The Student Union's tips for well-being

Exercise and a healthy diet do not only promote your well-being and health, they also benefit your learning skills. Exercise is a great way to take your mind off routines and get to know new people.

In addition to exercise, a healthy and wholesome diet and regular meal times are key factors of a healthy lifestyle and well-being. The student lunch is designed to ensure students’ health and to allow them to focus on the essential task of studying.

Finnish student health service (FSHS) offers general, mental and oral health services to students, who study at the University of Oulu and have paid their Student Union membership fee.

You can find more tips and peer support for day-to-day life and life management skills from Nyyti ry (an association promoting students’ mental well-being).

According to the Finnish student health survey 2016, as many as every third student has mental health problems, and 10% of the students rate their mental well-being as being bad. Therefore, you are not alone if you have for example, insomnia, difficulty in concentrating, tension, depression or anxiety. Help and support is available for every type of issue you may face!

This guide provides information about services available in English. You have more possibilities and services to choose from if you speak or understand Finnish.

Are you worried about yourself or someone you know?

From Päihdelinkki you can find The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) which was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO). AUDIT has been found to be effective in identifying excessive consumption.

FSHS health information offers you information about different kinds of health issues.

Nyyti ry promotes students’ mental health. They provide information and activities about mental well-being and coping with everyday life while studying.

Byström Ohjaamo Guidance Center´s services are intended for all residents of Oulu under 30 years of age. Byström Ohjaamo Guidance Center offers information, assistance and guidance regarding employment, education, health and well-being, financial issues, housing, relationships, free-time activities, internationalization, alcohol and drugs, and addiction issues.

Would you like to talk with someone?

Study counselling psychologist is available in assisting you with issues concerning learning and studying.

With the University chaplain you can discuss your life issues, eg. relationships or loss regardless of your own religious beliefs.

Also, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland provides free counselling services free of charge, regardless of whether you are a church member or not. Just contact your nearest church.

If you are being harassed or you have witnessed harassment, contact your student union’s harassment contact persons hairinta@oyy.fi or you can fill the announcement from experienced bullying/harassment to start the handling process according to the University’s instructions on prevention of bullying and harassment.

Do you need professional help?

If other means are not sufficient and/or you feel that you need professional help, it is worth contacting the Finnish Student Health Services (FSHS). You don’t need to have serious problems to contact them, since they organize eg. groups, which support your well-being. From the mental health department of FSHS you can also get information on arrangements, which can be made to support your studies.

The process of contacting FSHS and treatment

You can contact FSHS Oulu by phone, where you can leave a call back request, or you can use Self to book an appointment. A nurse will assess your situation and evaluate, if you require urgent help within a week or if you can wait longer.

The 1st meeting will be with a nurse in every case. This nurse will assess if you need an appointment with a psychologist, a psychiatric nurse, or a general practitioner (GP). Often you will receive an appointment to see both.

A GP examines your well-being and makes a possible diagnosis and treatment plan.

The GP may consult with a psychiatric professional and they can also book you an appointment to see a psychologist or a psychiatric nurse.

When visiting a psychologist or a psychiatric nurse you receive an assessment and guidance phase, during which your situation and mental well-being will be profoundly assessed. These visits are also for treatment. You can receive 2 to 5 visits, and often this number of visits is sufficient. In some cases these visits can also include short term therapy or crisis therapy period.

If you need more help, you will get an appointment to a psychiatric nurse. S/he will plan with a psychologist your continued treatment. This can be for eg. psychotherapy by Kela or more examinations.

Longer psychotherapy may be advised if you have a mental illness, or for example, if your symptoms have been going on for a longer time and they disturb your studies as well as the lives of others. This rehabilitation therapy organized by Kela aims to improve your ability to study.

During the visits with the psychiatric nurse the emphasis is on assessing follow-up examinations and support (eg. rehabilitative psychotherapy). The follow-up examinations can be more diagnostic for finding the proper support, or examining your studying abilities. A psychiatric nurse is also a professional in mental health medication. From them you can also get a report regarding losing your studying abilities. With this report you can then apply for sickness allowance instead of financial aid for students.

More information on applying for Kela’s rehabilitative psychotherapy.

More information on sickness allowance.

Is your situation acute? Do you need immediate help?

