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Information guide for

international degree students 2011 Publications by the Student Union of Ă…bo Akademi University

3/2011


Publisher | The Student Union of Ă…bo Akademi University


contents page 3 | What is a student union?

page 4 | Who is who at the student union?

page 6 | What benefits do I get from being a student union member?

page 12 | Questions the student union deals with

page 16 | The student union as an organization

page 20 | Where can I find information in English?

page 22 | The K책ren building

page 24 | Finland-Swedish life and traditions

page 30 | Good to know


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Dear international degree student, Welcome to Finland and to the Student Union of Åbo Akademi University! This guide will introduce you to the Student Union and the student life at your new university. The guide aims to tell you what a Finnish student union is and shares information about the services available for students at the Student Union of Åbo Akademi University. As a member you are entitled to a variety of benefits, which we hope will make your studies at Åbo Akademi University easier. Information about the Student Union of Åbo Akademi University and its services in English is also available on our website at www.abo.fi/karen/en. We hope that you will have a wonderful stay in Finland. Please, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to help you with any questions you may have – that’s what we are here for. Petra Lindblad Secretary of Educational Affairs Student Union of Åbo Akademi University | hs-karen@abo.fi | +358 (0)2 215 4655 |


what is a student union? | 3

WHAT IS A STUDENT UNION?

In Finland, student unions are service and interest organizations defending and improving the educational, financial, and social benefits and rights of university students.

The student unions mainly work in the areas of higher education politics, social politics and international affairs. Every university in Finland has a student union and all students studying for a Master’s or Bachelor’s degree in Finland have a compulsory membership in it; those pursuing their doctoral studies may join their student union if they wish. Exchange students can and are warmly recommended to join the Student Union. The Student Union of Åbo Akademi University (ÅAS) is a public corporation completely independent from Åbo Akademi University. ÅAS was founded in 1919 which makes it one of the first student unions in Finland. Today, ÅAS has around 4900 members. Åbo Akademi University has two main campus areas, one in Åbo and one in Vasa. The two cities are situated approx. 340 km from each other. The Student Union of Åbo Akademi University

operates both in Åbo and in Vasa. ÅAS works to make sure that the conditions for your time as a student are as good as possible. This is done by influencing the decision-making bodies of Åbo Akademi University at all levels. Student representatives, elected by the students, are members of all these bodies. ÅAS also influences and takes part in decisionmaking by delivering statements on current propositions. Other important areas of work include housing, health care, student discounts, and financial aid for students. The Student Union also offers leisure time activities for students at Åbo Akademi University by arranging some cultural events during the academic year. Moreover, ÅAS supports the different student associations. These student associations arrange excursions and social and cultural events.


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Who Is Who at the Student Union?

The Secretariat The Secretariat is the employees of the Student Union. You can always talk to any of the secretaries and ask for advice in confidence. The Secretary General is the chief of the staff, prepares proposals by the Boards and the Student Union Parliament, participates in interest group activities and is responsible for financial affairs. | gs-karen@abo.fi | +358(0)2 215 4652 | The Secretary of Educational Affairs is responsible for academic affairs, higher education policy and the protection of students´ rights. If you have any questions or problems concerning courses, exams or teaching you can contact the Sec-

retary of Educational Affairs. | hs-karen@abo.fi | +358 (0)2 215 4655 | The Secretary of Social and International Affairs works with issues related to student housing, health care, equality, student’s general well being and exchange students and is also the contact person for disabled students and for students subjected to different kinds of harassments. The Secretary of Social and International Affairs can give you advice on special needs, e.g. contacting your teacher about dyslexia and help you get assistance. | ssu-karen@abo.fi | +358 (0)2 215 4653 | The Secretary of Information is in charge of the webpage and the weekly news bulletin Bullen. He is also responsible


for the weekly information mails. Additionally he works as ombudsman in the event of harassments together with the Secretary of Social and International Affairs. | is-karen@abo.fi | +358 (0)2 215 4656 | The Secretary of Administrative Affairs takes care of most of the administration at the Student Union Office and the Office Secretary is the one you will meet first when you come to the office in Åbo. The Office Secretary takes care of the administration of student cards and keys to the gym Roddis. | ks-karen@abo.fi | +358 (0)2 215 4650 | The Student Union Executive Board The student union executive board consists of a chairman and five to six board members. Two or three of the Board mem-

who is who at the student union? | 5

bers work in Vasa. Each board member has a specific responsibility area. Every member has also a subsidiary area of responsibility. You can contact any of these persons in issues or questions relating to their task. The main responsibility areas President | so-karen@abo.fi Vice-president | vo-karen@abo.fi Social Affairs in Vasa | sav-karen@abo.fi Social Affairs in Åbo | saa-karen@abo.fi Educational Affairs in Vasa | hav-karen@abo.fi Educational Affairs in Åbo | haa-karen@abo.fi Internal Affairs and Student Activities | stua-karen@abo.fi


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WHAT BENEFITS DO I GET FROM BEING A STUDENT UNION MEMBER?

