Study Guide


Exchange Opportunities »

Living in Oulu

You can acquaint yourself with your future study city by means of the information provided below. Welcome to Oulu!

  • Accommodation

    Housing via PSOAS

    Accommodation services for incoming exchange students in Oamk are provided by the Northern Finland Student Housing Foundation PSOAS in their Välkkylä dormitory (address: Ylioppilaantie 4). When filling in the application form, please remember to select "Foreign student" and then "Exchange Student in Oulu UAS" as your place of study in order to be included in Oamk's quota.

    To the application form >>

    Please note that the availability of accommodation is limited. You should submit the application in as good time as possible, by the following deadlines at the latest:
    • for autumn term / academic year: 15 May
    • for spring term: 31 October

    Accommodation cannot be guaranteed on short notice or for late applicants! Applications are processed in the order they are received, and room offers sent out after admission to Oamk.

    The rent is always charged in full calendar months. If you are coming to Oamk for the autumn term or the academic year, the rental agreement can only be made for one of the following time periods:

    • 1.8. - 31.12.
    • 1.8. - 31.5.

    If you are coming to Oamk for the spring term, the rental agreement can only be made for the following time period, apart from exceptions mentioned below:

    • 1.1. (moving in 2.1.) - 31.5.

    As of 1 August 2018 the monthly rents are:

    • 347.43 EUR/month in a shared apartment
    • 421.97 EUR/month in a studio apartment

    In addition PSOAS charges also 10 EUR/month for the electricity.

    The rent rates mentioned apply to incoming exchange students' accommodation due to the extra services provided for them (e.g. guaranteed accommodation within receiving university's quota, furniture, linen service etc.).

    PSOAS's Accommodation Office will offer you accommodation by an email. Please immediately confirm your accommodation by paying the deposit and service fees to PSOAS's bank account. You'll have only a few days time to confirm your accommodation.

    Once the Accommodation Office has received your deposit and service fee payment, you will receive a confirmation message to your email containing also instructions on how the process moves onwards.

    The rooms and apartments in the Välkkylä dormitory have basic furniture such as a bed with a mattress, a desk, a chair and a cupboard for storing clothes and other personal belongings.

    The apartments are either studios with a private bathroom and a private kitchenette, or shared apartments with two bedrooms (single occupancy) with a shared kitchenette and a shared bathroom.

    A linen service is included in the rent. You are provided with bed linen (sheets and a pillow case) and you can change them monthly at times announced in the dormitory. Towels you should provide by yourself.

    Residents themselves are responsible for the cleanliness of the flat. Mops, buckets and cleaning cloths can be borrowed. Vacuum cleaners are not necessarily available. Cleaning detergents you should buy yourself.

    Oamk's International Services supplied the rooms originally with basic kitchen utensils, cutlery and dishes. These may be, however, distributed unevenly in the apartments. Please check with other tenants and exchange utensils with each other.

    If you arrive for regular terms and arrival days and times, then you will get and sign your rental agreement during Oamk's orientation days. If you arrive at exceptional days and times, you must visit PSOAS Accommodation Office on the first week to sign the rental agreement for your room.

    Exceptions for tenancy agreements:

    1) Trainees pursuing their traineeship full-time during/outside of Oamk's official term dates, usually Erasmus+ trainees who will be enrolled to Oamk, but are staying at and are supervised by third parties (companies) yet also mentored by Oamk's staff.

    2) Health and social care students only (!) from partner universities with short-term (3-month) Erasmus+ inter-institutional or bilateral agreements.
    Mobility period 3 = 3.1. - 3.4., Tenancy period 1.1. (arrival and moving in 2.1.) - 30.4.2020
    Mobility period 4 = 28.2. - 29.5. Tenancy period (arrival and moving in 27.2.) 1.3. - 31.5.2020

    3) In some cases and only (!) if the room quota at PSOAS' Välkkylä dormitory has been reached, e.g. for August, PSOAS may offer alternative rental agreements and tenancy periods, e.g. 1.9. - 31.12., or 1.9. - 31.5.

    In August you may move in earlier than on the official moving in date(s), but please notice that arrival services provided by peer tutors are available only during the official arrival dates and times.

    Housing via Forenom Oulu

    Oamk's agreement for accommodation of international students at Forenom Apart Hotel Oulu City Uusikatu

    Oamk's International Services and Forenom Ltd have an agreement about providing additional housing capacity to international students of Oamk. This accommodation is provided by Forenom in their Forenom Apart Hotel Oulu City Uusikatu in the heart of Oulu's downtown right beside the Otto Karhi Park and all the services and activities of the city centre (e.g. the Shopping Centre Valkea is in the same block with the hotel and the pedestrian precinct Rotuaari is only 200 m away), or in brand new studio apartments (2 persons per apartment) in Toppila.

    This option is available for a contract price 475 EUR/person/month in a shared twin apartment hotel room or studio apartment. The rent includes water, heating, electricity, internet connection, use of a shared kitchen and laundry, and a fortnightly cleaning and linen change.

    The rooms of the Aparthotel intended for exchange students have a bathroom with a shower, a flat-screen TV, hairdryer, refrigerator, microwave oven, an electric kettle and basic dishes, so you can prepare small meals right in your room. Bigger cookings can be done in the shared kitchen. You will have also an option of having breakfast for a discounted price in the cafe located in the ground floor of the Aparthotel.

    For further information on this option, and to make a reservation, please email matti.luttinen#forenom.com (korvaa # -> @), tel. +358 45 131 5096.

    Other Housing Options

    When looking for long-term accommodation (furnished or unfurnished), please thoroughly check the advertisements on the private housing market, considering also general living costs for students. We suggest not to make any long-term rental agreement on the private housing market without having seen the property and checked the rental agreement beforehand at the location. We recommend to first travel to Finland to stay for a short term at a hotel / hostel / airbnb apartment, and then look for long-term accommodation (perhaps also together with other exchange students) in Oulu.

    Housing providers and portals

    Portals for private individuals offering housing rentals:

  • Communication

    Postal services

    To make sure that incoming mail is properly delivered to you, we recommend to fill in a paper form "Notification of Change of Address" at the closest postal service point as soon as possible after your arrival. Here is an example of how the form looks like - the form itself is only available on paper and at the postal service point - take your national ID card/passport and Oamk's enrolment certificate when going there.

    If you are staying in PSOAS's Välkkylä hall of residence, inform the postal service point in the Citymarket in Raksila (Tehtaankatu 5. Open Mon-Sat 8.00 - 21.00, Sun 10.00 - 21.00) about your current and valid and full address (Ylioppilaantie 4 A or B + number of the apartment/room).

    Go in person to visit the service point and ask for a form (registration of your postal address) to be filled in for this purpose. This will ensure that mail is delivered correctly to your post locker on the ground floor of the dormitory.

    Incoming letters and small items will be usually delivered directly to your post locker at your place of accommodation. Your room or a separate key opens this locker. If you receive an item that does not fit into the post locker the delivery service staff will drop in a notice of arrival against which you can collect the shipment from a specific postal service point.

    For outgoing mail the nearest (orange) post box at PSOAS's Välkkylä hall of residence is located in front of the dormitory. There's a post box available also in front of the Citymarket Raksila. Stamps are readily available in most kiosks and supermarkets.

    Phone

    Traditional landline phones hardly exist anymore, so it is necessary to have a mobile phone in order to make phone calls. Many shops sell new and used mobile phones in the city centre. Department stores and markets sell them as well, so you can easily buy a mobile phone if you do not have one yet. Mobile phones cost from 50 euros up to 900 euros, depending on the model.

    After you have a mobile phone, you have to get a SIM card for it in order to make phone calls or send text messages. The easiest way is to buy a prepaid card. A prepaid card contains a certain amount of talk time and/or text messages, and you pay it before you use it. Phone operators such as DNA, Elisa and Telia offer prepaid cards. There are many shops and kiosks offering prepaid cards, so it might be useful to compare the prices in order to purchase the most affordable one. Students usually purchase their prepaid SIM cards from R-kioski.

    Internet

    Internet connection in your place of accommodation is being provided in student housing facilities offered by PSOAS. If you are staying at a different apartment, you may need to take care of making a contract with an internet provider such as DNA, Elisa and Telia.