Crisis service for foreigners:

Mon-Tue 11am – 3pm, Wed 1pm – 4pm and 5pm – 9pm, Thu 10am – 3pm

+3589 2525 0113

In serious and acute cases call Mental Health emergency department of Oulu:

Mon-Thu 8 am – 4pm, Fri 8am – 3pm

+358 44 703 5940

Outside of office hours:

Psychiatric clinic (Mon-Fri 8am – 6pm) +358 8 315 6707.

Weekdays (after 6 pm) and on weekends +358 8 315 2655.

Other usefull links

Material for well-being in everyday life here.

Practises for well-being here.

Nyyti ry has a chat where you can talk about diverse topics in English.

Help for gambling.

Crime victim support

Rape crisis center


References: Kela, Nyyti ry and other links mentioned here

FSHS for students

An important aspect of taking care of your wellbeing and health is to seek help from health care professionals early enough. FSHS, short for the Finnish Student Health Service, provides services of general practitioners, mental health care and dental care for students of higher education in Finland. International university students are also entitled to use the FSHS services, provided that they have paid the health care fee to Kela, instructions here. The general practitioner’s appointments, as well as mental health care appointments are free of charge, while the dentist’s appointments are charged.

You can find the FSHS in Oulu on the Linnanmaa campus. The visiting address is Yliopistokatu 1 A.

You can make an appointment online. You can also cancel your appointment online. Students can use the FSHS services anywhere in Finland. You can find a list of all the FSHS units in the country on their website. There is also an online advice service and other health information on the site.

Remember to bring your student ID card with you when you visit the health centre!

If you are freshman remember to fill the health inquiry.

Municipal health care services

In the evenings, on weekends and in July, students can use the municipal health care services. You can see your local health centre here. If you need help after 4 pm or on weekends call the emergency service of Oulu University Hospital (Kajaanintie 50, Entrance A1) on +358(0)8 315 2655. Call the above number before leaving for the hospital. The call is answered by a nurse who gives instructions and assesses the need of emergency care.

How to prevent health issues?

Remember good working and studying postures and take breaks from sitting. Good ergonomy prevents musculoskeletal disorders and standing up twice an hour has positive impact to one’s health. Check FSHS’ tips on how to reduce the time spent sitting.

From FSHS website you can find Health information.

(For Finnish students and foreigners comparable to Finnish citizens)

You are allowed to be sick even though you are student

Contact the FSHS in case you fall seriously ill during your studies. If you have to be on sick leave for more than two months, you should apply for a sickness allowance. You should not spend your student financial aid while you can’t make progress in your studies! If your sick leave is shorter than two months, you can continue to draw the student financial aid. But do prepare to clarify to Kela if your study progress has slowed down. You will need a doctor’s certificate for the account.

The sickness allowance

The sickness allowance is meant for you if you have to take a sick leave for more than two months from your studies. You cannot draw both student financial aid and sickness allowance at the same time, so you will need to cancel the student financial aid for the time of your sick leave. If you apply for the sickness allowance you have to be unable to study. Your doctor (FSHS) will give you a certificate, which you have to attach to your sickness allowance application. Kela can grant you an allowance for 60 days if you have an A-statement certificate from your doctor. For a longer leave you have to meet with your doctor again and get a B-statement certificate and / or other document to your additional application for a longer sickness allowance. You can have the general housing allowance as usual while having the sickness allowance or you can apply for it to help you with the costs of living.

Kela will start to pay the sickness allowance after you have completed a waiting period of ten days (the first day of illness and the following nine working days). The sickness allowance is payable at a rate equal to about 70% of your annual earnings (Kela gets your annual earnings information from the tax office). Even during the summer time you can apply for the sickness allowance. When Kela checks annually how your studies have been progressing, be prepared to clarify if your study progress has slowed down from the satisfactory study time. Remember to contact the FSHS immediately if you suspect that you might have to apply for a sickness allowance and keep all the documents your doctor gives you regarding your sickness. As a student you are allowed to study (max. 2 to 3 credits in a month or 24 credits in an academic year) during sick leave if your condition lets you. Studying has a positive impact to rehabilitation and it is easier to return back your studies afterwards.

The sickness allowance is meant to be an aid for a sickness, that lasts less than a year. If after a year your sickness still continues, you can claim a disability pension.

For more information on how to apply for a sickness allowance or a disability pension you can call Kela or contact the Kela office.

Different kinds of aids for students in Finland – How to get bread on the table?