The Lyyra card. The student union card can be ordered and paid at: www.lyyra.fi.


What benefits do i get from being a student union member? | 7

The Student Union fee The student union membership fee is currently 106 euros per academic year and 53 euros per half-a-year. The Student Union card The National Union of Finnish Students (SYL/FSF) issues the Student Union membership card, also known as the student card Lyyra, opiskelijakortti (in Finnish) or studentkort (in Swedish). In order to obtain your student card you have to pay the student union fee (save the receipt!) and register at Ă…bo Akademi University. After that, the Lyyra card can be ordered and paid at: www.lyyra.fi. The charge for the card is 17 euro and you will need a digital photo for it. You will be informed when the card is ready. You can then collect your card at the Student Union office. When

you do that, you have to show your receipt of paying the membership fee. The membership fee has to be paid every year, and you also have to validate your student card every year. This is done by getting a new sticker for the card. The card is not valid without the annual sticker. The student card works as a student identification card and you are entitled to certain benefits with it. The card is also a library card at the university libraries. Finnish Student Health Service The Student Health Service provides low cost health care for Student Union members all over Finland. A visit to a doctor or a nurse is free. A dental check-up (10 min) costs 4.50 euro and a visit to a specialist is 4-6 euro. For more information, see the student healthcare website at www.fshs.


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Health Center in Åbo

RESTAURANTS AND CAFés IN ÅBO

ADDRESS | Kyrkovägen 13 20540 Åbo open | Mon-Fri 8-16.00

Café Arken | Biskopsgatan Café Fänriken | in the ASA building, Fänriksgatan Café Kåren | Tavastgatan 22, 2nd floor Café Gadolinia | Porthansgatan 3, 2nd floor Café Hanken | Henriksgatan 7 Bibbacafé | in the main library, Domkyrkogatan 2-4

Appointments 046 710 1050 | General practitioners and specialists, 8-15.00 046 710 1047 | Dentists, 8-15.00 046 710 1045 | Mental health services, 9-11.00 fi. You can use all Student Health Service points in Finland, e.g. the one in Helsinki should you get ill during a visit there. Health examinations and electronic health inquiries The Student Health Service invites all first-year students to health examination. This examination consists of an electronic health inquiry and, if necessary, a personal health discussion. All new degree students will receive an invitation to fill in the inquiry. If you do not receive an email invitation to fill in the health inquiry during your first year at Åbo Akademi University, please contact a public health nurse at the Student Health Care centre. Invitations are sent throughout the study year so you may not receive yours until the spring term. It is very important that as many students as possible fill in the inquiry! Discounted travel You get 50% off rail travel and coach travel (for journeys of over 80 km), by showing your student card when you buy the

ticket in advance. For more information on trains, see: www.vr.fi, and for coaches, www.matkahuolto.fi. You can also get discount travel cards for local buses in Åbo with your student card or an official student certificate from the university. The place to buy these cards in Åbo is the public transport office at Eriksgatan 10. See: www.bussit.turku.fi. Student restaurants and student lunch At student restaurants you can eat cheap student lunches if you show your student card. The cost for a student lunch is around 2.50 euro. The Student Union of Åbo Akademi University is the owner of five student restaurants and one student café in Åbo. You will find weekly menus, opening hours etc. at the address: www.abo.fi/ karen/lunch. There are also other student restaurants located all around the university area. You get the student discount at all student restaurants in Finland by showing your student card.