    On our Oamk campuses, you can use internet for free via WiFi networks:

    1. KK (=Oamk’s own network, login with your user credentials),
    2. Eduroam and
    3. panOULU.

    Always use KK when possible. That is the easiest option: You don’t need a VPN connection when you are already inside the Oamk’s own network. See more at https://it.oamk.fi/4747?lang=en

    Email & Social Media

    Feel free to use your own private email service. For your studies, we recommend to use your Oamk student email. More information at https://it.oamk.fi/1833?lang=en

    Netiquette and Oamk's ethical guidelines apply for using social media.

  • Financial Matters

    Financing your exchange

    Please make sure to gain sufficient funds for your exchange and save up money for living expenses, insurance and additional trips and events before coming to Oamk.

    Contact your home university about possible grants such as for Erasmus+ etc. You may check for additional scholarships from foundations or associations in your home country.

    In addition, consult your family etc. when planning the budget for your exchange at Oamk. Bank loans can be an option, if need be - please check for these in your home country.

    It is possible also to look for a job here in Oulu besides your studies, but there are limited possibilities due to Finnish language requirement. Please consult our section "Working in Finland" for more information.

    Opening a bank account

    If need be, you may open a bank account in Finland, if you have a Finnish personal identity code. Opening a bank account is free of charge. Please note that for ensuring services in English, in most cases, you must book a time with the customer service beforehand.

    At least the following banks serve international customers:

    In order to open a bank account, you need to have your passport and a study certificate with you when going to the bank for the first time. In addition, make sure that you reserve enough time when going to the bank.

    When you open a bank account, you will get a debit card, which you can use for withdrawing money from ATMs (pankkiautomaatti/Otto). Feel free to search for the closest Otto ATM in Oulu.

    To receive an internet banking account, you must have a regular income and a Finnish personal identity code. It is easy to pay bills and follow your bank balance with an internet banking account. If you are not eligible for online banking, you need to pay your bills by other means, see "Pay your bills".


    Money transfer

    Sending/receiving money is best to arrange via your internet bank account in your home country.

    Below please find also money transfer services in Finland / Oulu which are, however, subject of a fee:

    Paying bills

    We recommend to use your internet banking in your home country for paying invoiced bills here in Finland. In shops etc. you may use either cash or your credit/debit card for your purchases.

    If you need to make payments and cannot use your internet banking via your home country, feel free to use the R-kioski (via Collector Bank AB) direct bank transfer services by which you can pay to a Finnish bank account. This is subject to a service fee and may require a Finnish personal identity code. See the information at https://www.r-kioski.fi/palvelut/maksaminen/ (in Finnish only).

    Taxation

    If you are working in Finland and are receiving a salary, then your income may be subject to taxation. If this were, the case, read up more in our section on taxation in "Working in Finland"

  • Finnish Language and Culture

    Finnish language

    The Finnish language is a member of the Finno-Ugric language family. It is spoken by the majority of the population. The other official language is Swedish. Phonetically Finnish is very simple, consisting of 8 vowels and 13 consonants. However, it has a very rich word flexion. There are also a number of different dialects, which can be a bit harder to understand compared with the so-called normal spoken language.

    Learning Finnish is extremely important in order to integrate successfully into the Finnish culture. Survival Finnish skills (everyday phrases) are a must right away when entering the country. Without Finnish language skills it is very difficult to find a job in Finland, as there are only a few companies in which the official language is English.

    Finnish culture

    Finland promotes equality in all forms. According to the constitutional law in Finland, people are equal regardless of age, race, ethnicity, gender, religious views, political views and sexual orientation. In Finland, people are expected to be treated with respect. This applies to the university environment as well.

    Finns are punctual and mostly on time. When making an appointment, you should be on time, and rather five minutes early than five minutes late. Students are expected to join the lectures on time. When a lecture starts at 9 am, it starts at 9 am sharp, and you are expected to be in the classroom before that.

    Finns tend to follow rules and laws. One good example are the traffic lights. When the red light is on, Finns wait until it changes to green even if there is no one even near the crossroads. Another good example are the rules and laws set by the government. People follow them very carefully without challenging the authority, and for instance pay taxes dutifully.

    Finns make fun of themselves and each other in an ironic way. Finns tend to self-depreciate at times, but it does not need to be taken too seriously.

    Nature is important in the Finnish culture, and the outdoors are kept clean. People respect nature, and littering is not acceptable. However, anyone can pick berries and mushrooms from forests and swim in lakes and rivers freely.

    Weather and climate

    In Finland we enjoy four distinct seasons: summer, autumn, winter and spring. Summers are warm and bright, winters cold and dark. The temperature during the summer can rise up to +35 degrees Celsius, and during the winter it can drop down to -35 degrees Celsius.

    The summer lasts for three months (June, July and August), and usually July or August is the warmest month. The autumn starts in late August and lasts until late October when the winter season begins. Snow usually falls at the end of October or the beginning of November. The coldest months are usually January and February. The spring starts in March when the snow starts to melt.

    In midsummer, the sun does not set, and in mid-winter the sun does barely rise or not at all. The weather changes constantly during the four seasons. There are no rainy seasons in Finland. It rains throughout the year, and the rain can start very suddenly. However, it usually rains more in the autumn than during other seasons. Cold and dark winters can be a bit depressing, and in midsummer it can be a little difficult to sleep because of the brightness.

    As Oulu is located on the northwest coast near the sea, it is often quite windy. Strong winds increase the effect of cold. When it is -5 degrees Celsius and the wind blows 10 metres per second, it feels like -22 degrees Celsius. -20 degrees Celsius is very cold. It is impossible to survive without proper winter clothing in such a cold weather.

  • Health Care

    Health care services

    In Oulu

    In cases of acute illness, international students of Oamk residing in Oulu and whose stay lasts at least two (2) months and who are studying full-time are entitled to use the public health care services provided by the City of Oulu.

    During weekdays public health care services are offered in the health care centres and wellness centres. You can visit all the health centres' acute receptions during day-time opening hours without calling in advance or having an appointment. Take a waiting number from the hall and you will be called to the nurse. A doctor will join the reception if necessary.

    For those who are living in PSOAS's Välkkylä dormitory, the acute reception is in the Kontinkangas Wellness Centre, address Kajaanintie 46 A, floor 0 in the Kontinkangas district, Oulu (Mon-Thu 8–16, Fri 8–15). Locations of other health care centres are listed on the website of the City of Oulu.

    Fees:

      • EU citizens: a health care centre fee of 20.90 EUR will be charged for the three first visits to a doctor within a calendar year. Appointments with nurses are free of charge.
      • Non-EU citizens: a health care centre fee of 203 EUR will be charged for each visit to a doctor, and to a nurse 62.32 EUR, within a calendar year. N.B.! For Non-EU cititzens visits to a doctor or nurse are generally more affordable in the private health centres, see links below.

    Always check current fees when making appointments or walking in during service hours. A penalty fee of 51,40 EUR will be charged if you do not use, nor cancel a reserved appointment.

    In the evenings and on weekends you can use the services of the emergency unit (in Finnish 'yhteispäivystys') of the Oulu University Hospital, address Kajaanintie 50, entrance A1, tel. +358 8 315 2655.

    During on-call hours an emergency fee of EUR 41.70 per visit will be charged. You can go to the emergency unit without an appointment. If the illness requires a consultation with a house officer or resident doctor, an outpatient fee of 20.90 EUR (during 8-20) and 41.70 EUR (during 20-8) will be charged. Fees may be different for EU and Non-EU citizens - check the current fees with the emergency unit reception. Traveller's insurances usually cover costs incurred at public health care facilities (except penalty fees).

    See further information on public health care on the website of the City of Oulu.

    There is also a number of private health care providers in Oulu serving during weekdays and at different times in the evening and partly on weekends. Please check the opening hours and conditions for services offered directly with the private health care provider, see links below. The customer/patient is liable for all the costs. If you have a traveller's insurance, the insurance usually covers the expenses of the use of private medical services. Please check the terms of your insurance!


    In Oulainen

    In cases of acute illness in Oulainen you can contact the acute reception of Oulainen health care centre, Tel. +358 8 479 3401 (Mon - Fri 8:00 - 16:00).

    In the evenings and weekends you can turn to the emergency unit of Oulaskangas hospital. Before going to the emergency unit you should call to tel. +358 8 429 7840 where the need of treatment can be assessed.