Finnish students’ primary sources of income are the financial aid for students (the study grant + the student loan) and the general housing allowance. If you can, you can work during your studies, but remember to keep in mind the annual and monthly limits of earning if you want to draw the study grant and the general housing allowance. If you have children, you are entitled to receive Kela’s benefits for families with children, and you get a provider supplement to the study grant which Kela will grant you automatically when you apply for financial aid for students. The social assistance is a last-resort aid if you have no other means to finance your living. Kela grants meal subsidy to students so that eating lunch in campus restaurants is affordable.

Financial aid for students

The primary source of income for a Finnish student is financial aid for students. The purpose of the aid is to enable full-time studying for students. The Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) pays the financial aid, but the Ministry of Education and Culture is responsible for it. The student financial aid consists of the study grant and the government guaranteed student loan. Students renting an apartment in Finland can also claim general housing allowance. If you are a Finnish student and you study abroad you can apply for housing supplement when you apply for the financial aid for students.

In order to receive the student financial aid, students must achieve enough credits (at least 5 credits per month for the months you receive the aid AND at least 20 credits during an academic year). The limit for the credit accumulation is set by Kela. All income affects the financial aid, so students must keep the limits in mind. University students are eligible for the financial aid for 48, 50 or 55 months from the beginning of their studies. If they have a very good reason, students may apply for additional aid for a maximum of nine months.  As a rule, the student financial aid is not paid for the summer months but students can apply for the aid for summer studies as well if they are studying during summer time.

Financial aid for foreign students

Have you moved to Finland? Read more about your entitlement to social security coverage.

If you are not a Finnish citizen and have come to Finland for study purposes, the general rule is that you cannot get financial aid from Finland.

However, you may qualify for financial aid if

  • You have been granted a continuous (A) or permanent (P) residence permit or an EU residence permit for third-country nationals (P-EU or P-EY). If you are a citizen of another EU or EEA country or Switzerland, the family member of such a person, or a citizen of a Nordic country, you only have to register your right of residence or present your residence card.
  • You are living in Finland permanently and You have arrived in Finland for some other reason than to study. Such a reason can for example be employment, family ties or return migration.

Study grant

The basic amount of the student financial aid is the study grant, which is 250,28 euros a month. Students must meet the preconditions set by Kela in order to receive the financial aid, in other words, studies must progress and income limits must not be exceeded. If you draw financial aid, you should bear in mind the conditions.

If you have children under 18 years old, you can have a provider supplement to the study grant which is 100,00 euros a month. You don’t have to apply for the provider supplement, it is granted for you automatically by Kela if you are allowed to get the study grant.

Student loan

The student loan is a part of the student financial aid. Banks grant the loan and the government guarantees it. Students can qualify for the loan for the same period when they receive the study grant. The maximum guarantee for the student loan is 650 euros a month. For Finnish students, who are studying outside of Finland, the amount of the loan guarantee is 800 euros a month. Students in higher education, who receive a study grant are awarded the government loan guarantee without application.

You are eligible for a student loan tax deduction (if you enrolled to a university between 1 August 2015 and 31th July 2014) or compensation (if you enrolled to a university 1 August 2014 or later), provided that you complete your degree within the set time and that your loan capital is big enough. The student loan compensation is 40% and the student loan tax deduction is 30% of the student loan debt exceeding EUR 2,500.

Most accurate information about the financial aid for students can be found on Kela’s website or from the Specialist in Social Affairs of the Student Union of the University of Oulu.

Housing supplement

Finnish students, who are studying abroad can get a housing supplement for residential costs. The amount of housing supplement is a maximum of 210 euros per month depending on the country. The preconditions for receiving the housing supplement are the same as they are for receiving the study grant, but also some additional terms.

General housing allowance

Low-income households in Finland can get general housing allowance payments to cover some of the housing costs. Students renting an apartment in Finland can claim general housing allowance. Kela pays housing benefits for acceptable housing costs. There is a statutory maximum limit on acceptable housing costs, i.e. maximum housing costs. If the acceptable housing costs exceed the maximum housing costs, the housing allowance is not calculated on the basis of actual housing costs but the maximum housing costs. The rates of maximum housing costs are linked to the household size and the municipality in which the home is located. In cases, where the recipient’s income does not affect the housing allowance, the allowance covers 80% of acceptable housing costs up to the maximum limit for housing costs. If you live in a rental apartment in Oulu, the maximum housing costs to a one-person household are 396 euros a month. For a two-persons household the maximum housing costs are 579 euros a month, for a three-persons household they are 734 euros a month and for a four-persons household they are 869 euros a month (for every additional household person over four they are +119 euros a month).

