New international students

Get the full Finnish student experience with HYY!

One of the best things about studying at the University of Helsinki is its diverse student community – and as a new student in Helsinki you are a part of it. Together we are the largest and oldest student union in Finland, and we want to welcome you as our member!

Get to know us

What is HYY?

The Student Union of the University of Helsinki, or HYY for short, is an advocacy and service organisation for around 26 000 students at the University of Helsinki. This means we offer services to our members, for instance the student card, and protect your rights and interests at the University and in the society. We are a self-governing organisation and operate independently of the University of Helsinki.

Read more about our organisation
    • Membership benefits

      As a member of the Student Union, you are entitled to several benefits. Whether you are a basic degree student, a postgraduate student or an exchange student, you are very welcome as our member. Read more about the membership benefits here.

    • Advocacy

      Our core task is to improve students’ status at the University, in the city and in society. We promote and defend issues that are important to students, for example smoother studies, student housing and access to healthcare. You can also always get in touch with us if you encounter challenges during your time as a student or want to give feedback. Read more about our advocacy work here.

    • Unforgettable events

      HYY organises some of the biggest events and parties for students in Helsinki. You get to meet other students from all campuses, learn about organisations over disciplinary boundaries and enjoy communality all over the city. For example, you can meet student organisations at the Opening Carnival, put a team together to complete the Fresher Adventure or celebrate spring traditions during May Day and Flora!

Student life isn't just lectures

Community is key

We are the university students’ own community, and thus enabling lively student life is one of the most important tasks of our Student Union. In practice, this means arranging events, supporting student organisations, volunteers and student representatives. Our goal is that every single one of our members would find something meaningful to do besides their studies. Read more about different opportunities below and get involved!

HYY’s Organisations HYY's Committees
    • Student organisations

      There are around 240 different student organisations operating within HYY – whatever you want to do, there is sure to be likeminded people you can join. From sports clubs and photography associations to faculty and study area related organisations, there is something for everyone! There are events and parties organised throughout the year, almost on a daily basis. You can also form a new student organisation and apply to operate under HYY which gives your organisation access to HYY’s facilities and support services.

      The organisations are the key in the university life in Finland. Through them, you get to meet other students, network for the future and develop skills outside the classroom. Participating in student activities helps you to build a life in Helsinki.

    • HYY's Committees

      Our committees focus on brainstorming and developing activities for the Student Union related to different areas. This translates into organising events, conducting advocacy work and developing the University community. The committees are open to all our members, and you can join their activities at any point during the year.

      For example, our International Committee is run by and for international and internationally-minded students. Its aim is to create a thriving student community at the University of Helsinki by advocating for the interests and inclusion of international students.

Make a change and improve student life

Get involved!

The Student Union’s primary purpose is to protect and promote students’ interests. You can also get involved! There are many different options to make an impact, depending on your interests, and develop useful skills for the future.

Read more about HYY’s advocacy work
    • At the University

      Are you interested in making studies run smoother or having a say in the University’s major policies? Would you like to act as the voice of your fellow students in the University’s decision-making processes? If you answered yes, you have what it takes to become a student representative! We students have our own positions in the University’s arenas of power – from the steering groups of degree programmes to the University’s highest decision-making bodies. All students completing a degree at the University of Helsinki who have registered for attendance may apply to become a student representative. Read more here.

    • In the Student Union

      Representative Council
      The Representative Council is in charge of decision-making in our Student Union. The Council consists of 60 students who are elected every two years. All our members are entitled to vote and run as a candidate in the elections. The Representative Council makes decisions on issues such as HYY’s Constitution and budget as well as appoints the Board.

      Our committees focus on brainstorming and developing activities for the Student Union related to different areas. For instance, the International Committee works to improve international students’ status in the Student Union and the University and the Environmental Committee promotes sustainability and environmental issues. The committees are open to all our members, and you can join their activities at any point during the year.

Join us!

How to join

You must pay the membership fee to become a member. All basic degree students at the University of Helsinki are automatically members of the Student Union. If you are liable to pay tuition fees, you have already paid the membership fee as part of your tuition fee.

Joining is voluntary for doctoral and exchange students, but we encourage you to join us! As a member, you get access to student benefits all over Finland, and we can better safeguard your rights as a student in Finland.

Note! The Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) payment is not included in the membership fee. FSHS offers free healthcare for bachelor and master’s degree students, and the fee is compulsory for non-EU/EEA degree students. Unfortunately exchange students are not entitled to FSHS services. Read more about FSHS and how to pay the fee here.

Read more about membership

Useful links