    A health care centre fee is charged, for EU citizens 20.90 EUR, and for Non-EU citizens doctor 187.27 EUR, visit to a nurse 62.32 EUR. Fees will be charged for three three first visits to a doctor within a calendar year.

    In the emergency unit of Oulaskangas hospital the fees are the following: weekdays 16.00 - 20:00 20.90 EUR, at other times 41.70 EUR per visit.

    There is also a private medical clinic in Oulainen. In the private sector the customer/patient is liable for all the costs. If you have traveller's insurance, the insurance usually covers the expenses. Please check the terms of your insurance!

    Private medical clinic in Oulainen: Lääkärikeskus Syke


    Note

    When you obtain health care from public or private health care providers, you must bring:

      1. Your passport / ID card
      2. Your Enrolment / Study Certificate from Oamk or your student card from OSAKO
      3. Your Insurance Certificate or Card (if you have private insurance)
      4. Your European Health and Insurance Card (EU / EEA / Swiss citizens). Make sure the staff of the health care provider makes a copy of your card, otherwise you will receive a bill for your treatments.
      5. Your Finnish Personal Identity Code
      6. Some money (cash/credit or debit card) to pay for the fees applying.

    Mental health

    The SOS Centre of The Finnish Association for Mental Health is located in Helsinki and assists all foreigners in Finland with mental health and social problems. This includes crisis situations. This service is free of charge.

      • SOS Centre Crisis Prevention for Foreigners, tel. +358 9 4135 0501 (on weekdays 9 - 15)
      • National Crisis Hotline +358 20 344 5566 (Mon 9 - 22, Tue - Fri 9 - 06, Sat 15 - 06 and Sun 15 - 22)
      • SOS Mobile +358 40 503 2199 (24 h)

    Useful material by The Finnish Association for Mental Health:

    In Oulu you should get in touch with a general practician, e.g. during the week at Kontinkangas Wellness Centre (Kajaanintie 46 A, floor 0, Mon-Thu 8–16, Fri 8–15) to help you with non-acute mental health problems.

    For help with acute mental health problems you can turn to the on-call unit of the Oulu Psychiatric Clinic, address Peltolantie 5, 90210 Oulu. Appointments and information tel. +358 8 315 6707, service hours Mon - Fri 8 - 18.

    Also the Oulu Crisis Centre can assist and support international students in acute crisis situations. You can contact the centre at tel. +358 44 3690 500 on Mon-Fri 9-13, address Kirkkokatu 19 A 10. The services of the Crisis Centre are free of charge.

    You can also always contact the students' health care personnel for advice and help or the international coordinators at Oamk for further information.

    Outside the service hours you can get help at the emergency unit of the Oulu University Hospital (for acute mental health problems as well), address Kajaanintie 50, entrance A1, Oulu. If needed, the doctor on duty can refer you to psychiatric treatment.

    If wished so, you may also consult student workers of the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church. You can meet them on campuses during certain weekdays and times for a chat over a cup of coffee/tea (check Oiva announcements) or contact them separately.

    In cases of acute mental health problems in Oulainen you can contact the emergency unit of Oulainen Health Care Centre, Tel. +358 8 479 2503 (24 hour service).

    Dental health

    Foreign students are entitled to public dental care only in acute cases. Treatment in public dental clinics will be charged according to the health care centre tariffs.

    In Oulu public dental care is available by an appointment at the regional dental clinics. If you are living in Otokylä Student Housing Village, you should contact the Aapistie public dental clinic, Aapistie 3, Tel. +358 8 5584 6420. For further information see the website of the City of Oulu: www.ouka.fi/oulu/english/dental-care.

    There are also many private dental clinics in Oulu. In the private clinics fees are remarkably higher than in the public clinics as the customer is liable for all the costs. Private dental clinics are for example

    In Oulainen you can contact the public on-call-duty dentist Mon-Fri 8-16, Tel. +358 44 4793 454 for further advice. Address of the clinic: Reservikomppaniankatu 7-9, Oulainen, www.attendo.fi/Oulaisten-hammashoitola

    The on-duty dentist on weekends and public holidays is in Oulu (Aapistie 3, 90220 Oulu): tel. +358 44 703 6426. Patients calling between 10:00 - 15:00 will be given acute care on the same day (only urgent care).

    There are also a private dental clinic in Oulainen:
    Oulaisten Syke, www.laakarikeskussyke.fi/, Keskuskatu 7, 86300 Oulainen, appointments tel. +358 8 474 333, Mon-Fri 9 - 16.30.

    Medicines

    Medicines are sold at pharmacies (Apteekki in Finnish), which are usually open Mon-Fri 9-18 and Sat 9-14. Please notice that in Finland chemists and drugstores sell only cosmetics.

    In Oulu, Rotuaarin Apteekki in the pedestrian precinct Rotuaari is open Mon - Fri 8.30-20, Sat 10-18 and Sun 11-18. Yliopiston Apteekki at Isokatu 27 is open daily 8-23.

    In Oulainen, Oulaisten Apteekki, Rautatienkatu 5, is open Mon-Fri 9-20, Sat 9-15 and Sun 11-13.

    Vaccination requirements

    General requirements

    There are usually no vaccination requirements for Finland, but it is good to check possible recommendations for your own health. The City of Oulu, Student Health Care, recommends the following vaccinations for all exchange students:

      • Polio Vaccine
      • MMR (mumps, measles, rubella) Vaccine
      • DT (diphtheria and tetanus) Vaccine
      • Influenza


    Special requirements for health and social care students pursuing practical training

    If you are coming to study in health and social care (apart from optometry) including practical training, you must provide this health certificate duly signed by a health care professional in your home country during your application or before the exchange to incoming.students#oamk.fi (korvaa # -> @) The certificate lists the required vaccinations, tests and TB documentation, if you wish to pursue practical training in health and social care at Oamk and/or in the Oulu region.


    Special requirements for students meeting any of the following tuberculosis (TB) risk criteria

    If you meet any of the following risk criteria about tuberculosis (TB), then you must provide this health certificate duly signed by a health care professional in your home country during your application or before the exchange to incoming.students#oamk.fi (korvaa # -> @):

      • if you were born in a country where the risk of TB is "very high"
      • if you have lived at least 12 months in a country where the risk of TB is "very high"
      • if you have worked at least 3 months in health care in a country where the risk of TB is "very high"
      • if you have treated any infectious TB patient without a respirator
      • if you have been in close contact with a TB patient in any country

    Please consult the list of "very high" risk ('erittäin korkea riski' in Finnish) or very high TB occurrence countries from The Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare (in Finnish ). The Norwegian Insitute for Public Health provides equivalent information (in English).

    All information or documentation you provide with one of the aforementioned health certificates or by other means will be kept strictly confidential.

    Sources and further information:

  • Insurance

    In order to come to Finland you should have a valid health and accident insurance that covers possible accidents and health problems also during your travel to and from Finland. Higher education institutions do not cover accidents during the students' stay in Finland, and without a valid insurance the medical cost may be high.

    Though citizens of the EU and EEA countries are entitled to the same health care services in Finland as Finnish citizens, if they are covered by health insurance in their own country and in possession of the European Health Card, they must also have a separate insurance. Students from EU/EEA countries can normally prove with a European health card that they are covered by the health care system of their own country. 

    All international students coming to Oamk should have at least the following (private) insurance before leaving for Finland, as they are responsible for their own accident, illness and property insurance. Students are required to take insurance issued by a reliable and solvent company or institution covering the costs incurred by an illness or an accident in Finland or on the way to/from Finland. A travel insurance usually covers also expenses caused by using the public health care system which are not covered with the European Health Insurance Card. Students’ travel insurance should cover at least expenses arising from an acute travel time illness or accident up to EUR 100 000 (for third country citizens 120 000) and the possible repatriation and evacuation back to home country. Students have to bring a valid insurance policy with them to Finland (preferably in English). Please make sure that the insurance is valid for your entire stay!