Persons sharing a household must claim general housing allowance together.

Persons who are considered to be part of the same household:

  • close relatives sharing a home (married and cohabiting couples, grandparents, parents and children)
  • spouse or partner living elsewhere and underage children
  • persons renting a home under a joint rental agreement
  • persons renting a home under separate rental agreements if collectively they pay rent for the entire home

Persons who are not considered to be part of the same household:

  • persons renting a part of a home under separate rental agreements, if they are not close relatives and they are not collectively responsible for paying rent for the entire home
  • a tenant and a subtenant unless they are close relatives
  • spouses or partners, who are living separately because of broken relationship

The amount of housing benefits is affected by the gross income of the persons making up the household. When the housing allowance is calculated, each person’s income is taken into account either as an amount averaged over a certain period or as income received continuously.

  • If a person’s income stays the same for at least three moths starting from the time the housing allowance is granted or reviewed, the allowance is calculated according to that income.
  • If the income varies, the housing allowance is calculated on the basis of income averaged over the next 12 months.

An earnings deduction is made from every household member’s salary, income from self-employment and income from agriculture. The deduction is 300 euros a month. The earnings deduction does not apply to the study grant or other social benefits because they are not considered to be earned income.

If your household’s income increases more than 400 euros a month or the income decreases more than 200 euros a month, or the housing costs increase more than 50 euros a month you should apply for interim review.

How to apply for the student financial aid and general housing allowance

  1. Apply for the student financial aid as soon as you have received the information that you have been accepted to the University. If you qualify for general housing allowance and you know beforehand how much income you will have and what your housing costs and other circumstances will be like.
  2. Fill in the application and file it to any of the Kela offices.
  3. Attach all necessary enclosures to your application.

Social assistance

Foreigners, who are living in Finland permanently have the right to social assistance and are subject to the same eligibility conditions which apply to citizens of Finland. The permanence of the residence is assessed by Kela. If you live in Finland temporarily, you will usually only be entitled to necessary emergency social assistance (e.g. food and acutely needed medicines). The assistance is awarded in the form of vouchers.

Social assistance is a means-tested benefit and a last-resort form of income security, to which students are entitled to resort if their other income is insufficient. You can file your application for social assistance to Kela. Students can be eligible for social assistance in situations where their study grant has been disconnected or used up, and during the summer, if they are not able to study and if they don’t have a summer job. Whether an applicant is entitled to social assistance or not, depends on his or her wealth and situation in life. The student loan is considered as income for the student, if the student has qualified for it, regardless of whether the student has taken out the loan or not.  The need for assistance is assessed on the basis of each individual’s personal situation.

Social assistance consists of three components: basic social assistance, supplementary social assistance and preventive social assistance. The basic social assistance applications are handled by Kela. The need for basic social assistance is determined by calculating the applicant’s (or family’s) net income (income before deduction for taxes), assets and expenses. If you have special expenses, which are not covered by basic social assistance you can apply to your municipality for supplementary or preventive social assistance.

Basic social assistance is 497,29 euros a month for a person living alone. The basic amount should cover the essential costs of daily living, such as food and clothing. Other basic expenses, which are taken into account up to a reasonable amount are i.e. rent, medical expenses, daycare costs etc. You must be prepared to show proof of your expenses (i.e. in the form of a rental agreement or invoice). Usually Kela recognises the expenses as such unless they are considered to be unreasonably large.

Apply for social assistance online or print out a paper application for social basic social assistance (TO1e) and mail it to Kela along with the supporting documents. If you cannot apply for basic social assistance online or on a paper form, you can do so verbally. Contact Kela’s customer service at 020 634 2550 or Kela’s customer service point.

If you apply for a benefit for the first time after moving to Finland and your entitlement to benefits provided by Kela has not yet been determined, you should complete form Y 77e ‘Application – Social security coverage when moving to Finland’ and submit it with your application to Kela.

Meal subsidy

The Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) grants meal subsidy to students. You don’t have to apply for the benefit, you just have to show your student ID card at the restaurant to get your meal at a reduced price. Students can get lunch at an affordable price in all of the restaurants on the University of Oulu campuses. Foreign students who study full-time or as exchange students at a Finnish institution of higher education are also entitled to meal subsidy.

