Services

For New International Students

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!

ISYY in a Nutshell

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!

Services and Benefits

  1. You can download your digital student card for free
  2. ESN Joensuu and ESN KISA membership – events, activities, trips
  3. Membership of other ISYY clubs
  4. Weekly Feed newsletter in English every week
  5. Free ISYY student calendar
  6. Free Welcome bag full of discount coupons, SIM card, reflectors etc. provided by ESN Joensuu and ESN KISA
  7. Student Union events and theme weeks – Sports Afternoon, Vappu celebrations, City Orienteering, Wellbeing week, Association Days etc.
  8. Inexpensive SYKETTÄ Sports Services with the SYKETTÄ sticker – choose from a variety of fun and sporty activities
  9. The opportunity to borrow skates, skis, frisbees and other sports equipment for free
  10. Customer service in English
  11. ISYY’s International Discord channel
  12. Survival packages (only for students staying max. 1 year)
  13. Venue hire with membership discount
  14. The opportunity to use interest advocacy services - helping you solve problems related to academic and social affairs
  15. Anti-Harassment Contact Person
  16. Kiosk (in Kuopio)
  17. UEF, ISYY, ESN Joensuu and ESN KISA products for sale at ISYY offices

Contact Information

Street address of the Student Union (ISYY) Offices:

Joensuu Campus
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

Kuopio Campus
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

Opening hours
Mon 10–15 (10am–3pm)
Tue 10–15 (10am–3pm)
Wed 12­–16 (12pm–4pm)
Thu 10–15 (10am–3pm)
Fri closed

You can pay with cash or card at the ISYY office. However, please note that 50€ is the largest banknote we accept.

Visiting the ISYY Office during COVID-19

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:

  • Only come to the office when you are healthy.
  • Please wear a mask.
  • Wash your hands before visiting or use the hand sanitizer at the office doors.
  • Keep a safe distance minimum 1,5 m to others when queuing and visiting the office.
  • No more than 2 visitors at the office at the same time. Wait for your turn in the corridor if the office is full.

Help and Advice

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.

Membership

Degree students

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.

You can join the Student Union (ISYY) by paying the membership fee, which is EUR 100 for the full academic year 2020-2021, EUR 64 for the autumn 2020 semester and EUR 36 for the spring 2021 semester. 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.

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: How to pay the student healthcare fee in higher education

Exchange students

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 EUR 100 for the full academic year 2020-2021, EUR 64 for the autumn 2020 semester and EUR 36 for the spring 2021 semester.

Postgraduate (PhD) 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 2020-2021 and EUR 28 for one semester (autumn/spring). 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.

How to Join the Student Union (ISYY) and how to Get a Student Card

STEP 1: Pay your membership fee

The Student Union membership fee (please pay the exact amount and note possible transaction fees):

  • EUR 64 for autumn semester
  • EUR 36 for spring semester
  • EUR 100 for the academic year

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.

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
BIC: OKOYFIHH
Reference number: please write your own name in the message field as a reference

STEP 2:  Register your membership

Once you have paid, register your membership by bringing the payment receipt to the Student and Learning Services. If you are a Master’s degree student and you have registered online, you do not have to show the receipt at UEF Student and Learning Services.

STEP 3: 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. If you have trouble ordering the card, please contact Frank’s customer service (info(at)frank.fi).

When making the order, 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 4: Collect your term sticker for your plastic student card

After you have submitted your payment and ordered your 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. 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.

Survival Package and Welcome Bag

Survival Package

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.

Collecting the package during COVID-19

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.

If your tutor cannot help you picking up the package, you can reserve a time slot for a safe pick-up from our office via the reservation form we will send you. If you come to our office, we strongly recommend you to wear a mask, use hand sanitizer and keep a safe distance of 2 metres to others.

Welcome Bag

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 venue of the International Orientation during the Orientation Week as well as in the Student Union office.

ESN Joensuu and ESN KISA – The Student Union’s International Clubs

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. In addition, the ESN clubs organise trips to Lapland, Russia, Norway and Sweden together with Timetravels travel agency each semester.

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: ESN Joensuu

Facebook.com: ESN KISA

Sykettä Sports Services

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.

How can you start using the services?

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: SYKETTÄ Joensuu

Sykettä.fi: 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

Communication Channels

Weekly Feed Newsletter

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: Weekly Feed

Other Communication Channels

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 her posts about life and studying in Joensuu/Kuopio. Search for “International-Joensuu Isyy” or “International-Kuopio Isyy” on Facebook.

Facebook.com: ISYY - Itä-Suomen yliopiston ylioppilaskunta

Instagram.com: isyyuef

Student Advocacy

As an ISYY member you have the opportunity to influence many aspects of student life and participate in decision-making through:

  • Casting your vote in the Representative Council Elections
  • Presenting yourself as a candidate in the Representative Council elections
  • Applying to become a member of the Executive Board
  • Applying to become a student representative in the UEF administration

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!

Read more:

Isyy.fi: Updating information about coronavirus

Kamu.uef.fi: Arriving on campus during Covid-19

Uef.fi: Coronavirus situation at the University of Eastern Finland

Thl.fi: Coronavirus COVID-19 – Latest Updates