Student Union


Student simulator published


What would a day as a student feel like? The Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) and the Aalto University Student Union (AYY) have codeveloped a game to illustrate actual problems with students’ subsistence and student aid. A lot is expected from students regarding subsistence during their studies: they should study full time, get work experience and supplement their income with earned income. This equation does not work.

The game illustrates how complex and inflexible students’ subsistence is: the current system is not able to take into account students’ different situations in life and diverse living arrangements. If Finland’s next government starts the comprehensive reform of social security, students must be included in the reform. AYY and HYY support a move to a gratuitous, personal basic income.

‘On basic income, students could focus on advancing their studies, and getting work experience during studies would not be a problem. Students could count on their subsistence in varying situations in life’, Chair of HYY’s Board Lauri Linna states.

Students’ subsistence consists of the study grant, student loan and general housing allowance. The level of the study grant is low, and the share of the student loan in student aid has been raised. As a result, students are getting into debt at record rate. The number of months of student aid has repeatedly been cut, study progress and students’ own income are monitored closely, and there is next to no flexibility. In worst cases, this causes the recovery of student aid with considerable interest, students falling onto social assistance and delays with studies.

As a whole, moving students to general housing allowance has been a good reform. However, general housing allowance is household-based, which means that the incomes of the people you live with affect the allowance. As a result, many students have lost their housing benefits or have had it decreased. The household-based nature of the allowance has also resulted in situations in which roommates are expected to provide for each other even though even cohabiting partners are not liable to provide maintenance for one another.

Working alongside studies is not easy, as students must be able to simultaneously study full time in order to retain their study grant, monitor the low income limits and graduate within the limited time allocated to completing their degrees.

It would be useful for students to work in their own field, establish start-up companies and acquire societal skills through volunteer work during their studies. The system makes this difficult.

‘The months of student aid may be enough for those who manage to stick to target time. Even one life change complicates things, however. This could mean getting sick, starting a family or a couple of failed courses. Students’ social security should not be modelled on those who fare the best’, Chair of AYY’s Board Noora Vänttinen states.

You can try out the student simulator here. You can also meet HYY’s and AYY’s representatives at SuomiAreena this week. Come and play a game and discuss students’ subsistence with us!

Lauri Linna
Chair of the board
Student Union of the University of Helsinki
050 543 9610

Noora Vänttinen
Chair of the board
Aalto University Student Union
040 731 6120

Open contest for Maarintie 8’s light installation now open!

AYY, in cooperation with the Aalto University, invites its members to participate in an open light art competition! Two winners will be selected to illuminate the outer wall of Tietotalo at Maarintie 8 for four months. The artists will receive a prize of 500 euros for their work. The competition is open until the 20th of August 2018, 23:59. The winners will be announced during week 35 (27th-31st of August). Aalto University and AYY will take care of the technical implementation of the installation in September. The first piece will be published on the 6th of October at the Otaniemi Night of Arts, and it will remain on display until the 2nd of December. The second installation will be published on the 5th of December, and it will remain on display until the 5th of February 2019.

Submit your applications in PDF format and attach a picture of your installation. Send your application emails to email should include the following:

– Application in PDF format without personal details, as the applications will be processed anonymously. Include a brief written description of your installation.

– Include your personal information in the email’s message field.

– Picture of your installation (in 1, 2, 3 or 4 colors). There are no limitations to the shape of the picture, but a circular work would fill the largest area.



The contest’s panel of judges consists of representatives from Tietotalo’s and TUAS’s guilds (Prodeko, Athene, Guild of Electrical Engineering, Guild of Automation and Systems Technology, Computer Science Guild), as well as of three representatives from AYY’s Year of Arts working group. The panel is facilitated by member of the AYY Board responsible for artistic activities.


Composition of the panel:

  • Julius Luukkanen (AYY Board: Artistic activities)
  • Representative from Athene
  • Representative from AS
  • Representative from Prodeko
  • Representative from SIK
  • Representative from TiK
  • Representative from the Year of Arts working group
  • Representative from the Year of Arts working group
  • Representative from the Year of Arts working group


For details on the technical features of the lighting device, check the link below.

Video instruction to the light used:


AYY is searching for a designer for the web training module for student representatives in administration


AYY is searching for a project worker/workers to design the web training model for training student representatives in administration (hallopeds) at the Aalto University. The assignment includes designing the training module, including but not limited to the following subjects: Technical meeting equipment and appliances, Aalto decision-making, yearly clock, development of studies (e.g. pedagogics, feedback, course material), teaching planning development, student admissions, and legislation regarding studies and lobbying.

