Dear international student, you are warmly welcomed to Finland, the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) and the Student Union (ISYY)! As a degree student at UEF, you are automatically a member of ISYY (The Student Union of the University of Eastern Finland) and entitled to the services and benefits. Exchange students and postgraduate students can also join ISYY to enjoy these benefits, but becoming a member is voluntary.
In this section, you will find useful information targeted at new students about the Student Union of the University of Eastern Finland (ISYY). Also, feel free to find out more about ISYY by browsing through our website.
We are here for you and work hard to ensure you are happy with your life and studies during your time in Eastern Finland. We sincerely hope you will make yourself at home at the Student Union (ISYY) by joining the activities, organisations and clubs. You only have one (student) life – make the most of it!
If you missed us in the orientation, don't worry. Here are the PowerPoint slides so you can familiarise yourself with ISYY.
Orientation presentation (pdf), opens in a new tab: ISYY international orientation 2021
The Student Union of the University of Eastern Finland (ISYY) is an independent organisation, although closely linked with the university. The objectives of the student unions are outlined in the Universities Act. One of ISYY’s key objectives is to unite its members and, in addition, ISYY endeavors to improve students’ standing in the society and provide high-quality services to its members. ISYY is part of the Finnish student union network and a member of the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL).
In addition to the services provided by the Student Union, as a member of ISYY you are able to access national and local student benefits. These include the use of the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS), as well as discounts on public transport and many shops and restaurants. Student Union members are also entitled to eat student priced meals at the canteens that are dotted around the campuses.
The Student Union is here for you and works hard to ensure you are happy with your life and studies during your time in Finland. We hope you will make yourself at home at the Student Union by joining our events, activities and clubs. You only have one (student) life - make the most of it!
Street address of the Student Union (ISYY) Offices:
Haltia Building, 2nd Floor, Yliopistokatu 7
FI-80100 JOENSUU, FINLAND
Office: +358 (0) 44 576 8449 / toimisto.joensuu(at)isyy.fi
International Coordinator: +358 (0) 44 576 8456 / kv.joensuu(at)isyy.fi
Studentia Building, entrance through door C, Yliopistonranta 3
FI-70211 KUOPIO, FINLAND
Office: +358 (0) 44 576 8419 / toimisto.kuopio(at)isyy.fi
International Coordinator: +358 (0) 44 576 8413 / kv.kuopio(at)isyy.fi
Mon 10–15 (10am–3pm)
Tue 10–15 (10am–3pm)
Wed 12–16 (12pm–4pm)
Thu 10–15 (10am–3pm)
You can pay with cash or card at the ISYY office. However, please note that 50€ is the largest banknote we accept.
Please note that our offices are open only by appointment. You can book an appointment by sending an email to kv.joensuu(at)isyy.fi (Joensuu office) or kv.kuopio(at)isyy.fi (Kuopio office).
If it is possible to take care of your matter via phone or email we recommend kindly you to do so. Please visit the office after your quarantine has ended. This way, we can prevent any possible COVID-19 cases and spread of the disease. We encourage all ISYY members to primarily use the digital student card which is provided by Frank. However, if you need a term sticker to your student card please remember to act responsibly when visiting ISYY office:
The Coordinator of International Affairs of the Student Union (ISYY) is there to help you with any matters related to student life. The Coordinator’s job is to look after the interests of the international students and to get their voice heard on the campus. You may turn to the Coordinator or any other staff member who works at the Student Union whenever you need help or guidance - there is no such thing as a stupid question!
Just pop into the office, call +358 44 576 8456 (Joensuu) / +358 44 576 8413 (Kuopio) or send an email to kv.joensuu(at)isyy.fi or kv.kuopio(at)isyy.fi.
Under the Student Union Act, all undergraduate degree students (completing Bachelor's or Master's degree at the University of Eastern Finland) are required to join the Student Union. NB! If you are a first year master’s degree student, you are obliged to pay the Student Union membership fee for the whole academic year.
You can join the Student Union (ISYY) by paying the membership fee, which is
NB! Due to the FSHS (Finnish Student Health Service) 2021 reform, degree students are obliged to pay the student healthcare fee to Kela once per semester. After you have paid, you can use the FSHS healthcare services as any other Finnish student. Payment instructions can be found on Kela's website.