You can get advice on student related issues such as the student financial aid by calling Kela’s phone services or booking an appointment.

There are different ways for a student to find a home and a roof over their head. A definite plus for this university city is that there are some moderately priced rental apartments available in Oulu. When you are looking for a place to live, you should consider the price, the location and the neighbourhood and whether it is shared. After you know you have a studying place at the University of Oulu, you should start looking for an apartment immediately. 

In Oulu, there are many housing providers from the Student Housing Foundation of Northern Finland (PSOAS) to the city’s apartment rental agency Sivakka and many other renters as well. Students, who are Finnish citizens or permanent residents can get the student financial aid’s housing supplement or general housing allowance to help with the residential costs. Check with Kela if you are eligible for these benefits, especially if you have been in Finland for two years or more, or you have a permanent residence permit.

The biggest housing provider for students in Oulu is the Student Housing Foundation of Northern Finland, better known as PSOAS. The Foundation offers over 5 500 apartments including studios, flat shares and family flats around Oulu. Often, the student residential buildings have a sauna, laundry facilities and recreational rooms for joint use. A good way to get to know your neighbours is to participate in the resident’s committee activities. The largest student housing area in the city is Linnanmaa with approx. 1 500 apartments situated right next to the University. Other areas with lots of student residents are Toppila and Alppila, and closer to the city centre Välkkylä and Tuira.

The key factor for finding accommodation is to ACT EARLY. Submit your PSOAS application as soon as possible. Re-new the application in 90 days as instructed. And if it looks like there is no possibility of getting a flat right away in September, the situation is still most likely going to change after the Autumn rush. Note that it is not possible that everyone will get an apartment from PSOAS! Then get cracking, immediately, on finding something for a few months, or possibly for the duration of your entire stay.

Where to find flats, apartment rental agencies and cheap hotel accommodation in Oulu

Student Housing Foundation of Northern Finland (PSOAS)
Oulu city’s apartmental rental agency Sivakka
Otokylä ry
Lumo & VVO
Iskon mummola, room rental service (especially for temporary housing – from 1 day to monthly prices)

Having problems finding housing?

Not all students get a flat right away in September, especially those, who did not manage to apply for PSOAS apartments early enough. Please see our list of agencies and places for accommodation, and some tips below.

Students sublet their apartments

Lots of Finnish students leave Oulu for a semester or two to go abroad for exchange or go for an internship somewhere else. Many of them sublet their flats or their rooms in shared flats – usually furnished.  You can contact PSOAS and leave your information (name, introduction and contact info) to AsuntoPörssi  which is a place where students inform if they want to sublease their apartment or if they are looking for an apartment. The web page is unfortunately only in Finnish and people usually only advertise in Finnish but you can try Google-translating (it’s not perfect but it should do the trick) or ask a friend to help you translate. People usually leave their contact details, so you can always ask for more info! Tip! “Vuokrataan” means that someone wants to rent out their apartment. “Halutaan vuokrata” means that they are looking for an apartment.

Join forces

Sometimes it is easier to look as a group of 2–4 students – there is usually a huge demand for one-person rooms,  studios, etc. Family-sized apartments may be easier to find. Grab a few friends from among other arriving students (e.g. from Facebook-groups for new students) who might be interested and ask your kummi-student for some help!

All OYY members are entitled to get their lunch at an affordable, student-friendly price at the student restaurants. There are student restaurants on Linnanmaa and Kontinkangas campuses and in the city centre as well.

You are entitled to the student discount when you present a valid student ID card at the restaurant. The student restaurants on campuses are run by Uniresta and Juvenes. The basic student lunch costs 2,60 euros, but there are more expensive alternatives.

Uniresta is a limited company owned by students. You can find menus in English on their webpage under the heading “Ruokalistat“. Select the restaurant which menu you want to see and change the menu to english by clicking EN on the upper right corner.

You can find the following Uniresta restaurants:

  • on the Linnanmaa campus: Kastari
  • on the Kontinkangas campus: Medisiina and Castanea (NB! no student discount)
  • in the city centre: Vanilla (at Torikatu), Preludi (Oulun Musiikkikeskus, Oulu Musical Centre)

Uniresta also has a cafeteria called Health to Organic Cafe & Deli (H2O) in the city centre (Uusikatu 26), at Ideapark (Ritaharjuntie 26), in Kaleva-house (Solistinkatu 2–4) and in Linnanmaa campus. H2O provides also lunch and other food, and with a student card you get a 10% discount from your lunch and a 20 % discount from your coffee.

