Written by Manish Lamicchane and Giang Tran
Practical Matters and Tips
- Pauliina Talka (PERCCOM Master Affairs)
- Susanna Koponen (PERCCOM Master Affairs)
- Jari Porras (PERCCOM Master LUT Coordinator)
EU citizens do not need to apply for any visa. But they need to register at a Police station upon their arrival to Finland because they will stay a period longer than 3 months.
Other Nationals do need to apply for a Finnish residence permit. However, since this is your second semester your visa for Finland shouldn’t be long or complex process.
The application is electronic and it must be done while you are in France. You will have and access to monitor the status of your application and once it is accepted you should go to the embassy in Paris and pay the application fee.
Tip: Make sure you pay the extra fee for delivery (5 euro), therefore your residence permit is sent to your mailbox in Nancy. This is totally time and cost efficient.
Attention: You should apply for your Swedish residence permit in February in order to get it before summer period. Check PERCCOM section for it: http://perccom.blog.univ-lorraine.fr/sweden-residence-permit/
If you are going to do your master’s thesis in Lappeenranta, you are also supposed to extend your residence permit before coming back to Finland again. The process of extending your residence permit is not very different from your first applying. The only additional documents are attendance certificate and your transcript of records that illustrate the credits you will receive in your semester in LUT.
Tip: Choose Kouvola police station for your appointment during your application. However, you will have an appointment at Lappeenranta instead.
Tip: Address of police station in Lappeenranta: Lappeenrannan poliisiasema Raatimiehenkatu 22. 53100 Lappeenranta
Attention: You should make the appointment the latest by March since the foreign affaire of police station work only on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. You will get your permit between 3 and 4 weeks after your appointment.
- Finnish Immigrant Website: https://enterfinland.fi/eServices
- Poliisi Website for Making Appointment in Finland: https://asiointi.poliisi.fi/ajanvaraus/reservations
Besides the fact you count with your international insurance LUT offers health services provided by FSHS (Finnish Student Health Service) at the University.
They have general health treatments, oral health, mental health and it is mostly free. You can check more information about this services at: http://www.yths.fi/en/contact_details/units/lappeenranta
Arriving to Lappeeranta, Finland
How to get to Lappeeranta
You will arrive in Helsinki, and you have two options to arrive to Lappeenranta:
The trip takes about 4 hours, and you can buy the tickets online. Check these companies:
- Bus timetables (Matkahuolto),
- Bus timetables (Onnibus)
- Bus timetables (Pohjolan Liikenne, departure from Helsinki Bus Station in city centre)
Train tickets can be purchased online. The trip takes 2 hours. You have to arrive at Tikkurila Railway Station by taking bus number 61.
Getting student card
The student card costs EUR 15, you have two options. Register and pay the fee in the website MyFrank. Do it in the university in the Student Union building, you pay the fee there, fill registration, and send a picture to them via email (recommended).
Traveling when in Lappeeranta
Trip to Estonia
It is possible to go to Estonia by cruise crossing the gulf of Finland, the trip takes about 2 hours, but it is possible to rest one night in the boat and enjoy night life in the boat.
Be prepare to have a great weekend where you stay in one of the nicest hostels in Tallin with its own bar and get to know part of the international students that semester, be fast to reserve because they don’t have many space available, be aware all the ESN events are like that.
Trip to Helsinki
There is always ways to organize trip to Helsinki, it is an amazing city less noisy for a capital but still has some tourist attractions, recommended time a weekend is enough
There are trips organized by the Local ESN, some students join for some of them here is the explanation
PIRATES OF THE BALTIC
Don’t waste an unique chance to meet all the Erasmus students in Finland and other countries, this is cruise is very well known for their parties, and unique experience in a party cruise in the baltic, a must do if you like this kind of Fun.
Trip to Lappland
According to other students it totally worth the price they payed for this trip, they swam in the artic ocean, did sledge ride, ski, saw northern lights, and got to know more people from other ESN, there is a lot of trip time expend in a bus the only con they said.
