Location: Oulu, Finland, Europe

Program Type: UMSL Exchange Program open to undergraduate and graduate students

Language of Instruction: English

UMSL Term Abroad: Academic Year, Fall, Spring

Approximate Dates Abroad:
Fall: September - Mid December
Spring: Early January - late May

Application Deadline: We encourage applicants to this program to apply by the priority deadline - your chances of admission are increased by doing so.

  • Fall/Academic Year: February 16 (priority), March 16 (final)
  • Spring: September 23 (final)

UMSL Study Abroad Eligibility Requirements. This program is open to sophomores, juniors, seniors, and graduate level students. No knowledge of Finnish is required.

Read about UMSL Student Experiences:

Matthew's Semester in Oulu

Subjects Available: 

  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Astronomy
  • Biochemistry and Biotechnology (also available at graduate level)
  • Biology (also available at graduate level)
  • Business - Accounting (also available at graduate level)
  • Business - Business Administration (also available at graduate level)
  • Business - Finance (also available at graduate level)
  • Business - International Business (also available at graduate level)
  • Business - Management
  • Business - Marketing
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • Education - Adult & Higher Education (also available at graduate level)
  • Education - Early Childhood Education
  • Education - Elementary Education (also available at graduate level)
  • Education - General Educational Studies
  • Education - Physical Education
  • Education - Secondary Education
  • English
  • English - Literature (graduate level only)
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Languages - French
  • Languages - German
  • Mathematics
  • Physics (graduate level only)
  • Scandinavian Studies


The University: Oulu is a great destination for students of anthropology, sociology, biology, IT, and education, and it's much warmer than most think! Take your classes in English while enjoying the friendly Finnish hospitality and a nice warm sauna in your free time. Founded in 1958, the University of Oulu is a young, rapidly developing institution. Today with its 15,830 students the University of Oulu is one of the largest universities in the country. 

Academics: At the University of Oulu, all departments offer courses taught in English. Therefore, students from almost every major can find coursework in English that will apply towards their degree program at UMSL. In addition, there is a fall semester Scandinavian Studies program designed specifically for exchange students.

Housing: Primary housing provider for incoming exchange students is theStudent Housing Foundation of Northern Finland PSOAS. PSOAS has student residence halls around the city of Oulu but most exchange students coming to the University of Oulu are housed in furnished apartments either on Linnanmaa campus or in Alppila, about 3km from Linnanmaa Campus. The bus connections to the centre are excellent. Near the residence halls there is a small shopping centre with two grocery stores, a post office, pharmacy and pizzerias. The flats have either two or four rooms with a shared kitchen and bathroom. There are two saunas, with separate bathing times for men and women, two laundry rooms as well as a TV room. All of the rooms are furnished but basic kitchen utensils, pillow and blanket are not provided. 

Activities and Programs: All exchange students arriving in Oulu have a kummi student, a student tutor. Your kummi will help you during the first few weeks in Oulu. Your kummi is there to help with arrival matters, such as registration to University, and getting to know the University and the City of Oulu. There is a wide variety of extra-curricular activities for exchange students. And as the number of exchange students is close to 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?

The Erasmus Student Network, ESN, is an European organization for international students, and in Oulu, it is a section of the Student Union. The main task of ESN is to provide international students with all kinds of free-time activities here in the University of Oulu. Some events, like a trip to the famous snow castle in the city of Kemi or to Russia, are arranged traditionally every year, others are one-time events based on the ideas of the international students each year. These happenings might include visits to museums, exhibitions, parties, trips to local attractions, etc. ESN Oulu also informs international students of other happenings in Oulu.

Every major subject has its own organization for students called a student guild. These guilds arrange events, such as sauna evenings, parties, trips and sports hours, and they often have their own guild rooms in the university where you can have coffee, use computers and meet people. Each student guild also has its own overalls, each with their own color. Overalls are used in student parties and create a feeling of togetherness.


Location:  English is generally understood in all parts of Finland. There are plenty of events and activities to do in Oulu. Finland is a country of open spaces, tens of thousands of lakes, numerous rivers, peatlands and extensive forests. Although one-third of the country lies North of the Arctic Circle, the climate is surprisingly moderate, thanks to the warmth-bringing Gulf Stream. Oulu is the sixth largest city in Finland with a population of 126,000. It is the cultural, commercial and administrative center for the whole of central and northern Finland. Oulu has a strong maritime atmosphere with its picturesque waterfront and market place.

The Oulu region offers a wide choice of leisure time activities. Downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, safaris and ice fishing are some of the activities people enjoy during the winter and early spring. There are also some great ski and hiking resorts only a few hours drive away from the city. In the summer, many people enjoy water sports and fishing on the sea and on the regions lakes and rivers. The cultural offerings are likewise ample and varied, including numerous international fine arts festivals throughout the year. For more information on the city of Oulu, named of the "Smartest Communities" in the world, and home to the World Air Guitar Championship, check out this links and videos:  Exchange Students and The City of Oulu.

International Office Website: http://www.oulu.fi/english/studentexchange/studying

Course Offerings: https://weboodi.oulu.fi/oodi/frame.jsp?Kieli=6&valittuKieli=6

Scandinavian Studies: https://weboodi.oulu.fi/oodi/vl_kehys.jsp?MD5avain=&Kieli=6&Opas=1062&Org=1&vl_tila=1&AukAikMaar=1

Student Guide: http://www.oulu.fi/english/studying/new-students/guide


Cost Estimates for 2014-15*          

Use the Budget Worksheet to compare the below cost to your personal budget or living on campus at UMSL.

Tuition* $3789.60
Mandatory HTH insurance  


Books and course materials $75.00
Accommodations $2000.00
Meals & Personal Expenses $1400.00
Airfare $1500.00
Local Transportation (included in other) $-
Other $900.00


Course Equivalencies: Each student is responsible for researching what courses are available to take and for obtaining an UMSL equivalent course. The UMSL equivalent course number is the course for which you will receive credit on your UMSL transcript. Finding courses to take while you are abroad requires some time and research. More information is on the course equivalency page.

Upon Acceptance: Students will be required to submit supplemental materials, purchase HTH insurance, and participate in a mandatory orientation. More information will be distributed to all accepted students.

* UMSL tuition fees are based on 12 undergraduate credit hours at the 2013/14 rate - 2014/15 tuition rate TBA April 2014. Non-resident fees may apply. 
* Costs are based off a four month semester.
* Airline estimate based off of online search.
* Please note that expenses are ESTIMATES. Costs vary depending on the exchange rate, the inflation rate, individual spending habits, and amount of extra travel. The cost estimate above does not include visa expenses, personal expenses, independent travel, which vary widely from student to student.
*Program information is subject to change.
* At student residence halls: ~EUR 200-270 per month, deposit EUR 350 (EUR 250 refunded). Refunded amount included above.
* Students must prove they have EUR 560 per month at their disposal to receive residence permit (includes room and board expenses)
* Other includes student union fee and required proof of funding for residency card