On the Linnanmaa campus you can also find Juvenes-restaurants called Mara, Foodoo, Napa, Foobar and Kylymä. There are also cafeterias called Hub and TellUs Cafe. You can find daily menus of Juvenes restaurants here.

If you would like to give some feedback about student restaurants, you can contact the Student Union’s Specialist in Social Affairs (sopoasiantuntija@oyy.fi). 

(Finnish students and foreigners comparable to Finnish citizens) You can get general housing allowance during summer time if the terms for getting it are met. Even if you are temporarily living in another city you can get general housing allowance for your permanent apartment for three months. Just remember that you can only get general housing allowance for one apartment. Study grant and income effect to the amount of the general housing allowance. If your household’s income increases more than 400 euros per month or the income decreases more than 200 euros per month you should apply for interim review.

1. Summer job

By working during summer time you can increase your skills, experience, and build connections. All kind of working experience is good experience, and it prepares you for working life. Check out the tips for finding a job and writing your job application.

(Finnish students and foreigners comparable to Finnish citizens) NB! Students drawing the Finnish student financial aid: Keep in mind the annual income limit to get study grant! Keep track of your earnings, and if you exceed the income limit set by Kela, cancel the student financial aid and return (one month of financial aid for each amount of 1,323 euros) the money you have already received (later you can draw the returned aid again) by the end of April. Kela takes into account your taxable gross earnings, grants, scholarships and foreign income. If you don’t cancel or return the financial aid when you exceed the income limit, Kela will collect the aid back with an interest rate of 7,5%. If Kela has to resort to collecting back the monthly aid, you cannot draw the collected aid again later. If your income exceeds your annual income limit by 222 euros at the most, you don’t need pay back any aid at all.

2. Studying

(Finnish students and foreigners comparable to Finnish citizens) You can draw the student financial aid also for studies carried out during the summer. You must enclose a study plan to your application (exams, essays or thesis work; not the final work for the courses you attended during the spring). You can get a form to apply for the summer financial aid from Kela’s offices or you can fill in the application online in Kela’s e-services.

The Summer courses offered by the University of Oulu
The Finnish language courses offered by the Summer University of Northern Ostrobothnia.

3. Internship

A good way to gain work experience is through an internship. Some internships are paid, for some you can get the University’s internship support, and some internships are unpaid. See the internships, jobs and thesis’ offers notified to the University of Oulu. Follow Intership UniOulu’s twitter account @InternshipUO. Finnish students and foreigners comparable to Finnish citizens can draw the student financial aid during an unpaid internship. If your internship is paid, make sure you don’t exceed the student financial aid income limits set by Kela. If you do your internship abroad, you can apply for the higher financial aid for studies abroad.

4. Social assistance

Finnish students and foreigners comparable to Finnish citizens can apply for social assistance in situations, when they have no other income. The student loan is considered as income for the student, if the student has qualified for it, regardless of whether the student has taken out the loan or not. Social assistance is applied for at Kela. You can find more information here.

5. Recharging your batteries

Summer is the perfect opportunity to recharge your batteries. If you have the chance, relax and prepare yourself for the new academic year and the darkness of the winter. During summer it’s a good idea to update your CV and profile in LinkedIn.

Whether you spend the summer by working or somehow else remember to enjoy the sunshine and do something that makes you feel good!

University sports of Oulu

University Sports of Oulu (Oulun Korkeakoululiikunta or OKKL in Finnish) offers sports and welfare services for both students and staff of the University of Oulu, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, the Diaconia University of Applied Sciences and Oulu Vocational College.

You can gain access to the services by purchasing the Sports Pass. The Sports pass functions as an entrance ticket to sports services, training sessions as well as other welfare services. The pass also gives you certain discounts on some course fees and on services provided by OKKL’s co-operating partners.

The University of Oulu sports club

The University of Oulu has a sports club (OYUS) that offers many different opportunities for competitive or recreational sports. You can find more information on their website (in Finnish only, sorry!).

The Finnish Student Sports Federation

The Finnish Student Sports Federation (OLL) is a national student sports advocacy and service organization. OYY is not a member of OLL, so unfortunately OYY members are not entitled to member benefits of OLL. Get more information about OLL.

