Living in Finland
Getting a personal identity code
All Laurea's incoming international students have to get a personal identity code in Finland.
For a foreign citizen moving to Finland from abroad, a personal identity code is issued when he or she has been registered in the Population Information System. Such registration is requested by visiting the Local Register Office. The request may also be filed together with an application for a residence permit (students from other than EU/ETA country or Switzerland). These applications are received by Finnish missions abroad.
Tutor students will help exchange students and trainees in obtaining the personal identity code during the first weeks at Laurea.
To get the personal identity code:
- You have to personally visit a Local Register Office in Finland
- You will fill in a form with your personal information and your address in Finland
- You should take with you to the office: passport, certificate of attendance from Laurea, residence permit (if you have one)
Visa/residence permit and EU citizens' registration
If you are a citizen of Schengen area or European Economic Area, you do not need a visa. In other cases you are advised to consult the nearest Finnish Embassy or consulate. For further information about immigration in Finland, please check http://www.migri.fi/studying_in_finland and Enter Finland e-service. If you need to apply for a visa or a residence permit for your exchange in Finland please also remember to request a personal identity code in Finland at the same time with your visa/residence permit application.
All citizens of the European Union who stay in Finland longer then three months must register their stay in Finland. You can already start the registration process in your home country by using the Enter Finland e-service. Once in Finland you have to finalize the registration by visiting the local police station.
Cost of Living
Since higher education in Finland is funded by the state through the Ministry of Education, students enrolled in regular Bachelor's or Master's degree studies pay no tuition fees. Students have to pay for their books and other materials, as well as accommodation and living expenses. The general cost of living is relatively high and the monthly living expenses of a single student are around atleast EUR 700-900 per month depending on the area you are living in/studying in.
Temporary expenses include the housing deposit, which will be refunded at the end of the tenancy period. The expense for textbooks is very low, since most of the course books can be borrowed from libraries. Please note that there are always unexpected expenses for any international traveller.
Insurance is recommended for all international students.
Finnish higher education institutions (both Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences) have created an insurance package that provides coverage at a reasonable price and as comprehensive as possible for your needs while you are studying in Finland.
Instructions for obtaining insurance from the Student Insurance Program (SIP)
To buy the Marsh SIP insurance please go to www.marsh.be/sip. This website allows you to purchase your health insurance online with a credit card. It is as easy as that! If you have any questions about the insurance, you must contact Marsh directly (see their “contact us” section of the website).
-> Read more about the insurance.
VERY IMPORTANT: All communications regarding this insurance (obtaining it, what it covers, and how to make a claim) should be done with the insurance provider. You, the student, are the policy holder and your institution has no right to discuss any issues with the insurer.
Finland is considered to be overall a very safe country and at Laurea ensuring a safe exchage period is also one major goal. You can watch a video made at Laurea about safety matters in Finland and learn how you can stay safe during your exchange:
EU/ETA country residents are entitled to healthcare in other member countries. For heath care in EU/ETA countries, you need a European Health Insurance Card which can be obtained from KELA. More information on this is available at KELA's web pages.
We ask all exchange students to fill out adocument regarding
concerns all students of all fields and is based on our wish to ensure a
comprehensive protection against infectious diseases for the students and
staff. Once filled out, the documents should be brought to Finland and handed to the public health nurse of the Laurea campus you are studying in.
In the field of Social Services, Health Care and Sports the applicant's state of health and functional capacity should be such that the student is able to participate in the practical tasks and work placement included in the studies. When applying to the field of studies the applicant should be aware that:
• the studies and professional practice requires good mental balance.
• the study field is not suitable for persons dealing with alcohol, drugs or substance misuse.
• for example, musculoskeletal disorders, chronic skin diseases and allergies can become health problems later on during studies or at work.
• blood-borne infectious disease may limit the student’s learning path and job placement.
All Health Care and Social Services students coming to Laurea to do a traineeship please read this through carefully ->Health information for incoming trainees in Health Care and Social Services.
Before the supervised work placement, the student is asked by the UAS to provide his/her criminal record, if the work placement essentially includes working with under age children. For more information please refer to the Legal Register Center.
The Helsinki Metropolitan Area has a very efficient public transport system. There are four forms of public transportation: buses, trains, trams and the underground. Information about public transport, including ticket prices and schedules, are at the HSL Helsinki Region Transport web pages. For example the online journey planner gives route suggestions and maps for how to get from student accommodation to Laurea campuses.
Laurea Porvoo and Laurea Lohja are best reached with a bus, whereas train is the easiest way to reach Hyvinkää. The VR Finnish railways services and national bus company, Oy Matkahuolto Ab, provide information on trains and busses that operate to Laurea’s campuses outside the Helsninki Metropolitan area.
Non-citizens of Finland can get financial aid for studies in Finland only if they live in Finland on a permanent basis for a purpose other than studying. However, students with a Finnish student card are entitled to various discounts. Student cards are provided by the Student Union Laureamko.
Laurea students are entitled to discounts on catering. Kela provides direct support for providers of catering at higher education institutions, so meals cost less for students. Students should pay a maximum of EUR 2.35 for lunch. Subsidised lunches can be obtained with a valid student card. All Laurea students have access to other universities’ and university of applied sciences’ canteens included in the meal subsidy system.
Students are also entitled to certain discounts on public transport. Laurea’s International Tutor Students help international students in purchasing their ticket in the right place and at the right price.
See also the Guide to International Student Services in the Metropolitan Area, which has comprehensive information from residence permits and heath care to social security and employment services in Finland.
Students with disabilities
Most of Laurea’s premises are new and therefore suitable for various learners and disabled customers. Every unit has a lift and unrestricted access into the building. The spaces inside the buildings vary in their standard of equipment, but most teaching facilities are suitable for wheelchair users. The furnishings of most IT facilities also allow for wheelchair use. Every unit has a disabled toilet. There is also unrestricted access to dining and catering areas. Disabled parking spaces are available for every unit.
Sports and Leisure
Some Laurea campuses have a gym for weight lifting training. Student union Laureamko organises some sports activities, such as football tournaments. All Laureamko members can also benefit from sports activities provided by other higher education institutions in the region.
Helsinki Metropolitan Area offers a variety of other sports and leisure activities. International students are usually welcomed to local sports clubs.
The Jolly Dragon international network organises various get-togethers and social networking events.