International Degree Students

These pages are designed for the international degree students at Arcada. It provides an overview and easy access to information that is of special value to our foreign students. In addition, make sure that you do not miss the last link on this page, which provides you with some tips for extra curricular and social activities.

Information services for immigrants
Virka-info is the Helsinki City Information Center for immigrants, located at Helsinki City Hall. Virka-Info provides information regarding for example residence permits, registration, citizenship applications and housing for immigrants. Their services are confidential and free of charge. 

Introduction Days Material

These pages contain a lot of information you need when beginning your studies at Arcada, including the material presented during the introduction days.

Renewal of Residence Permit
This document describes the procedure for renewing your residence permit. Be sure to begin the renewal process well in advance before your current permit expires, as it can take some time to process your application!
Remember to always check for any updates and changes.

Advice on Practical Training
Your practical training is one of the core contents of your studies, as it is a time during which you will be allowed to employ the knowledge you have acquired during your studies at Arcada and turn it into field-specific skills at the workplace.

The study guide contains general advice on practical training.

Language Skills
At Arcada we hope that you take advantage of the Swedish-language environment and learn Swedish. In many areas of Finland, a good command of Swedish will facilitate your job seeking. In order to be successful on the job market in Finland, a thorough command of Finnish is also strongly recommended and in many cases indispensable. Thus, in addition to the courses in Finnish and Swedish available at Arcada, we strongly urge you to study Finnish also outside of the Arcada classrooms, as good knowledge of Finnish will be very beneficial later on in your studies and job seeking.

Remember that the language teachers in charge of the Finnish and Swedish courses at Arcada will be happy to give you further tips on improving your language skills and provide you with advice on studying Swedish and Finnish outside the classroom.

Information For Students Arriving Late

If you are a degree student, and have missed the introduction days, here are some quick tips and links to get you started with your studies as quickly as possible. Beginning your studies in a new country is stressful as it is, and we understand the extra stress you must feel when arriving late.

  • Let Arcada know that you will be arriving late. Notify, for example, your degree program director, the amanuensis and the admissions services at Arcada. Let us know when approximately you will be able to arrive at Arcada.
  • If you have missed the introduction days, but arrive within the next week, then it will be relatively easy for you to get back on track and concentrate on your studies. Begin with contacting your amanuensis to inform him or her that you will miss the first days of teaching. The amanuensis can give you the name of your tutor teacher and a list of the courses that belong to your curriculum in period 1, and in which rooms at Arcada they are taking place, so that you know where to go for your courses when you arrive.
  • Remember to visit the admissions services in C3 (third floor, Block C) to submit the original documents and certificates that you used in your application to Arcada.
  • Ask the amanuensis for contact information to your student tutor. The student tutor is an older student from your program who will assist you in all practical matters concerning the beginning of your studies at Arcada (Kela meal subsidy card, discount ticket applications, student union membership etc.)
  • Contact IT-support as soon as possible in order to acquire your username and password in order to access Arcada’s online study tools. In order for you to receive your username and password you need to show your passport.
  • Visit the page for a lot of information on beginning your studies. Pay special attention to the presentations available for download on this page. They are presentations given during the introduction days and hence contain information that can answer a lot of your questions.
  • If you know that you will miss the start of the lectures by several days, please read the following CAREFULLY! There are some possibilities of studying on your own over the internet before you arrive, in order to lighten the workload you will have when you arrive. However, these are not substitutes for proper studying, and will require you to be active, focused, and self-reliant.
  • Contact your degree program director and your amanuensis by email to inform them that you will be arriving very late. The amanuensis should be able to provide you with a list of courses that you are supposed to take during the first period, some of which are suitable for online studying via our internet based learning platform “Itslearning”. Contact these teachers via e-mail to let them know that you will be following the course via itslearning before you arrive and follow any instructions they might give you closely.
  • Contact for a temporary guest login and password to itslearning, and ask to be registered to the courses mentioned above. You will not be able to submit assignments (or similar) for the course, but you will be able to view all the course material and thus be aware of what is discussed during the course so that you can prepare for the late arrival. This login and password will be TEMPORARY, the IT-support can provide you with your permanent Arcada username and login when you arrive at Arcada! Use this permanent account to register yourself to all courses you plan to take, including the ones you were registered to previously with the temporary account.
  • Remember to contact your tutoring teacher (your degree program director can give you information on who your teaching tutor is) for more program specific instructions on how best prepare for your late arrival.

If you are a transfer student, and have missed the introduction days, most of the information above applies to you as well. If your previous studies have not yet been accredited at Arcada, and you thus do not yet have a study plan and are unsure of which courses you are supposed to take, it is important that you contact your programme’s amanuensis or degree program director IMMEDIATELY in order to plan what courses you should attend, while waiting for the accreditation procedure to be completed. Make sure to start the accreditation process as soon as possible!

