The University of Eastern Finland in Joensuu is an ideal place for students who want to experience the best of northern Europe while taking great courses in fields such as education, forestry, environmental science, and bio-sciences. Known as the Land of a Thousand Lakes, the Midnight Sun, and the Northern Lights, Finland is famous for its natural beauty, and its education system is ranked #1 in the world by the OECD.
"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, an ISEP student from Berry College
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). With approximately 13,000 students and 3,000 staff members, the University of Eastern Finland is one of the largest universities in Finland. The Joensuu campus itself welcomes over 700 international students a year into its overall student population of nearly 8,000. It is internationally recognized for its competitive research and education in fields relating to education and human development, forests and the environment, optics, and new materials and information technology.
"People come and they go; I came to Finland as one person, and in the end, I left as someone new and fresh. Finland's snow fell and it blanketed my world, yet now when I peek outside my blinds, there is no snow, and I am not in Finland. In the blink of an eye, the dream is over. But I will forever hold my Finnish journey in my heart and will never forget the wonderful friends I made and said goodbye to all in the same instant. I will return someday to Joensuu, to the city I called home for four months, soon to be devoid of any of my friends; time is a thief, after all." Ian Rázuri, an ISEP student from Armstrong Atlantic State University
The University of Eastern Finland – Joensuu centers its philosophy on the well-being of its students and ensures both a high standard of teaching and a modern study environment. It values a critical and ethical approach to learning, freedom of research and teaching, and the promotion of the national development of Finland and the regional development of eastern Finland in particular.
Joensuu offers strong programs in the following eight different faculties:
- Forest Sciences
- Law, Economics, and Business Administration
- Social Sciences and Regional Studies
"Despite the fact that everyone asked "why Finland?" when I told them about my last fall semester, it was truly one of the best times of my life. The most surprising thing about studying in Joensuu was the way classes were structured. I was used to having four or five courses that lasted the entire semester however in Joensuu (and apparently much of Europe) the classes were only two to four weeks long depending on the course." Lauryn Roth, an ISEP student from University of Utah
International Student Services offers ISEP participants the opportunity to familiarize themselves with everyday Finnish life and culture through the Finnish Friend Program, which provides each incoming student with a Finnish student tutor. Tutors are trained to help international students adapt to Finland, Joensuu, and the University of Eastern Finland.
ISEP participants at Joensuu can also take advantage of real-world learning and build their resumes by applying for prestigious internships at a Finnish enterprise related to their academic field of study.
"My Finnish family I met via the Finnish Friend Program was amazing!!! I think I had the best family...They had me over for dinner many times, for skiing holiday at a cottage, for their son's high school graduation party, and I even stayed there on Christmas Eve and Christmas night because I did not fly home to the US for the holidays. They were extremely excited about sharing their culture with me, and I love them almost like my own family." Brandon Stephens, an ISEP Student from University of University of Tennessee- Knoxville
Housing and Meals
Most international and Finnish students live in housing units located in different parts of Joensuu. The units are made up of flats where students have a private room and share kitchens and bathrooms with 1-2 other students.
Life On Campus
The campus offers extracurricular clubs for students interested in everything from theater to sports to politics and the environment. Clubs organize activities on a regular basis including sports games, tours to different places in Finland, and parties. The International Section club connects with similar organizations throughout Finland and Europe to help promote an welcoming and positive international atmosphere in the university. Every year the International Section organizes events such as welcoming parties, a Halloween party, Finnish cooking courses, and excursions. Strong writers are encouraged to contribute to UEF-Joensuu's student newspaper, Ylioppilaslehti. The student newspaper presents the students' opinions on local and national academic matters, along with more general discussions about student life.
"Joensuu offers a lot of natural beauty in addition to the beautiful people: blonde hair everywhere but also nice as can be! Even though Joensuu is a bit of a smaller city, I never ran out of things to do and it was So easy to take a train to any part of the country. Make sure to see the real Santa as well as the National Parks, because beauty like this cannot be found anywhere else in the world." Kathleen Hauther, an ISEP Student from University of University of Tennessee- Knoxville
Often called the “Forestry Capital of Europe,” Joensuu is the capital of the North Karelia province. The region is famous for the beauty of its unspoiled nature and for its thousands of lakes and islands. Joensuu serves as a base for hiking its surrounding wilderness areas. It is also the region’s major travel hub with plenty of good services, shopping, and a lively nightlife.
Events & Celebrations
- The Savonlinna Opera Festival is one of the best-known Finnish summer events both in Finland and abroad. In 2004, it attracted a total of 72,000 visitors.
- Ilosaarirock is the the second oldest rock festival in Finland. It is is held every year during Mid July.
- The Joensuu Art Museum provides great displays of both Finnish and foreign pieces including a good selection of Orthodox icons salvaged from the Soviets. Other exhibitions involve the Antiquities, Chinese art, Central and Southern European paintings and sculptures from the 14th century onwards, and ceramics.
- The Carelicum is a fine conceptual museum focusing on Karelia—its history, people, and customs. This is an excellent place to get acquainted with the region.
- Olavinlinna Castle is a ode to Findland's rich history. Students can experience the epic past of Olavanlinna by visiting this majestic landmark.
- Every Saturday the Market Place of Joensuu turns alive. One can't leave the city without spending a morning eating Lörtsy—a sweet apple pie- and coffee with a close friend.
- The unusual Town Hall dominates the town center. It was designed by Eliel Saarinen, who also designed Helsinki's train station, and was built in 1914. Part of the building now houses the local theater and a restaurant.
University of Eastern Finland- Consortium
University of Eastern Finland- Joensuu