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General discounts With your student card you can get discounts at most youth hostels in Finland. Ask for a discount when booking. You can also get discounts on everything from takeaway pizza to haircuts by showing your student card. It’s always worth asking! Kårkalendern Kårkalendern is the Student Union calendar. It’s mainly in Swedish, but contains e.g. dates for the biggest Finnish student events. Studentbladet This is a Swedish-language student newspaper that comes out once a month during the academic year to all Student Union members including international students. Legal advice As a Student Union member you are entitled to free legal advice. You can turn to the legal counsellors in matters of inheritance, housing (e.g. Tenancy agreement, taxation, employment) Please notice that writing or making contracts doesn’t belong

to the counsellors work description, but they can give you useful legal advice. You can visit or call the legal counsellors every Tuesday at 18-19. Address: Student Union of the University of Turku (TYY), Yo-talo, Rektorsåkersgatan 4, ground floor (02 276 9614). Both counsellors speak English fluently and the service is free of charge. Student priest Peter Gustavson is the Student Union’s own priest in Åbo. If you want to talk about issues concerning religion or life in general, you can always contact Peter. He is at the Student Union office (Tavastgatan 22, 3rd floor) every Tuesday 12-14. You can also call (+358 2 215 4139 / +358 40 341 7296) or e-mail him: peter.gustavson@evl.fi Kåren’s gym – Roddis The Student Union has its own gym in Åbo, located in the cellar at Kåren (Tavastgatan 22), only Student Union members can use the gym. The price for getting your key programmed to the gym is 40 euro for half a year and 70 euro for the whole year. Pay this amount to: Nordea 228418-125636,


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recipient Åbo Akademis Studentkår. Include your name, matriculation number and the period of time you wish to pay for in the message. Take the receipt to the Student Union office and we will activate your hid key. If you don’t have a HID key, you can get one from the Åbo Akademi Main Building at Domkyrkotorget 3 in Åbo. Before you start to use the gym, you can come and check it out - just come to the Student Union office at Kåren and ask one of the board members to show it to you. Note: you don’t have to pay the ÅA sports fee to get access to Roddis. Sports at Åbo Akademi University The sports fee for the academic year is 20 Euros for students. Information about

sports at Åbo Akademi University can be found on the university’s homepages: www.abo.fi/student/Content/Topic/topic/ motion/?setlanguage=en. ÅA sports have a lot to offer to all of you who like sports. Volleyball, aerobics, spinning, bailatino dancing, and wall climbing... you name it! There are sports just for the sake of exercise, as well as competitions. There are also many courses, giving you a chance to try a new sport and maybe find the perfect sport for you. The sports activities are coordinated by the Sports Secretary Carl (Calle) Myrberg, who you will find in Domus (Biskopsgatan 10) during office hours. (cmyrberg@abo.fi, 02-215 4654).


What benefits do i get from being a student union member? | 11

Studentbladet. This is a Swedish-language student newspaper that comes out once a month during the academic year to all Student Union members including international students.


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Questions the Student Union deals with

Educational affairs Studying at a university entails great freedom. You are free to plan your own schedule and to study what interests you the most. It also entails great responsibility. You have to make sure that you learn useful things, receive guidance and support, get an education that is valuable on the labour market, and actually graduate. The Student Union not only takes part in discussions about education within Åbo Akademi University, but also on a national and international level. We follow the current issues and look after students’ interests. In practice, this means joining working groups, writing statements, taking part in seminars and discussions, keeping in touch with student representatives from different bodies, informing students about what is going on and sometimes even arranging demonstrations. Academic conduct and academic writing Should a student be accused of plagiarism or cheating at an exam the Secretary of Educational Affairs can help you with

the process at Åbo Akademi University. (Please contact: hs-karen@abo.fi, +358 (0)2 215 4655.) Remember that referencing techniques can vary between different countries and to some extent between different disciplines! Always ask your teacher if you are unsure about the instructions you have received. The teachers at the subjects have a responsibility to introduce you to academic writing in your field. The compulsory course in English named Academic Writing given at the language center at ÅA has been aimed at students writing their thesis, not to newcomers the first year. International Affairs The Student Union’s international affairs are in the hands of all board members and both political secretaries. International affairs are mainly about keeping in touch with our international students and being up-to-date with current international educational issues. There are more than 500 international students at Åbo Akademi University. They are exchange, undergraduate or postgraduate students. ESN (Erasmus Student Network) organises activities


for international students. Its activities are also open to Finnish students; the idea is to provide a meeting place for different cultures and to help integrate international students into Finnish student life. For all international degree students studying in Åbo there is also ISTU (International Students of Turku Universities) which is an organization that provides opportunities for both master’s and doctoral degree students to meet each other and enjoy social activities. The Student Union keeps in contact with ISTU about questions concerning international degree students and sometimes the Student Union has written letters to Åbo Academi University together with ISTU and ESN, last time about information in English about sports at ÅA. The social policy sector The social policy sector is divided into two main parts: looking after students’ interests at a national and a local level, and practical action within the framework of Åbo Akademi University. The most important issues are students’ income, health care and housing. On the national level,

