Studying & Living
Finland's big year 2017
Finland became an independent country on 6 December 1917. The newly born country was willed into being by the Finns after a long struggle. In spite of hard times, the Finnish people have for almost a hundred years engaged in the building of their country and making decisions together. Now the Finns are leading their country into a new century with courage and determination.
Did you know that Finland is the best in the world? Don't trust our word - see for yourself: Statistics Finland
Finnish universities must by law charge tuition fees from non-EU/EEA students. TAMK's fees are charged annually and are set as follows:
- 9 800 € / year for Bachelor's degrees
- 10 800 € / year for Master's degrees
To ensure that TAMK receives the most talented and motivated students - irrespective of their social standing or financial wealth - we have established scholarships which you can apply for when applying to study at TAMK.
Payment schedule and scholarships:
- 50% of the fee is payable when accepting the offered study place.
- The second installment is either waved (Early Bird -scholarship, if acceptance is done within 7 days) or invoiced in August.
Years 2-3 (if applicable):
- 50% of the fee is payable when registering as present for the following year (by 31 May or by a separate deadline in case of transfer students).
- The second installment is either waved totally or partially (Academic Award -scholarships 25% - 50% based on credits gained and GPA), invoiced in full or in reduced amount in August.
Final year (if applicable):
- 50% of the fee is payable when registering as present for the final year (by 31 May).
- The second installment is either waved totally or partially (Academic Award -scholarships 25% - 50% based on credits gained and GPA), invoiced in full or in reduced amount in August.
- Graduating students can qualify for Academic Excellence -scholarships when graduating for a variety of reasons: exceptional thesis work, success in practical placements or project work. These scholarships are governed and awarded by the TAMK R&D Fund.
Students can also be sponsored by either family or organisations/companies. TAMK is currently negotiating company sponsorships for future students.
Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries:
You must obtain a Student Residence Permit. First, read carefully the instructions from the website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Then go to the website Enter Finland and fill in your application. Note that admission to TAMK does not guarantee that you will get Student Residence Permit. The Finnish Immigration Service will take all matters in your application into consideration and make the decision independently.
All foreign students need Finnish Social Security Number. You can apply for it while applying for the Student Residence Permit. Alternatively, you can apply for it after arriving in Finland, but getting it at the same time with the permit may speed up bureaucratic processes.
Citizens of EU/EEA countries
Following are the instructions after receiving a letter of acceptance.
You don't need to apply for Student Residence Permit before coming to Finland. Instead, you must register your stay at Enter Finland.
A passport is not necessary for EU/EEA citizens, but you must be able to prove your identity with an official identity card. However, we recommend having your passport with you, just in case you wish to travel from Finland to Russia (Cruises/trains to St. Petersburg are popular among students).
If you are a citizen of Denmark, Iceland, Norway or Sweden, you don't need to register. Instead please visit your Local Register Office.
Family members of EU/Finnish citizens
A family member of EU citizen that resides in Finland for over three months and is not a citizen of EU, can apply for a residence card of a family member of an EU citizen. The card must be applied for within three months of entering into Finland.
If you are the family member of a Finnish citizen but you haven't lived together in another EU country, in most cases you should apply for a residence permit instead.
Students from EU countries
Students from EU countries should obtain European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from their home country prior to coming to Finland. Please note that EHIC does not cover all medical treatments in Finland. Health care in Finland may be very expensive, as a hospital bill can easily be several hundreds or even thousands of euros. Therefore, TAMK strongly recommends that EU citizens should obtain personal health insurance even if it is not required by law.
Students from non-EU countries
Students from non-EU countries must have comprehensive insurance cover when applying for a Student Residence Permit, as without it a permit cannot be granted. Student Residence Permit cannot be issued for a period exceeding the period of the insurance coverage. Students must attach details of their comprehensive health insurance cover to their application when applying for a Student Residence Permit. Comprehensive insurance cover refers to an insurance which includes the types of treatment and costs that are covered by municipal health care services and the health insurance system. It is a precondition for obtaining a residence permit that the student has valid health insurance cover with a reliable and solvent company or institution.
- For studies of less than two years in duration, a student must have private insurance which primarily covers the costs of medical treatment up to 100,000 euros
- When the duration of the studies is two years or more, a student will usually have a home municipality in Finland and is therefore entitled to municipal health care services. In such cases, it is sufficient for the insurance to primarily cover the cost of medicines, up to 30,000 euros. In practice, the cover extends to doctors' fees and costs of examination and treatment.
More information is available from the website of the Finnish Immigration Service.
TAMK provides basic student health care to all its students in the Student Health Care Centre during office hours on Monday-Friday. However, if you need to consult a doctor in the evening or during a weekend, you need to use public or private hospitals. Usually the patients needs to pay the costs first from their own pocket, and then claim the costs from their insurance company.
The following are examples and are subject to change:
- Student accommodation: 200 - 900 € / month (varying from shared room to family apartment)
- University sports: 68 - 78 € / academic year (depending on whether you are a student union member)
- Transport: 34 - 76 € / month (varies depending on the zones travelled)
- Food: 200 - 300 € / month (varies depending for example on whether and how much you utilize the campus lunch option of 2,60 €)
NB! The need to purchase materials or spend on study trips etc. varies. The need to purchase books is minimized by the excellent on-campus library.