    Required insurance coverage (incoming exchange students and trainees):

    • Health care costs incurred for an illness or accident (minimum coverage 100 000 EUR, for third country citizens 120 000 EUR)
    • Personal property/luggage/household effects
    • Repatriation and medical evacuation of the insured (and mortal remains)
    • Civil liability

    In addition, trainees admitted for a practical training course or a full traineeship at Oamk and/or a third party (company, organisation, hospital, health care centre, school, etc.) should check with the supervising practical training/traineeship provider about possible third party liability insurance coverage (vastuuvakuutus in Finnish) and/or (hospitals etc.) statutory injury treatment insurance coverage (potilasvahinkovakuutus in Finnish).
    Finnish insurance companies do not grant insurance to foreigners whose stay in Finland cannot be considered to be permanent. Finnish higher education institutions have jointly negotiated International Students’ Health Insurance (SIP Insurance) that can be purchased by international students intending to study in Finland in one of the cooperating higher education institutions. It covers medical expenses, repatriation and also personal belongings as further explained and defined in the insurance terms.

    Examples of insurance that fulfill the requirements for studies at Oulu University of Applied Sciences for exchange students:
    • Swisscare – ESI Finland plan (www.swisscare-student.com)
    • AON's Complete Insurance: Insurance that covers the necessary requirements to obtain a residence permit for studies in Finland is Aon's Complete Insurance. Find out the description of cover here.
    • Assurances Courtages et Services (www.acs-ami.com)
    • International Student Insurance (www.internationalstudentinsurance.com)
    • SIP Insurance: International Students’ Health Insurance (SIP Insurance) for all exchange students. Please choose SIP integral to gain the insurance coverage required for exchange students to Oamk.

    Students from EU/EEA countries and Switzerland should also bring the European Health Insurance Card proving that they are covered by the health care system of their own country. They will then be entitled to the same health care benefits as Finnish citizens, but in addition to this, a private health/travel insurance will be worthwhile.

  • Living Expenses

    Exchange students are exempt from paying for tuition (there may be exceptions to this general rule especially regarding the visiting / free mover students). Students are responsible for their own travel, accommodation and subsistence costs. Living costs in Oulu and Finland are quite on par with those of the most capital regions in Europe.

    As a general rule Oamk cannot, unfortunately, support exchange students financially. Usually the grants are paid by students' home institutions and therefore you should consult the international office of your own university for details on financial support for studies abroad.

    Monthly costs for international students are estimated to be: 

    Accommodation: 350 - 500 EUR
    Lunch at student canteens (subsidized): min. approx. 1 EUR, max. approx. 3 EUR
    Self catering: 85 - 200 EUR
    Other expenses: 85 - 200 EUR

    This estimate does not include social activities, travel or clothing. It has been estimated that an average Finnish student spends 700 - 1000 euro a month.

    Students who are members of the student union and have paid the membership fee are entitled to various discounts for transportation costs and student meals.

    For non EU/EEA/Swiss citizens for residence permit for studies the Finnish Immigration Service requires a proof of adequate funds to cover the costs during student's stay in Finland. This income requirement is for a student min. 560 EUR/month. This can be considered as the absolute minimum sum of money with which one can support him/herself in Finland.

  • Shopping

    Finland is a relatively expensive country regarding food, clothes and other utensils. Below you will find information on different kind of stores and shops: what kind of goods they sell and what the price level is in general. Note! During public holidays, many shops are either closed or working on a different schedule. You can take a look at the shop’s website in order to check whether or not it is open.

    Prices for food products

    Milk, 1 litre = 1 euro

    Bread = 1 – 4 euros

    Potatoes, 1 kilogram = 70 cents

    Butter, 500 grams = 1.50 – 3 euros

    Cheese, 500 grams = 5 euros

    Eggs, 12 eggs = 1 euros

    Bananas, 1 kilogram = 1 – 2.50 euros

    Tomatoes, 1 kilogram = 80 cents – 4 euros

    Cucumber (1 piece) = 80 cents – 2.50 euros

    Wheat flour, 1 kilogram = 80 cents – 1.50 euros

    Juice, 1 litre = 70 cents – 2.50 euros

    Minced meat, 400 grams = 2 – 4.50 euros

    Coffee, 500 grams = 2 – 4 euros

    On average, a student spends about 150 - 200 EUR per month on food.

    Grocery and general stores

    Raksila markets (Sale, Prisma, and Citymarket) are located in Raksila district. These markets are usually open on weekdays from 8 am to 9 pm, on Saturdays from 8 am to 9 pm, and on Sundays from 11 am to 7 pm. Sale is open 24/7. These markets sell groceries, kitchen utilities, clothes, and so on. There is also a pharmacy, a second-hand shop and Alko in the same building as Sale. Prices in these markets are average level.

    Lidl is an internationally operating German grocery shop chain. It is known as an affordable shop selling groceries and some other daily goods like kitchen utensils. Lidl stores are open on weekdays from 8 am to 9 pm, on Saturdays from 8 am to 9 pm, and on Sundays from 11 pm to 7 pm. There are four Lidl in Oulu, and you can find them in the following districts:

    Lidl city centre, Isokatu 51, Lidl Tuira, Tuirantie 14, Lidl Hiironen, Ruukinkuja 1, Lidl Haapalehto, Karttatie 2, Lidl Karjasilta, Paljetie 12.

    In the Linnanmaa district you will find a Prisma and K-Market or Tokmanni in the Kajonharju district.

    Our department of natural resources also arranges a local food market called "Likis!" every once in a while. See more at https://www.facebook.com/LikisOulu/.


    The general stores listed below sell all sorts of goods (clothes, kitchen utensils, sport equipment, tools, and so on), except groceries, for a relatively affordable price.

    • Halpa-Halli, Nuottasaarentie 5
    • Kärkkäinen, Alasintie 12
    • Tokmanni (sells also groceries), Sammonkatu 5 and Jukolankuja 1–3 and Kansipojantie 1

    Clothing

    Most of the grocery and general stores sell clothes as well, but if you want to buy fashion, you should head to the city centre. Most fashion and design shops are located in the heart of the city. You will easily find all the shops selling fashion and brands if you head to Rotuaari Pedestrian Street and Valkea Mall.

    Our students also maintain a shop termed "Kurestore" downtown Oulu - you will find there many Finnish and local brands.

    Second-hand stores

    Second-hand stores sell all kinds of second-hand goods, clothes, furniture, kitchen utensils and so on at reasonable prices. There are many second-hand shops in Oulu. By buying second-hand goods, you can save nature and money.

    • Second Hand Store, Isokatu 8
    • Paljekirppis, Paljetie 12
    • Keskuskirppis, Kaarnatie 22
    • Järkikirppis, Tehtaankatu 1
    • Kirpputiikki, Uusikatu 13
    • Oulun Kontti, Tyrnäväntie 14
    • Salvation Army flea market (Pelastusarmeijan kirpputori), Limingantie 5 and Ratakatu 6 and
    • Ratamotie 22
    • Recycling centre (Oulun Kierrätyskeskus), Kurkelantie 2

    For more information

    A list of all second-hand shops and their locations: kirpputorihaku.com > Valitse kaupunki (select town) > Oulu www.kirpputorihaku.com/kirpputori/oulu


    Stores selling second-hand laptops and computers

    The following shops sell second-hand laptops and computers and some other computer devices at relatively cheap prices.

    • SystemaStore, Rautatienkatu 81
    • Taitonetti, Rautatienkatu 16
    • Oulun Mediatalkkari, Tunturikoivuntie 7
    • Oulun DataPalvelut, Myllytie 2


    Ethnic stores

    More and more ehtnic stores pop up in Oulu

    • T.T. Asian Market: Asian groceries
    • Maustekauppa Amira: spices and small nibbles
    • Aasia Ruoka, Hallituskatu 28
    • Naza Market, Merikoskenkatu 5
    • Asia Market, oposite to railway station

    Sports stores

    You will find sports equipment in general or special sports stores:

    • Intersport Oulu Joutsensilta, Paljekuja 5
    • Top-Sport, Ritaharjuntie 49
    • Budget Sport, Kempeleentie 4
    • XXL, Alasintie 8
    • Stadium Oulu City, Kauppurienkatu 9

    Bicycles

    The easiest way to move around and commute in Oulu is by bike.

    • Cykkeli: https://www.facebook.com/Cykkeli/
    • Pyörä-Suvala: new and second-hand bikes, Lekatie 2
    • Jussin Pyöräpiste: new and second-hand bikes, Valtatie 49
    • Oulun Special Bike: new and second-hand bikes, Saaristonkatu 31
    • Suomen Polkupyörätukku Oy: new and second-hand bikes, Taka-Lyötyn aukio 4
    • Oulun Urheiluvälinen divari: second-hand bikes, Valtatie 57
    • Urheilu-Ulappa: new and second-hand bikes, Ratamotie 56

    Importing or receiving goods

    If you import or receive goods from outside of Finland, remember to check the customs rules. Some goods are taxable and some tax-free.