Sports Academy of Oulu

Sports Academy of Oulu helps combine studying and a sports career together. The University of Oulu is a member of the Sports Academy and our contact person is Sports Secretary Heidi Olsbo (heidi.olsbo@oulu.fi).

Oulu city Sport services

The city of Oulu provides a variety of sports services to its citizens, ranging from sports facilities to different courses. Some of the city’s services grant student discounts.

Bullying and inappropriate, discriminating or hurtful language does not belong in the University or in the Student Union, just as they don’t belong in any other working or studying environment. Everyone should seek to interfere with bullying anywhere it occurs! If you don’t know how to intervene or who to tell, contact to the Student Union’s harassment contact persons.

It is important to handle all the harassment cases – the wellbeing of the whole University suffers if the atmosphere is suppressing or hostile! Everyone belonging to the University community can prevent and oppose harassment and bullying. The most straightforward way is to intervene if you notice or experience harassment – tell how uncomfortable and unpleasant the harassing behaviour is.

The University has a legal obligation to take action if harassment has been reported. According to the University of Oulu Equality and Diversity Plan the faculty’s Service Manager for Academic Affairs, after becoming aware of inappropriate treatment, must by available means take measures to remedy the situation. The guide: Prevention of Bullying and Harassment at the University of Oulu can be read online. You can start the handling process by filling the announcement of experienced bullying / harassment.

The contact people for bullying and harassment in the Student Union support and give advice to students, who feel that they have become victims of bullying. The contact people do not keep a record of the people who have been in touch, and they work under an obligation of secrecy. The conversations are confidential. The contact persons do not discuss your matters between themselves if you wish so. The contact people are not judges or therapists, they do not give sanctions. They give you advice and support on how to handle the situation.

You can contact the Student Union’s contact people by emailing: hairinta@oyy.fi or you can email the Student Union’s Specialist of Social Affairs (Sanna Kangasniemi) sopoasiantuntija@oyy.fi or by calling or texting +358 40 526 5821.

Students with kids, who are Finnish citizens or have a permanent residence in Finland are entitled to get a provider supplement of 75,00 euros on top of the study grant. You don’t have to apply for the provider supplement because Kela will grant it to you automatically if you are entitled to get the study grant. 

As a studying parent you are entitled to get all the same services, which are provided to other families with children. NB! If you draw study grant then the maternity, paternity or parental allowance is paid minimum. If you stop drawing the study grant then the maternity, paternity or parental allowance is determined by your latest income. Check out Kela’s services for Families.

Maternity clinic services are not part of the FSHS services. Instead, you should contact the city’s healthcare services. In fact, you should contact the city’s healthcare services as soon as after you know that you are pregnant. An addition to your family is going to change the time you can use for studying. You should counsel with your study advisor and plan how to combine child care and studying in the best way possible.

You can also join to the Facebook group called ‘OYY:n perheelliset opiskelijat‘ where you can get the opportunity to get to know other students with families and to give and get a peer support for your life situation.

Daycare and everyday life

As a parent you are allowed to choose whether you’d like to take care of your child at home or use daycare services. There are private and public daycares from which to choose. Children under school age are entitled to public daycare. The costs are determined by the gross income of the family. To find out more about public daycare services check the city’s webpage.

If you choose private daycare for your child, you can apply for private daycare allowance, which is granted by Kela. Child home care allowance is paid for children under 3 years old if the child is taken care of at home. The caregiver can be a parent or someone else (e.g. grandparent or private daycare provider). The city of Oulu pays so-called “Oulu extra” for a child under 18 months old, who is taken care of at home by their parent with child home care allowance.

See Kela’s quick guide for families.

The Mannerheim League for Child Welfare is an organization, that provides services and support for families with children. The Family federation of Finland also provides services for families with children.

Unemployment security

If you are an unemployed jobseeker, unemployment security will support you financially. If you are a member of an unemployment fund and you fulfill the employment condition, you can receive an earnings-related allowance from your unemployment fund. The unemployment benefit is receivable five days a week and the earliest it can be paid is the day you are registered as an unemployed jobseeker at the employment office.