NB! Students are given generous discounts both on and off campus (movies, restaurants, clubs and pubs, sports options etc.)
International students are usually not entitled to the Finnish social benefits. If you come to Finland solely for the purpose of studying, you cannot get student financial aid from the Finnish state.
However, if you have worked in Finland prior to your studies or you marry in Finland, your status may change. Further information can be found from the website of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela).
Working part-time while studying might be an option to finance your studies. Studying at TAMK does not exclude the possibility of taking a part-time job in the evenings, over the weekends and during holidays. TAMK's social counsellor and career services and can help you in job-seeking.
It may be difficult to find employment in Finland, especially if you do not speak Finnish. Practically nobody speaks Finnish outside Finland. Finnish is a difficult language that is totally unrelated to the Indo-European languages spoken by the rest of Europe. That's why English is the third unofficial language of Finland. You can definitely get by if you only know English.
That said, it's still a good idea to learn some Finnish. It will help you connect – and it improves your chances of finding a job in Finland. Even a phrase or two will make a difference, as Finns really appreciate the effort. TAMK's language teachers have developed a self-help tool for initial steps towards this unique challenge: www.uuno.tamk.fi
Note: Finnish labour market is very law-abiding and working unofficially and being paid "under the table" is strictly forbidden. Employers cannot take you as an unofficial labourer due to risking their business licence.
The Finnish higher education system comprises of two different forms of education: universities (so-called "traditional" universities) and universities of applied sciences (shortly UAS).
Universities concentrate on academic and scientific research and education, whereas universities of applied sciences combine scientific theory with practical application in authentic working environments.
Read more elsewhere on the web:
The academic year at TAMK is divided into two semesters and four periods. The autumn semester starts in August and ends at the end of the year. The spring semester starts early January and ends around the end of May.
Summer studies, project work and practical training options give you a chance to speed up or catch up others between semesters. Study counsellors and tutor teachers will assist you in keeping up with the pace at TAMK.
Your work as a TAMK student involve many different methods and hopefully give you a better understanding of modern working life, where everyone works towards a common goal, with the talent and abilities they have. Many of the tasks and assigments you receive during your studies are aimed at group work and co-creation. In the course of your studies, you will also try out your wings in the great world of work, carrying out real tasks for genuine employers.
Authentic work environments
A significant part of your studies will be carried out in authentic work environments - as project work, a commissioned final thesis, practical training periods of several months' duration or any combination of the three. The contacts that you will make with companies and other organizations will give you a realistic insight into the demands of the professional field that you are entering, as well as concrete experience of worklife norms and practices.
Collaboration with working life will also happen through applied research and development (R&D) projects. By participating in R&D projects, you can develop your professional competence and make valuable contacts. TAMK benefits from R&D projects, too; the knowledge gained from close engagement with innovative organizations feeds straight back into improved course contents for students.
Modern study facilities
All TAMK campuses have modern study facilities. Our versatile learning environments support learning in different study phases. We have well-equipped laboratories, studios, auditoriums, IT classrooms, facilities for group work and independent study etc. Our knowledgeable and approachable staff is always at hand to assist you in finding what you need.
TAMK ensures that the education it provides is as up-to-date as possible by getting input from multi-lateral advisory boards. These advisory boards have members from all sectors of working life, and thus provide a deep well of information about the current situation and future employment and development needs of businesses and other organizations. This information is invaluable input for developing curricula and planning courses.
In the most functional country in the world, you will be supported in handling the practical aspects of study life from lightning fast wifi to free libraries.
Studying in Finland is not just about official studies. It's a unique around-the-clock experience that will change you. Usually for the better.
Informal but confidential
Relationships between students and teachers are very informal. You can even call your teachers by their first names. On one hand, this means that teachers may surprise you by asking about your private life and share your joys and sorrows quite openly. Finns respect privacy, so if you confide in them, your secret is safe.
On the other hand, you will be expected to participate actively in class - ask questions, comment, and interrupt. State your case and argue your point of view. We're looking for independent thinkers who choose their own path. We will even help you carve out your very own path, just in case you make those bold choices no-one has made before.
Independence and individuality
Most students at TAMK are over 18 years old, and as such, are considered adults. Most Finns live on their own by the time they start university studies. We therefore expect you to take responsibility for your life and your studies. This does not mean that you are on your own. Remember, we offer many types of support throughout your studies.
When you start your degree programme, you receive a curriculum to follow for your whole 1.5 - 4.5 years of studies (depending on your degree). Some courses are mandatory, some are optional. You may also include in your personal study plan some completely free electives from any university-level courses completed in other institutions. Add some international flavour by completing a part of your degree abroad in a form of student exchange at a partner university or a training placement in a company of your choosing.
Finns are very strict about cheating and fraud, and this is no different in universities. If you cheat in exams or in written assignments, there is no room for negotiations. You are removed from the exam room immediately and your course is failed. There is a fair hearing and a process that's followed set by the National Advisory Board on Research Ethics. The matter is never taken lightly and may result in a temporary dismissal.
