Ohjeita saapuville vaihto-opiskelijoille

Welcome to the University of Helsinki! Please follow these instructions carefully, as they are intended for all new exchange and visiting students and free movers alike. If you cannot find an answer to your question, please contact the International Exchange Services. Inbstructions for how to apply for an exchange at the University of Helsinki can be found here

Orientation and Welcome fair

Your studies at the University of Helsinki begin with the Orientation Week. The week includes the Welcome Fair, your faculty’s own orientation meetings and tutoring. You need to take part in all three!

At the Welcome Fair you can: 

  • pay the Student Union membership fee
  • pick up your certificate of student status, a discount certificate for the travel card
  • pick up your IT username to the university's network
  • get your arrival certificate signed and stamped (exchange students, if applicable)
  • receive information on and sign up for Finnish language and other language courses
  • find out more information about sport facilities at the university, student health care, and much more!

More information on the Orientation and Welcome Fair can be found here

IT user account

Exchange students receive an IT user account during the Welcome Fair. In case you missed it, please contact the International Exchange Services as soon as possible. 

Certificate of student status

You can find information on the certificate of student status here

Arrival and departure certificates

Arrival and departure certificates are mainly applicable to Erasmus exchange students. Some home institutions require one or the other, some both. Please follow your home institutions instructions! Please note that this is a certificate provided by your home institution, not by University of Helsinki.

These certificates can be signed by the Student Services or by the International Exchange Services. Make sure to have them signed in time!

Please note that “end of stay” -date is the day you pick up the certificate or maximum three days after that.

Learning Agreement

After your arrival to the University of Helsinki, changes to your Learning Agreement are possible (overlaps, cancellations, courses fully booked...). You might need an acceptance for changes from your home university, but the University of Helsinki does not require you to update your LA due to minor changes. If you fulfill the prerequisites and if there's space in the course, you are welcome to include it in your study plan. 

You can get a signature for your LA from the International Exchange Services. You can either visit us in person during our office hours or send an electronic copy of your LA to studentexchange(at)helsinki.fi to be signed. 

Please note that the LA it is not a registration for any courses nor a guarantee that you are accepted to those courses. See how to find courses and register on them below. 

When you need more information concerning Learning Agreement (LA) or you want to make changes to your LA, contact International Exchange Services. In case you need to update your LA and your home university has not provided you with a form for changes, you can use this form.

Find and register for courses

You can search for teaching and studies available at the University of Helsinki through the course pages or WebOodi. More information here.


Teaching periods

The academic year at the University of Helsinki runs from August 1 until July 31, the autumn term lasting from August 1 till the end of December and spring term from January 1 till the end of July. These are the official dates; the real teaching periods are explained here.


Grades and assesment

You can find information on the grades and assesment at the University of Helsinki here

Cheating and plagiarism

Information on cheating and plagiarism can be found on the Copy Right website. The website has been created to aid students and teachers at the University of Helsinki in practicing and teaching academic writing. 

Resources for students featured include:

  • Tips on writing and referring to other texts in academic writing
  • Examples and exercises
  • Instructions for students using the plagiarism recognition system

The Copy Right website can be found here.

Register with the authorities

Information for how to register with the authorities can be found here


Updating your personal and contact details

Update your personal contact details according to these instructions.  

Also, after you have obtained a Finnish ID number/social security number, please remember to update it in the student register. You can update your ID number by visiting the Student Services in person.

Extending your exchange

If you would like to extend your exchange stay, you need to:


  • First, contact your Home University to make sure that they can accept the extension and that the extension fits within the annual exchange quota stated in the Bilateral Agreement. Note that you must also update and validate your During Mobility Learning Agreement.
  • Then contact the International Exchange Services at the University of Helsinki. NB. According to the Erasmus+ Programme regulations, you should request the extension no later than one month before the original end date of your exchange.
  • If UH accepts the extension, International Exchange Services will update your study right in WebOodi and Mobility Online.
  • When your WebOodi and Mobility Online accounts are up to date you can collect a new Certificate of Student Status from the Student Services.
    • If you wish to prolong your tenancy agreement at HOAS, you need the Certificate of Student Status as attachment to confirm your extended stay in Helsinki.
    • If you are a non-EU citizen, you need the Certificate of Student Status in order to apply for the residence permit extension via the Finnish Immigration Service.
  • You can get a certificate for HSL public transport student discount ticket from the International Exchange Services or from the Student Services
  • If you are a member of the Student Union, contact them to extend your membership.


    • Instructions for Nordplus students are similar to Erasmus-instructions above.
    • However, there seldom is an exchange quota between the universities. Instead, you must find out if you can get a Nordplus-scholarship for the extension. Please contact the International Exchange Services for more information.

    University level bilateral agreements:

    • First, contact the exchange coordinator at your home university. If your home university allows extending your exchange, then contact the International Exchange Services at the University of Helsinki: studentexchange@helsinki.fi.
    • Extending your exchange is only possible if the extension fits within the annual exchange quota, and both universities agree to the extension. (E.g. The exchange agreement states that two students may be sent for a semester, but only one has been sent. In this case there may be room for an extension within the quota.) Should the quota already be full, extending your exchange stay will not be possible.
    • If extension is allowed, International Exchange Services at the University of Helsinki (studentexchange@helsinki.fi) will give further instructions regarding what you need to do, e.g. extending your study right, housing contract, and residence permit.

    Visiting student

    • First, contact your Home University to make sure that they can accept the extension and ask for a written confirmation on the extension (in English) including the proposed new dates.
    • In case you are doing a traineeship/research/PhD you need a confirmation, including the new dates, from your supervisor at the UH stating that continuation is ok. (This can be either a screenshot of an email or a written and signed statement)
    • You need to update your learning agreement/learning agreement for traineeship according to the new plan.
    • Upload the above mentioned documents on your Mobility Online account and contact the International Exchange Sevices (studentexchange@helsinki.fi) to notify them of your will to extend your stay at least one month before the end of the period of your original stay.
    • Your application will be handled and you will be notified if the extension is possible within two weeks of submitting your application. This may take longer during holiday seasons.


    Can an exchange last over a year?

    The exchange period is limited to maximum one academic year (autumn and spring terms). Exceptions may apply in the case of visiting student status.


    Can the whole degree be completed at the Univestity of Helsinki?

    Exchange students' study right is granted for a semester or study year, e.g. for a limited amount of time, and does not allow completing a degree at the University of Helsinki. If you are interested in applying to the University of Helsinki as a degree student after you have graduated from your home university, see www.helsinki.fi/admissions for more.


    The transcript of records includes only credits of those courses you have passed. It is not technically possible to add failed courses on the transcript. If your home institution requires proof of a failed course, you need to ask for this from the teacher of the failed course. Instructions for students - order a transcript


    Accepted students will receive the newsletter for exchange and visiting students – a great way to stay on top of not-to-be-missed information!

    You can find the newsletter archive here >>

    Contact us

    We are here to help and support you during your exchange. You can call, send email or visit us during our office hours. You can find our contact details here