Here is a list of some of the most important things to do upon arrival in Finland and in Tampere:
Take care of all the matters related to your accommodation (remember to arrange accommodation already before departure for Finland!). Sign the tenancy agreement, get your key and find out how you can get an internet-connection to your accommodation. Electricity and water are usually part of your student accommodation automatically, but sometimes you need to organize e.g. electricity to your accommodation if renting a flat from the private market. It is also a good idea to find out already beforehand the information about who to contact if you leave your key inside your apartment and need someone to open the door for you. Normally this information is available on the notice board of your house.
There is a television fee in Finland meaning that television sets (including computers that are used for watching TV in real time) must be licensed. Every once in a while TV license inspectors visit households to check TV licenses (if the household does not have a TV license). If they find an unlicensed television set, you will have to pay the license fee and a fine. You can get a TV license application form at post offices or you can request a license by phone or via the Internet. For more information: TV-License in Finland
Take care of all the matters related to your studies in Tampere. Read carefully all the instructions given to you by your host university. Visit your host university, register/enroll yourself as a student, take part in the orientation programme, sign up for the courses, get yourself a student card, find out information about the computer services/health services/student restaurants/sports services/student activities/library services of your host university etc.
Notification of Move
Remember that you must submit a Notification of Move in writing (forms are available e.g. at the post offices or at the Local Register Office). By law the notification must be submitted no later than one week after moving to Finland. For more information: Notification of Move (Population Register Center)
Right to reside in Finland
EU citizens and citizens of Liechtenstein and Switzerland must register their right to reside in Finland if their stay exceeds three months. The local police handle the registration. Nordic citizens are registered at the Local Register Office under an Inter-Nordic Migration Form if their stay exceeds six months. Citizens from other countries are required to have a residence permit already before entering Finland. For more information: Finnish Immigration Service
Local Registration of a Degree Student
If you are staying in Finland for more than a year (e.g. you are a degree student), then you must report to the Local Register Office for a civil registration. Exchange students usually stay in Finland for less than a year and do not therefore need to report to the Local Register Office for a civil registration (however registration might be possible, if a student staying in Finland less than a year needs a personal identity number e.g. for the taxation). For more information: e.g. contact the Local Register Office.
If you plan to work in Finland, please find out, if you need a work permit and how to obtain it. For more information: Finnish Immigration Service
(If you need urgent help from the police, dial the emergency number 112!)
Local register office in Tampere (Tampereen maistraatti)
Address: Hatanpään valtatie 24, 33100 Tampere
Tel: 029 553 9431
(open only during weekdays)
Through the Internet you can find a lot of useful information about Tampere and its services: The City of Tampere -> in English; VisitTampere -> in English; SITR website, which you are currently browsing.
Opening a bank account
There are many banks in Tampere: e.g. Nordea, Sampo Pankki and TSOP (Tampereen seudun osuuspankki). There are offices of these banks in and around the city centre. Banks in Finland are usually open Mon–Fri 10.00–16.30. On weekends banks are closed. If you want to open a bank account, you will need with you your passport and your address in Finland. Take also with you some document saying that you are accepted as a student of your host university in Tampere. Please note, that some banks do not open bank accounts for short periods.
Obtaining a bus card
The local buses in Tampere are run by Tampere Public Transport. Single bus tickets are available to buy from the bus driver, but for regular users of the buses a Travel Card is the most convenient and affordable choice. Travel Cards can be purchased from the Service Point Frenckell (address: Frenckellinaukio 2B, ground floor; near the Central Square). Students under 25 years of age can obtain a Travel Card for young persons. Students who are 25 years of age or older can obtain a Travel Card for adults or a Travel Card with student status* (*please check the conditions for obtaining a Travel Card with student status from the Service Point Frenckell). To obtain a bus card you need to take with you your passport and some money.
Obtaining a library card
Library services are free of charge, but to borrow items you will always need a library card. Library cards are issued free of charge for example on the ground floor of the Main Library Metso in Tampere (remember to have some ID and your address in Tampere with you).
Enjoy your stay in Tampere!