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interests are mainly looked after through cooperation with the other student unions within the National Union of University Students in Finland (FSF in Swedish, SYL in Finnish). On a local level, there is cooperation with the student union of the University of Turku. Much of the work consists of following and taking part in the general discussion on issues concerning the activities of e.g. the Ministry of Education, the Finnish Student Health Service and the Turku Student Village Foundation. We try to make sure that the situation is as good as possible for students! Equality Discrimination is prohibited by Finnish law. A person must not be treated differently from others on the grounds of his or her sex, age, origin, language, religion, beliefs, opinions, state of health or disability, or any other reason. The Student Union of Åbo Akademi University works to ensure that the law is followed. If you feel that you are being discriminated, do not hesitate to contact the Student Union for help. You can see the ombudsmen for


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harassment at the Student Union office on weekdays, or contact them by e-mail trakasseriombudsman@abo.fi, ssu-karen@ abo.fi or is-karen@abo.fi. Phone 02-215 4653 or 02-215 4656. Harassment and bullying Harassment is any unwanted one-sided physical or verbal behaviour including racist or sexist comments that has negative consequences for the person that is subjected to it. This behaviour includes • Gestures or expressions that are sexually suggestive • Comments on a person’s body, choice of clothes or private life • Pornographic material, sexually suggestive letters, phone calls or e-mail • Physical or sexual contact, or proposals or demands for sexual intercourse According to Finnish law, employers are obliged to make sure that nobody gets harassed at work. The university is also responsible for its students. If you feel that you are being harassed, sexually or otherwise, it is important that you address the matter, however difficult you find it. If you do not want to confront the harasser yourself, or if the harassment continues even after you have told the harasser to

stop, you can contact either the harasser’s superior (if the harasser is an employee at the university) or one of the Student Union’s persons responsible for cases of harassment: trakasseriombudsman@abo.fi, Monika Antikainen; ssu-karen@abo.fi or Matias Dahlbäck; is-karen@abo.fi or simply visit them at the Student Union office during opening hours. You can also contact them via trakasseriombudsman@abo.fi. Any discussions with them are confidential and you can talk to them freely about any issues. It is their duty to help you by listening and taking necessary action. Remember, nobody has to put up with harassment, and it can only come to an end if you do something about it. Students with special needs Many of Åbo Akademi University’s buildings are old and have high stairs and doorsteps that can cause problems for students with disabilities. Students who have problems with poor hearing or eye-sight or dyslexia can also get help from the University. In case of any problems, Regina Shariatmadari at the Office for Academic and Student Affairs in Gripen should first be contacted, +358 (0)2 215 4169, studinfo@ abo.fi. She will help contacting the people who are able to actuate in these matters. Of course, you can also contact the Student Union if you have any questions (ssukaren@abo.fi 02-215 4653).


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THE STUDENT UNION AS AN ORGANIZATION

Ă…AS is led by its highest decision-making body, a 25-member Student Union Parliament. The parliament is elected by the students of Ă…bo Akademi University for a two-year term.


All ÅAS members have the right to both vote in the Student Union elections and run as a candidate. As a member of the student union you can influence ÅAS’ decisions by voting in the student union elections, held every second year in November. The Student Union Parliament decides what the Student Union will focus on during the year and determines how much money will be used and for which purposes. The Parliament also appoints e.g. the Student Union Board which is responsible for executing the Student Parliament’s decisions. The Board has seven members and operates both in Åbo and in Vasa. The Student Union Parliament also selects student members for various bodies in the university. Remember that YOU can influence the decisions of The Student Union of Åbo Akademi University by voting in the student union elections, which are held every second year in November. YOU elect the members of the parliament, who then appoint the executive board.

