Skip to content

Information about Finland

Before packing your bags, learn about Finland and get acquainted with your new home.  

Information about living in Helsinki

Guidance and tutoring for students arriving in Finland

Our students will answer your questions about student life in Finland. Please contact them via email You can also meet our students in Zoom to have a face to face Q&A session. 

To ensure a smooth beginning for the newcomers, Diak offers International Tutor services for students arriving in Finland. The tutors will

  • Answer your questions about Finland before arrival.
  • Pick you up from the airport if possible. Please inform your tutor asap once you have the flight schedule. 
  • Guide you with arrival formalities and practical issues and
  • Help you to integrate to the Finnish society and student life. 

Check list before arrival

You can start preparing for the departure once you have

1. Ensure housing for the first nights 

Check when it is possible to pick up keys for your permanent housing. And remember that your housing is not furnished. If you arrive at night, during the weekend or on national holiday, book a temporary housing for the first nights. Also if you have not received permanent housing before arriving in Finland, be sure to make arrangements for temporary housing early enough! The City of Helsinki and the City of Espoo also have lists of hotels and other accommodation types on their pages.

Platforms to browse and compare short-term accommodation options in Finland:,,,,

2. Flights & pick up possibilities

Send arrival information to your tutor well in advance to see, if pick up from the airport will be possible.

3. Prepare for the transfer from the airport to your housing

How much luggage will you bring?  Will you be able to take a bus or do you need a taxi?

If you come with a family, please note that in Finland children under seven must have a safety seat that must be booked in advance with the taxi company. Taxis follow this regulation carefully.

4. Remember to bring essentials

Remember to bring essential items such as personal medication, medical report of pre-existing illnesses preferably translated into English, driving license, adapters and chargers for the electrical devices etc.

Check list after arrival

1. Register your residency at DVV

All international students have to register at Digital and Population Data Services Agency (DVV). It is recommended to book an appointment to avoid queues.

2. Get a student travel card at HSL (Helsinki region public transportation)

HSL travel card provides the easiest and most economic way to travel in the capital region. It is valid on local trams, trains, busses, metros and Suomenlinna ferry.
Students living in Helsinki region get a 40% student discount. Get your Travel Card at HSL service point. You can have your travel card in the HSL app once you get a Finnish bank account. HSL app has a useful Journey planner that gives you the best routes and shows where your bus is in real time. The Journey Planner also tells you which ticket you need for your journey.

You will need a certificate from DVV office that proves that you have submitted a DVV registration form that states that you are a resident of Helsinki, Espoo or Vantaa.

3. Apply for an identity card at the police station

Book a visit to the police station. Take a passport photo code with you. An identity card is mandatory to open a bank account in Finland.

4. Open a bank account to be able to use online services in Finland 

It is recommended to open a bank account in Finland, since bank identification is often used in various online services, such as online shopping, public health care services, public administration etc.The policy for opening a bank account depends on the bank, so it’s very hard to give exact steps for opening a bank account. We recommend that you contact the bank beforehand and inquire about the possibility of opening an account and asking what documents are needed. Note! In order to be able to open a bank account you must first be registered by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. Banks in Finland are open Monday to Friday 9.30-16.15. Banks operating in Finland: S-bankNordea, Aktia, OP-Pohjola, Danske Bank

5. Get local SIM card

You can buy a Finnish SIM card from the R-kioski. Saunalahti, DNA, and Telia are the biggest mobile company in Finland. 

6. Buy furniture and clothing for the local weather

Second hand stores: kierrätyskeskus, second-hand stores, online second-hand store, Flea Market, Kontti second-hand, Vähän Käytetty and Tori (only in Finnish). 

Moving to Finland with a family

If you move to Finland with family and kids, your city of residence will support you in registering kids to school/daycare and finding employment for the spouse. 

Daycare and education

Employment and integration services for the spouse

A tax card is needed if you receive a salary or other income in Finland. You can order it online, calling the number 029 497 050, Filling in the paper form or Visiting the nearest Tax Office.

Health Care

Only students are eligible for Student Health Care. Your family should use the Health Care services of the municipality:

In Finland the children under the age of seven have their physical, cognitive, motor, and psychological development monitored by the family nurse – Neuvola. Contact the health center in your area (Helsinki, Vantaa, Espoo) and request an appointment with a family nurse – neuvola. 

Working while studying

Many International degree students wish to work part-time while studying. While thinking of part-time work options, make sure that the work does not affect your study success and progress. International degree students are allowed to work during their stay in Finland – with certain restrictions. The restrictions have to do with the nationality (EU/EEA or non-EU/EEA) and the nature of employment.

If you are a Nordic or EU/EEA national, you have the right to work in Finland without any work permit or restrictions on hours.

If you come from outside of the EU/EEA countries, you have the right to work part-time with the student’s residence status. You are only allowed to work for an average of 30 hours per week. For more information on the regulations of study and work, please see MIGRI’s website.

Please note that you should not rely on financing your studies only by working. Part-time work is not always easy to find. Often some Finnish language skills are required.

A tax card is needed if you receive a salary or other income in Finland. You can order it online, calling the number 029 497 050, Filling in the paper form or Visiting the nearest Tax Office.

Before starting to work in Finland get to know the employee’s rights and obligations.