    From the Customs’ website you can find information on importing different kind of goods into Finland (such as household goods, motor vehicles), and about the tax treatment.

    For more information

    Finnish customs: tulli.fi tulli.fi/en/frontpage

  • Travelling

    You have made a good choice in coming to Oamk. Even if it may seem as a distant location from home, it can be reached fairly easily by many means of transportation.

    If you are arriving for regular exchanges during our academic terms, please check also our information on arrival services by means of peer tutors.

    N.B.! All prices, services and service hours described hereafter are presented as directive and can fluctuate or change. Prices have been checked in September 2019.

    By airplane to Oulu

    Finland and Oulu can be easily reached by air; several airlines fly regularly to the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, the main airport of Finland.

    Oulu Airport is the second busiest airport in Finland with numerous daily connections from/to Helsinki. SAS flies between Stockholm-Arlanda and Oulu. There are also seasonal services from/to Alicante, Gran Canaria and Tenerife. Information about the Oulu Airport and other airports in Finland and travel connections to and from the airports is available on the website of the Finnish airport operator Finavia.

    Finnair and Norwegian Air Shuttle have several daily flight connections between Helsinki and Oulu. On normal weekdays there are up to 15 return flight connections between Helsinki and Oulu. In winter season 2018/2019 SAS flies four times a week between Stockholm-Arlanda and Oulu (as of April 2019 the frequency increases up to twice daily).

    The Finnish airport operator Finavia’s website provides a handy tool for searching flight connections to/from Finnish airports: Search flight connections.

    Kindly note that it is not possible to stay overnight at the Oulu Airport, as the terminal is closed between 2 am and 4 am.

    Connections from the Oulu airport

    Oulu Airport – Oulu
    Oulu Airport is located in Oulunsalo ca 14 km southwest of the centre of Oulu. You can travel to the centre of Oulu by a local bus or by a taxi.

    There is a regular local bus connection on the bus lines 8 and 9 from the Oulu Airport terminal to the centre of Oulu. Journey time is about 30 min. Oulu Airport is located in the local transport zone B. A single bus ticket from the airport to the city centre costs 5.80 EUR (double price at night between 11 pm and 4.30 am).

    Buses to the centre run on weekday peak hours approximately every 15-30 minutes, in weekday evenings every 40 minutes and at other times once in an hour. The last bus leaves from Oulu Airport Sunday-Friday at 01:20 and on Saturdays at 01:45. See the timetable. Both bus lines 8 and 9 also pass by Välkkylä residence halls (on line 8 Välkkylä is before downtown and on line 9 after the downtown). The bus stop at the airport is some 50 m to the right from the terminal exit.

    If you have a lot of luggage you may also consider taking a taxi, see our section on "Local transportation in Oulu". A taxi to downtown Oulu costs about 35 EUR depending on the journey, number of passengers and time of the day. There is a taxi rank right outside the terminal building. Taxi fares are not regulated, so please check the price before boarding a taxi (the price list has to be visible both in the rear side windows and inside the cars).


    Further information elsewhere on the internet:

    By train to Oulu or Oulainen

    There are numerous daily trains from Helsinki to Oulu. The journey time is usually ca 6-8 hours (9-10 hours on the overnight trains). To take a train to Oulu you should first go from Helsinki Airport to Tikkurila or Helsinki Central Railway Station. Most train connections to Oulu depart from Helsinki Central Railway Station. Only a few night trains depart from Pasila Car Carrier Station (and not from Helsinki Central Railway Station - and not from Pasila Railway Station, either). All long haul trains to Oulu call also at Tikkurila station in Vantaa which is the closest long distance railway station from Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. Some trains will also call at Oulainen (100 km south of Oulu) if you are going to our Oulainen department.

    You can take the train from Helsinki-Vantaa Airport and change the train either in Tikkurila, Pasila or Helsinki Central Railway Station to a train bound for Oulu.

    For train timetables and fares, please see the VR website or call to VR’s English phone service, tel. 0600 41 900 (from abroad +358 600 41 900).

    Oulu Railway Station

    The Oulu Railway Station is in the centre of the city. From the Railway Station it is about 500 m to downtown and about 2 km to Välkkylä. All local buses (3.30€) passing by the bus station on the opposite side of the railways will take you to Välkkylä. There is an underpass connecting the railway station side to the bus station side of the tracks. You can take a Citybus (1.50€) directly from the railway station to downtown Oulu. The Citybus B toward Medipolis will also pass by Ouluhalli sports hall righ next to Välkkylä on its way to Medipolis).

    Further information elsewhere on the internet:
    - VR – Finnish Railways: www.vr.fi

    By bus to Oulu

    There are 4-6 daily bus connections on the long-haul buses from Helsinki to Oulu. Notice, however, that on the buses the travel time is remarkably longer and the fares are often higher than on the railways. For more information on long-haul bus connections in Finland, please see the Matkahuolto website. A normal-priced one-way ticket on an express bus from Helsinki to Oulu costs around 75 EUR (journey time ca 9-13 hours) but discounted fares may be available. If you want to travel by bus, check the Helsinki-Oulu bus timetables. Some bus services have also a connecting bus service to/from Helsinki Airport (change of buses at Kerava Rest Area). There are also discounted fares often available.

    Onnibus low-cost bus operator has daily services between Helsinki and Oulu. The travel time is 9 – 10 hours. For further information, please see the Onnibus website. Tickets are the cheapest when bought online in advance on their own website (Matkahuolto website includes also the timetables of Onnibus services but online ticket sales for these services is possbile only on the Onnibus's own website).

    Student discount

    As of autumn 2017 there is no general student discount on the long haul buses anymore. Some bus companies still offer a student discount, however, but you cannot get one on your first trip in Finland as you will have to first register yourself with a Finnish educational institution and acquire a valid Finnish student card entitling you to the possible discount. However, many bus companies and bus lines have online and advance fares that are often a lot cheaper than the earlier discounted tickets for students.

    Oulu Bus Station

    Oulu Bus Station is in Raksila on the opposite side of the railways from the Oulu Railway Station. From the bus station you can take a local bus, taxi or walk to downtown. Walking distance will be some 800 m, or approx. 1.5 km to Välkkylä. All local buses (3.30€) passing by the bus station towards north can take you to Välkkylä residence halls.

    Further information elsewhere on the internet:

    By car to Oulu

    If you want to come to Oulu by your own car, please keep in mind that the distances within Finland (and to Finland) are vast. Furthermore you (and your car) should also be prepared for winter conditions. The drive from the most commonly used ferry ports Helsinki and Turku to Oulu is ca 600 km and will take about 8 – 10 hours depending on the number and duration of breaks you take during the journey. For planning purposes you can generally count 80 km/h as your average speed when driving in Finland. Traffic runs smoothly and Central European scale traffic jams do not exist in Finland.

    Usage of winter tyres is compulsory in Finland from December to February and always when the road weather conditions require them. Finnish cars are typically also equipped with electric engine-block heaters or fuel operated parking heaters (‘Webasto’). This will enable easy start of cars in cold circumstances and reduce engine wear and fuel consumption.

    You should also acquaint yourself with the special limitation for the import and taxation of motor vehicles in Finland. A vehicle used in Finland must also be covered by a traffic/motor liability insurance valid in Finland.

    Temporary tax-free use of cars in Finland
    If you move to Finland temporarily for studying at an educational institution, you can use your car without having to pay car tax. The general time limit is six months. The vehicle must be covered by a motor liability insurance valid in Finland. The following conditions are to be met for tax -free use:

    • The vehicle is registered outside Finland, and the registration is valid.
    • The vehicle is allowed to be used for not longer than six months, continuously or interruptedly, during a period of twelve months.
    • The use of the vehicle is not connected with purchasing the vehicle for use in Finland.