TAMK uses the Urkund plagiarism prevention program and all final thesis will go through the program analysis. Urkund program assists in finding plagiarism from different kinds of written documents.
This is a unique opportunity for you to individualise your study record and stand out in the job market after graduation. Imagine – a degree with the best of three worlds!
Finnish universities of applied sciences follow the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). According to this system, an academic year is equal to 1600 hours of student work. In the curriculum for each degree programme, the student workload is divided between the study years. The aim is to distribute the studies evenly across all the study years to avoid excessive workload in any particular year or semester.
At TAMK, the students' academic year is made up of 40 calendar weeks, each consisting of approximately 40 hours of work. This 40 hours includes all student work – classroom sessions and lectures, online studies, preparation for examinations, practical training as well as projects and individual study. The unit of measurement is a credit. Courses are assigned a credit value depending on the required workload. One credit requires about 27 hours of student work. Students are expected to complete approximately 60 credits per year.
Summer studies, project work and practical training options give you a chance to speed up or catch up others. Study counsellors and tutor teachers will assist you in keeping up with the pace at TAMK.
The scope of studies
The scope of Bachelor's degree studies at TAMK is 210 / 240 / 270 credits, depending on the particular degree programme. The studies are organised so that they can be completed in 3½ years (210 credits), 4 years (240 credits) or 4½ years (270 credits). Students who cannot complete their studies within the allocated time for any reason must apply for an extension to their study rights.
Master's degree studies consist of advanced professional studies, elective studies, and a Master's thesis. The scope of the master's degrees is 60 or 90 credits, and it can be carried out as part-time studies or full-time studies, based on your needs and work situation.
The scope of the Vocational Teacher Education studies is 60 credits.
TAMK has four campuses in the city of Tampere.
TAMK's biggest campus is the Main Campus in the Kauppi area of Tampere. There are 8000 people studying and working every day in the Main Campus. TAMK has study facilities outside Tampere, too - in three smaller towns in the surrounding Tampere Region.
All TAMK campuses have modern study facilities. Versatile learning environments support learning in different study phases: we have high-grade libraries, well-equipped laboratories, studios, auditoriums, IT classrooms, facilities for group work and self-study etc. All students get free access to the internet and they can use computer classrooms freely.
The library of Tampere University of Applied Sciences is an open library for everyone. The primary goal is to serve TAMK students and staff and the partners of TAMK. In addition to the traditional function of lending books, the staff will also guide you to the pool of knowledge by hosting workshops on a variety of themes on and around information and research.
The library serves you on all campuses, with a specialised collection and staff dedicated to the specific study subjects in the lead role on the campus in question.
See the video made by TAMK students: "How to use the library?"
We encourage all foreign students to study Finnish while at Tampere University of Applied Sciences. It is easy to get along in everyday life in Finland using only English, but Finnish language skills will help you to integrate into Finnish society. Finnish language skills are especially important for degree students who may want to work in Finland after graduation, because finding a job can be difficult for people who lack sufficient knowledge of Finnish.
All foreign students studying on the degree programmes conducted in English have mandatory courses in Finnish language. In addition, degree students and exchange students can take optional courses in Finnish culture and language at different levels. The courses are offered free of charge to all degree students, incoming exchange students and trainees at TAMK. It is highly recommended to participate in these courses.
Finnish language courses in the other higher education institutions in Tampere are also open for all international students enrolled in any of the three institutions (Tampere University of Applied Sciences, University of Tampere, and Tampere University of Technology).
More information: Unipoli Tampere - Learning Finnish
Learn with UUNO
Foreign students now have a great opportunity to study some Finnish language and culture before arriving in Tampere. UUNO is an internet-based guide to Finnish, which presents 10 situations related to everyday Finnish life and culture in the form of comic strips. By browsing through the comics you will learn useful, basic, everyday Finnish words, phrases and terminology.UUNO does not require any previous knowledge of Finnish!
Just go for it: www.uuno.tamk.fi
In TAMK's ECTS Study Guide, you can find details of all the student services and benefits available to TAMK students, as well as information about curricula and practical matters related to studying at TAMK.
Services for students
TAMK students are well taken care of. You will get support and guidance with your studies from the day you start right up to graduation. You are also entitled to numerous financial benefits, and a wide range of services designed to ensure your well-being.
You can see some key services introduced in the ECTS Study Guide.
Please note that you are required to arrange your accommodation by yourself.
TAMK does not have student dormitories.
The housing associations release autumn housing for application in May. As soon as you receive a message from us about the application period starting, you should start arranging your accommodation in Tampere. Apply for accommodation as early as possible, as first-come-first-serve principles applies and the best places are booked within the first few days! There usually is a shortage of student accommodation in Tampere in the autumn. There are thousands of new students starting their studies at the same time. If you don't apply early, you may not find a room in time to start your studies at TAMK.
