24 Jul Random information for new students
New academic year is about to start and I guess that new students have more and more questions related to their first days in Turku. That’s why I decided to make this post which contains a variety of random information which I got from my tutor, and which my friend and I prepared for our degree tutees. Hope it will be helpful : )
Transportation from Helsinki to Turku
If you arrive at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport there are several options to reach Turku.
- You can buy a train ticket (https://www.vr.fi/cs/vr/en/frontpage) from the airport. Search on the site for a train from Helsinki Airport to Turku. One way is at least €9.90. You will need to change a train once, maybe twice depending on your departure time.
- You can take a bus from the airport to Turku (https://matkahuolto.fi/en/, https://www.pohjolanliikenne.fi/cs/pl/en/frontpage).
- You can also take a bus 615 to Helsinki railway station (last time I went was €4.50), then walk to the Helsinki central bus station, called Kamppi, and take from there a bus (http://www.onnibus.com/en/index.htm) to Turku (prices start from €2).
Keep in mind that in all the cases you might still need a local bus (€3) to get to the dorm.
In addition to the documents mentioned in your admission letter, you can bring some passport/ID photos. For example, I needed them for the Double-Degree programme. Photo service in Turku will cost you from €8 (photo booth) to €12-15 (photo studio).
As a student you can use free health care from the Finnish Student Health Services (http://www.yths.fi/en/contact_details/units/turku). The services free of charge include: doctor and nurse examinations, laboratory tests with a referral from an FSHS doctor, therapy treatment, dental hygiene, appointment at mental health. However, students have to cover themselves: costs of medicines, dental treatments and surgery, services offered by City Hospital if FSHS doesn’t have enough resources and have to transfer you to City Hospital. To cover the costs of medical expenses, it is advisable to obtain a good health insurance. Besides, appointments at FSHS usually has to be booked 1-2 weeks in advance, except for acute cases.
It will take time to open your first Finnish bank account and obtain a debit card. Therefore, it’s advisable to bring a debit card from your home country which can be used abroad. For example, it will be useful for online payments on your first days. Don’t forget to take some cash for the first days as well.
Internet is available in student accommodations, but you will need to buy an Internet cable and/or wifi router. Based on my own experience, it’s better to bring this stuff from home. When you arrive you will have a lot of things to do, and it will just save time not to search for the cable and/or router if you want to have an immediate access to the Internet.
Internet access at the university requires a student account. You will get it only after:
- paying a student union fee and getting a payment slip;
- presenting the payment slip and your original documents at your department’s international office in order to register for the academic year;
- presenting your registration at the university IT service.
After that it will still take some time to obtain an Internet access at university. By the way, the university uses eduroam system (education roaming). If you already have an account in this system you can use it to have an Internet access at Finnish universities right away.
A student card is your student identity to prove that you have paid the student union fee and therefore entitled to student rights: subsidised meals (the price in Unica cafes (http://www.unica.fi/en) for €2.60), a student bus card (€33-36), etc. You can book a card (https://www.frank.fi/en/) when you obtain your student account. The price for a plain plastic student card starts from €15.10. But you can use a digital student ID from «Frank» for free.
About TYS furnished apartments: there won’t be any mattress or curtains in your room. In my opinion, a mattress is the most important as without it the first night in Turku might be not pleasant. That’s why I would strongly advise to think about it in advance. It’s quite popular to buy used stuff on https://www.facebook.com/groups/573991119400995/ and https://www.facebook.com/groups/TurkuFleamarket/.
Important places to visit upon your arrival
- International office of your faculty to show you original degree certificate and to take the payment slip for TYY membership fee;
- A bank to pay for TYY membership fee;
- A bus office (http://www.foli.fi/en) to take a paper which should be signed by your international officer thus you can get a bus card for the student price;
- Maistraatti (https://www.maistraatti.fi/en/) to register with the local municipality;
- A bank to make an appointment for opening a bank account.
P.S. Tervetuloa Suomeen : )