LUT helps and guides students in many ways during their studies. Students can ask for help from student advisors, study counsellors, teacher and student tutors, campus chaplains and study counselling psychologists. In addition, the Finnish Student Health Service FSHS offers healthcare to students. Help is available in both bigger and smaller issues in life. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from one of the many resources available.
The university’s own staff collaborate closely with each other and with partners beyond the campus. For example, the study counselling psychologists who work for both LUT and the LAB University of Applied Sciences hold appointments in both campus cities and stay in close touch with the student unions and student services staff.
“One example of our collaboration is our student well-being team that includes students, study counsellors, campus chaplains and representatives from our schools, student services and FSHS. In addition, we conduct a student well-being survey every spring to keep up with how our students are doing,” says Study Counselling Psychologist Aino Elomäki.
Students can book appointments with a study counselling psychologist to talk about issues related to studies, such as how to overcome stage fright or the fear of the blank page when writing. The psychologist can also help you if you are feeling lonely or having trouble coping, managing stress or getting a grip on your studies.
“In my opinion, students today understand better and better that if they’re having a tough time, they do not have to go through it alone. Students know how to seek support – there’s nothing to it. They often need help related to study techniques, time management or coping. Many have even reached out with smaller issues, and that is exactly why we are here,” Elomäki points out.
Study counselling psychologists refer students to other service providers as needed.
“We have referred some students to the university’s Career Services and some to FSHS – especially if they are experiencing mental health challenges. We have referred students in personal crises to the Lahti and Lappeenranta crisis support services and to campus chaplains. Moreover, Ohjaamo guidance centers are a good place for students who feel they are in the wrong place or wrong field. Ohjaamo centers provide help in many forms.”
Roughly half of the working hours of the study counselling psychologists are reserved for appointments with individual students. The rest are set aside for work that reaches a larger number of people at once.
“We also consult for and train staff members. We even create educational material for students to help them develop their own approaches to learning. The material includes videos, guidelines or audio files – just about anything that could help students.”
Challenges as an international student
Many international students go through some period of homesickness because they miss their family, their culture, and maybe even speaking their mother tongue. This is a normal feeling. Sometimes the feeling may be temporary for only a few days when you might miss a special occasion of a family member or holiday, or it could be a longer-term feeling. One great way to “connect” yourself to your culture is by telling your new friends about the culture, customs, and things that you miss the most about your home country. Other international students can probably relate, and you might even inspire someone to visit your home country one day 🙂
Another challenge for international students is adapting to a new culture. Many international students move to Finland at the start of their studies. For international students, they have to adapt to not only a new university, courses, and professors, but also to a new city, culture, and language all at once. It can be tough to balance your studies with learning a new culture and language, trying to make new friends, and also taking care of yourself. That is why student support services mentioned in this article are also available in English to ensure that international students also feel welcomed and supported throughout their studies at LUT. If you have small questions like where to find a particular item in a Finnish store or questions about where the nearest pharmacy is, your peer tutor is a great resource. However, if you have other questions, concerns, or worries, there are multiple resources available for LUT students, as outlined in this article. If you don’t know who to turn to, you can always reach out to the study counselling psychologist.
Other support services for students
The university supports and guides students on their academic path starting from application. At the beginning of studies, both older students and staff from Student Services are there to help. During their studies, students have access to help in study planning, planning a student exchange, and finding a job.
After graduation, alumni activities are a way for students to give back and help younger students enter the professional world.
The following list describes services that help students along their journey from admissions to graduation:
Admission Services guides and advises applicants, carries out practical work related to admissions, and communicates admission decisions.
Student tutors are older students who introduce new students to the university, studies, and the student community and help them with practical arrangements at the start of studies. All first-year students are assigned a student tutor from their own degree program (or a similar program) to guide, help, support, and encourage them.
Teacher tutors are liaisons between the degree program’s teaching staff and students. They assist students in career planning and choosing degree studies and subjects.
Student advisors are LUT students who work part-time while they study. Each degree program has its own student advisors. They give advice related to studies and take part in information briefings for students. They also help students in preparing and updating their personal study plans.
Study counsellors assist in matters related to studies and personal study plans and provide study counselling to students leaving for exchange abroad. They can provide information on the substitution, inclusion and recognition of courses and extensions to degree studies.
Student exchange coordinators organize exchange programs and guide outgoing and incoming exchange students.
Career Services help students search for jobs and define their career path. It provides guidance and training in applying for jobs and career planning, helps employers find qualified students for jobs, and organizes networking and recruitment events.
Student union protect students’ interests.
The student union LTKY protects students’ interests and welfare. It also plays an important role in promoting equality. LUT has an equality plan that it updates every three years. The plan includes an overview of equality at the university, its current state, challenges and development proposals. The plan covers both student and staff equality and non-discrimination.
Student equality means equality in terms of gender, language, nationality, age, situation in life, and accessibility. Accessibility at LUT means the physical study environment and e-services are accessible and different learners are taken into consideration.
The student union also has a harassment liaison who offers support and advice to students who experience harassment.
FSHS provides health care
All undergraduate students at a university or university of applied sciences have access to health care by FSHS if they pay the student union fee or health care fee.
Appointments with general practitioners, nurses, dental hygienists and mental health care professionals are free of charge to students, as are short dentist appointments (max. 10 minutes). The student’s first dental check-up (extensive examination done once during studies) is also free of charge.
In addition to health care appointments, FSHS does wide-ranging work to promote student health. FSHS sends first-year students an online health survey to find out about their health and to give them personal feedback. Students may also be invited for a check-up based on the survey.