Remember, that the more you plan for your late arrival, the easier it will be for you to get started properly once you are here!

Useful Links on Studying in Finland
The pages of the Info Bank contain a wealth of basic information for immigrants on the functioning of society and opportunities in Finland.It covers a wide range of topics from health care to starting a business, and finding jobs and accommodation.

Luckan / Bridge / Fika
Luckan is an independent Swedish-language culture and information centre. They also offer services to immigrants and international students in Finland, through the information service ‘Bridge’ specifically designed for foreginers in Finland, and the integration project Fika.

Helsinki Times
Helsinki Times is an English-language online newspaper, providing you with news from Finland and the world.

YLE News in English
YLE, The Finnish National Broadcasting Company's news site in English.

Finnish and Swedish courses available outside Arcada

The short list below provides links to courses in Finnish and Swedish. We strongly recommend you to study these languages as both will improve your chances of success on the job market and integration into the Finnish society. The job market in Finland is very competitive, as in the rest of Europe, so knowledge of Finnish is absolutely essential to your success in securing a job and a place for your practical training. This point cannot be emphasized enough! Too often some students make the mistake of thinking, that English is sufficient to be successful on the job market – this is not case, your chances will be vastly improved once you learn some Finnish.

Remember that the language teachers at Arcada will be happy to provide you with advice on studying Swedish and Finnish outside the Arcada classroom!
This site is maintained by Infopankki, and constitutes a hub and search engine for finnish courses for foreigners available throughout Finland. Note that you can search for varying types of courses based on criteria such as starting level and progression speed, and also courses tailored specifically for persons who already have a Higher-Education background.

The Swedish Adult Education Centre
The Swedish Adult Education Centre (commonly known as ‘Arbis’) offers several courses in Swedish and Finnish aimed specifically at foreigners. It is worth pointing out, that besides language courses Arbis offers everything from cooking classes to art history and gymnastics to music.

The language teachers in charge of the Finnish and Swedish courses can also give you further tips on improving your language skills.

Extra curricular and social activities

Social Activities Outside Arcada

Even though your studies and work will take up a lot of your time and effort, it is important that you have a life outside of your studies and have some time to socialize with your friends and, for example, do some exercise. As a foreigner in Finland, it can sometimes be a challenge to find out exactly where and when such events that interest you take place. This list is designed to give you some starting suggestions, but can of course not be all-inclusive. There is a lot to do in Helsinki, something for everyone! Keep in mind that many of the sites below have their own collection of links to various activities, so be sure to have a look at these as well.


Your starting point should be the student’s union ASK. At ASK’s own facilities, the COR-house next to Arcada, you can get in touch with your fellow students from all the other degree programs for various social and cultural activities. Networking with your fellow students across the degree programs is the best way to get to know persons with similar interests.

The International Cultural Centre Caisa

The International Cultural Centre Caisa, located in the centre of Helsinki, is a multicultural hub of events, in addition to being the location of the only Kurdish restaurant in Helsinki. The centre hosts art exhibitions, song contests, various education activities (also for smaller children) and everything in between. Check out the complete list of activities on their website.

Monatta Suomikerho 

The Monatta “Suomikerho” (“Finnish Club”) arranges regular meetings where the participants can practice their conversational Finnish in a relaxed atmosphere. A good command of Finnish is not required, you will learn during the discussions! All that is needed is some basic Finnish and a good attitude.

Luckan and Bridge
The Finland-Swedish information centre LUCKAN provides a vast amount of information for foreigners in Finland, focusing also on the Swedish-speaking minority. The integration project Bridge ( is administered by Luckan, and offers many services and activities right in the centre of Helsinki. It is not only an information centre for immigrants, but also offers language cafés, the mentoring program FIKA (, among other activities.

As Finland has two official languages, Finnish and Swedish, some immigrants have chosen to integrate with Swedish as their first “language of integration” is a portal specifically aimed at providing services and information for foreigners interested in this option. At the time of writing, the portal is still under heavy construction - more material will constantly be added so be sure to check regularly for updates. The site also contains information about social and cultural activities.

The Swedish Adult Education Centre (commonly known as ‘Arbis’) offers several courses in Swedish and Finnish aimed specifically at foreigners. It is worth pointing out, that besides language courses Arbis offers everything from cooking classes to art history and gymnastics to music.

Kumpula Sports Centre

At the nearby campus beloning to the University of Helsinki, you can find the Kumpula Sports Centre. You can participate in many activities (possibly not all) without being a student at the University of Helsinki. Contact the Sports Centre directly for more information.

Art, Culture, and Music Events
You can find timetables for major theatre, music, and sporting events through the largest vendor of tickets for said events, and
You can browse through the list of museums in Helsinki on the website.
Many events offer student discounts on the ticket price, be sure to ask!

Don’t forget the journey planner for an easy trip to wherever in Helsinki (and around) you need to go:

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