The student union as an organization | 17

Committees The student union committees are groups of people formed due to shared interest in certain issues. The committees organize many of the student union’s activities and work as a link between the Student Union and its members. ÅAS has five committees, the meetings and events of which are open for all ÅAS members including international students. The committees are listed below. For easier identification, the Swedish names are given in brackets. The Committee for Educational Affairs (Högskolepolitiska utskottet) This committee deals with current issues within education that affect Åbo Akademi University, its students and issues concerning the higher education system as a whole in Finland. For example, the committee hands out roses to deserving teachers (nominated by the students) every year. The Student Union contact persons are Taika Lapintie, haa-karen@abo.fi and Alexandra Furu, hav-karen@abo.fi.


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The Social Affairs Committee (Socialpolitiska utskottet) This committee deals with social issues concerning students, e.g. student grants, housing, health care, equality and student welfare associations. The committee organises a welfare day each year and participates in different events such as organizing chill evenings and speed dating events, handing out red ribbons and condoms on the aids-day etc. The committee also deals with sports and catering. The Student Union contact persons are Martina Gardberg, saa-karen@abo.fi and Ebba Håkans, sav-karen@abo.fi The Environmental and Development Affairs Committee (Miljö- och biståndsutskottet) The environmental committee works for sustainable development by discussing current environmental problems and by thinking of ways to make Åbo Akademi University more environmentally friendly. The activities arranged by the committee include excursions, debates and recycling days, where students bring things they

no longer need and others can pick them up free of charge. The committee also organises different campaigns to increase students’ knowledge of development and charity issues and arranges all kinds of charity events. The Student Union contact person is Ebba Håkans, sav-karen@ abo.fi. The Information Committee (Informationsutskottet) This committee is involved in distributing information around Åbo Akademi University so that it can reach the students. This means e.g. developing the homepages of the Student Union and the information bulletin Bullen. The Student Union contact person is Matias Dahlbäck, is-karen@ abo.fi. The Event Committee (Evenemangsutskottet) This committee organises cultural events (concerts, Trivial Pursuit evenings, you name it). The Student Union contact person is Benjamin Rydgren, stua-karen@ abo.fi.


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WHERE CAN I FIND INFORMATION IN ENGLISH?

The Student Union maintains a mailing list which is only meant for foreign degree students. This list is called “Degreestudents” and you can register by sending a request to hs-karen@abo.fi. The Student Union news bulletin is called Bullen, and it is released every Tuesday. You can find it on the tables of all student restaurants and in the Student Union buildings. Most of the information is in Swedish, but on the last page you will always find “Bullen in English” which is aimed for you, the international students. It is also a good idea to check out notice boards around campus for information about events in the near future. Information is also sent through the Student Unions fan page on Facebook. Search for: Åbo Akademis Studentkår – ÅAS.

International Students of Turku Universities ISTU ry ISTU is an organisation intended primarily for international degree students at the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University. ISTU provides opportunities for both masters and doctoral degree students to meet each other and enjoy social activities, and hopes to raise the profile of international degree students at all levels of the university and student union. Past events have included a theatre excursion to Helsinki, a soccer match, a May Day picnic, a welcome evening for new arriving degree students and a cruise to Stockholm. Stay up to date with current events and in touch with other international degree students in Turku by signing up for the ISTU-mailing list under: https://lists. utu.fi/mailman/listinfo/istu


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The Student Union’s home page. www.abo.fi/karen/en


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The Kåren Building

KÅREN. Kåren is the name of the Student Union’s own building that is located at Tavastgatan 22. The Student Union office is situated on the third floor.


Kåren is not only the shorter Swedish name for the Student Union of Åbo Akademi University, it is also the name of the Student Union’s own building that is located at Tavastgatan 22. The Student Union office is situated on the third floor and is open on weekdays (MondayFriday) 12-15. It is here you will pick up your student card (Lyyra). You can also buy merchandise. At the office you can find brochures with useful information regarding your studies. You can also use the photocopier and the fax machine. If you have questions about your studies or the student life, the staff at the Student Union office is more than happy to help you. On the second floor you will find Café Kåren, which is one of the cafeterias that the Student Union owns. It is open week-

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days 11-15. On the second floor is also the main hall, where concerts and parties are arranged, as well as many annual balls. Participation at various parties at Kåren is a good way to meet people from other departments. Pub Kåren is located on the first floor of the building. Kåren is the home of more than 40 students, who live in Tavasthem. There are shared kitchens and bathrooms on all floors, but the lodgers have their own rooms. In the basement you’ll find Roddis, the Student Union’s very own gym. There you can work out for a reasonable price. If you need any advice on how to use the equipment, the instructors will help you out. You need a hid key to enter Roddis. There is also a sauna at Kåren, which can be booked via the student union homepage.


