The Amazing Jyväskylä!

The Amazing Jyväskylä!
Me at the harbor of Jyväskylä

07 July, 2015

Settling down in Jyväskylä

So … I’ve received lots of questions concerning moving to Jyväskylä. And I guess it’s time to write a blog post on this matter since it’s already July and many will probably come here for the Finnish course in the beginning of August.

First, about transportation from Helsinki to Jyväskylä, the school website has a very detailed instruction on it, and you can check it out here, so I will not repeat the same information.

Secondly, regarding your arrival in Jyväskylä, you should have a tutor who picks you up and brings you to your accommodation, often from the travel center. Your tutor will get in touch with you through emails prior to your arrival to agree upon the pick-up time and other arrangements. It is now early July, vacation time in Finland, the work flow is slow here, so do not freak out if you have not been contacted by your tutor yet.

The minimum guidance you should expect from your tutor:
  • Your tutor should pick you up at from the travel center (or wherever it is that you have agreed upon) and bring you home to your apartment.
  • Your tutor should show you where to shop for food in your neighborhood on the first day you arrive here except if it’s late at night or early in the morning when no shop is open yet, of course.
  • Your tutor should help you out with the paperwork you have to take care of in order to start your study here. I will provide a list of the paperwork later in this post. However, if your tutor doesn't have enough time for you, following the instructions in this post, you should be able to do it by yourself.
  • Your tutor should give you a tour around the campus to show you which building is which. This should include the main library and he/she should also instruct you on how to borrow books from the library.
  • Your tutor should instruct you on how to use all the register systems relating to your studies such as Korppi, Optima or Koppa.

The list of all paperwork you should take care of after your arrival (also check out all the location on the map below):

Accommodation: either you stay with Kortepohja or KOAS, you need to sign a lease when you arrive here. So, go to Kortepohja office (Vehkakuja 2 B) or KOAS office (Kauppakatu 11) to sign the lease and get it over with. Also, you need to give them your MAC address as well to connect Internet at your apartment. There should be a package given to you when your tutor brings you back to your apartment and the instruction on how to check MAC address in your computer should be found inside that package. Otherwise, when you go to the office to sign the lease, just bring your laptop with you and figure it out there.

Certificate of registration and student number: you can obtain these at the International Office located on the second floor of T building, Seminaarinkatu 15, next to the main library and university shop). The certificate of registration acts as your student card while you are waiting for the card to be delivered. So, do take care of this step as soon as possible. 

*Important: This year, accepted degree students have the option of paying the student union fee when they arrive in Jyväskylä, so if you have not paid this fee yet, please go to the student union office to pay so that you can be registered into the system. You  need to complete this step first before you can get your certificate of registration and student number. Student Union office address: Gummeruksenkatu 6.

Student Card: The student card will get you subsidized meals in the campus cafeterias, Katriina vegetarian restaurant (Kauppakatu 11) and discounts on transportation. Once you got the student number, go to https://frank.fi/en/student-card/university/ to order your student card. There are several options for the card and choose what is suitable for your needs. My advice though, if you plan to travel around Europe during your stay in Finland, get the ISIC combination card because you can get lots of discounts for students when you travel (for this type of card, you need a Social Security Number). More on this later but I’ll give you an example: when I visited Athens, I did not have to pay for any admission fee for attractions because they were free for students studying in Europe. But you have to show your international student card to prove your student status. It depends but most of the time, the card will be shipped to the Student union office and you can pick it up from there.

Social Security Number: You need to pay a visit to the Migration office to get your Social Security Number. The address of the Migration office is Yliopistonkatu 28, website http://www.maistraatti.fi/. This Social Security Number is important if you want to order ISIC combination card or some other things when you have to deal with your telephone network and banking. It’s a free service and very easy. It’ll take at most 15 minutes to get the number and you won’t have to worry about it anymore. Remember to take your passport and certificate of registration with you. No appointment needed.

*Important: I got a response from this blog post about the social security number and was informed that from this year, when filling in the form for residence permit application, you will get to choose if you want to have your information registered in the population system in Finland right after they grant you the residence permit. This section in the application form is called: Population registration and the personal identity code - if you have selected YES for this section, the social security number will be printed on your residence permit and you will not have to go to the Migration Office anymore to request it. The number is a 11-character code based on your date of birth and sex, for example 010188-456P. 

Bank accounts: those of you from outside Europe, it’s better to get a Finnish bank account so that things are easier for you. Especially when you need to renew your residence permit, it’s faster and easier to just have the bank print out your bank statement and transactions (most of the time for free). So, on your first day here, go to Nordea bank (Kauppakatu 18) or the bank of your choice to book an appointment to open an account. They’ll book for you an appointment with a teller who can speak English well so you don’t have to worry about it. Then, you’ll have to come back on the day of the appointment. Don’t be late, Finnish appreciate punctuality! The teller who has the appointment with you will be waiting for you at the exact time they tell you when you make the appointment.

Library card: This is super easy. Just go to the main library, show them your certificate of registration and passport, you’ll get the card right away


Click this symbol   on the up right corner of the map to view on full page.

Click this symbol  on the up left corner of the map to view names of all the places on the map




Regarding your accommodation, those of you who have received an offer for an unfurnished room, this is what you do:

If you stay with Kortepohja, you go to the storage room and take whatever you want with you for free. You just need to ask someone to help you bring them to your room. I talked about this already here in the Accommodation part. 

If you stay with KOAS, before arriving, it's a good idea to check this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2ndhandJKL/ to see if there are good offers on second-hand furniture. 

If nothing fancies you, check out this place: http://www.kirpputorihaku.com/kirpputori/jyvaskyla/ekocenter-harjunporras. This is a center selling second-hand furniture and they deliver for free when you purchase a certain number of products. The address is Gummeruksenkatu 13. 

Or, if you want to purchase brand new furniture, there are two places for you: Ikea and JYSK. Both of them are located in Seppälä area of Jyväskylä, about 15 minutes by bus from the city center. They will deliver for you, of course. I just don't know if they charge the delivery fee. However, Ikea here in Jyväskylä is more like a showroom and you'll most likely have to order the furniture through this showroom, pay the delivery fee and wait for your furniture to arrive from other cities. 

In September, keep a look out for KOAS trip to Tampere Ikea. I don't know if this is an annual thing but they have been organizing very cheap trips in the beginning of September for KOAS tenants to Tampere Ikea for 5 euros/person. They'll take you there and bring you back to all KOAS housing locations so you don't have to worry about transporting all the things you buy to your apartment. But the seats are limited to 100 people, so you have to be fast. 

Well, it's all I can think of so far, leave a comment or ask me on Facebook if you have any other concerns. 

1 comment:

  1. Hello Phuong!
    I got my student number and would like to choose ISIC combination card but the application process requires a Finnish mobile phone number. I am going to arrive on Aug 30, only after then can I purchase a Finnish mobile phone number. So does it mean I cannot enjoy all the discounts until I get the card? Will this affect course registration?

    Normally, after how long can we have the bank account number? Immediate or after several days?

    Thank you for your time! :)

    ReplyDelete