You can choose from several student housing providers:
- Tampere Student Housing Foundation (TOAS):
- Tampere city student housing (POAS)
- Private housing (Student's Tampere association)
- M2-Kodit (apartment listings only in Finnish)
Each of the above is independent from TAMK. You may apply for a room from one or more providers. Each of them has an online application form. After you have filled in the application form, the provider in question will contact you with further instructions.
If you apply for a room from several providers, remember to cancel your other applications after you have received a room from one provider. Otherwise, you may end up having to pay rent for several apartments!
Each provider has their own rules and standards for student housing. However, the following information applies to student housing in general:
- Students may have to share their flat, sometimes even their room, with another student or students. The kitchen, bathroom and toilet are usually shared.
- The standard of student housing is usually modest.
- The rent in a shared apartment is about 300€/month/person. The rent includes electricity, hot water, and the use of sauna and laundry facilities.
- The rooms assigned to new foreign students are usually furnished with a bed, a mattress, a table and a chair. Most flats have an internet connection, and the usage fee is often included in the rent.
You should always check what is included in the rent and prepare for what is not included. If you for example get an unfurnished room, TAMK's Social Councellor can help you acquire basic furniture after you arrive in Tampere.
In the Tampere region, rental prices in the private sector are typically twice as high as in the student housing providers' prices. The apartments are not usually furnished, and the rent does not include electricity, water costs or the use of common laundry or sauna facilities.
Student restaurants and cafeterias
There are student restaurants and/or cafeterias on all campuses, which provide hot meals and snacks at special rates. For example, the student price for lunch is 2,60 €. The lower price is due to government meal subsidy, which is also valid in all university campuses nationwide.
More about TAMK's campus restaurants/cafeterias:
Campusravita (Main campus)
Juvenes (Mediapolis campus)
TAMK's Social Counsellor, Ms Mirja Onduso, works exclusively with international students, providing support and guidance in all matters - big or small. She assists students with arrival, housing, working and living in Tampere and much, much more.
Each degree programme has a student counsellor, who provides personal counselling for students needing support and advice in different study-related matters.
Furthermore, each student group has a tutor teacher who follows the students' study progress. Usually, the tutor teacher is also a course teacher for the group, so they are familiar to the students and easy to approach.
All TAMK students are entitled to use basic student health care services, whether they are degree students or exchange students.
Using specialist medical services can be extremely expensive in Finland. Therefore, TAMK strongly recommends that every foreign student should obtain personal health insurance.
Student tutors take care that every new foreign student at TAMK feels at home right from the first day. Student tutoring is organised by Student Union Tamko.
Student Union Tamko offers TAMK students a wide variety of services and activities - from sports to festivity.
The most important tasks of Tamko are representing students within the administration of TAMK, and promoting the educational and social interests of students.Tamko supports dozens of different student clubs and associations at TAMK. One of the most active is the Club International Tampere (CLINT), which organizes a number of activities for foreign and internationally-minded Finnish students. For a very reasonable charge, Tamko and CLINT also rent out Survival Kits, which contain basic items such as kitchen utensils and bed linen.
This is an excellent moment to start working out! As a TAMK student, you will have access to the sports and work-out facilities and services of three universities in Tampere - for the price of very reasonable membership fee (68-78 € / year).
The range of activities will take your breath away: over 30 different kinds of fitness activities for groups, six gyms, sports halls for team sports, and a wide selection of courses - ranging from astanga yoga to taekwondo.
Are there cheap apartments?
- Yes. Cheap apartments have a monthly rent of around 250 €/month.
- Easiest cheap apartments are provided by TOAS.
Does TAMK have dormitories?
- No, but there is a student accommodation company TOAS which has affordable apartments for incoming students.
Can I live alone?
- Yes, you can. It is possible to find the best solution for you. It is going to cost more than sharing a room, but it is your choice.
Are the apartments next to the school?
- You can find good apartments all over Tampere, as well as next to the school. You can find the school campuses here. Just get an apartment next to it.
Are there family apartments?
- There are family apartments, and they are normally bigger and with more than one room.
Can I share a room with a friend?
- You can share a room, just contact the agency and they will help you with everything you need.
How much are the living costs for a month without rent?
- Generally, in average a student spends around 300 € for a month.
How is the internet connectivity? Can I get unlimited mobile internet?
- Internet connectivity is very good. Almost everywhere you can connect to mobile network and access the internet. Average broadband cost is around 20 €/month. Some apartments have internet included in the rent also.
Can I bring my pets?
- There are a lot of apartments that allows you to have pets. Just make sure you do comply with everything necessary. Find all the necessary information here.
What animal wildlife can I see in Finland?
- There are many different animals living in the immense Finnish forests. Here are some specialities that can be found in Finland's amazing nature.
Are there dog parks?
- Yes, there are and they are located all around Tampere and are free. Check them our in this map. In the map, the dog parks are subtly enhanced and are the black bordered green areas. If you press on it, it will say koirapuisto = dog park.
What kind of animals can I see?
- There are many urban hares and squirrels. Seagulls and pigeons are common, as well as other birds. And cats and dogs of course. I saw a badger once, and a baby deer also. On the edges of the city, there are farms where you can see cows as well. In the city it's mostly domestic animals, though.
Can I speak to strangers?
