Oulu is a city that stretches itself out across multiple islands, creating scenic water fronts and some of the best views Finland has to offer. With dark winters and bright summers, you may get the chance to see the midnight sun, or the northern lights. Regardless of the position of the sun, there are numerous events that give you access to local culture. In the outer region, it is not uncommon to come across reindeer and huskies pulling sleighs.
The University of Oulu offers course work in both English and Finnish. The University is widely known for its developments in technology, as well as producing successful students. Home to many different academic fields and student organizations, the campus atmosphere will innovate and excite. Whether you are living with locals in the on-campus housing, or in a city apartment, you will grow close to your lively peers and classmates.
Oulu University offers specialized programs taught in English that deal with northern cultures, societies, and the environment. Students with advanced Finnish language skills can enroll in regular university classes. The university also offers Finnish language courses for exchange students. These classes vary from the beginner to advanced levels. Other areas of study include business, education, geography, Scandinavian Studies, and Women’s Studies. Prior knowledge of the language is recommended, but not required.
Course Descriptions and Syllabi
Review Oulu University’s website for more information regarding course offerings.
General Education Information for UAlbany Students
Credits earned on this program will automatically satisfy the International Perspectives requirement. Three credits of foreign language study will satisfy the Foreign Language requirement. No additional approval is required for you to earn these general elective credits.
Major/Minor Information for UAlbany Students
Courses may also satisfy major and minor requirements, upon approval by the department.
All courses taken abroad count towards UAlbany General Elective credits. Credits and grades will appear on your UAlbany transcript. You may file a request to have additional courses approved for equivalency as necessary.
Your courses are taught by local faculty.
The student residence halls are located on the Linnanmaa campus. Students can also be housed in other locations. Most of the apartments include two or four rooms with a shared kitchen and bathroom. Additional amenities include two saunas, as well as two laundry rooms shared by all residents. Learn more about Housing at Oulu online!
There are many places to eat on and near campus. No meal plan is provided with this program.
Estimate of Costs
Click for more information on Program Costs and Financial Aid.
Remember to speak with the Office of Financial Aid at your home campus to determine how your aid package could apply towards your program abroad.
Students should be prepared to work with considerable independence. Coursework in Finland may be modular, so that students work on one subject area intensively for a time, and then move on to another.
Since coursework is available in English, there is no language requirement.
Juniors, seniors, and exceptional sophomores are eligible to participate. Applications are welcome from students in all majors. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 is preferred.
There is a wide variety of extra-curricular activities for exchange students. And as the number of exchange students is about 500 each year, you will for certain find new friends from all over the world as well as from your Finnish student colleagues. And you will certainly get a chance to experience something you never thought you would try at home. Or how does ice hole fishing or deepsnow football sound?
University of Oulu provides sport and wellness services to students and staff. You can choose activities from ballet to skydiving and from cross-country skiing to rugby.
Oulu sponsors a “Kummi Family Program” which links students with a family with whom to experience off-campus life. Students do not live with them, but share in many activities. Students also have a Kummi student partner to assist them.
Student Clubs and Organizations
ESN Oulu is perhaps the most important event organiser for you. As part of the student union, ESN welcomes all students, Finns and international, to participate not only in the events but in their planning as well. ESN’s traditional Tuesday meetings in Caio, a cafe close to student residence halls are an easy way to get involved and find new friends. Annual ESN activities include for example Valentine’s Day Party, a visit to world’s largest snow castle, pulla baking day, skiing trips, bird watching – practically anything you can think of. Check out for example their facebook site for more information!
Most financial aid and academic awards will apply to semester programs.
External scholarships, listed on our website, are a good way to partially fund your study abroad experience. In addition, the Center for International Education and Global Strategy offers two scholarship programs for UAlbany students studying abroad on UAlbany or 4-year SUNY programs.
More information on applying to these scholarships is located on the Scholarships web page.
