Practical Information for Students
Welcome to Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences!
Each year SeAMK hosts about 200 international degree students, about 150 one or two semester exchange students and about 150 students who come for shorter intensive courses.
Some practical issues, instructions and advice are presented on these pages in order to help you to cope in the starting phase of your student life in SeAMK.
More detailed orientation materials will be shared with all new international students once they arrive in SeAMK.
Remember that no guidebook can replace interaction with the local people. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice! The staff of International Mobility Services, Student Services desk personnel, representatives of the student Union SAMO, Student Chaplain, student health care officers, and other people are here to help you make the most out of your studies at SeAMK. You will also get help from your fellow students, teachers, tutors and all the personnel of Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences.
We also hope you will become acquainted with the region’s versatile hobby supply, ranging from sports to art and culture, and find activities for your leisure time. Feel yourself at home! Enjoy the “South Ostrobothnia phase” of your life! We hope it will contain great experiences and joy. We wish you the best of luck for your studies and practical training.
Different permits may be needed for entering Finland and staying in the country, depending on the nationality of the individual and the reasons for entering the country. All foreigners except citizens of the Nordic countries need a valid passport.
Degree students and Exchange students
All students, also exchange students at SeAMK need to report to the Local Register Office to get a personal identity code.
Citizens of the Nordic countries may arrive, reside, study and work in Finland without limitations. They do not need visas, residence or work permits. Students from the EU countries and a number of other countries do not need a visa to enter the country.
EU/EEA citizens and citizens of Switzerland must register their right to reside in Finland at a police department, if their stay lasts for longer than three months. Citizens of the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland) are registered at a Local Register Office (Maistraatti in Finnish) if they stay in Finland longer than six (6) months.
If you are a non-EU citizen you will need to apply for a residence permit for studies at the Finnish Embassy or consulate in the country of permanent residence. The Finnish Immigration Service will process the application. Admitted students will be given instructions from the Finnish Immigration Service. For the residence permit application you need to enclose
- the Notification of Student Selection Results (document from the university of applied sciences)
- an account of your income in Finland and
- an account of sufficient health insurance coverage (for example MARSH SIP).
Further information: Finnish Imigration Service
Registration at a Local Register Office
After you have moved to Finland, you need to report to the Local Register Office (Maistraatti in Finnish) for a registration of a foreigner. As you reside in Finland for a period of at least one year, you can be registered with a municipality of residence. When you visit the office, please remember to take along your passport, residence permit and Student Certificate issued by Seinäjoki UAS. On the basis of registration, you are given a Finnish personal identity code (henkilötunnus). It is needed in a variety of situations, for example for the payment of wages, salaries and fees and when using health care services. The code is also essential in bank transactions, and your bank will require it when you are opening an account. Every student at SeAMK needs to have a Finnish personal identity code.
If you are a non-EU citizen you will need to apply for a residence permit.
Exchange students also need to report to the Local Register Office to get a personal identity code.
Further information: Finnish Immigration Service.
A residence permit may be granted for exchange students who are participating in an approved exchange programme.
Students from EU/EEA countries and Switzerland can work while studying in Finland and does not need to acquire a special work permit to do so.
Students from non-EU countries may work within certain limits with a residence permit granted for study purposes.
Further information: Finnish Immigration Service.
Applying for a Finnish Identity Number
In the beginning of year 2015, the Ministry of Education and Culture has required the Finnish universities of applied sciences to register all their students in a national data acquisition system. For this, all the student of the universities of applied sciences (incl. foreign students studying in Finland for at least 3 months) must apply for a Finnish identity number at the Register Office (Juhonkatu 4, Seinäjoki). The identity number must be applied for also in case the student would not spend those three months without interruption in Finland (e.g. the student travels outside Finland during that time). A Finnish identity number is also needed e.g. for payment of wages and the use of health care services. Identity numbers are applied as a part of the orientation in the beginning of the studies.
Arriving in SeAMK
The best way to arrive in Seinäjoki is to fly to Helsinki and then take a train to Seinäjoki. The quickest train connection from Helsinki to Seinäjoki takes 2 h 30 min. A tutor student will meet the arriving student at the Seinäjoki railway station according to timetables informed beforehand.
Cities of Seinäjoki and Ilmajoki
Seinäjoki is the heart of South Ostrobothnia. It has about 60.000 inhabitants and the land-area of about 1.450 km2. Life in Seinäjoki is dynamic, and a lot is going on in this compact city. A wide variety of educational institutions are located in the city, and it offers commercial, administrative and cultural services to the entire surrounding area.
Friends of both culture and sports can find a lot of opportunities in Seinäjoki. You can try traditional Finnish sports, like skiing, skating, football, Finnish baseball etc. or go to a rock concert or a classical music concert. But if you want to try something not so conventional, in Seinäjoki you can also try, for example, glow bowling or pole-dancing!
Student life in Seinäjoki is quite vivid, and the student union SAMO, together with other student associations, organises a lot of different kind of sports and other events and parties. Nightlife in Seinäjoki has a lot to offer for every taste in music and atmosphere. In Marttilan Kortteeri dormitory area you can also find the Students’ Living room (Address: Puskantie 38 T, 60100 Seinäjoki.
Ilmajoki lies about 15 km south-west from Seinäjoki. It has a typical South Ostrobothnian landscape with low-lying, fertile fields and a number of barns, referred to as the “sea of barns”. Ilmajoki has about 11.700 inhabitants in the land-area of 580 km2. The nearest cities are Seinäjoki (15km) and Vaasa (75km).
Ilmajoki is rich with tradition; you can get acquainted with the Ostrobothnian heritage at the Yli-Laurosela Farmhouse Museum, for example. Agriculture is very important source of livelihood in Ilmajoki, but there are a number of small and medium-sized companies operating in many different lines of business. For example, the most famous Finnish alcoholic beverage Koskenkorva is produced by Government-own company Altia in Ilmajoki, in the village of Koskenkorva.
Student Union SAMO
The student union of Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences (SAMO) is an association established and run by the students. The union’s diverse objectives range from monitoring the standard of instruction and networking with the Finnish Government to organising student parties and other leisure time activities. A special social programme is available for international students organised together with the staff of international office and the different schools of SeAMK.
In Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences student life is more than studying. Each semester a social programme/extracurricular activities is organized together by the staff of international office, the student union and different schools of SeAMK. In addition there are various sports, parties and other events arranged by the Student Union SAMO.
Also the local churches offer activities such as an international choir, Finnish cooking course etc. for international students. See the Student Pastor’s page for more information.
Pay attention to your @seamk.fi e-mail because a lot of information about the events will be sent to you during the academic year.