Successfully completing the assignment requires knowledge in project working and pedagogics, studying at a higher learning institution and experience in student advocacy, a strong knowledge of Aalto as a university environment, understanding the Administrative Procedure Act and good management, and a clear and concise knowledge of oral and written Finnish along with a good knowledge of oral English. Swedish is seen as a plus.

A more detailed call for applications in Finnish can be found at

Welcome to AYY!

Hi, new student! A warm welcome to Aalto University – and of course to AYY, the Aalto University Student Union.

We have collected an information package on this page to help you get started with your student life. Keep in mind that you can always turn to AYY’s staff if you have any questions related to student life. You can find our contact information here.

See you in the autumn!


Student Union housing and services

The Aalto University Student Union owns apartments that are rented to Aalto University students.

First-year students and students moving from outside the Helsinki metropolitan area are given priority when distributing apartments. You can apply for an apartment as soon as you have received confirmation of being accepted to Aalto University.

When applying for an AYY shared apartment, first year students receive a so-called “freshman point” that gives them priority over students who have studied at Aalto for longer. To receive the point, you must apply for an apartment before the end of July or end of December, depending on when you are starting your studies.

Applying for an AYY apartment

Unfortunately, AYY cannot provide student apartments for all Aalto University students, so you should also look for a home through other channels. Check these out, for example:

Other services

In addition to apartments, AYY does advocacy work for its members and offers them various other services. For example, AYY members can rent sauna and meeting facilities and a van at very affordable prices.

You can find out more about AYY’s member benefits and services here.

The Otaniemi service office at Otakaari 11 helps you in housing matters and other issues related to the Student Union’s services. You can find the office’s opening hours here.

Associations and volunteering

There are more than 200 associations operating within AYY’s sphere of influence, from subject associations and guilds to sports clubs and hobby associations. If you want to continue your old hobby or start a new one, you can do it in the Aalto community!

Find out more about associations operating within AYY here.

You can also take part in the Student Union’s activities by working as a volunteer. AYY’s volunteers organize numerous events every year and work with international and corporate cooperation matters, among other things. Volunteers are the heart of AYY – by volunteering, you can have an impact on what the Student Union does and what it looks like.

Most of AYY’s volunteer recruiting takes place at the end of the year, in November–December, but the search for project-based tasks may be open also at other times. Follow AYY’s communications for example via Facebook.


Student financial aid and the student card

Student financial aid

Finnish student financial aid consists of the study grant, student loan and meal subsidy. You can also apply for general housing allowance separately.

Please note that unfortunately, international students are usually not eligible for student financial aid – see following links for details.


You can order your student card through the Frank service. Frank offers both a digital and a traditional, plastic student card. For 15€, you can add the international ISIC license to both cards, entitling you to over 150,000 benefits in more than 130 countries.

The digital student card Frank App is an official student identifier tag. You should download and activate it immediately after paying your AYY membership fee. It opens up hundreds of discounts, including student restaurants and cheaper commuter tickets from VR and HSL.

A plastic student card with Debit MasterCard services offered by Danske Bank is free to all university students. Without the payment service, the card costs 15.10€ + delivery fees.

More information on different card options and delivery can be found on the Frank website.

Please note that after receiving your plastic student card, you will need to get a year tag for it. You can get one from AYY’s service office in Otaniemi, for example.


Health and well-being


Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) looks after the health of university students.

After paying the Student Union membership fee, you can receive help from FSHS in the areas of general, oral and mental health when you need it. Appointments are made by phone, and FSHS has a callback service. Contacting FSHS and general health appointments are always free of charge.

In order to use the services as efficiently as possible, you should create a user account for FSHS’s electronic Self service. You can use the service to handle your appointments and other health-related matters electronically.

You can use the services of any FSHS unit anywhere in Finland. When FSHS is closed or you are unable to book an appointment, you can use your local health center’s regular or on-call services.

FSHS units in the Helsinki metropolitan area:

  • Otaniemi: Otakaari 12, Espoo
  • Töölö: Töölönkatu 37 A, Helsinki

Other well-being services

Is your student life not going as it should? You don’t need to be alone with your problems!

If you have challenges related to your studies, you can contact your school’s student counseling services or the Aalto study psychologists.

Study psychologists guide and support students in challenges related to learning, motivation, self-regulation, stress management and studying capacity. You can reach the study psychologists via email:

You can turn to the Aalto chaplains if you want to have a confidential discussion about anything related to life, work, studying or relationships.

The Aalto chaplains are available to all members of Aalto regardless of religion or worldview. Contact them:

  • Jenny Vainio
    050 365 2256
  • Anu Morikawa
    050 4644 375

The student support center Nyyti is a nationwide association that promotes the mental well-being and studying capacity of students.

