Practical information for incoming exchange students

Here you can find useful information when planning your exchange period. The international coordinators and tutors are also happy to help you with practical matters and questions concerning studies, accommodation, etc.

Note that the main communication channel is by email. The email address provided in your application document will be used.

A lot of practical information can also be found in the studyinfinland-website.

Language requirements

A language level of B2 in English is required for both studies and placement. Knowledge of other languages, especially Finnish or Swedish, is highly beneficial in work placements.

Health issues

Please note that if you wish to carry out your work practice at a Finnish hospital or institute, you should find out what health and vaccination certificates are required by the organisation in question. Note that you need to take care of the vaccinations beforehand.

Following vaccinations are often required:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Polio
  • Varicella
  • MMR
  • Seasonal influenza vaccination
  • Boostrix vaccine (if working with children or emergency ward)

School nurses are available at campuses, and Diak takes the welfare of its students very seriously. Diak also has student counsellors, and our international office and student union do their best to ensure a good exchange experience.


All exchange students arriving to Diak should have valid travel insurance for the entire stay, including journeys to and from Finland. Your insurance must cover expenses and transportation to the home country in case of an emergency.

In case of emergency, students from the EU/EEA countries are entitled to public health care services in Finland if they are covered by health insurance in their home country. A European Health Insurance Card or other official document is needed to access health services in Finland.


If you are not an EU/EEA citizen, apply for a residence permit as soon as you have received the residence permit invitation. If you are a citizen of an EU member state, Liechtenstein or Switzerland you do not need a residence permit to stay in Finland.

You can stay and work freely in Finland for up to three months. You need to have a valid identity card or passport.

If your stay lasts for more than three months, you have to register your right of residence.

For more information, please see the Finnish Immigration Service’s website. You may also apply for the personal identity code from the local registry office of your host city in Finland.

A Finnish personal identity code is required for student union membership and in various activities. Your tutor can advise you about these matters, and information is also available online at the Register Office.

When applying for the social security number, you will need a certificate of attendance, which can be obtained from the international coordinator / study office.


Each exchange student will be contacted by the international tutor prior to the arrival to Finland. Tutors assist students upon their arrival and with practical matters such as getting to know the campus and student life in Finland.

Student union O’Diako is responsible for international tutoring.

It is advisable to schedule your arrival few days before the studies/placement start. In Helsinki, students arrive either in August or in January.

At other campuses, the local coordinator will advise you about the recommended arrival date. Note that accommodation is usually paid for full months.

When you arrive, please register at Diak’s campus. In Helsinki, you should book an appointment with the international coordinator. At the Pori and Oulu campuses, you can visit the study office or contact the local coordinator.

Living costs in Finland

Rents in student accommodation vary between cities. In the Helsinki region, be prepared to pay approximately €300-600 for a shared student flat and €500–1,000 for a studio depending on the location. In other Finnish towns rents can be lower.

Student cafeterias at Diak campuses offer hot meals, snacks and drinks at moderate prices. A discounted student lunch costs approximately €2–4. You will get the student discount at the cafeterias only by presenting a valid meal discount card.

You will receive the card upon your arrival to Diak from the international coordinator (Helsinki) or study offices (other campuses). The card also entitles you to discounted prices at many other student cafeterias outside Diak campuses.

Diak library services and studies are free of charge. Public transport costs about €25 per month. Mobile phone subscription with internet connection also costs around €25 per month. Students get various discounts, and the ISEC student card is widely recognised, for instance in museums, cinemas, sport facilities etc.


Exchange students are expected to cover rental expenses themselves.


Student housing for exchange students in Helsinki is arranged by HOAS student housing provider.

Apply for housing as early as possible, since the student housing situation in Helsinki is challenging. Student housing is given on first come first served basis.  

Please note that Diak can’t guarantee accommodation for late applicants.

Pieksämäki and Pori

Diak’s local International Coordinator will assist in finding an apartment. See also information for Diak’s students about housing and commuting.


Accommodation can be electronically booked on the website of PSOAS. The local coordinator can advise about other possibilities.

Visa and Residence Permit

You are Duration Permit When Application
NOT citizen of an EU member state, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland Over 3 months Residence permit Before arrival -> E-service
NOT citizen of an EU member state, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland (and not from visa-free country) Less than 3 months Visa Before arrival Visa application
NOT citizen of an EU member state, but you have a valid residence permit issued by another EU Member State Over 3 months Mobility notification Before arrival Mobility notification to Finland
Citizen of EU member state, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland Over 3 months Right to reside After arrival Right to reside application


Students who are NOT citizens of an EU member state, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland have to apply for a residence permit if the studies in Finland last for longer than 90 days.

Residence permit application is available at -> E-services.

Please find more information about student’s residence permit application here.

If you are a citizen of an EU member state, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you are not required to have a residence permit for Finland.


If you have a valid residence permit for studies issued by another EU Member State and you will study at Diak UAS via student exchange programme (Erasmus+, Nordplus or bilateral), you do not have to apply for residence permit to Finland. Instead you should make a mobility notification to Finland.

Please make sure that you submit all the required documents. If something is missing, the Immigration Service will automatically object your notification and you will have to pay the fee again.


If your studies take less than 90 days to complete, apply for a visa. You may study in Finland for 90 days without a visa or residence permit if you are a citizen of a visa-free country.


If you are a citizen of an EU member state, Liechtenstein or Switzerland you do not need a residence permit to stay in Finland. You can stay and work freely in Finland for up to three months. You need to have a valid identity card or passport. If your stay lasts for more than three months you have to register your right of residence. You are recommended to register AFTER arrival to Finland.

For more information, please see the Finnish Immigration Service’s website.


All international exchange students who do not have a Finnish personal identity code, have to apply for it before their arrival or register at the local registry office after their arrival to Finland to apply for one. Normally Diak tutors will help take you to register to the local registry office during the orientation to apply for the code. Students who have to apply for residence permit/visa (i.e. non-EU/non-EEA citizens) before their arrival to Finland should ask to be registered in the Finnish Population Information System when they apply for their first residence permit. This way you can receive a Finnish personal identity code at the same time as they are issued with the permit. More information on this for residence permit applicants is available at Please note that not all nationalities will be able to get the identity code when appliying for the residence permit/visa. In this case you should apply for the code after your arrival to Finland.