- You can of course speak to strangers, but in Finnish culture asking for help is often avoided. People prefer to solve the problems by themselves. Towards others they are very helpful, though, so just ask someone if you need help. Most people can advise you in English. A more common place for Finns to feel comfortable talking with other people is at the bar.
- Yes. Finns are generally very interested in foreigners and their cultures, so don't be afraid to be the first to initiate a conversation. Celebrate your cultural heritage, in sports and holidays and food and drink.
- Sometimes hibernate, sometimes go to a pub, do winter sports or whatever they want to do. There will not be too many people around in the city, as it's quite cold to be outdoors for a long time.
How much does a hamburger cost?
- Big Mac costs 4,10 € on it's own and as a meal 6,80 €
- Hesburger (Finnish equivalent) costs 4,90 € on it's own and as a meal 7,80 €
How much does a can of beans cost?
- A little under 1 € (or a bit more if you want the expensive brand).
What is a typical Finnish food?
- Typical foods usually consist of potatoes and beef, pork or chicken. Fresh water fish and game dishes are also popular. More about Finnish cuisine.
- Finland has some traditional foods which are eaten on special occasions, such as mämmi around Easter. Some can also surprise you when you least expect them as a part of everyday life, such as salmiakki or mustamakkara.
- Tampere has for some reason become the unofficial chicken wing capital of Finland!
How much does a student lunch cost?
- 2,60 € in TAMK's student restaurants - including a warm dish, bread and a glass of water, milk or juice.
Can I find familiar food?
- If you wish to dine out, there are many ethnic restaurants in Tampere; see the online map.
- Cooking yourself is quite easy, as there are for example East Asian markets and Turkish markets around the city center. The Tampere Market Hall located at the main street Hämeenkatu 19 has fresh produces all year round.
Are there organic food I can buy?
- Yes, there are many organic options for most of the usual products, but the prices are generally higher. All shops and supermarkets usually have some.
- Smoking age limit is 18 (buying or having them on you)
- You can buy cigarettes from basically any grocery shop, supermarket or kiosk, but they're very expensive due to heavy taxing. Price per pack is around 6 €.
- Smoking is generally not allowed inside restaurants or bars. Anyhow, some have a separate ventilated smoking room, although you cannot have beverages with you there.
- Public buildings usually have an assigned smoking area away from the entrances. Look around for an ashtray and you can often find one.
- While snus is illegal to sell in Finland, it is not illegal to carry.
- Snus is readily available immediately behind the border in Sweden or cruise ships that leave from ports in Helsinki and Turku to Stockholm.
Where can I swim in Tampere?
- The city of Tampere offers four locations.
- Tampere Swimming Center has an olympic size pool; the others are half sized.
- Spas offer a bit more luxury. Here is a list of the the best 3 hotels in the region with Spas.
Can I do wall climbing?
- You can do that right at the Main Campus sports arena!
- There are more places around Tampere, for example Tampereen kiipeilykeskus and Irti maasta. These sites are not in English, so just ask a friend or us for help you if you need translation.
What about other sports?
- There is a wide variety available in university sports!
- Tour skating, skiing, snowshoeing, telemark, paddling, SUP, kick biking, hiking, kayaks, canoes, skis, tour skates, pulks... just contact Hiking Travel.
Can I go down-hill skiing?
- Yes. There are two hills about 5-10 minutes from the city centre, where you can go to. They rent equipment as well: Hervanta and Mustavuori, both operated by Tampereen Rinteet.
What kind of cultural things can I do in Tampere?
- There are so many things to do in Tampere.. festivals all round the year, theatres, museums or restaurants. You can see many examples here.
Where can I watch movies?
- Here are all the movie theaters in town, go and enjoy a good movie! Remember that most of of the movies are in English, as we use (Finnish) subtitles and not dubbing.
Can I practise my musical instrument somewhere?
- Yes. The main library of Tampere (Metso) has two music rooms available for customers. Customers can play their own instruments, listen to music and use the acoustic pianos in the rooms. They also loan instruments that customers can take home. The selection consists at the moment of ukuleles, acoustic guitars, djembe, cahon, glockenspiel and some percussions.
What do I do if I have a medical emergency?
- The general emergency number in Finland is 112.
- First Aid Unit Acuta is right next to TAMK main campus.
- You can consult a nurse between 7 am and 10 pm by telephone +358 3 10023
- You can make an appointment at student health care.
What kind of medical insurance should I get?
- You should get a medical insurance when coming to study in Finland, as treatment can be very costly (hundreds, even thousands of euros). Read more about insurance here.
Can I get contact lenses without prescription?
- Yes. Basic daily lenses cost around 40 euros for a month's supply.
Does an eye consult cost?
- Some companies provide free eye inspection when purchasing glasses, but in most cases it costs something if you just need an eye consult.
Is there nature in Tampere?
- Yes, like any city in Finland, there is a lot of nature in and around the city.
Are there any parks?
- Yes. Tampere has many large and green parks around city. Most notably Pyynikki, Koskipuisto, Näsinpuisto and Hatanpää Arboretum.
What can I do in the nature?