The association organizes group chats and online courses, among other things, on topics related to student well-being. Anyone who has questions related to mental health or coping and well-being can join the chat and groups.

More information:

University sports and exercise – UniSport

UniSport provides affordable sports services to all Aalto members. UniSport’s selection of services includes e.g. group exercise, ball games, gyms and various courses.

Sports centers are available in Otaniemi, Kumpula, Meilahti, Töölö and at the University of Helsinki’s city center campus. Training Cards and per-visit tickets are permanently affordable for all Aalto University students.

More information:


Transport in the Helsinki metropolitan area

Students under 30 years of age whose place of residence is within the HSL area (Espoo, Helsinki, Kauniainen, Kerava, Kirkkonummi, Vantaa) and who have a valid discount entitlement on their travel card are eligible for a student discount (-50%) in public transport in the Helsinki metropolitan area.

Visit the HSL website for more information and the student discount application form.

Routes and timetables for public transport can be found in the HSL Reittiopas service at

You can also use city bikes in Espoo and Helsinki between the end of the spring and the start of the autumn. You can use the city bikes after you have paid the 30 € annual fee, and there are several city bike stations also in the campus area. You can find more information about the service here.

Students are also entitled to discounts on VR’s (trains) and Matkahuolto’s (coaches) long-distance journeys. Keep in mind that these discounts require you to have a valid student card with a year tag!

Searching for a graphic designer for the hottest project of the fall

Permission to go crazy, granted! We are searching for an Aalto graphic designer or graphic design student to create the visual outlook for the cross-artistic campus festival Otaniemi Night of Arts, coming up in October.

The designer will create the program booklet, poster, logo, Facebook banner and web page graphics. The Night of Otaniemi is a part of AYY’s Year of Art, and there are possibilities for employment in follow-up projects after the conclusion of the festival.

You are who we seek if:

  • you can handle creating both printed and digital material
  • have a good imagination
  • are bold with the use of colours
  • you can think ”outside the box”

The task is remunerated with a sum of 800€ with an income tax card or 1050€ if invoiced.

Send an application with work examples to no later than 1st of July, 23:59.

Presenting the AYY summer interns

Three interns have started their work for the summer at the AYY Central Office during May and June.

Riikka Koskela develops housing communications, Sanni Laiho works with student well-being and equality, while Märt Vesinurm focuses on AYY’s organizational development.

From left to right: Märt, Sanni and Riikka

All three are familiar with student life.

Laiho has worked in the Helsinki University Student Union board in 2014 and Koskela has internships at the University of Tampere and Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences under her belt. Vesinurm has held many various positions in AYY, for example as a Representative Council member.

AYY sent a call for applications for interns in spring 2018 with eight different job descriptions. The applicants could also suggest internship plans of their own choosing.

”I liked the fact that there were several different descriptions available and you could bring your own knowledge and likes out in the application”, says Koskela, who studies organizational communications at the University of Vaasa.

”I applied for three other tasks, but I ended up with the offer to work in with organizational development. Industrial engineering and management are an interesting part of my studies, so getting to know the subject in practice suits me well”, Vesinurm, who studies information networks at the Aalto School of Science, says with a smile.

”Student well-being has always been a subject close to my heart. I thought I had left student unions behind, but decided to apply for an internship at AYY after a bout of inspiration sparked by the theme of well-being”, says Laiho, who is graduating the Finnish Language master’s degree programme at the University of Helsinki in the upcoming fall.

The interns will be working in various projects during the summer.

Laiho is creating an equality ruleset for associations working in AYY’s sphere of influence, mapping the steps and measures taken based on the results on the AllWell? survey and plans a campaign on intervening in harassment taking place in the student community.

Koskela’s task is to map AYY’s communication in matters of housing and to plan how communications regarding student apartments could be improved in the future.

Vesinurm is working on an organizational manual to help with directing AYY’s actions, which will be documented with for example the tasks of teams and other kinds of” silent information” the work community has. The manual will help to ensure that crucial information will not disappear into thin air with changes in staff.

The goal of each intern is to enhance and improve the Student Union’s activities in some way. Their wish is also to learn skills that can be applicable in their future careers.

”I’d like to learn to implement abstract things into the work community; things like the brand or values”, Vesinurm ponders.” It would be great that each member of staff would know how their work takes the Student Union towards its goals when executing their work tasks.”

”In my previous internships I’ve realized that learning can come from unexpected places, so I will do my best to keep my eyes open. I can learn new things in communications on one hand, and on the other how to cope with people in new ways. I am open to all kinds of new things”, Koskela says.

”I hope that by the end of this internship I will have made a difference that will outlive my short summer internship. Something I can point to and say that ‘I did that’ and be proud of the result”, Laiho sums up.