Trip to Repovesi
If you can rent a car don’t miss the change to visit one of the best and most beautiful national parks in Finland
Trip to Porvo
Life in Lappeeranta
For Housing there are several options where most of international people are assigned to live in, do your application in time!.
- Punkerikatu.- is the closest option to the university, close to the supermarkets K-market and -Smarket, close to Plan B (became a kind of student bar)
- Ruskolahdenkatu.- is farther away from the University but closer to the supermarkets, there are several kebabs around were to eat and closes to a big skating ring during the winter.
- Kalionpelankatu.- the cheapest option for renting because you share a room with other exchange students, is at the same distance as Rusko, but less bus options.
- Karankokatu.- Is the farthest away from the university, with bike is 15 minutes but in winter there is almost no chance of biking unless you want to risk your health. Mandatory monthly bus card, is 90 percent filled with erasmus and international people, best option for party people, it has a small but expensive supermarket called valintatalo nearby, also there is a bakery/restaurant, scan burger and a cheap kebab place nearby.
Shops & Grocery Stores
Be prepared kebab is more expensive than france!, and there is almost everywhere, there are some nice restaurants in the city center, if you like nepalese food there are some options as well.
There is a big shopping mall called Isokristina where you can find all kind of stores, at the beginning you may need to buy from second hand shops, there are several of them.
There is also the option of PRISMA(the biggest one) and LIDL (cheapest) stores taking bus number 1 they are close to the airport and the bus leaves you right directly, there is also one of the only 2 alko stores in Lappeenranta.
The university has three gyms. You can play many sports in the university as badminton, ping pong, football, basketball, tennis, etc. To have access to the gyms and courts, you have to pay a fee of 20 euro for the whole semester. In the city center you will also find places where you can swim and play bowling (but in this case, you will have to pay each time you go).
- Student Activities and Clubs
- Study References for this semester
When I came here the first time on 4th of Jan,2016, it was -27 degrees! (Yep you read it right). So, WTF (Welcome To FInland). Don’t forget to have some warm jackets and gloves on you while you land in Helsinki.
How to get to Lappeenranta?
The PERCCOM website has a proper information on this.
Finland has a provision of assigning tutor to every exchange student. He / she will provide you all the information you need about Lappeenranta. A driver is assigned to pick you up from the Lappeenranta Railway Station to your residence. Your tutor will meet you there (generally tutors leave nearby to your residence) and hand you over the keys and the contract for the housing.
There are no wifi or routers provided by the residence. So either you will have to bring an ethernet cable to connect to internet ports or have a router with you.
SIM / Networks
DNA is popular here. You will be given a sim card by the university as a welcome package. Your tutor will hand it out to you. It is not mandatory to use this SIM card.
You can create a monthly transport pass at the student union (the shop to your right, immediately after you enter through the main gate ). The price for monthly pass is 41 Euros (at the time of writing thing). Apart from monthly pass you can also buy a pay per ride scheme. The price is 1.6 and 1.8 Euros per ride depending upon the time of the day you are taking the bus. You can put whatever amount you want in the bus card.
You can find the daily schedule of bus here: http://bussit.lappeenranta.fi/bussit/web?lang=2 The buses are less frequent that the trams in Nancy. Be reminded that in the above website there is a time when you should start walking from your residence and when the bus will actually arrive in the stop. The university is called “Yliopisto” in Finnish. Bus 1,3 and 5 go to the university. It is the last stop for these buses.
There are two markets near Ruskonlahdenkattu : S-market and K-market. You can find all groceries,food items and beer (less than 5% alcohol) here. Another one close to Ruskonlahdenkattu is Minimani. You can find clothes and similar items here. Near the center there is the biggest market in Lappeenranta called Prizma. You can find almost everything here.
The city center is called Keskuskatu (katu is street) in Finnish. There are some markets here as well. You can take bus number 1,3,5 to go to the center. There are some popular party places like Giggling Marlin, Old Cock and many more.
The train station is the last stop for Bus number 5. You can buy tickets from and to Lappeenranta here: https://www.vr.fi/cs/vr/en/frontpage