The University of Helsinki, the oldest and largest university in Finland, was founded in Turku, the country’s former capital city, in 1640. In 1827, the university was moved to it’s current location in Helsinki. Until 1919, the University of Helsinki was Finland’s only university and today it remains one of the best universities in Europe. There are over 34,000 students enrolled of which 1,400 are international from over 85 different countries.
Finnish and Swedish are the languages of instruction at the University, although an increasing number of courses are offered in English. The University of Helsinki has nine faculties: Theology, Law, Medicine, Arts, Science, Education, Social Science, Agriculture, and Forestry. For more information about courses visit the University’s website
Housing & Meals
The University of Helsinki does not own student dormitories but cooperates closely with several student accommodation organizations. The International Relations Office arranges housing for exchange students through these organizations.
Exchange students pay their regular tuition to UM, and their room and board in Finland. The total monthly expenses for a student living in Finland average around EUR 625, which includes accommodation (EUR 275). A student visa for Finland costs US$80. Financial aid can be applied towards living and travel expenses while on exchange.
Students will register for their classes upon arrival at the University of Helsinki, which uses the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). Students should take 30 ECTS credits per semester which will transfer to 15 UM credits. The minimum full-time load at the University of Helsinki is 24 ECTS credits which is equivalent to 12 UM credits. University of Helsinki uses a web program called, WebOodi.
Semester 1: early September to mid-December
Semester 2: mid-January to late May
Helsinki sits on the Bay of Finland, located on the country’s southern coastline which is dotted with inlets, bays, and islands. Helsinki is a maritime city, with a harbor at its center and the sea as its backdrop.
Finland’s capital city is a modern, dynamic place, and it has a different feel than some of Finland’s other main cities such as Turku, Tampere, and Oulu. Helsinki is the cultural and intellectual center of Finland and the city is influenced by both eastern and western cultures. But Helsinki still holds true to it’s Finnish heritage with numerous museums that profile the country’s history and people.
People come to Helsinki for it’s urban lifestyle, its restaurants , elegant cafes, shopping centers, and nightclubs. People also come to experience Finland’s natural beauty. The landscape of Finland is a beautiful mixture of wooded hills and waters and it is rightly known as a land of forests (they cover about three-quarters of the country’s surface!) and lakes.
Helsinki, Finland, is a place with a charm and allure that is all its own.
Exchange levels: undergraduate, graduate
Language of instruction: English, Finnish, Swedish
Language Requirement: none
University website: https://www.helsinki.fi/en
Length of exchange: Semester or year
Helsinki at a Glance
Urban area population: approximately 1,495,271
Mixture of coastal and continental; warm sunny summers, cold snowy winters.
Tallinn: 52 miles
Riga: 245 miles
Saint Petersburg: 247 miles
Stockholm: 300 miles