Kela.fi, opens in a new tab: How to pay the student healthcare fee in higher education
First year master’s degree students can register as present and pay the Student union membership fee for the whole academic year online in Oili. If you cannot pay the membership fee via Oili, you can also pay it as a bank transfer. Instructions for bank transfer are under “Exchange students”.
If you paid your membership fee via Oili, your ISYY membership is automatically registered to the Student and Learning Services. If you paid your membership fee as a bank transfer, you need to send a copy of the payment receipt to opiskelu(at)uef.fi to register your membership.
Exchange students studying at the University of Eastern Finland are welcome to join the Student Union, but are not obligated to do so.
You can join the Student Union (ISYY) by paying the membership fee, which is
You can pay the membership as a bank transfer. The account details for the Student Union:
Recipient: Student Union of the University of Eastern Finland (ISYY)
Recipient’s address: Yliopistonranta 3, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland
Bank name: Osuuspankki/OP Bank/Pohjola Bank Plc
Bank address: Koskikatu 9, FI-80100 Joensuu, Finland
IBAN: FI37 5770 0520 2461 63
Reference number: please write your own name in the message field as a reference
Once you have paid, you need to register your membership at the Student and Learning Services:
You can find instructions for registering to UEF from the link below. If you need help with registering to UEF or registering your ISYY membership, please contact UEF (opiskelu(at)uef.fi).
Kamu.uef.fi, opens in a new tab: Registration instructions for new students
For postgraduate students, who have already completed their Master's degree, the Student Union membership is voluntary. The membership fee for postgraduate students is EUR 56 for the full academic year 2021-2022 and EUR 28 for one semester (autumn/spring) and can be paid as a bank transfer. Instructions for bank transfer are under “exchange students”. By paying the membership fee, the postgraduate students are able to access the Student Union’s services and events. Please note that postgraduate students are not entitled to subsidized student meals, travel discounts or the services provided by Finnish Student Health Service. For more information, please contact the Student Union.
STEP 1: Pay the Student Union (ISYY) membership fee and register your membership
Instructions for paying the membership fee and registering your membership can be found under section 6.1. NB! You need to be a member of the Student Union (ISYY) to be eligible for a student card.
STEP 2: Get your student card online
The student card is your official student ID and with the student card, you get many benefits and discounts. We recommend you download a free digital student card called Frank App from an application store. Another option is to order a basic plastic blue student card (without payment facility) at: frank.fi/en. The price of the plastic student card is EUR 25. Please note that you need to be living in Finland to order the plastic student card. If you have trouble ordering the card, please contact Frank’s customer service (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Before ordering the plastic student card, make sure you have:
When getting either the digital or plastic student card, make sure you spell your name exactly as it is written in student register (you can check the spelling from WebOodi). If you use special characters, your order might not go through.
STEP 3: Collect your term sticker for your plastic student card
After you have submitted your payment and ordered your plastic card, wait for 2–4 weeks. Your student card will be printed and delivered to your home address in Finland. Once you have received your student card, collect a term sticker from ISYY’s office (Yliopistokatu 7, Haltia building). Please bring an official ID with a photo (e.g. passport) along when you come to collect the term sticker for the first time. Please remember that you have to collect a term sticker for your student card at the Student Union office each academic year. Without a valid sticker on your student card, you are not entitled to discounts and other benefits for students. If you chose the free digital app, you do not need to collect a sticker.
The Survival Package is a service that the Student Union offers to our members staying in Joensuu or Kuopio for less than a year. It is our way of helping students to get started with their life in their campus city. By renting the package, you will avoid spending a lot of money on some of the essentials upon your arrival. Most of the items are second-hand so the Survival Package is a good way to create less waste. Check the contents of the survival package from our website (Services → Survival Packages).
There are a limited number of Survival Packages available. If you would like to reserve a package before your arrival, please send an email to kv.joensuu(at)isyy.fi / kv.kuopio(at)isyy.fi with the title ‘Survival Package Reservation’. You will be given instructions on how to pay for the package. The rental fee of the package is EUR 50, of which EUR 30 deposit will be given back to you if the package is returned back to the Student Union office undamaged, clean and complete at the end of your stay in your campus city.
We recommend that your tutor will pick up the survival package from the Student Union’s (ISYY) office. If you wish for your tutor to collect your package, you must pre-arrange this with him/her. The tutors are not obligated to do this and not all tutors are able to provide this service.
