Here in the University of Helsinki, the student life outside the University, is mainly based on the activities arranged by different organisations. You’ll find out that there are hundreds of student organisations working actively to gather students together and to improve the connection between faculties and students. Make sure to get a Finland survivor pass from Biosfääri. You can collect signatures to it from events and in the end of your stay, you will get a trophy. The best way to adapt to student culture here is to take a part to different activities held, join the e-mailing lists and to ask about these from your tutor!
ORGANISATIONS AND INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES (=järjestöt ja kansainvälisyysvastaavat)
The organisations listed below are members of Biosfääri. Biosfääri is a faculty organisation of Biological and Environmental sciences.
All the student organisations are a part of Student Union called HYY.
Student organisations are formed to slightly follow the lines between the different major subjects. But for real, it doesn’t matter what’s you major at studies, you can still take part to all of the activities! International representatives are the persons chosen from the organisations to look after the international side of each organisation. If you have some questions concerning the happenings, club rooms or other matters, you can always contact them! Their e-mail addresses will be mentioned after their name.
Symbioosi is a truly organic student organization aimed for mostly biologists, but we do welcome everyone from The Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences. As a student organization, we offer support in every realm of studying in the university as well as some nice balance for lectures and cramming for exams. The latter comes in the form of parties, trips, excursions, hangouts, sauna-evenings and clubs so we guarantee no bioscientist will be bored!
Being a bunch of biologists, Symbioosi has a lot of nature-centered action. Be it winter, autumn or spring, we often find ourselves wandering around in the city of Helsinki or somewhere in the fields, forests and lakesides of Southern Finland admiring the wonders of life (usually birds). Symbioosi’s relationship with nature isn’t all just walking around with hiking boots on our feet and binoculars around our necks, though. We also partake in nature conservation by donating money to conservation projects and organizing our own projects. Some of us also get a little bit agricultural with our own patch for growing plants near the Viikki campus.
Helix is the student organisation for cell biology and molecular biology students, also sometimes known as the darker side of biosciences. Come party with Helix at their crayfish party or crazy clubroom hang-outs in Biocenter 2. Here’s their facebook page.
Myy is the organisation for environmental sciences students. Myy organises for example excursions around Finland, a yearly home-made wine competition and trips to Suomenlinna. Myy has a clubroom in Biocenter 3 together with Symbioosi and SvNK. Read more: http://www.helsinki.fi/jarj/myy/english.html or join thefacebook group.
SvNK (Svenska Naturvetarklubben)
SvNK is the organisation for Swedish speaking biology students – however, anyone, regardless of nationality and mother tongue, is more than welcome to join their events. They share the clubroom in Biocenter 3 with Symbioosi and Myy, but also arrange events at Klubben in Kruununhaka, close to the city center. SvNK also organises different kinds of excursions, namely bird watching excursions around in Southern Finland. Check out more on their website or their facebook page or e-mail them on svnk-s(at)helsinki.fi for more information.
CLUB ROOMS (=kerhohuoneet aka “kertsit”)
Club rooms are ”student living-rooms”, where everyone is welcome to join for a nice cup of coffee or just to hang around. Club rooms are usually belonging to each organisation above, so please follow the rules once you arrive to the club room. You don’t have to be a member of an organisation in order to come and hang out with the others! There are several club rooms in the Viikki campus area. There are club rooms for example in Biocenter 2 (Helix and Biosfääri), Biocenter 3 (Symbioosi, MYY and SvNK) and in A-building (MMYL – an umbrella organisation of the faculty of Agriculture and Forestry).
There is a Facebook group called Biotieteelliset liikkujat where you can find people to join you to do some sports (if something isn’t in English you can always ask!). Usually every Monday there is a chance to go with people to play some ball games to Unisport, more info in the Facebook group.
Unisport offers excellent facilities to do sports with little amount of money. More info about Unisport over here. There’s a Unisport point in Viikki campus as well! Also, there are great outdoor sport fields in Viikki.
IMPORTANT EVENTS DURING THE YEAR (=tärkeitä tapahtumia vuoden varrella)
The beginning of the semester is full of different kinds of happenings! Ask more from your tutor and follow the event calendars of organisations (you can find it from the ‘Kalenteri’ page).
The time before Christmas is full of pre-Christmas parties.
On January the beginning of the semester parties are here with us once again!
On February the Shrove Tuesday (Laskiainen in Finnish) gathers students together to have a good time.
On May comes the biggest student celebration during the year – Vappu! On May 1st the whole Helsinki goes to picnic.
Of course there will be hundreds of events during the year. One big tradition in the Finnish student life is ‘sitsit’, an academic dinner party, where you have to sing, drink and eat dressed according to a theme. Follow e-mailing lists and social media for hearing out first from them!