Steps that new higher education students must take before their studies begin
Remember to handle the following matters by their deadlines:
- Accept the study place you have been offered in the My Study Path service.
- Use the OILI service to register at your institution of higher education.
- Where necessary submit copies of your transcripts to the educational institution.
- Pay the university of applied sciences student fee or the student union's annual membership fee as well as other possible fees.
- Request a student card or virtual student ID.
- Apply for student financial aid and other possible forms of support from Kela.
- When necessary get student housing or other accommodation.
- If you move, submit a joint notification of change of address to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency and post office via the Posti online service.
You will receive word of being offered a study place by email. If you want to begin your studies, accept the study place and notify the educational institution. Please note that these are two different things.
Accept your study place by the given deadline in the My Study Path service or via the email link you receive. If you are unable to give notification of accepting your study place online, send a notification of acceptance written on paper to your educational institution well ahead of the deadline. If you are unable to send a written notification, phone the educational institution.
Please note that even if you are accepted to more than one institution of higher education at one time, you may only accept one study place at a time.
Also remember to register at your educational institution by the given deadline. Use the OILI service as the primary channel for registering. If you are registering at a university, you can also pay the student union's annual membership fee and any other possible payments via the OILI service.
Make sure that you keep to the specified deadlines. If you try to register at an institution of higher education after a deadline, you will lose your study place.
If you cannot begin you studies immediately, you can register as absent, if you have a valid reason to do so. Such reasons can include
- military and non-military national service
- maternity, paternity or parental leave
- an illness or disability
You must provide proof of the reason for your absence to your institution of higher education. Proof can include
- a notification of assignment for military and non-military national service
- a certificate from Kela stating that you are on maternity, paternity or parental leave or if you do not have this a doctor’s certificate on your pregnancy
- in the event of illness or disability a decision for sickness allowance or if you do not have this, a doctor’s certificate or other official report on the matter.
If you are unable to provide acceptable proof of the reason for your absence or do not register as absent, you will lose your study place.
Once you have registered as absent, you will maintain your study place, but not be required to attend classes.
A student card and its electronic alternative a virtual student ID are important in many matters. You can identify yourself during exams, purchase student-priced meals and receive student discounts when traveling and making various purchases. If you student at a university, you will also need this when using Finnish Student Health Services (FSHS).
Apply for a student card or virtual student ID immediately after you have paid the university of applied sciences student fee or the student union's annual membership fee. Please note that you will not be given a student card or virtual ID until you have paid the fee. Some student association may also charge a fee themselves for a card or virtual ID.
You can purchase the ISIC feature for your card or virtual ID. This will ensure that you will be able to get student discounts also while abroad. The ISIC feature is valid for five years at a time.
Additionally, it is possible to get some student cards and virtual IDs equipped with a payment feature for the payment of daily purchases.
When you have been given a study place, you should immediately begin to look for suitable housing. You can either apply for student housing or rent or purchase a residence on the open market. Student housing is generally more affordable that housing from the open market, but it is also often more difficult to get student housing.
You can apply for student housing from student housing foundations. Cities often also have available housing that is specifically intended for students.
You can present your own wishes for your housing in your application. However, keep in mind that it may not be possible to fulfil all your wishes. No one can be guaranteed housing located near an educational institution.
Please also note that there is often a line for housing. Therefore, you may not get the student housing you want immediately at the start of your studies. In this case, make sure you have temporary accommodation.
Student organisations and religious communities also often have their own student housing. You must usually have some connection to the organisation or community to get housing from them.
When you have found suitable housing draft a written lease or sales contract. Keep in mind that you must pay a security deposit when renting housing or a down payment when buying,
If you rent a residence, check it before moving in, list any shortcomings or faults and notify your landlord of these. Take photographs of the residence so that, if necessary, you can prove the condition of the residence when you moved in.
Check in advance whether electricity is included in your rent or whether you need your own electricity contract. Purchase a home insurance policy for your residence, even if you are only renting it. If necessary, also get an internet subscription.
Submit a notification of change of address in the Posti online service, from where it will also be forwarded to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. Also notify your building cooperative's property manager of your move.
If your income is not sufficient to cover your housing costs, apply for a housing allowance from Kela. Always ensure that your pay your rent or security deposit on time. Late payment will generally lead to additional penal interest or other consequences.