In Their Own Words
“My studies in Oulu is not just about theories and lectures but building everlasting relationships that will definitely help in building my future career.” Modou, International Business Management
“Winters are white with lots of snow whereas summers are very bright, full of life and greenery. Local people are friendly, and the university offers an international environment.” Albanor, Architecture
“I was fascinated by its multidisciplinarity and found the study programme which got me interested. Besides, Oulu seemed like a great city to live in. Now, after 2 years of being here, my feeling of belonging is as strong as ever.” Sergei, Learning, Education and Technology
“I chose Oulu as an exchange student because I wanted to study in a place that was very different from my home. I returned here for my master studies because of the friends I made, the wonderful nature and the degree programme that suited my interests.” Márta, Learning, Education and Technology My UniOulu
“I like the friendly and welcoming atmosphere in Oulu. The studies are really flexible and goal oriented.” Hasan, Software, Systems and Services Development in Global Environment
About the City
The City of Oulu is the capital of northern Finland. The Oulu Region has about 250,000 inhabitants and it is the fastest growing region in Finland.
The City of Oulu itself has over 200,000 inhabitants. There are good opportunities for studying, working and research and development, especially in the hi-tech sector. The Oulu Region also has a lively cultural climate.
Transport connections are direct and fast, regardless of the means of transport or direction. All main roads meet in Oulu. Oulu has an international airport and there are about 15 flights to and from Helsinki each day. In addition, you can fly direct from Oulu to Riga, Tampere, Rovaniemi and Kemi-Tornio. Oulu railway station is one of the busiest in Finland.
Nowadays the Oulu Region is well known for its technology, the hi-tech growth having started after the establishment of Oulu University in 1958. There are two science parks in the region: Technopolis Plc, Scandinavia’s first science park, and Medipolis Ltd., as well as a technology centre, Ii Micropolis Ltd. The region is home to many hi-tech companies, such as Nokia, and the sector currently employs over 10,000 people.
There are several research institutes, including VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the University Hospital. There is also the multidisciplinary Oulu University of Applied Sciences.
A valid passport is required to participate in this program.You will need a residence permit to study at Oulu for a semester or more. More information regarding the visa application process is available upon acceptance to the program.
Applications become available online one semester before the program start date, based on the following timeline:
- Spring programs: July
- Fall/Year programs: December
Academic Year 2020/21
8/31/2020 to 5/31/2021
8/31/2020 to 12/18/2020
1/5/2021 to 5/31/2021
The full academic calendar can be found online. Note that your exams could be after the official end of the semester. Wait to book your return flights until you have confirmation of the exam period for your courses in Spring semester.
About the Program
The University of Oulu is an international science university which creates innovation for the future, well-being, and knowledge through multidisciplinary research and education.
The University of Oulu researches people and culture in a changing living environment, as well as opportunities that new technology provides for improving the well-being of people and the environment. The University of Oulu is a multidisciplinary expert in Northerness.
Founded in 1958, our research and education community is 16 000 students and 3000 employees strong, and one of the biggest and the most multidisciplinary universities in Finland. The ten faculties, the many departments and the specialized research units of the University of Oulu create the foundation for multiscientific research, innovation and training of experts for demanding professional tasks.
Learn more by checking out this online brochure!
Top 5 Reasons Why Finland is an Exciting Destination for Students?!
Upon acceptance to the program, you will be required to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation. During this time, you will have the opportunity to meet other program participants, discuss in-depth the details of your program, and prepare of the overall education abroad experience. The fall semester pre-departure orientation will be conducted the Saturday before the end of Spring UAlbany classes and in late November/early December for the spring term abroad.
Upon arrival at University of Oulu, you will attend a mandatory program orientation. This is an important and informative set of sessions organized by International Office of your host university.
UAlbany’s Office of Education Abroad staff assists you during the application process, in your preparation to travel abroad, and on-site if necessary.
University of Oulu’s International Office staff serve as an experienced resource for resolving issues that you may encounter in while abroad.