    If you intend to stay in Finland for more than six months, you should contact the Finnish Customs for details about the right to use the car. The six-month time limit is not applied if you stay in Finland exclusively for studies but you have inform the customs office/tax authorities of this before the expiry of the six-month tax-free period, and also account your studies to the tax authorities for each study term. Customs offices give guidance in making the application for an extension of the prescribed six months’ time limit. The application for extension must be submitted before the expiry of the six-month period.

    If you have moved to Finland from abroad and reside in Finland as a permanent resident, you should register the car you brought as removal goods, and pay car tax before you can use it in traffic in Finland. Please note that the vehicle must always be covered by a motor liability insurance valid in Finland. It is possible to use the car for 30 days before the car tax has been paid. This requires that a commissioning notification for the car is made to Finnish customs. If you bring a car from outside the EEA area, you will also need a transfer permit before you can use it. Transfer permits are granted by Customs and Vehicle Inspection Stations.

    Further information on car taxation and importing a motor vehicle is available on the website of the Finnish Customs.

    Driving License
    Driving licenses issued in another EU or EEA country and interim driving licenses issued in the Nordic countries entitle the holder to drive motor vehicles in Finland equivalent to those indicated on the non-Finnish license. The driver must be at least 18 years old. The right to drive is valid regardless of whether the person is in Finland as a tourist or residing permanently.

    A person residing permanently in a country that has signed the Geneva or Vienna Road Traffic Convention and who holds a national or international driving licence or an official Finnish or Swedish translation of a national driving licence is entitled to drive motor vehicles equivalent to those indicated on the non-Finnish licence provided that the person fulfils the Finnish age requirement to drive such vehicles. The afore-mentioned driving licence is valid in Finland for two years from the start of the holder's period of permanent residence in Finland provided that the licence is valid and no other reason exists for the termination of its validity.

    Further information on foreign driving licenses and on exchanging them to Finnish ones is available from the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi).

    Driving a car in Finland
    In Finland vehicles drive on the right. At crossroads, unless otherwise signposted, vehicles coming from the right have priority. Turning right when the traffic light is red is also prohibited. General speed limit in the built-up areas is 50 km/h and elsewhere 80 km/h unless otherwise indicated by appropriate traffic signs. The maximum speed limit on roads is 100 km/h, except on some motorways in summer time 120 km/h. For winter time the maximum speed limits on many roads are lowered to 80 km/h (and 100 km/h on motorways).

    In autumn and early spring, you should watch out for elks when driving in rural areas. These animals are big and especially active at dusk and dawn, and a collision with an elk have usually serious consequences from wrecking the car and severe injuries up to deadly accidents. In the reindeer herding area (in Northern and Northeastern parts of Finland) you should also be alert for occasional reindeer herds as they are roaming wild in the nature throughout the year.

    Winter tyres (with or without studs) are compulsory from the beginning of December to the end of February. Studded tyres may be used on Finnish roads from 1 November until 20 April or whenever the road weather conditions require them. Winter tyres are compulsory also for cars and vans registered abroad when they are driven in Finland during winter. In Oulu people use winter tyres usually from late October to late April, but annual variations in road weather conditions can be vast.

    Usage of headlights is always compulsory, no matter if it is summer or winter, day or night. If an oncoming car flashes its headlights to you it usually means that there is an accident, elk or reindeer on the road ahead, you do not have your headlights on, or you have forgotten to switch the high beams off and they are causing glare to the driver of the oncoming vehicle.

    Seat belts both in front and rear seats of the car must be used by all people in the car. The fuel types readily available at most petrol stations in Finland are unleaded petrol (95 E10 and 98 E5) and diesel (winter/summer quality depending on the season). Further information on road transport fuels in Finland: www.oil.fi.

    The law regarding the blood-alcohol level for drivers is strictly followed in Finland. The law allows a level of less than 50 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood (0.5‰), or 0.22 mg per a litre of exhaled air. Driving under the influence of drugs is also regarded as an offence. Offenders are subject to heavy fines, jail up to 6 months plus withdrawal or suspension of their driving license from 1 month to 5 years. For aggravated drinking driving offence (= 1.2 mg of alcohol in 100 ml (1.2‰) of blood or 0.53 mg in a litre of exhaled air) also a prison sentence from 1 month to 2 years is possible. Routine breath testing without a probable cause is permitted for the police and it is also often practiced on the roads and also in towns.

    Fines for speeding are rather high in Finland. The minimum fine for speeding is 140 EUR and is issued when you are caught for speeding under 15 km/h in an area where the speed limit is at least 60 km/h. If the speed limit is lower than 60 km/h the lowest fine for speeding is 170 EUR. If you are speeding at least 20 km/h the amount of fines will be based on your income with the minimum fine of 200 EUR. Police may control your speed with a radar or with traffic cameras that can be either installed in poles on the road side or in so-called camera vehicles without police signs (i.e. they look like an ordinary civilian vehicle).

    If you have a car accident or witness one in Finland you can call for help by dialling 112 (general emergency response centre number). This number can be called free of charge from all telephones without any prefixes. Through the Emergency Response Centre you can reach the assistance of the police, rescue services, ambulance, social services and other necessary authorities.

    If your car breaks down while you are on the road in Finland, you can turn to the Road Service Centre of the Automobile and Touring Club of Finland by dialling 0200-8080 (1.95€/min + lnc, also queueing is charged for). The services you order from the Road Service Centre (e.g. towing, delivery of fuel etc.) are subject to a charge.

    Further information on driving and road safety in Finland elsewhere on the internet:

    Local transportation in Oulu

    By bicycle and on foot

    It is worth to explore Oulu on foot and by bicyle - commute in an environmental-friendly and healthy way.


    By bus

    Feel free to use the public bus transportation. Please plan your travels within Oulu by means of the journey planner.

    Bus stops usually have individual names depending on locations, but you may also find the closest one based on the street address.


    Kindly consult information on tickets and fares. The price for a single ticket depends on the zones within which your are commuting and varies between 3.30 EUR and 5.80 EUR. At night (11 pm - 4.30 am) a double fare is charged for single tickets. Exchange students are entitled to get a discount for 30-day season tickets only.



    By taxi

    OTAXI
    To order an Otaxi service in Oulu, please dial +358 600 30081, or order it through the OTAXI app or Valopilkku app. OTAXI cars are metered and can be recognised from the yellow top part of the vehicle.

    FIXUTAXI
    To order a Fixutaxi service in Oulu, please dieal +358 100 6060, or order it throught their app when the service will give you a fixed fee for the ride. FixuTaxis are metered unless ordered through the app with a fixed fee. FixuTaxi cars are white with yellow arrows and a FixuTaxi logo on the sides.


  • Visa and Residence Permit

    Depending on your citizenship and duration of exchange at Oamk, you need to handle immigration matters and apply for specific permits, if required. Hereafter please find a table and below further information on visa and residence permits.

    Citizenship
    Duration
    Permit
    Timing
    Application
    Third Country
    (Non-EU/EEA/Switzerland)
    Less than 3 months Visa (if applicable) Before arrival Visa application
    (via local embassy)
    Third Country
    (Non-EU/EEA/Switzerland)
    More than 3 months Residence permit Before arrival Residence permit application
    (via Finnish Immigration Service, e-service) See also info leaflet.
    Third Country
    (Non-EU/EEA/Switzerland, but you have a valid residence permit issued by another EU country)
    More than 3 months Mobility notification Before arrival Mobility notification
    (via Finnish Immigration Service) See also info leaflet.
    EU/EEA Country, incl. Switzerland More than 3 months (*) Right to reside After arrival Uninterrupted stay: (**)
    Right to reside application
    (via Finnish Immigration Service)
    Interrupted stay: (**)
    Registration at Local Register Office
    Nordic Country More than 3 months (*) No permit required, but registration, if applicable After arrival Registration at Local Register Office (Inter-Nordic Agreement)
    (*) Students from EU/EEA and Nordic countries staying less than 3 months do not need a permit before arrival nor register after arrival.
    (**) A stay is regarded as interrupted if you leave Finland for some time within 3 months (90 days) after arrival.

    Visa

    If you (third country citizen) have been admitted for an exchange lasting less than three months (90 days) , then find out whether you need a visa or not. A visa is a short-term permit to enter and stay in the territory of Finland and Schengen area for a maximum of three months (90 days). Students from most European and North American countries do not need a visa.

    If you need a visa, you should apply for it via the local Finnish diplomatic mission in your home country before entering Finland. For more information, please check the visa website of the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UM) and country lists.

