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New students

Congratulations on your study place and warmly welcome to Centria! Thank you for choosing us! On this page we have gathered some important information for you regarding the start of your studies.

Academic year 2023/24

Autumn term 28.8.-20.12.2023

Christmas celebration 15.12.2023

Spring term 8.1.-24.5.2024

Closing ceremony of the academic year 7.6.2024

Autumn break

  • Week 42: 16.-20.10.2023 (Kokkola, Pietarsaari)
  • Week 43: 23-27.10.2023 (Ylivieska)

Christmas break 21.12.2023-5.1.2024

Winter break

  • Week 9: 26.2.-1.3.2024 (Kokkola, Pietarsaari)
  • Week 10: 4.3.-8.3.2024 (Ylivieska)

Teachers’ summer break 17.6.-11.8.2024

Before studies start

Before starting your studies and arriving to campus there are a few things that need to be taken care of.

Degree students must enrol as a present (attending) or absent (non-attending) for each study year. Only students who are enrolled as present students have the right to pursue studies, to have credits entered in the record of credits and to receive guidance related to the studies.

New students

  • New students enrol for the study year at the same time as they accept their study place.
  • Tuition fee-paying students have to pay the tuition fee at the same time as they accept the study place.
  • First-year students can enrol as absent only for predetermined statutory reasons. The statutory reasons for the absence must be verified with appropriate documentation by a given date.
  • If the student enrols as absent during the first study year but does not provide adequate documentation for the reasons of absence by the given date, the student loses the study right. If the student wants to start their studies later, they will have to apply for readmission.

If you are starting your studies in the middle of the academic year, please contact our Student Services (

In the message, explain your need for the starting info or guidance. Also, tell your full name, date of birth, as well as the degree programme you will study in. The Student Services will review your right of study and send you a starting info or give you the name of the person who you should contact regarding the beginning of your studies.

After you receive your acceptance letter from Centria UAS you should check the immigration formalities. Make sure that you have enough time to complete all the necessary steps in order to get your residence permit process ready in time. Apply for a residence permit well in time and attach all the required attachments for a faster process.

The regulations concerning the stay in Finland and the visa regulations can be found on the web page of the Finnish Immigration Service

You must submit your residence permit application to the Finnish embassy in the country of your legal residence. 

Through the e-service you can access residence permit applications related to studies in the case of both the first permit and extended permits ( 

  • If you have submitted your application via the e-service, you need to visit a Finnish embassy to verify your identity and to present the original copies of any supplements needed for the application. 
  • Please note that Centria UAS cannot influence the decisions made by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland regarding residence permits.


All three of our campuses are located in the town centres or very close to the centre. Living in these towns is cozy and distances are short.

Degree programmes conducted in English are taught at our campuses in Kokkola and Pietarsaari

For students coming to study in Finland for more than two years, medical insurance covering the duration of the visa and the Schengen area is required in order to obtain a student residence permit. Comprehensive insurance cover means insurance which includes the types of treatment and costs that are covered by municipal health care services and the health insurance system. A residence permit cannot be issued for a period exceeding the period of the insurance cover.

  • For studies of less than two years in duration, a student must have private insurance which primarily covers the costs of medical treatment up to 100,000 euros.
  • When the duration of the studies is two years or more, a student will usually have a home municipality in Finland and is therefore entitled to municipal health care services. In such cases, it is sufficient for the insurance to primarily cover the cost of medicines (in practice the cover extends to doctor’s fees and costs of treatment and examination); up to 30,000 euros.

The student visa requirements also include yearly deposits as a proof of sustainable means of support. If later on, it is found that the student does not possess the funds originally stated when applying for the residence permit, the permit can be cancelled, and the student deported. 

A student applying for a residence permit needs to show that they have 6720 Euros for the next 12 months. 

The cost of living in Finland is a little higher compared to the rest of Europe. More information about the cost of living in Finland can be found at infoFinland’s website (Cost of living in Finland (

It is difficult, if not impossible, for an international student to get a part time job in small cities like Kokkola, Ylivieska and Pietarsaari without knowing any Finnish. Therefore, it is crucial that you have taken care of your financial issues, so that you can afford to stay in Finland, even if you do not get a job during your studies. 

In this section, you will get a glimpse of what kind of budget you should expect. For expenses such as rent, food and personal costs, it is estimated you will need approximately 700‒900 euros per month (Fees and Costs | Study in Finland).

Living in a student apartment costs about 250‒450 euros per month. It is however possible that at times the student accommodation is full and you would need to rent an apartment in the general rental market. The rent of one-bedroom apartment is approximately 400‒650 euros depending on the square metres, location of the apartments and how new the apartment is.

You will also have to take into consideration any travels to your home country or private travel in Finland, as well as possible purchasing of a bicycle or a car, bed clothing, curtains and kitchen equipment for your apartment.

