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Information for incoming students

Welcome to Finland! The Student Union O'Diako and its activities are for everyone, including Diak's exchange and international students. Here you can find important information for incoming students.

If you have any questions, please contact us!

When you arrive in Finland

Once you arrive in Finland, there is a lot to take care of. O'Diako has recruited a tutor to help you with all the practicalities. They will contact you before your arrival and can provide information and support.

Your tutor and the student union can help you with:

  • fetching the key to your apartment

  • finding your way to your apartment and to school

  • public transportation and tickets

  • phone subscription

  • student discounts

  • prices and currency

  • health care, services nearby, free time activities, culture, stores and shopping

If you are interested to have a tutor, please contact me. We will give your information to a tutor and they will contact you and give more information.


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Incoming students are expected to cover the expenses of their accommodation. For more information about housing, see Diak's web page for exchange students. 

If you are living in a HOAS apartment, we can fetch the key to your apartment before you arrive. You can get your key from your tutor or from our office. Your tutor will ask you about this arrangement.

When you get to the apartment, check it to see if there are any faults that you should report. This way you won't be accused of the possible damages done by previous tenants and reporting the faults right away will make things easier once you move out. You can ask your tutor to help with this.

Most exchange student apartments/rooms are furnished with a standard size single bed (80x200 cm), mattress, desk, chair and wardrobe. The kitchen is usually equipped with a fridge, oven, stove and cupboard. The bathroom has a toilet, sink, shower and mirror.

There might not be any dishes or kitchen equipment, so you need to be prepared to buy them. You will also need to bring your own sheets, pillow and a blanket. If you wish to buy these in Finland, you can go to a hypermarket (Prisma, K-Citymarket) or cheaper places, such as Tokmanni or IKEA. 

International students have apartments without furniture. Plan how you will settle in while shopping furniture. O'Diako has made a deal with Forenom about temporary housing, please ask more information from your tutor. 

You can buy your furniture, clothes, and shoes in Kierrätyskeskus, second-hand stores, online second-hand store, Flea Market, Kontti second-hand, Vähän Käytetty and Tori. Or, If you prefer a brand-new one, you can buy it at Sotka, Jysk, Ikea, Kodin1Veke, Tokmanni, Prisma, online shops, and so on.

The Kierrrätyskeskus stores in Kyläsaari and Koivukylä offer free delivery of furniture for all Diak’s newcomers when they shop for at least 150€. For more information on opening hours and store locations: Kierrätyskeskus Oy


In Helsinki region, buy public transport tickets at HSL. If you already have the document provided by the school to get a student discount, visit the HSL office and get your travel card. You can not buy tickets on the bus, tram or train. But you can buy at markets (cashier), R-kiosk, automatic machines, or from the HSL app if you have a credit card. 

To find routes, use Journey Planner

Permits and registration


If you are a citizen of an EU member state or some other Nordic country, you do not need a visa to enter Finland. International students from other countries have to apply for a visa to obtain an entry permit.

Residence permit and personal identification number

In case you are not a citizen of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland and you are planning to stay in Finland for more than 90 days, you need to apply for a residence permit. You can apply for your permit Electronically at EnterFinland.

Book online, visit the DVV office, and register as a Finnish resident. It is the most crucial document to give you access to health and social services in Finland. 

Registration of EU citizens

If you are going to stay in Finland for more than three months, you need to register. You can fill your application and pay for it at EnterFinland and then go to your local police station to verify your identity (within three months of Entering into Finland).

Health care services​

The Finnish Student Healthcare Service (FSHS) organizes student health services for students of applied sciences and universities and provides health inspections, healthcare services, and medical care within primary healthcare. Please note that the FSHS does not offer emergency services or services during evenings, nights, or weekends. If you need urgent care, contact a public or private health center, emergency clinic, or hospital in your home locality: Helsinki, Vantaa, Espoo.​

Useful links

About Finland

This is Finland - "things you should and shouldn't know"​

The Official Travel Guide of Finland

Social media

O'Diako Facebook

O'Diako Instagram

Diak Facebook

Diak Instagram


Diak's page for exchange students

Diak library

Permits and registration

Enter Finland (Here you can apply for a residence permit or register)​

The Finnish Immigration Service (General information)

More information about studying and living in Finland you can get from Diak website!

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