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, if you want to be more prepared. The tutors will contact you before your arrival by email you have provided to the university.
We can help you with the following things by providing information:
fetching the key to your apartment
public transportation and tickets
finding your way to your apartment and to the university
prices and currency
health care, services nearby, free time activities, culture, stores and shopping
Incoming students are expected to cover the expenses of their accommodation. Diak can help you in finding accommodation. For more information about housing on different campuses, see Diak's web page for exchange students or Diak's page for incoming international students.
You can ask your tutor if they can fetch the key to your apartment. This is recommended especially if you arrive late in the evening.
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 (only in Finnish). Or, If you prefer a brand-new one, you can buy it at Sotka, Jysk, Ikea, Hobbi Hall, Kodin1,Veke, 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: Myymälämme - Pääkaupunkiseudun Kierrätyskeskus Oy (kierratyskeskus.fi)
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. But you can buy at markets (cashier), R-kiosk, automatic machines, or from an app if you have a credit bank.
To find routes, use Journey Planner
Permits and registering
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 gain 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.
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.
After getting your bank account, it is time to visit the Kela office and register with the Finnish Social Security System if you are staying in Finland for the entirety of your studies in order to get a Kela card.
This is Finland - "things you should and shouldn't know"
Permits and registration
Here you can apply for a residence permit or register