- Finland has 70% of it's surface area covered with forest. The nature is seemingly everywhere and there are many things to do. For example hiking, swimming, picnics, canoeing and just walking in the woods can make for good memories.
Can I pick berries/mushrooms from the forest?
- Finland has a lot of forests and in the summertime they are filled with berries and mushrooms. You can go and pick them up, just make sure you are not on private property. Please also note that there are some mushrooms that are poisonous if not properly cooked (and some even if cooked). You can find some information here.
Can I hunt in the forest? What can I hunt?
- You can hunt in Finland, but you need to make sure you have all the licenses needed for that. Finland has regulation about hunting weapons as well, you can find some information here.
Can I swim in the lakes?
- Finland is the country of thousands lakes, and there are many lakes in Tampere where you can swim. Here you can find the list of lakes in Tampere. The site is in Finnish, but just copy the address and search how far you are from it.
What are "everyman's rights"?
- Everyman's rights solidify the right of any individual to roam the nature and eat and drink the products of nature, such as berries, mushrooms and fish.
- List of the rights and responsibilities (with printable booklets at the end) are here.
Do I have to drink if going to a bar or nightclub?
- Absolutely not! Finnish law requires that pubs and bars must offer non-alcoholic drinks as well. You can very well enjoy a ginger ale, coffee or a soda when going out.
How much does a beer cost?
- Cheapest from a big supermarket is a bit under 1 €. If you buy it from a smaller grocery store or from a kiosk, it can be 2-3 times more.
Where can I get it?
- Beer, cider and mild mixes are available in supermarkets, grocery stores and kiosks (max. 4,7% alcohol). You can only buy alcohol between 9 am and 9 pm, even if the shops are open longer.
- Spirits, liquor and wines (over 4,7% of alcohol) are sold only in the Alko stores.
- Quite expensive, especially at the city centre. Depending on the bar, the cost of a pint of beer varies between 4 € and 10 €.
- 18 for beer and wine, 21 for strong alcohol.
What about recreational drugs?
- Finnish culture has a very strong history with alcohol, which has not really given way to illicit drug use. According to national surveys only about 20% of the population have ever even tried cannabis.
- You can see obvious drug users around the city centre, or may be offered some at a party, but it's hardly a problem and it's perfectly fine to decline such offers.
- Student health care, student unions and TAMK work together towards a healty learning environment.
Is religion visible on campus?
- No, but there is a pastor available for all students through our collaboration with the Tampere Evangelical Lutheran Parishes.
- TAMK's meditation room (Kuntokatu 4, room S1-03) can be used by students. The room is for meditation and relaxation in the midst of the daily rush, regardless of your religious conviction. You can have further information on using the meditation room from the pastor.
Can I go to church?
- ICCK (The International Congregation of Christ the King, Tampere) is a ecumenical, English speaking, multicultural congregation. The ICCK English Service arranges the cooperation between the Tampere Lutheran Parishes and the Anglican Church of Finland.
What about other religions in Tampere?
- Tampere Catholic Church
- Tampere Baptist Church
- Tampere Pentecostal Church
- Tampere Islam Society
- Tampere Orthodox Church (in Finnish)
- The River Tampere (in Finnish)
- Henótês Tampere (in Finnish)
- Tampere Zen (in Finnish)
How about in Finland?
Where can I find a real Finnish sauna?
- There are over three million saunas in Finland. You can find a sauna in a gym, a swimming pool, a spa, your new Finnish friend's house, possibly your own apartment building or your own apartment, or you can visit a public sauna (see below).
Do I have to be naked in the sauna?
- By tradition, everyone will most likely be naked. This due to the long history of sauna being a totally non-sexual issue for Finns. It's a holy place, related to bathing and in the old days giving a near-sterile environment for giving birth and washing your deceased relatives according to ancient rites.
- Most saunas have a gender selection, so either all male or all female occupants, so you do not need to worry.
- In public saunas, only those with a special badge on their swimsuit from The Finnish Swimming Teaching and Lifesaving Federation (FSL) can wear a swimsuit. This is usually due to having either cancer or a stoma.
- At your friend's house it's perfectly ok for you to wear a swimsuit, so don't be shy and ask. Don't miss a genuine Finnish experience!
What is the branch they use to hit each other in sauna?
- A ‘vasta' or ‘vihta' (the name depends on the region) is a bundle of fresh birch twigs that you gently whip yourself with. It sounds strange, but is really good for your blood circulation and your skin – you'll feel the smoothness afterwards. See for yourself.
Are there public saunas?
- Yes, famous ones too. Check out the 110-year-old Rajaportti Sauna, the oldest public sauna in Tampere!
What can I buy in the canteen?
- In the canteen, you can buy coffee and other kind of beverages, sandwiches, salads, cakes, chocolates.. pretty much all the things you can find in a normal café/coffee house.
What is Tamko?
- Tamko is the Students' Union for all students in Tampere University of Applied Sciences. The Finnish Students' Unions are recognized and regulated by the law on Universities of Applied Sciences.
Can I get free coffee during breaks?