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FINLAND –SWEDISH STUDENT LIFE AND TRADITIONS

Like every country, Finland has its own cultural traditions that vary regionally. In addition, student life brings its own traditions to the part of Finnish culture, which you will see during your stay here. Here is a presentation of the highlights of the year.

Gulnäbbsintagning As an initiation process, the student associations and faculties organise a humorous race with small competitions for the new students. Students compete in teams, and if you want to you can join the event. You will recognize the event from the black plastic bags that the students wear, as well as from their noses which are painted yellow. This is because a new student is called “gulnäbb”, Swedish for “yellow beak”. Gulnäbbsakademin (Fresher’s Fair) The Fresher’s Fair, arranged in September is an opportunity for student associations to present their activities and recruit new members. Some companies are also present at this fair. This is also a chance

for international students to find a student association, so do not hesitate to come. Lilla Wappen Lilla Wappen marks the end of the summer. Back in the day, when being a student was highly reputed in society, students used to wear their student caps all summer and only put them away for the winter. Lilla Wappen is a reminder of that time. Traditionally, there is a party at the end of September, and at midnight everybody takes off their caps and turns them inside out. Glöggrundan Glögg is a hot spiced drink which is drunk around Christmastime. Traditionally on


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fastlaskiainen is celebrated through sledge competitions.

the Friday before Advent, there is a chance to try some, courtesy of the student associations. The event is outdoors on Biskopsgatan in Åbo. December 6th – Independence Day Finland’s Independence Day is a sombre festivity compared to many other countries. Usually people stay at home and eat dinner, and watch the President’s annual independence ball. The student unions of Åbo also have a procession to the cemetery in order to honour the memory of those who died in the wars. Årsfest (Annual Ball) The Student Union and many student associations celebrate their birthday through an annual ball. The dress code

is tailcoat or evening dress, and the traditions for the ball are very specific. The Student Union’s annual ball is always on a Saturday in mid-February and alternates between Åbo and Vasa. In 2012 the ball is held in Åbo. Fastlagstisdag/ Fastlaskiainen Shrove Tuesday Fastlaskiainen is the common celebration among the Finnish- and Swedish Universities in and the name of the event is a combination of the Finnish word Laskiainen and the Swedish word Fastlag. This winter day in February is celebrated through sledge competitions at the hill called Vårdberget. Shrove Tuesday buns are also a must for this day.


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Trivial Pursuit –tournament In this tournament, pairs can compete for awards in the board game Trivial Pursuit. The event is organised once a year.

ion as well as the flags of the student associations. The procession is formal and the dress code for participants is dark clothes and the student cap.

Wappen

Sitzes

Wappen, also known as Wappu, Vappu or Valborg, is one of the most important student festivities. In Åbo there is a picnic by the river on the last of April, and in the evening all the Swedish speakers of Åbo gather at Vårdberget to hear the speech of the president of the Student Union board, as well as spring songs by the choir Brahe Djäknar. Afterwards there is a dinner at Kåren, and on the First of May, Vårdberget is filled with picnickers – both students and families.

A sitz party is a traditional student party with its specific rules and style. In short, it is a two-course dinner with a lot of singing, eating and drinking. The singing is led by one or more toastmasters. It is important to respect the toastmasters, who have a big task in setting the style and pace of the evening. Usually people drink schnapps (a shot of vodka) at the sitz, but there is always a non-alcoholic alternative available. There is a song before each drink. Sitzes are usually arranged by the student associations, and their traditions differ quite a lot from each other. There is often also a specific theme for a sitz, for example Halloween, super heroes, summer or international stereotypes. NB! You never have to drink alcohol if you do not want to, it is always your own choice whether to drink and how much. At sitzes, there are usually people who take a

Procession of flags An old and dear tradition of the Student Union is the procession of flags. It is a solemn way of celebrating the Independence Day, and it also gives colour to the First of May and Annual Ball festivities. The Finnish flag always leads the procession, and it is followed by the flag of the Student Un-


wappen. Wappen is one of the most important student festivities.

finland-swedish life and traditions | 27

procession of flags. The procession is a solemn way of celebrating the Independence day.