    Residence permit

    If you (third country citizen) have been admitted for an exchange lasting more than three months (90 days), then you are required to obtain a residence permit for studies before entering Finland.

    You should submit your residence permit application electronically via the EnterFinland service of the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) immediately after you have received Oamk's admission email and acceptance letter, see also Migri's info leaflet for the current academic year. You must attach also Oamk's acceptance letter and admission email to your residence permit application!

    N.B.! When applying for a residence permit for the first time, please also indicate that you wish to obtain a Finnish personal identity code at the same time.

    In case you have been admitted to extend your exchange at Oamk, please turn to Migri to also extend your residence permit. You must also provide Oamk's extension acceptance letter and admission email when extending your residence permit.

    Mobility notification

    If you (third country citizen) are currently residing in an EU/EEA country and are maintaining a valid residence permit for the time of your exchange and your stay at Oamk is arranged in the frame of a mobility agreement and programme between partner universities, it is sufficient to inform the Finnish Immigration Service by means of a mobility notification. More detailed instructions, processing fee and requirements at https://migri.fi/en/mobility-notification-to-finland. You must provide also Oamk's acceptance letter and admission email to your mobility notification! See also Migri's info leaflet.

  • Registration and Personal Identity Code

    If your exchange studies or your traineeship at Oamk lasts longer than three months (90 days), then you must follow instructions regarding registration. In addition, you need to obtain a Finnish personal identity code (PIC) after your arrival. The PIC is required e.g. for registering your mobility and study data, and it may be of help for you when dealing with authorities and service providers.

    Students from non-EU Countries and Equivalent (Third Countries)

    You should take care of registration matters and obtain your Finnish personal identity code (if you haven't received it with your residence permit or otherwise) in the first two weeks of your exchange.

    If your residence permit already contains a Finnish personal identity code

    Check, if your Finnish personal identity code is printed on the backside of your residence permit card, as you may have applied for it together with your residence permit application. The personal identity code contains your date of birth in the form DDMMYY, a punctuation mark defining the century of birth (+, -, or A), a personal identificator, and an alphanumeric checking digit. For example a personal identity code of a person who is born on the 13th of October 1952 might look like 131052-308T.

    If you already have a personal identity code, you only need to inform the postal services about your temporary address. Then, please submit your arrival form via MoveON directly to the International Services as described in the section on "Arrival services" > "Check in meeting".

    If you do not have a Finnish personal identity code

    Please register yourself into the Finnish population register and obtain a Finnish personal identity code at the local Register Office. This should be done in the first two weeks of your exchange at Oamk. Registration at the local register office is free of charge. You must visit the office in person during service hours and bring along the documents mentioned below. In addition, you need to inform the postal services about your temporary address. Then, please submit your arrival form via MoveON directly to the International Services as described in the section on "Arrival services" > "Check in meeting".

    Once you have obtained your Finnish personal identity code, please submit your arrival form via MoveON directly to the International Services as described in the section on "Arrival services" > "Check in meeting".

    Required documents

    • National proof of identity or a passport
    • Residence permit for Finland
    • Enrolment certificate from Oamk
    • Tenancy agreement and your postal address in Finland, if possible
    • Filled, printed and signed registration form ”Request for registration of personal data in the Population Information System” (available at www.maistraatti.fi/en/Forms/)

    Local Register Office

    Pohjois-Suomen Maistraatti
    Isokatu 4, 90100 Oulu, Finland, 2nd floor
    Service hours: Mon - Fri 9.00 - 16.15

    Students from EU and EEA Countries and Switzerland

    You should take care of registration matters and obtain your Finnish personal identity code in the first two weeks of your exchange.

    If you stay in Finland less than 3 months, or longer but with interruptions (e.g. visits outside Finland)

    Please register yourself into the Finnish population register and obtain a Finnish personal identity code at the Local Register Office in the first two weeks of your exchange. Registration at the Register Office is free of charge. You must visit the office in person during service hours and bring along the documents mentioned below.

    Once you have obtained your Finnish personal identity code, please submit your arrival form via MoveON directly to the International Services as described in the section on "Arrival services" > "Check in meeting".

    Required documents:

    • National proof of identity or a passport
    • Enrolment certificate from Oamk
    • Filled, printed and signed registration form ”Request for registration of personal data in the Population Information System” (available at www.maistraatti.fi/en/Forms/)

    Local Register Office

    Pohjois-Suomen Maistraatti
    Isokatu 4, 90100 Oulu, Finland, 2nd floor
    Service hours: Mon - Fri 9.00 - 16.15

    If you stay in Finland uninterruptedly at least 3 months

    Please submit the application for EU registration through the EnterFinland online service https://enterfinland.fi/eServices within the first two weeks of your stay. You can submit your application for EU registration, and registration into the Finnish population Information System to get the Finnish personal identity code, and pay the handling fee (54 EUR) in the service with a credit card. After submission you should visit the Finnish Immigration Service Migri Service point in person to prove your identity and to present original versions of any attachments required for the application. You can also submit a paper application and pay the handling fee at the Migri Service Point.

    Required documents:

    • National proof of identity or a passport
    • Enrolment certificate from Oamk
    • Health insurance (e.g. European Health card or private health insurance policy/certificate)
    • Means of support (e.g. proof of scholarships or grants, bank statement etc.)

    Migri Service Point

    Address: Mäkelininkatu 33, 90100 Oulu
    Open by appointment: Monday–Wednesday and Friday 8–16.15. Closed on Thursdays.
    Appointments: https://migri.fi/en/book-an-appointment
    Address: https://migri.fi/en/service-points

    Students from Nordic Countries

    You should take care of registration matters and obtain your Finnish personal identity code in the first two weeks of your exchange.

    Please visit the Local Register Office to register your residence in Finland under the Inter-Nordic Agreement and obtain or confirm your (Finnish) personal identity code at the same time.

    Once you have obtained or confirmed your (Finnish) personal identity code, please submit your arrival form via MoveON to Oamk's International Services.

    Feel free to also consult the mobility information service Info Norden - it provides information for Nordic citizens who intend to settle, study or work in another Nordic country.

    Required documents:

    • National proof of identity or a passport
    • Enrolment certificate from Oamk
    • Tenancy agreement and your postal address in Finland, if possible
    • Filled, printed and signed registration form ”Request for registration of personal data in the Population Information System” (available at www.maistraatti.fi/en/Forms/)

    Local Register Office

    Pohjois-Suomen Maistraatti
    Isokatu 4, 90100 Oulu, Finland, 2nd floor
    Service hours: Mon - Fri 9.00 - 16.15

  • Working in Finland

    Right to work for exchange students

    The main purpose of your exchange is to pursue studies or a traineeship and you are enrolled at Oamk as a full-time exchange student.

    EU/EEA citizens and citizens of Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland are allowed to work in Finland without any restrictions as long as you have registered your right to stay in Finland (see ”Registration and residence permit”).

    Third country i.e. Non-EU/EEA citizens with a valid residence permit are allowed to work an average of 25 hours per week without a separate working permit during study terms when lectures are running. During holidays, for example in the summer and over Christmas holidays, non-EU citizens are allowed to work full-time without any hour restrictions. Non-EU citizens are allowed to work full-time also when the work is a part of their studies, such as practical training or thesis writing.

    Finnish working culture

    Finns are known as hard workers. It is a privilege to have a good permanent job in Finland, as not all have one. Both men and women work, and they are both respected and equal in the labour market.

    Men and women should also receive the same salary for the same job. The power distance in Finnish companies is relatively low compared to many other countries. The hierarchy between old and young workers or lower and higher positions exists, but it is not as visible as in many other countries. Employees are expected to take part in the decision-making processand to make decisions independently as well. Employees are expected to take initiative and not ask what and how to do all the time. Employers trust their employees, and the Finns work independently without much need for supervision.

    The Finnish working culture is task-oriented. The Finns focus on tasks rather than on relationships. ”Business over pleasure” is a phrase that describes the Finnish working culture quite well.

    Employees’ ideas for development, such as how the work could be done better or more effectively are appreciated. However, it is important to be humble and modest and not boast about one’s input.

    The communication between colleagues, even between managers and employees is very informal. People call each other by their first names at work.

