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What is important to know before moving to Finland for your studies?


Moving abroad may be an exciting and thrilling event at the same time. There are several things which are better to be done before coming to the country.

Things to do before arrival

First of all, make sure that you are meeting the entry requirements – as a future student from the EU you do not need as visa, however if you are coming outside of the EU, most likely you need a student visa. It is better to apply in advance, as the process might take up to a few months.

Find an apartment – there are options to choose. Location, price, the type of the apartment – all these points are to be considered before making your choice. What happened to me is that after the 1st year of my studies I’ve made some good friends and we started to rent an apartment in the city together after the first summer. Once the apartment is chosen, check what will be in the apartment once you will arrive there. Some of the apartments do not have furniture, dishes, blankets/pillows, thus you will need to take care of it yourself.
Check the acceptance email carefully – it may contain some important information, for example about the enrolment for the upcoming semester, information of the future studies and other useful tips and contacts regarding your studies.

In Finland Kela is taking care of student’s health care fees. Familiarize yourself with this system, what does it offer and what needs to be done in order to register there. There is a healthcare unit for students too and you’ll be introduced to it soon after the beginning of the studies, but small research will always benefit you.

Once the documental side of the matter is done, check the area, where you will be living – nearby shops, hospital, cafeterias… It is also good to know the transport system as at least you’ll have to get to your accommodation from your arrival point and then get the basic supplies.

It may be useful to go through social media of the University – there are may be other future students looking for their future classmates or other students/tutors offering help to the newcomers. And please check the University pages, especially the Guide for new students. There is valuable information for new students.

Once you arrived

If you are arriving outside of the EU it especially makes sense to purchase a Finnish SIM-card.

All foreigners, who are intending to reside in Finland have to register in Finnish Population Information System. They have the sufficient information on their website or you can call them and ask necessary questions.

Bicycle is a very popular transport in Finland and Rovaniemi is easy to explore by cycling around. I would recommend to get the bike once you have the chance. You can buy it from the 2nd hand store, other students or get a brand-new from the shop.

Rovaniemi is a very popular tourist destination for the winter season. There are many companies involved in this business and they are looking for the seasonal workers every season – it might be a good chance to try yourself in Finnish working environment, get some experience and to meet new people!

Despite all abovementioned points do not let me to overwhelm you with that load of info! Go through all the processes step by step and feel free to ask for help. If you are worried about your language skills – still do not hesitate to talk to people. Based on my own experience, the more you push yourself, the better you get. There are no stupid questions and it is normal to take your time while searching for the correct word. Practice makes perfect!

You have chosen the wonderful place to study and I wish you a good luck 😊

- Kseniia, IB-student -