- Yes, if you visit Tamko lounge (located at Main campus). Tamko has free student coffee and lounge area (paying is voluntary). Donations are accepted on site. From "official" cafeterias you cannot get free coffee.
Can I take online courses?
- There are many online courses especially during summer. Please visit summersemester.fi.
- Yes. There are many summer courses offered by TAMK and other universities, as well as online courses at summersemester.fi.
Are there sport bars?
- There are bars where you can watch sports as there are huge televisions screens around the bar. Anyhow, such sports bars where you can play a bunch of different games are not so usual. Google search is your friend here. You also can easily find a bar where to play pool and darts, but more then that it is hard.
- Yes, there are some music and instrument stores in Tampere. Check some of them here, many more are unlisted.
- There are many tattoos parlors. Find your favourite here.
Can I find them in Finland for cheap?
- Yes. The student counsellor Mirja Onduso is the first one to go in order to find help. She has a small free shop and a tiny storage of furniture for international students. She is also able to help you to find the cheapest places to buy the items she does not have in her storage.
Is there sports that I can watch?
- Yes, and many. During the winter time you have the most popular sport in Finland: icehockey. There are two teams in Tampere. Then you have basketball, floorball and football. Finnish baseball season is on during the summer. Ice hockey, Football, Basketball, Baseball.
Are there gyms?
- There are gyms. The universities have Unipoli sport gyms for students. Find out more about Unipoli from here.
What sports can I do?
- Pretty much everything: hockey, football, rugby, baseball..
Can I borrow skates or other sports equipment?
- Yes. Student union Tamko has skates and many other sports equipment to lend, free of charge. Check out here.
- Absolutely. Finland has some really good hiking locations. Just make sure to prepare with seasonal gear!
Is there someone who will pick me up when I arrive?
- Student counsellor (Ms. Mirja Onduso) may be able to help you by picking up at certain times. Please note that you need to inform her about your arrival and arrange things with her well beforehand.
Do I need to open a bank account?
- If you are staying for longer than six months, then it is a good idea. You will need to transfer money to a Finnish bank to pay the rent. This is because payments from a foreign bank, possibly in another currency, will carry heavy service fees. These are many banks in the city centre that you can check (Google search is again your friend).
How do I get from Tampere Airport or Helsinki Airport to Tampere city?
- To come to Tampere from Helsinki you can come by airplane, bus or train. When planning your journey, don't forget to check the connecting flights from Helsinki to Tampere, as they may be very cheap.
- From Tampere Airport, you can get a bus or a taxi to directly to TAMK: Tampere Airport - TAMK
- From Helsinki Airport, the easiest way is to take the train that goes directly from the airport and leaves you in Tampere city center. Timetables and tickets.
How about if I want to stop in Helsinki first?
- Go right ahead, take the commuter train all the way to Helsinki city centre Helsinki Airport - Center
- If you have stayed in Helsinki for some time, the cheapest is to come to Tampere is by bus. Most of the Finnish students use the company OnniBus.
Can I pick up money when I arrive to the airport?
- Yes. There are ATMs at the airport. The Finnish ones look like this.
How do I get a student card and what is it?
- As a member TAMK's student union Tamko you get a Finnish student card, which is a key to hundreds of local and national student benefits.
- You can also register your card for on-campus printing and restaurant services.
How much is the student card and is it worth it?
- Student card costs increase the longer you buy it for. Having the card entitles you to many benefits and discounts, especially in transportation and leisure activities (concerts, festivals, restaurants etc.). Most of the students get the student card and enjoy the big discounts.
What kind of student benefits will I get?
- Finnish students enjoy numerous benefits from their status, such as heavily reduced prices from public transit, discounts in stores, restaurants and bars. You can read more about student discounts in various companies from here.
What bus will I take to school?
- There are many buses that go to the Main campus, to Mediapolis and to Music Academy. Roads of Tampere are at the moment under construction due to building a tram line. Therefore, please check the best transportation by using Tampere regional transport website, (or google maps).
How is the public transportation?
- You can get to almost any city with a train or a bus (or both). Local buses run on time and are quite cheap with a bus card.
What is the bus system like? How does it work?
- The local bus system is excellent and the is only very few places you cannot get to with it. More information from Tampere regional bus website.
Where do I get a bus card? How much is it?
- Local bus card costs 5 euros with the requested charge added. The office is located at central square Keskustori. You can find all the different options and the contact details here.
How much does it cost to travel to other cities in Finland?
- If you go by bus, it can be as cheap as a few euros if you buy the ticket in advance. For a train please look: VR, or a bus look onnibus.com or Matkahuolto. All of them also have online discounts from time to time.
Can I travel to neighbouring countries?
- A trip to Estonia or Sweden is easy. Just take a ferry (more like cruise) from Helsinki or Turku. Quite a few choices: Viking Line, Tallink Silja Line, Eckerö Line and Linda Line.
- Trip to Russia is another thing. You will most likely need a Visa if you are not a citizen or go by ferry for a cruise. Check the cruise lines (for example: St.Peter Line and Nordic Ferry Center) and your own embassy!
How do I travel to other cities/ around the Nordics?
