Checklist for first year students

Checklist for new students, useful information for continuing students as well!

Register to the University

In order to carry out studies during the academic year, you must register as attending to the University. You can register in OILI or in person in Faculty Study Affairs. You can register as attending for autumn or spring semester only, or for both at the same time. If you register as attending only for the spring semester, you must register by the end of January to be able to carry out your studies in the spring. You should ask for a written proof of your student status if you need it before you get your student card.

Activate your student account

You’ll need the student account to get into all the systems and services of the University. Read the instructions from the University webpage.

Become a member of OYY

The Student Union of the University of Oulu, known as OYY among friends, is the student advocacy organisation of all students undertaking a bachelor’s or a master’s degree at the University of Oulu. All students are automatically members when they register to the University and pay the membership fee.

The Student Union’s members are entitled to many student discounts, for example:

  • lunch at an affordable price
  • student discounts on trains and buses
  • other discounts such as events, shops, restaurants etc.
  • Student Unions specialists’ services

The Student Union also offers its members free legal guidance and a loan service.

Pay the Student Union’s membership fee

In the academic year 2021–2022 the Student Union of the University of Oulu membership fee is 57 € for the entire academic year 2021–2022, or 28.5 € for semester.You can pay online or in our office, detailed instructions of payment here.

Pay the healthcare fee

The healthcare fee is paid separately to Kela. Here are the instructions how to pay the fee. The fee is compulsory to all students undertaking a bachelor’s or a master’s degree at the University of Oulu. Exchange students must have a health insurance during their stay, so this fee does not concern them.

Apply for the student financial aid (nationals, permanent residents, Nordics registered in Finland)

Students of Finnish nationality and those with permanent residency in Finland are eligible for student financial aid. You should apply for the aid immediately when you find out you’ve been accepted to the University because the processing of the application might take over a month during the peak period. You can file your application to the Kela office.

Order your Student card and/or download it!

This will function as a student identity card and proof of OYY membership. It is the passport to services and discounts! You can apply for the student card online or use it trough Tuudo or Pivo apps. With the digital student card you get all the same benefits as with the plastic card. If you want a physical student card too, you’ll be able to order one from Students continuing their studies must remember to get the new semester sticker to the card, they are available at the OYY office.

Have you got your housing in order?

The busiest time for new students to move to Oulu is in August and September, and it might be tricky to find an apartment. If you have not already gotten a place (degree students are advised to make PSOAS applications as early as possible after getting accepted). For more information on housing and tips see our page on housing!

Learn to get around in Oulu

Oulu is home to some of the best cycling roads in Finland, and you can buy a second-hand bike at a bargain. There are many flea markets in Oulu, where you can find bikes. Check for example from the recycling centre: Kestävän Kehityksen Keskus.

When the weather gets chillier in the autumn, you might want to change to riding the bus. You can get student discount for a 30-day bus ticket, which allows unlimited travel in the city area. If you are 17–24 years old, you are automatically entitled to the student ticket. If you are more than 24 years old, you should  go to the Oulu Public Transport (“Oulun joukkoliikenne”) service point Oulu10 to buy the pass and have your student card with you. If you don’t have a student card yet, you can ask for a written proof of your student status from the Student Center. The Oulu10 service point also offers multilingual services and advice about many things related to living in Oulu.

Your bus ticket will be put on a travel card: Waltti-kortti. It costs 3 euros if you buy it from the bus company’s Oulu10 service point or it can be ordered online for free. You can also buy travel time for your bus card online.

Get to know the ways of the university

It is a good idea to participate in the orientation for international students, and/or your faculty’s and study programme’s welcome sessions. You will have been allocated a student tutor or kummi and a tutor group as well as a Personal Study Advisor, who will be an important support network for you at the University. If, for some reason, you can’t make it to the welcome sessions, get in contact with someone from your study programme, and they will help you get into a tutor group. Your student tutor (kummi) and PSA will give you tips and information on everything and anything concerning student life and studying at the University.

Know what to do when you fall ill

One of the best services the membership of the Student Union offers to you, is the health care provided by the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS). Check their webpage for more information on health care services for students.

For more information about wellbeing, check the resources on our website.

hobbies and sports

University Sports of Oulu offers affordable sport services for students. You can participate in the courses and other sport services when you buy a Sports Pass. There is also a variety of different societies for students, where you can participate in all kinds of hobbies from music to gaming and arts, and maybe find some new friends!

Wellbeing tutoring offers easy access to try different hobbies like cultural activities or sports. Read more in our website.

Keep up with the latest information

The Student Union communicates through a weekly newsletter. You can subscribe to the list here. It is a good idea to subscribe at least to your own study programme’s mailing list to get the latest info on courses. Your student tutor will be able to tell you about the information channels used in your study programme. You can follow the Student Union’s Twitter account, Instagram feed and Facebook page to keep up with the latest information on student events.

The Oulu Student Magazine (Oulun ylioppilaslehti) offers glimpses of student life, stories about interesting people, articles about research conducted at the University of Oulu, information on topical events and much more. Oulu Student Magazine is made by students, especially for students and it also has stories and news in English.

Oulu Student Magazine has reported on the student life of Oulu since 1961. The paper is mostly in digital form, but the paper’s print edition is published 4 times a year. You can read our newest stories also on the mobile app Tuudo.


Useful links

If you have any problems, our specialists are happy to help you. You can reach them via

Your student tutor (kummi), teachers and coordinators will also be happy to help you with issues relating to your studies.

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