish housing market.
You can apply for the Finnish student financial aid in case you’re covered by the Finnish social security system, fulfil the requirements of an EU employee personally, or are a family member of another person with an EU employee status. The Social Insurance Institution of Finland, Kela handles all applications.
Student financial aid consists of a study grant and a loan guaranteed by the government. Additionally students can apply for general housing allowance. Kela's electronic services are the most convenient way to apply for student financial aid and make notifications of changes when necessary. When you’re on student financial aid you must watch your annual income limit, make progress in your studies in accordance with the requirements, and inform Kela about changes in your situation or status. You will find more information on Kela’s website.
If you are covered by the Finnish social security but not entitled to student financial aid, have not found work and do not have enough savings to live on, you can apply for social assistance from Kela. You can also apply for social assistance to help you until the payday or the payment day of student financial aid.
Finnish Student Health Service FSHS is responsible for students' health care. In addition to general practicioners and specialists, FSHS provides the services of public health nurses, physiotherapists, as well as laboratory and x-ray services. FSHS is only open during the day on weekdays and therefore you have to use municipal services in the evenings and weekends.
Most of FSHS services are free for students. However, FSHS charges a penalty fee of EUR 35 for uncancelled no-show appointments.
Your student union has representatives on different levels of the administration of the FSHS and in health promotion work. Read more about them here.
Advice on well-being
The University of Helsinki has compiled Instructions for students on well-being, a comprehensive guide which provides advice on different usual and unusual problems that students may face.
Students registered in Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen, Kerava, Kirkkonummi or Sipoo receive a 50 per cent discount both on internal tickets and regional tickets purchased with the travel card. The student status of the travel card must be updated annually. www.hsl.fi
As a student, you also get a discount on the long-distance trains of VR and the buses of Matkahuolto. In order to get the student discount, you must be able to prove that you are a student. The most convenient way to do this is to get the student card with the year tag. If you have not received your student card yet, please fill out the form by VR and visit the University's student counselling to get it signed and stamped. After this you are granted the student discount on trains while waiting to receive your student card. Also Matkahuolto has its own student card, but you need it only if you don't get the comprehensive Frank student card. www.vr.fi, www.matkahuolto.fi