Orientation and Tutoring

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Here you will find information concerning the orientation period and student tutors.

To access all the information relevant to your degree programme, remember to select your programme in the menu above. 

If you are a new degree student, please read the article First Steps of a New Degree Student first.

If you are a new incoming exchange or visiting student, please read the article Important Information for Incoming Exchange Students first.


The Student Tutors Are Here For You

Tutoring is a support arrangement for the new students at the University of Helsinki. It introduces you to the Finnish university life and makes it easier for you to settle into the new environment. You will be assigned a tutor (or a peer counsellor) and a tutoring group. Students are divided into groups on the basis of the faculty or the degree programme in which they begin their studies at the University of Helsinki. The groups are led by student tutors of the same faculty.

The student tutors assist you with the most important things you need to do during the first couple of days. Your tutor can point out where to register as a resident, where to get your travel card, where your faculty is, and who to contact there and where the most important services on the campuses and around the city are. Tutoring is successful when the members of the tutoring group cooperate. When the group and the tutor work together, each student will get the most out of the tutoring sessions.

You can already find out about the expectations of some peer tutors for the coming autumn as well as their tips for new students!

Orientation Week

Welcome Fair

Each autumn and spring, before the classes begin, there is an orientation week which is a week full of activities for all new international students. It is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to get to know the campuses and the university and to get all the official matters out of the way.

Please note that if you miss the orientation week, the start of your studies will be more time-consuming and challenging as you have to take care of everything independently.

Degree students might receive some credits for the orientation. Please ask more information from your degree programme.

Important dates

    Autumn 2020

    • Welcome Fair: 25 August & 26 August 2020
    • Orientation Week: 25 August – 28 August 2020

    Wel­come Fair

    The Welcome Fair is the perfect place to get to know the University as well as to get all the official matters out of the way. The event is part of the orientation week and takes place at the Language Centre of the University of Helsinki (address: Fabianinkatu 26). Please see our Welcome Fair and orientation week map for locations. 

    At the Welcome Fair you can

    • pick up your certificate of student status and local transport discount certificate,
    • pick up your username for the University computer network
    • register your address and apply for a personal identity code from the Local Register Office
    • get your arrival certificate signed and stamped (exchange students, if applicable)
    • get information on language courses (incl. Finnish) and on how to register for them
    • get information on various other services available for you, e.g. Unisport, Study Psychologists, University Library, the Finnish Student Health Service
    • talk to people from the Student Union and student organisations such as the Erasmus Student Network (ESN)
    • and of course meet a lot of new friends!

    If you have not paid the Student Union fee before your arrival and you wish to join the Student Union, you can pay the fee also at the Welcome Fair in August (not in January). However, we recommend that you pay the fee before your arrival. For payment information please see the instructions for annual registration. Remember to bring the receipt with you!

    Remember to bring your official ID with you to the Welcome Fair (passport or ID card; it is recommended that EU citizens also bring their passports for their stay in Finland). Otherwise you will not be able to get all of the official matters out of the way.

    We recommend that you visit the Welcome Fair together with your tutor, the faculty will give you more information on when your tutor group is visiting the Welcome Fair.

    Get to Know Your Campus

    The University of Helsinki comprises four campuses. Get to know yours in advance!

    • City Centre Campus (Faculties of Arts, Educational Sciences, Law, Theology and Social Sciences, Swedish School of Social Science)
    • Kumpula Campus (Faculty of Science)
    • Viikki Campus (Faculties of Biological And Environmental Sciences, Agriculture and Forestry, Pharmacy and Veterinary Medicine)
    • Meilahti Campus (Faculty of Medicine)


    All Bachelor’s or Master’s students who have registered as attending are entitled to an affordable student-priced lunch at the UniCafe cafeterias on all campuses. For lunch prices and the contact details of the cafeterias, please visit the UniCafe website. Exchange Students will get a certificate of student status from Welcome Fair event, before that they can get a staff member discount from UniCafe.

    Rector’s reception for new students

    Kuva: Ari Aalto

    The rector’s reception for new students will be held during the orientation week. At the reception, the rector of the University of Helsinki will speak about current affairs at the University, and new students will have the opportunity to ask the rector, for example, about studying, the rector’s own field of science and his work. The reception includes traditional handshakes with the rector and signing one’s name in the University’s register.

    In conjunction with the reception, new student groups should put aside some time to familiarise themselves with the long history of the University at the University Museum.