Life in a new city and a new university can be challenging in the beginning. Settling in can take some time due to language barriers and cultural differences. At the University of Turku, we strive to make you feel welcome and give you all the support you need. Many international students say that it does not take long before Turku starts feeling safe and familiar, like a second home. Here are the top 6 reasons why international students feel right at home in Turku!
1. Turku is a safe study destination
Aside from being one of the most beautiful countries in the world, Finland is also very safe for students, travellers, and families. According to the World Economic Forum, Finland is the safest country in the world and has the least organised crime.
Not only are the crime rates low, but Finland is safe in many other ways as well. Did you know, that according to the World Health Organisation the air in Finland is the cleanest in the world? And that it is not only safe to drink the tap water, it tastes good as well?
Turku is a student-friendly city. A significant share of Turku residents are students: every fourth person is either a student or a professional in a higher education institute. In the city centre, bikes outnumber the cars.
International degree students at the University of Turku can use the Finnish Student Health Service, FSHS, as a benefit of being a member of the Student Union. The provided health services are general practitioners and specialists, mental health care, dental care, public health nurses, and physiotherapy as well as x-ray and laboratory work.
Besides, Finland is the happiest country in the world. You can’t go wrong studying here!
2. Big city in a small package
Turku has everything a big city has to offer, but in a smaller package. You can easily walk or bike from the student village to the university campus and city centre. Many people ride their bikes all year round. You can also use city buses (Föli), or electric scooters.
The library services provided by the University and the City of Turku are excellent. It is free of charge to borrow books, e-books, articles etc. At the University library, you can even borrow a computer to work on, so you do not have to bring your own if you do not want to.
If you like the outdoors, Turku is a great choice! You can easily take the bus to Ruissalo to spend the day on the beach or go hiking in Kuhankuono. If you want to take up a new hobby, you can take a course in kayaking or learn how to ski – the possibilities are endless.
As a student in Turku, you can take part in the sports services offered by CampusSport – five different gyms and almost 100 hours instructed sports classes weekly – for a student-friendly price.
If you do not like to cook or need a quick lunch between lectures, you can eat at the student cafeterias on campus. Some of them are open until 8 pm so you can have both lunch and dinner there. Bread, milk, salad and the main course are included in the student price of 2.60€.
3. Student Tutors
All international students will get a personal tutor to help you with practicalities and guide you through the student life in Turku. The tutors will meet you when you arrive and help you get settled in.
Students in the international Bachelor's and Master's Degree Programmes will meet their tutors already in the spring – online. New students may have questions and concerns before they arrive, which is why the University of Turku has introduced online tutoring to complement traditional tutoring.
Before the actual studies start, it is recommended that you participate in the orientation week. During the orientation, you can take a campus tour, learn about the University’s facilities and services, and bond with your fellow students.
If you are interested, you can read more about what tutoring is all about at the University of Turku.
4. Teachers are easily approachable
At the University of Turku it is very easy to contact your professors and teachers. If their door is open, you can usually just knock on it and ask questions without having a prior appointment. You should never be concerned whether you can ask questions or not – asking questions means that you are an active student who wants to learn and develop, which is something that is appreciated by the teaching staff.
At the University of Turku, you can usually call your teachers by their first name. Also, there are no uniforms or dress code.
Even though the University does not provide housing for you, the housing situation is quite good. If you apply for housing in good time (3 months before your studies start) the chance of getting a nice apartment at an affordable price is very high.
"Finding accommodation might be stressful, especially when you live in another country. It is helpful to know that as long as I apply in time I have great chances of getting a nice apartment close to campus!"
Most international students of the University live in the student village, where you can rent an apartment from Turku Student Village Foundation (TYS). There are many different types of apartments; shared, single, family… Please note that TYS does not rent rooms in dormitories; their apartments are for rent.
6. Diverse student population
The University of Turku prides itself as one of the most diverse higher education facilities in Finland. We have international students and staff from over 100 different countries, and these numbers climb each year. English is widely spoken both on campus and in the city. A diverse student population allows people from different cultures to interact and it is highly likely to meet fellow students from your own country and culture as well.
You can take part in various student societies if you so wish, for example for example Erasmus Student Network (ESN), International Students of Turku Universities (ISTU) and the Student Union of the University of Turku. Our current students feel that the perfect balance between Finnish and international students allows them to learn and grow while having a sense of home.
If you have any concerns about moving to Turku, there are several ways to get answers to your questions. For example, you can send an email to our international student ambassadors. Check out who they are, where they are from, and what programme they are studying in. The student ambassadors share glimpses of their life in social media – follow #utuambassador on Instagram– and write a blog about student life. The blog posts include tips on how to get settled in, housing options, free time activities etc.
If you have already been admitted to a degree programme at the University of Turku, you can talk to your tutor or your programme coordinator. If you have questions regarding admission, scholarships or tuition fees, you can send an email to Admissions Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to Turku!