- Traveling within the Nordic countries is easy. There usually are no border checks, so you can just go over. However, bring your papers just in case, you may have to prove your indentity when asked by officials.
Are there cheap flights?
- Some affordable tickets are available, but the prices are highly dependable on season and location. Prices range from even under 20 € to thousands.
Can I get a bike easily and cheaply? Can I rent a bike? What's the price?
- There are bike rentals, but the prices aren't generally cheap. Better choice is to buy a cheap bike at a flea market and sell it after use.
What can I do in the winter? Will I be bored?
- Enjoy the winter - try all winter sports, enjoy nature and try ice swimming. Check more here.
How cold can the weather be? Will there be much snow? Can lectures be canceled due to weather?
- Generally -20 degrees Celsius is not uncommon in mid-winter, but it can get down to even -35 degrees Celsius. So bring your extra layers. Don't worry, the coldest season usually only lasts a week or two. Also, there might be winters when the termperature does not drop under -15 Celcius at all.
- Knee deep snow is common, but it varies highly. The streets and walkways are generally kept clean of snow and also sanded, so it does not get too slippery. Sometimes - especially if it snows a lot overnight - it can get interesting.
- Lectures are basically never cancelled due to the efficient snow plowing going through the streets every evening/night/morning it snows. Cancellations happen only in extreme conditions, such as if it's snowing too much for the plows or the temperature is inhumane. During my studies, this has never happened.
What clothes do I need for the seasons?
- Something warm for winter: woolen socks, scarfs, a hat, gloves and thermal underlayer are a must. Water- and windproof outer layer is good if you plan to spend time outside.
- Pay special attention to shoes - you need thick soles with a rough pattern to stay warm and upright. This cannot be embraced too much: pay special attention to the soles of your shoes. Depending whether it is very cold or just cold, is is often slippery here.
- Spring and fall can at worst be windy and wet (or then nice and smooth..). Bring water- and windproof clothing.
- Summer is relatively hot. Bring shorts and swimming gear.
When are the holidays? How often and how long?
- Finns have many holidays. Notably summer holiday, christmas, winter and fall holidays. You can check them here.
- Unfortunately yes. Finland is one of the most expensive countries on the Earth.
Is there English news or newspapers?
- Yes there is. The Finnish National Broadcasting Company (YLE) carries news in English. You can also easily find English newspapers from the better-equipped bookstores which are located at the city centre.
How are the Finnish people?
- We're fine, thank you. Finnish people might look hard to approach but are nothing but nice after you meet them. They are mostly shy and do not like to start a conversation, but given a right moment, they will talk and bond with you, willing to help you with what you need.
Can I trust the police? Do I need to bribe them?
- The police in Finland are famously honest. Report crimes if you see them. Do not try to bribe any officials in Finland; bribing them is useless and criminal.
Is there discrimination?
- Like in any country, there is some discrimination. Naturally it is frowned upon and people are generally opposed to it.
How many people live in Finland?
- About 5,5 million people live here.
Can I see the Northern Lights in Tampere?
- Yes! Finland has part of its country inside the polar circle, and that it is the best place to see northern lights. Best place to see them is Lapland, where you can enjoy the nature and see the amazing northern lights. More about them here.
- Approximately 223 000 people live in Tampere, making it the largest inland city of the Nordic countries and third in Finland. If you count the neigbouring cities as "Tampere City Region" you get as high as 500 000 people.
- Finland was the first country in the world to grant women full political rights, and the first to have female members of parliament.
- Finland has rather broad individual freedoms and referendums are held once in awhile.
- Extremism of any direction is generally not embraced, people just want to live their lives peacefully. Lately there have been marginal right-wing groups and a few protests against immigration, as is the global trend at the moment. We hope it passes quickly.
- Yes. Western Union (or any other cash transfer company) is your friend.
- Yes. It is an established fact that Finnish people are one of the hottest in the world. Don't believe what others say.
- There are some consulates in Tampere. France, England and Germany are some examples. Check the full list here. More consulates / embassies are located in Helsinki.
- The longest day in Tampere can be close to 20 hours, the shortest is a few hours. Check out the sunlight map for visuals!
- In Finland there are almost no bathtubs, but instead showers with the floor being common to the all bathroom. After shower you just clean the water to the drain so the floor is not so wet.
- Finland uses mixer taps, with hot on the left (indicated in red) and cold on the right (indicated in blue).
- There are specific rules in each different housing company, but the most common is that in each building there is a laundry room where you can wash and dry all your clothes.
- Finns are used to take their shoes every time they are inside their houses and they will be happy if you do the same. Houses are warm and well insulated, so your toes are safe.
- Many of them do. There are many places where you can put your separated garbage. Be environmentally friendly and recycle for a cleaner world.
- In Finland you can take your trash at any time you want.
- Opening at least is not difficult. They will take your money gladly. Closing it might have some fees included, but that fee is most often not very much.
- Maybe if you really try, but probably it would be better to have an account. Some places accept only cash (like market places) and some only cards.
- It is very easy to get a library card, and with it you will have access to many good things. You can obtain a library card by presenting an identity card provided with a photo. You can read some info here.