How to Make It through Your First Weeks at the University

In the beginning, studying at the University can be a little overwhelming but you can do it with the right attitude and proper gear. Below, you will find our top 13 tips to ease you through your first weeks. The links in the text open in a new tab.

1.) Don’t be worried if you’re a bit nervous, so is everyone else. Most of the new students are as clueless about everything as you are.

2.) Take part in the Orientation week programme that you will find in Kamu. During the Orientation week, you will learn some valuable lessons about the University and University services, about your own faculty and about studying at the University in general. 

3.) Take part in your tutor group’s meetings. This way you’ll get to know other students and get some peer support and good advice when you need some.

4.) If you aren’t able to get an apartment by the beginning of your studies and no one you know is able to take you in for a few days, you can ask about a possibility for a temporary housing. Contact koso(at) in Kuopio.

5.) Participate in major student events like ISYY's academic year's kick-off event, City Orienteering and other gatherings. You’ll meet students from other subject fields than your own and are able to do some interdisciplinary networking!

6.) Get to know and join your own Student Association. Your student association looks out for you and other students in your field of study and organises various events for its members. In your student association, you’ll also find new friends and get some local benefits.

7.) Come to visit our campus offices (Joensuu and Kuopio) to borrow sports equipment or board games, purchase a SYKETTÄ membership, and get the term sticker to your student card to receive all the student discounts you are entitled to. Alternatively, you can download Frank’s digital student card to your phone. Remember to pay the Student Union membership fee before ordering or downloading Frank's student card!

8.) From the Student Union office, you’ll also get your very own ISYY calendar! With the help of the calendar you can plan and schedule all your goings. At ISYY offices, you can also purchase an outrageously fabulous Straight outta Itä-Suomi t-shirt or canvas bag to carry your study gear around with you. You can even fit a laptop in the bag!

9.) Follow ISYY’s communication channels to find out what is going on at the student union, university and on campus. Follow ISYY on Facebook (fbISYY), Instagram (@isyyuef), X (@ISYYH) and YouTube. ISYY also publishes an English language newsletter, Weekly Feed, on Tuesdays. Also follow the topical news in Kamu and Viva Engage aka the internal communication channel of UEF where also ISYY informs students about its important matters.

10.) Make good use of all the student discounts! These include discounts in student restaurants and lower prices when travelling with VR (Finnish State Railways) or Matkahuolto. Check the list of other student discounts on Frank’s website.

11.) Don’t forget to find something fun to do in your free time, it really boosts your well-being! Find out more about your own campus city’s free time activities as well as ISYY’s Clubs, Campus Associations and ISYY ISYY Teams. You also have the opportunity to apply for open positions of trust as a Student Representative, in the ISYY Executive Board and the Representative Council. We also organise different kinds of events throughout the year, you are warmly welcome!

12.) Take care of yourself and your well-being. Student life can be tough, but according to many, it is also the best time of your life! SYKETTÄ sport services can help you stay fit and in good studying condition. After paying a small fee you can join instructed group classes like pole dancing or body pump, use the gym or reserve sport shifts e.g. for your floorball team.

13.) Remember that ISYY is there for you during your studies. We are here for you; We watch out for you and represent your interests. You can always ask for help from our offices, our staff members and our persons elected to a position of trust and we will help you to the best of our ability.

The Student Union also has two Anti-Harassment Contact Persons whom you can contact if you encounter or witness any harassment at our University.

Good luck with your studies!

PS: Also browse through the checklist for new students in Kamu.