Financial aid for studies pursued in Finland is available to Finnish citizens and, under certain conditions, to citizens of other countries.

The Social Insurance Institution of Finland, Kela, provides students with a Study Grant and a Housing Supplement (both monthly). The student financial aid system also includes student loans guaranteed by the state.

More information

Meal subsidy

If you are in higher education, you are eligible for discounted meals at participating student restaurants. The subsidy is deducted from the price of the meal at the student restaurant. You pay the discounted price.

You can qualify even if you are not a Finnish citizen. If you are attending a higher education institution in Finland as an exchange student, you qualify for the meal subsidy for the duration of your exchange.

Centria UAS restaurants participate in the meal subsidy programme:

Banks are open on various schedules on Weekdays. Money can be exchanged at any bank in Finland, although it is wise to exchange large amounts at a time to avoid service charges. Major credit cards are generally accepted everywhere in Finland. Please note that some places don’t accept cash in Finland, for example Restaurant Sodexo in Talonpojankatu Campus.

International students can open an account in any bank in Finland by presenting one valid ID (passport) and a certificate showing that the student is enrolled to Centria UAS. To open an account, you need to visit the bank branch in person. More information in infoFinland’s website (Everyday life in Finland (

Cash Machines (ATM) in Finland are called OTTO and NOSTO, and they are easily recognized by their orange- and yellow-coloured signs.

Goin’ Connect is a networking platform for new students to get to know their new study place, other students going to the same university and people already studying there.

On the platform, you will find students who

  • are interested in the same things
  • come from the same country as you
  • are starting in the same degree programme

Further information and an invitation link to the platform will be sent to your email before the beginning of your studies.

Students walking in the Kokkola old town Neristan

Steps towards moving to Kokkola or Pietarsaari

Find a lot of practical information on the steps you need to take while moving to Kokkola or Pietarsaari. We have also provided you with a lot of useful links to relevant services.

When studies start

Students are expected to take care of coming to Finland and to Centria UAS by themselves. Centria UAS does not have any services concerning arrival of students.  

Arrival information

When you are aware of your date and means of arrival, you should send the following information to the contact person of the degree programme you are starting your studies at:

  • The date of arrival
  • The exact time of arrival

In Finland the working week is five days (from Monday to Friday) and office hours are usually from 8 (9) am to 4 (5) pm. Please notice this when planning your arrival in Finland, because in case you arrive during the weekend all offices will be closed (Student Services, banks etc.) and it is not possible to get keys to student apartments either.

Transportation to Kokkola

Take the train to Kokkola from Helsinki or Tikkurila (nearer to Helsinki-Vantaa Airport and there is a train connection between the airport and Tikkurila station). The trains head up north (Oulu, Rovaniemi). Get off at Kokkola station. The trip lasts approximately 4 hours. For ticket schedules and prices see: Welcome on a journey together with us – VR.

It is also possible to get to Kokkola by plane from Helsinki to Kokkola-Pietarsaari airport. The flight lasts about an hour. See Kokkola-Pietarsaari public transport at: Kokkola-Pietarsaari public transport | Finavia.

Transportation to Pietarsaari

The nearest airport is Kokkola-Pietarsaari airport. Travel time from the airport to Pietarsaari centre by car is approximately 30 min. 

The nearest train station is the Pietarsaari-Pedersöre train station, approximately 15 min. travel time from Pietarsaari centre by car. From the train station there is a shuttle bus service to Pietarsaari centre. The timetable is available here.

For train connections, see Welcome on a journey together with us – VR.

For instructions on how to get your username and password, please visit Centria’s Password Reset Portal (choose Account registration option). It is possible to register your username starting from

  • 2 August, when study right begins in the autumn term
  • 2 January, when study right begins in the spring term

During your studies, you will need several digital tools. After you have received your user ID (username and password) to Centria, you can log in to itslearning learning management system via the Centraali portal or directly

In itslearning, you can find a workspace called Digistart. The idea of Centria Digistart is to familiarize you with Centria’s IT systems related to learning. You can begin Digistart right after you have got your user account, even if the studies have not yet started. This helps you when the actual courses start as you already know the learning tools Centria uses and their possibilities.

You will need 1‒5 hours to go through the material.

The course material is available during your whole study time.

Student tutoring is an important part of Centria’s guidance system. Student tutors are peer learners who will help you launch your studies as smoothly as possible. Their task is to provide comprehensive peer support to all students and they can be contacted about all kinds of matters; you can ask them anything!

Contact information

Do you have questions regarding arrival or the practical things you need to do before your studies start? You can contact Sofia Behluli of our Integration Services.

Sofia Behluli

Frequently asked questions

Is there something you are wondering about regarding studying at Centria? We have compiled answers to frequently asked questions.

Read more
Two students sitting on a couch on campus

Student’s Guide

Whether you are looking for information about support services or exchange studies you will find the information in the Student’s Guide.

Go to Student’s Guide
Student playing table tennis