Earnings-related allowance

  • you have been a member of an unemployment fund long enough
  • you have fulfilled the employment condition
  • consists of two parts: the basic component and the earnings-related component
  • paid by the unemployment fund

Basic allowance

  • you meet the employment condition
  • you are not a member of an unemployment fund or you have not been a member long enough
  • paid by Kela

The labour market subsidy

  • you don’t meet the employment condition
  • you can no longer receive basic or earnings-related unemployment allowance because the maximum payment for these benefits has been reached
  • it is means-tested, which means that income during other periods than the period of unemployment is taken into account (your parents’ income affects to your labour market subsidy if you live in the same household)
  • paid by Kela

To receive unemployment security you have to actively seek for a job or an education. Also, you have to take part in employment services if so required.

Studying with unemployment benefit

As a main rule, you can not receive the unemployment benefit if you are studying full-time. Studying is counted as full-time studying if:
a) it is a degree programme
b) according to your study plan you have to study approximately 5 credits / month
c) you have to study at least 25 hours a week

If you can show (by holding a regular job) that full-time studying is not an obstacle for accepting an offered job position, the employment office will investigate whether they consider your studying as full-time or not.

If you have suspended your studies for more than a year and you have lost your job, you can contact the employment office to talk about the possibility of drawing unemployment benefit to complete your studies. Preconditions for studying on the unemployment benefit are: you need further education, your education is purposeful and you are over 25 years old. You can receive the unemployment benefit for a maximum of 24 months. If you are not eligible to full-time studying on unemployment benefit, you might still be able to draw the benefit and study part time.

You can also contact the employment office to find a summer job. If you are a full time student and you get a job, you don’t have to interrupt your studies, but you are normally not entitled to get unemployment benefit when you have registered as an attending student.


TE Services – Unemployment security
Kela – Unemployment

Employment services

If you don’t have a job when you graduate you should register at the employment office as soon as possible. Also contact the Social Insurance Institute of Finland (Kela) to find out if you are eligible for the basic unemployment allowance or labour market subsidy, while you are looking for a job. If you are a member of an unemployment fund, contact them to find out whether you meet their criteria for the earnings-related unemployment allowance. You can register as an unemployed jobseeker online. It is important to check that your contact information is correct. Otherwise it might take unnecessary time to ascertain your case. More info about how to deal with employment services you can find from their website.

The University will support you

The Student and Career Counselling service at the University will be happy to help you to plan your career and find a job. You should take advantage of the Career Development Coordinators’ help already before you graduate, and make your transition from the University to working life is as smooth as possible.

Postgraduate studies

If you are interested in continuing on the academic path after you have completed your master’s degree, you can apply to the University of Oulu Graduate School for a doctoral study right. If you plan on doing research, you should familiarize yourself with the requirements for admission to the Graduate School already while you are doing your master’s studies, and find out the emphasis of research in your field of study and what kind of research groups there are. Some study programmes enable students to be part of the research process already while they are still studying for their master’s degree, so you should be active and ask the professors how you can further your research career. More information on the University of Oulu Graduate School.

Complementary studies

In some of the faculties, you can carry out complementary studies for free after graduation. The practices vary, so contact your faculty’s Chief Academic Officer for more information. You should use this opportunity to support your chances of finding employment after your graduation. You can also carry out complementary studies in the Extension School (Topik) at the University of Oulu. Some of the courses are free of charge and some might have course fees, that vary depending on the duration of the studies. Find out more about continuing your education.

For alumni

University of Oulu alumni have their own network. You can become a mentor and be the source of inspiration for future students at the University. You can join the Alumni Network already after finishing your bachelor’s degree.

The Student Union of the University of Oulu works to further an equal and fair study environment at the University of Oulu. Equality is implemented to our work seamlessly and it is a natural part of our work.

In an equal environment one’s age, life situation, gender, sexual orientation, religion, beliefs, opinion, race, nationality, language, colour, political or other opinion, health status, national or social origin or other status doesn’t allow you to be treated / you to treat others unfairly or unequally. One side of the equality work is to enhance accessibility. Accessibility work refers e.g. to special arrangements for study or accessibility in the University’s facilities.

Equality and Diversity Committees

In the University of Oulu there is an Equality and Diversity Committee. If you face unequal or unjust treatment or you have some ideas on how to further equality, you can contact the student members of the Equality and Diversity Committee or OYY’s Social Affairs Specialist. There is also an Equality and Diversity Working Group of the faculties. If you want to contact your faculty’s Equality and Diversity Working Group’s student member, look for their contact information here.

More information about equality work:

Skip to content