ESN Joensuu and ESN KISA offer a free Welcome Bag to all incoming international students who join ISYY. The Welcome Bag includes, for example, lots of useful information, special offers to clubs and venues as well as a DNA prepaid SIM card that you can use in your mobile phone during your stay in Finland. The SIM card has EUR 7 worth of credit loaded on it, so you can start calling and texting your friends immediately. The Welcome bags are available at the Student Union office.
ESN Joensuu and ESN KISA are Student Union (ISYY) clubs dedicated to serve the interests of the international and homecoming students. The most important task of the clubs is to introduce Finnish culture and lifestyle to international students and to give Finnish students an opportunity to gain international experiences in Joensuu or Kuopio by organising events and activities. In addition, ESN Joensuu and ESN KISA are active in promoting intercultural understanding on campus and in Joensuu and Kuopio.
ESN activities range from cultural to informational events and they include social, cultural and sports events. For example, at the beginning of every semester there is a Get to Know Each Other party. Recurring events are, for instance, international dinners, language cafés, sauna events and sitsit parties.
All members of the Student Union (ISYY) are automatically members of ESN Joensuu and ESN KISA. Most of the events and activities are free of charge and all you need is a valid student card, but some events have a small participation fee. Everyone is invited to join the clubs, regardless of their field of study or background – ESN is there to make your stay in Finland more meaningful and fun!
Feel free to follow the Facebook page “ESN Joensuu” and “ESN KISA”.
Facebook.com, opens in a new tab: ESN Joensuu
Facebook.com, opens in a new tab: ESN KISA
SYKETTÄ Sports Services offer a wide variety of sports to students and staff of UEF at a very affordable price. They have more than 50 different fitness classes and several different types of ball sports on offer, as well as gyms for members to use.
Register yourself as a present student at UEF. Then, register as a user on the SYKETTÄ website and buy a sports sticker at the ISYY office or on the SYKETTÄ website. More information and detailed instructions on how to register as a SYKETTÄ user can be found on the website. If you need a SYKETTÄ membership sticker, please remember to act responsibly when visiting ISYY office.
Sykettä.fi, opens in a new tab: SYKETTÄ Joensuu
Sykettä.fi, opens in a new tab: SYKETTÄ Kuopio
If you have any questions, please contact:
Joensuu: Heli Aalto, the Sykettä Sports Coordinator.
Tel: +358 44 576 8445, email: liikuntasuunnittelija(at)isyy.fi
Kuopio: Sirpa Risto, University Sports Coordinator
Tel: +358 (0) 44 576 8446, email: liikuntasuunnittelija.kuopio(at)isyy.fi
Weekly Feed is the Student Union’s English language newsletter. It is sent on Tuesdays (excluding holidays) directly to the e-mail addresses of those who have subscribed to it. Weekly Feed newsletter is a useful point of reference to the international students as it combines local events, news and anything that might be relevant to our international students – all in one place.
If you would like to receive the Weekly Feed to your e-mail, you can subscribe to it on our website. The newsletter will be sent to your e-mail address next time it is published. If you experience any problems with Weekly Feed, please contact kv.joensuu(at)isyy.fi or kv.kuopio(at)isyy.fi.
Isyy.fi, opens in a new tab: Weekly Feed
In addition to our website, news and information in English can be found on ISYY's Facebook page. Also, please follow our Instagram @isyyuef. You may also ask the Coordinators of International Affairs to be your friend on Facebook and follow their posts about life and studying in Joensuu/Kuopio. Search for “International-Joensuu Isyy” or “International-Kuopio Isyy” on Facebook.
Facebook.com, opens in a new tab: ISYY - Itä-Suomen yliopiston ylioppilaskunta
Instagram.com, opens in a new tab: isyyuef
As an ISYY member you have the opportunity to influence many aspects of student life and participate in decision-making through:
You do not need to be affiliated with any political parties in order to participate in decision-making. Student advocacy is meaningful work and has far-reaching impacts both locally and nationally. It is essential that students are able to have their say about matters that have a direct impact on their own lives. You can even earn ECTS credits by acting as a student representative in administration!
Isyy.fi, opens in a new tab: COVID-19 related information
Kamu.uef.fi, opens in a new tab: Arriving on campus during Covid-19
Uef.fi, opens in a new tab: Coronavirus situation at the University of Eastern Finland
Thl.fi, opens in a new tab: Coronavirus COVID-19 – Latest Updates