home search login

About Finland
Country Handbook

University of Eastern Finland - Joensuu

photo essays

Joensuu, located on Lake Pyhaselka, is a North Karelian city in the heart of the eastern Finnish lake country and is the economic and cultural center of the region. Joensuu offers a variety of winter sports, including skiing, skating, and ice-swimming.

ISEP Exchange: undergraduate programs available for an academic year or semester

ISEP-Exchange for International students.
ISEP-Exchange for US students.

Chance of Placement
Chance of placement for US students is generally Excellent.
Chance of placement for I-to-I students is generally Excellent.
For the most current chances of placement, see the Sites Open for Applications for US Students or Sites Open for I-to-I Applications.

Program Dates
Academic year: September to late May; Semester 1: early September to late December; Semester 2: early January to late May.

Fast Facts
Joensuu, Finland (pop. 73,373)
Student Enrollment: 15,000
Language of instruction: English, Finnish
University Home Page
Courses - Joensuu campus
ISEP Finland
Exchange Student Information

Philosophical Faculty (School of Humanities, School of Educational Sciences and Psychology, School of Applied Educational Science and Teacher Education, School of Theology); Faculty of Science and Forestry (School of Computing, Department of Physics and Mathematics, Department of Biology, Department of Chemistry, School of Forest Sciences); Faculty of Social Sciences and Business (Department of Business, Department of Social Sciences, Department of Law, Department of Geographical and Historical Studies)

Courses taught in English
Joensuu campus offers the following non-degree programs taught in English (UG= courses available for undergraduate students; GR=courses available for graduate students):

Biology (GR), Business studies (UG, GR), Computer Science (GR), Educational Sciences (courses in Finnish art, crafts, and music, in addition to a variety of courses in education) (UG, GR), Environmental Science and Forestry (GR), Geography (GR), History (UG), Law (UG), Psychology (UG), Social Sciences (GR), Theology (UG)

Please note that students enrolled full-time in one of the above study programs may also take courses offered by the other international study programs, provided that space is available. For further information on the international study programs taught in English, please visit Joensuu campus International Study Programs.

Please see Study Programmes in English for more details of Master's degree programmes and studies for exchange students.

Courses for Graduate (Masters) Level
The university offers several international Master's degree programs. Most of these programs are also open to ISEP participants on a non-degree seeking basis.

Academic Notes
The typical courseload is 15-30 ECTS credits per term. The fall semester is runs approximately 16 weeks and the spring semester runs for approximately 17 weeks.


Transcript issued for Semester 1: January
Transcript issud for Semester 2: June
Transcript issued for Full Year: June

Transcripts are sent to ISEP and then immediately released to the student’s home institution if there are no outstanding financial obligations.

Language Notes
Language Courses: Introductory to intermediate Finnish

ISEP Language Proficiency Report may be substituted for official score? No
TOEFL: 90iBT / 580PBT / 237CBT
Institutional TOEFL accepted? Yes
IELTS: 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in writing
Other tests accepted: PTE

Note: The host institution ultimately determines your proficiency level and course eligibility.

Special Academic Conditions
ISEP participants with at least junior-level standing are preferred.

The University has a peer tutoring system for international students. Each student is assigned a peer tutor (usually a Finnish student) who will help them get settled and adjust to life at the University.

Hints for Researching Courses
Follow the link: Joensuu campus International Study Programs.

Housing and Meals
ISEP students are housed in single rooms within private student dorms run by the Joensuun Elli student housing company. The housing units have cooking facilities, sauna and Internet access. Students are provided with a monthly stipend to cover rent and the cost of meals. Married student housing can be arranged; however, any additional costs must be covered by the student.

You are responsible for all of your personal expenses including: fees not required of all participants (e.g. computer, language, science lab fees), books, local transportation, entertainment, etc. The amount below is provided as a guide; the actual amount needed will vary depending on courses and personal habits. Your personal expenses, including books, are estimated at: $200-$300. Please note that students typically do not need to purchase textbooks, as they are available in the library.

The orientation program arranged at the beginning of each semester includes lectures on the Finnish society and culture as well as on university life in Joensuu and in Finland in general. The program also includes a campus tour organized by Finnish student tutors.

Host will provide arrival directions with acceptance packet.

Student Activities
ISEP students are encouraged to join the Student Union of the University of Eastern Finland. Student unions around Finland are always working towards making the daily life of a student better. In addition to negotiating better rights and benefits to students, the Student Union also arranges a lot of social activities and events around campuses. The international student’s association in the student union, ESN Joensuu, brings Finnish and international students together in Joensuu. The purpose of the section is to promote an international atmosphere on campus through organising different activities and campaigns together with the international students. Every year the ESN Joensuu organises events such as Welcoming parties, a Halloween party, Pub nights, Finnish Link and many trips. More information: international.joensuu.fi

The University of Eastern Finland was established on January 1, 2010, as a result of the merger of the University of Joensuu (founded in 1969) and the University of Kuopio (founded in 1972), which were both ISEP member institutions. With its approximately 15, 000 students the University of Eastern Finland is one of the largest universities in Finland.

The University of Eastern Finland - Joensuu is a renowned center for research and teaching relating to education and human development, forests and the environment, optics, new materials and information technology, and on border studies and Russia. Facilities include the Ecological Research Institute, Karelian Institute, focusing on the humanities and social sciences; the Mekrijärvi Research Station at Ilomantsi for advanced study in hydrobiology and forestry; the Botanical Garden; and the Muikku Research Vessel, which specializes in environmental studies in inland waters. The university library features the Kalevala Collection, comprising about 600 works on the Finnish national epic. Total enrolment: ca 9,000 (about 700 international students in 2009).

The services of the Learning Center, Computing Center, University Library, Student Union, Student Health Care Center and sports facilities are available to students on campus or near-by.

What Past Students have to Say
Finland is not the typical study abroad destination, and that is what makes it even more of a treasure to those who go! Take full advantage of all the new sports and winter activities!! A trip to the Laplands is a must! Traveling to the Baltic countries is doeable and very reasonable travel destinations away from Finland. Just about the time you think you will see snow the rest of your life...spring will come and knock you off your feet! Beautiful place that will leave you with a soft spot in your heart for the land of ice...snow...and reindeer.

Andrea Harris, Spring 2006 student from Berry College