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overalls. The colour of the overalls depends on what you study. You customise your overalls as you like, with badges, patches, by letting your friends write on it, and you can exchange parts of your overall with someone else.


non-alcoholic alternative. Getting drunk is not an obligatory part of the sitz culture. Student Associations at ÅAS There are almost 70 student associations within the Student Union. The associations unite people according to for example common subject of study, area of Finland, and interest or hobby. See: www. abo.fi/karen/en Student caps and overalls In Finland, if and when you pass your upper-secondary school leaving certificate, the studentexamen, you can wear the student cap, studentmössa. This is something to be proud of, and the school leav-

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ing ceremony, where the cap is worn for the first time, is an important occasion. At university, students wear the student cap on a number of occasions. One of these is 30 April, when Åbo Akademi students gather to celebrate the start of Wappen, the first of May. Another is Finland’s Independence Day, 6 December, during a procession to the graves of war heroes. Have you seen any students wearing mechanics clothes in bright colours? Those are overalls. The colour of the overalls depends on what you study. You customise your overalls as you like, with badges, patches, by letting your friends write on it, and you can exchange parts of your overall with someone else.


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Good to know Arbetsforum Arbetsforum is the name of the Career Services. If you need help with job-hunting, or are unsure what to do after graduation, this is the place to go. See www.abo.fi/arbetsforum for more information. Arbetsforum has got a separate e-mail list for international students that you can join. Copying There are photocopiers at many places on campus. You normally have to buy copying cards to use them. Try e.g. the main library. NB that some copiers require different cards than others. At the Student Union office you can take copies without a card and pay in cash. Libraries Åbo Akademi University Library (Main library) ADDRESS | Domkyrkogatan 2-4 phone | 02 215 4180 You can read foreign newspapers at the university’s main library. The Undergraduate Library at Åbo Akademi University (Course books) ADDRESS | ASA-buildning, Fänriksgatan 3 PHONE | 02 215 4192 See www.abo.fi and click A-Ö and choose “Library” for more information on the Library of Åbo Akademi University.

Turku University Library (Located on the university hill) phone web

| 02 333 51 | http://kirjasto.utu.fi/en/

Turku Public Library (The main library, smaller braches exist around the city) ADDRESS phone OPEN

| Slottsgatan 2 | 02 330 000 | Monday-Friday 10am - 8pm Saturday 10am - 4pm Sunday 12am - 6pm

The public library’s newspaper room has also a large selection of foreign Newspapers. WikiCompass Information about living and studying in Turku. http://www.wikicompass.fi/ Student housing The Student Village Foundation has got flats in many different locations around the city. Check the homepage www.tys.fi or phone 02 275 0200 for more information. Info Bank This page contains basic information for immigrants on Finnish society and opportunities in Finland. http://www.infopankki.fi/


good to know | 31

Important telephone numbers

Åbo Police Station

Åbo Akademi University’s switchboard

ADDRESS | Eriksgatan 40-42 phone | 071 87 40261

02 215 31

The Student Union of Åbo Akademi University ADDRESS | 02 215 4650 | 02 215 4652 | 02 215 4655 | 02 215 4653 | 02 215 4651 |

Tavastgatan 22 The Office Secretary The Secretary General The Secretary of Educational Affairs The Secretary of Social and International affairs The Student Union Board Chairman

The student desk ADDRESS 02 215 4174 02 215 4169

| Tavastgatan 13 | Reidun Palmu | Regina Shariatmadari

The International Office ADDRESS 02 215 4510 02 215 4790 02 215 4891 02 215 4836

| | | | |

Tavastgatan 13 Harriet Klåvus Monica Nylund Gurli-Maria Gardberg Annikki Abrahamsson

The Student Village Foundation ADDRESS phone

| Inspektorsgatan 4 | 02 275 0200

The Student Health Centre ADDRESS phone

| Kyrkovägen 13 | 046 710 1002

Registry Office ADDRESS | Auragatan 8 phone | 071 87 41330

Hostel Turku ADDRESS | Slottsgatan 39 phone | 02 231 6578 Taxi

| 02 100 41

VR (Trains) phone | 0600 41 900 (1 €/call + per min price) web | www.vr.fi Matkahuolto (Coaches) phone | 0200 4000 (1.50 €/ call + per min price) web | www.matkahuolto.fi Viking Line (Ferries) phone web

| 02 333 11 | www.vikingline.fi

Silja Line (Ferries) phone web

| 0600 174 552 | www.tallinksilja.com


grafik | Ide formgivningsbyr책


Information Guide for International Degree Students 2011