    In some companies the salary is negotiable and in some it is not. There are different collective labour agreements, which define the minimum wages and other regulations. Employers should follow these agreements. The salary is usually paid once or twice a month on the 15th or on the 30th. The salary is paid into a bank account, and cash is never used.

    Normal office hours are from 8 am to 4 pm or from 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays. In some companies the working hours are partly flexible. This means, for example, that you may start your work between 7 and 9 am and then leave between 3 and 5 pm depending on when you started.

    There are also shift work schedules when people work during the day, in the evenings and at nighttime.

    Social relations such as family ties or friends do not usually help you to get a job in Finland. Your own skills and competencies are the most important factor when applying for a job. However, an official reference from your former employer may help.

    Most Finnish employees are members of trade unions. Trade unions are organisations that negotiate working conditions and terms, including salary with the employers’ associations. Trade unions are support organisations, from which the members can receive help and answers to their questions.

    They also help with legal matters and pay earnings-related benefits in case of unemployment. The members of the trade unions pay membership fees. The amount of the fee varies between different unions. There are separate unions for different fields. If you wish to become a member of a trade union, you should ask your workmates which would be the best trade union for you. There is also a general unemployment fund called YTK (Yleinen työttömyyskassa). Regardless of the field, anyone can become a member.

    The employee has a right to receive a reference or testimonial from the employer, when the employment contract ends. It should state at least the period of employment and the main tasks.

    For more information

    Searching for work

    There are many different parties advertising open positions. The most important thing is that you are active and look for open positions yourself, as no one will do it for you. Job advertisements and information on open positions can be found on the Internet, in newspapers and magazines, and from recruiting departments’ website. Not all companies advertise their open positions through online recruitment services or in newspapers, as they have their own recruiting departments. Big companies such as Nokia and Finnair conduct recruitment by themselves. However, most companies advertise open positions on online recruitment services or human resource services.

    Online recruitment services

    Employment and economic development offices provide information on open positions and help in finding a job. Employment and economic development offices have their own online recruitment services. The biggest online recruitment service is maintained by the Ministry of Labour's Public Employment and Business Services. It is available in English, but the ”Vacancies” section is only in Finnish. Please check our guidelines for using the service.

    For more information


    Company databases

    You may also contact companies directly and use their or other recruitment websites to submit your application (see tips in the guide mentioned above). Here's the Oulu Region Company Database:

    www.businessoulu.com/en/company-database/se...

    Here’s the company database for Finland (use Google Translate and search with field-specific terms): synergia.yrittajat.fi/Yritykset/Yrityshaku/

    You’ll find also lists and job / practical training positions shared in the Oiva student intranet (only accessible for enrolled students): https://oiva.oamk.fi.

    Also, keep track of job / practical training announcements published in Oiva!


    Human Resource services

    Human Resource services are links between employers and employees. They act as intermediaries by providing information on open positions for job applicants. They also do the recruitment on behalf of companies who are looking for employees.

    Applying for work

    Before you start applying, think about what kind of work you are looking for and find out the requirements of different professions. Different tasks require different kinds of skills and competencies.

    There are always other applicants as well, even hundreds for one open position. Therefore, it is important to stand out from the crowd and write a good personal application and CV. (Tip! Finns use a CV rather than a resume.) Before you start writing your application, familiarise yourself well with the job advertisement: What kind of an employee is the company looking for? Think about what kind of skills you have and find out your professional competencies in Finland. Get Finnish translations of your most important certificates (study certificates and testimonials). It is also possible to apply for acknowledgement of a higher education degree. For more information on the acknowledgement opportunities, please consult the Finnish Ministry of Education.

    Send the application on time. Late applications are not taken into consideration. There are almost always application deadlines (date and time), and these should be followed very carefully. It is better to send the application at least a few days before the application time ends.

    Finnish language skills are very important in the Finnish labour market. Fluent Finnish skills are almost always required. It is valuable to know even some Finnish and to be eager to learn more. This will show that you are enthusiastic and interested in learning the language.

    Job Applications and CVs

    You can find many websites offering guidance for job seeking and for writing CVs and applications:


    Job Interview

    When you are invited to a job interview, make sure you will leave early enough to find the right place and to be there on time. If you are late, you will probably not be hired. When meeting someone for the first time, people shake hands, look each other in the eyes and smile. The handshake should be firm.

    Prepare yourself for an interview by getting to know the company, as they may test what you know about them. Websites are a good source of information. Be prepared to talk about yourself as well: your characteristics, competencies and previous academic and work experience. Interviewers almost always ask why you want to work especially for that company, why they should hire you instead of someone else, and what makes you a better applicant compared to others.

    Remember to take all your original testimonials, degree certificates and your application and CV with you to the interview. Learn how to act on the phone when applying for a job. Sometimes employers do not invite you to a face-to-face interview, but they may as well call you and interview you on the phone.

    For more information

    Career planning and entrepreneurship

    Here's quite a bit of information on career planning for students, Aaarresaari Academic Career Service – www.aarresaari.net.

    Entrepreneurship is highly valued in Finland. Anyone can start a business regardless of nationality. Running a business is hard work, but if you have a good business idea, go for it. If you’re interested in becoming an entrepreneur yourself, the City of Oulu and Oamk offers help and support for setting up a business as well.

    Students can develop their business idea in a business incubator and gain academic credits at the same time. Professional teachers specialised in entrepreneurship guide students in setting up and developing their business.

    For more information

    Special licenses

    You need to have a certain kind of a licence or a pass for certain tasks. These licences are easy to obtain by attending a short course and passing a test. Below you will find information on the hygiene pass, the licence to sell alcoholic beverages, and the occupational safety card.

    Hygiene pass

    The hygiene pass is a proof of a person’s knowledge of hygiene issues. The hygiene pass is a minimum requirement in occupations, where employees deal with unpacked food. This is a law set by the government. There are two organisations that arrange hygiene pass education in English in Oulu.

    In Oulu Vocation College (OSAO) the training days are usually listed online. The training costs approx. 80 EUR (including the test).The test amounts to up to approx. 50 EUR.

    In Oulu College of Services (Oulun Palvelualan Opisto) the enrolment is done by email to ilmoittautuminen#opao.fi (korvaa # -> @) or by phone 050 443 4304.

    Licence for serving alcohol beverages

    A licence to serve alcoholic beverages is required in occupations where employees serve alcoholic drinks, such as in restaurants and bars. The licence to serve alcoholic beverages is a proof of a person’s sufficient knowledge of alcohol legislation. Oulu Adult Education Centre arranges training for this. Foreigners who are willing to attend the training must arrange it well in advance.

    Occupational safety card

    The occupational safety card training has been designed to improve safety in the workplace. The occupational safety card is voluntary, but some employers may ask whether you have it. Unfortunately the trainings are arranged mainly in Finnish. If you are interested in taking part in the training, contact The Centre for Occupational Safety.

    For more information

    Taxation

    Everyone who receives a salary for the work done in Finland needs to pay earned income tax. Income tax is paid from wages, professional and business income, rewards, commission, and benefits.

    The tax rate depends on how long you are staying in Finland – for six months or longer. For foreigners, whose stay in Finland will last over six months, the earned income tax rate is progressive.

    This means that the more you earn, the more tax you pay. The tax rate is approximately 20 per cent for annual incomes up to 12,000 euros. For higher incomes the rate is higher. When you start working in Finland, you need to deliver a tax card to the employer. The tax will be withheld in advance from your salary by your employer. In addition to tax, social security payments will be charged from the wages. If you are self-employed, you need to pay taxes in advance yourself.

    To get a tax card, anyone staying in Finland for over six months needs to fill in an application form (5042a). The form is available at the local tax office or can be downloaded from the Internet. The form needs to be returned to the local tax office, which is located in the city centre (Torikatu 34). You can also get your tax card through an online service. To sign in you will need an internet banking account in Finland.

    Final taxation: Every year, the tax office checks if everyone has paid a correct amount of tax. The tax office sends a pre-completed tax form to each citizen in April. Employees need to check that it is filled in correctly. In the event that there are some mistakes, they need to be corrected. If you have paid too much tax it will be returned and vice versa. The corrected tax form must be returned to the tax office in May. After it has been checked by the tax office, the final tax decision will be sent. The decision will provide the final result of taxation. The tax decision includes a certificate of taxation.

    This certificate is very important and it needs to be kept safe!

    For more information: