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About Finland
Country Handbook

University of Turku


Turku is the oldest city in Finland. Since its foundation in the late 13th Century, Turku has been Finland’s main gateway to the West, and the city also acts as a link between western (Stockholm) and eastern (St. Petersburg) cultural influences. It is located on the Southwest coast of Finland at the mouth of the River Aura, where it has maintained contacts with Scandinavia and continental Europe since the medieval times.

Turku has over 180,000 inhabitants, and it is officially a bilingual city (Finnish and Swedish). The Swedish name for the city is Åbo. The Finnish name Turku refers to a market-place and the Swedish name Åbo to a dwelling by the river. The city is located 160 kilometers west of Helsinki, the capital. The city centre is concentrated around the Market Square and the River Aura. In Turku, everything is easily within reach. The city layout is simple, efficient and easily accessible by bus, bike or on foot. Turku offers excellent travel connections to the rest of the country as well as abroad.

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

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

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

Program Dates
Academic year: September to May; Semester 1: September to late December; Semester 2: January to May. The Faculty of Medicine’s fall term starts in early August.

Fast Facts
Turku, Finland (pop. 177,430)
Student Enrollment: 18,000
Language of instruction: English, Finnish, Swedish
University Home Page
Programs and Courses for Exchange Students
Exchange Student Information
ISEP Finland

Faculties of Education; Humanities; Law; Mathematics and Natural Sciences; Medicine; Social Sciences; Turku School of Economics

The Finnish Language and Culture Program is available to students with previous studies in the Finnish language.

Courses taught in English
Programs taught in English include Baltic Sea Region Studies, Finnish-Nordic Society and Culture, European Studies, and Turku Law School and Business and Management. Some courses in Mathematics and Natural Sciences, e.g. computer science, environmental science, development studies, molecular biology, and biotechnology are also available in English.
University of Turku offers also a Summer School about Finnish Culture. Summer School is organised in August.

Academic Notes
The university’s special research units include the Archipelago Research Institute and the Sub-arctic Research Institute, both situated in appropriate and scenic locations.

Students will notice more freedom at Finnish universities, and are therefore responsible for their own progress within their studies. Courses are assessed by written essays and/or exams at the end of each course. Since some courses run only for a few weeks, there are exams throughout the term. The typical student takes 4-6 courses per term, with each semester running approximately 18 weeks long.


Transcript issued for Semester 1: end of February
Transcript issued for Semester 2: end of July
Transcript issued for FulYear : end of July

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: Beginner- to advanced-level Finnish

ISEP Language Proficiency Report may be substituted for official score? Yes
TOEFL: 90iBT / 575PBT / 232 CBT
Institutional TOEFL accepted? Yes
IELTS: 6.0
Other tests accepted: B2 or higher in the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for Languages

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

Special Academic Conditions
International students please note that preference is given to students from institutions with which this institution does not have Erasmus agreements. A list of the University of Turku's partner universities can be found here.

ISEP students can take courses offered within various faculties. However, courses within the Faculty of Medicine and the Turku School of Economics are not available to students registered into other faculties.

Hints for Researching Courses
Follow the links: Programs and Courses for Exchange Students.

Housing and Meals
ISEP students live in single rooms within shared apartments. There are several options for housing. Please see the Exchange Student housing page for more information. All rooms have bathrooms and access to kitchen and laundry facilities. Students are provided with a monthly meal stipend. Married and family housing is available.

Please note: the student has to apply for residence permit well in advance at the consulate of Finland.

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, entertainments, etc. The amount below is provided as a guide; the actual amount needed will vary depending on courses and personal habits. Your personal expenses per month, including books, are estimated at: € 700

The first stipend for housing and meals will be paid in cash upon arrival. After that the monthly allowance will be paid into the student's bank account in Finland. Please note that students are advised to open bank account in Finland for their stay, and that opening a bank account is usually free of charge.

Students usually don't need to buy course books, since these are available at the course book libraries.

University of Turku has a student tutor system for incoming exchange students. Those who have notified the International Office of the time and place of arrival in Turku, will be met by a tutor at the indicated time and place of arrival if agreed with the tutor. The orientation program covers registration, system of study, introduction to computers and library resources, tours of the university area and town, welcome receptions, Finnish history and society, health care, student union, student life, registration for language courses, academic advising sessions, etc. Please see the Preparing for Exchange Period page for details and program.

Host will provide arrival directions with acceptance packet.

Student Activities
The Student Union functions as an umbrella organization for many student clubs, most of which are faculty- or subject-specific organizations. One of the best ways of meeting Finnish students and getting involved in student life in Finland is joining your department's organization and taking part in their activities. One of the TYY sub-organizations is ESN Uni Turku, a section of the Erasmus Student Network, which organizes cultural happenings, sports activities, excursions, parties and other events that are mainly aimed at exchange students but are open to all students. For more information, please visit www.esnuniturku.fi.

The University of Turku is an international university, where academic education is based on high quality and often multidisciplinary research. The University of Turku, established in 1920, has 7 faculties and 11 independent units. There are over 20,000 students and 3,300 staff members. University offers more than 300 courses in English. Exchange students are able to combine courses from different faculties. Each exchange student will have a personal tutor helping with practical matters. There are marvelous opportunity to study Finnish/Swedish/English and also other languages. University of Turku is located next to the historical center of the city, only a short walk from the heart of the city.

What Past Students have to Say
"Finland is the diamond in the rough of Europe. It would be hard to find a safer, more friendly and serene place to study. Nature is a huge part of the cultural identity, so there are plenty of outdoor activities and the cities have plenty to do, while remaining small and safe." ISEP student from Marshall University