Student Union Membership
Obligatory membership - degree students
If you are studying for a degree at a Finnish university, becoming a student union member is compulsory. This applies to all Finnish undergraduate students as well as foreign degree students.
Voluntary membership - exchange students and postgraduate students
The Student Union membership is voluntary for exchange students and postgraduate students. Exchange students get the full membership benefits, postgraduate students are not entitled to all the membership benefits.
Membership not possible - visiting students
Unfortunately, the University regulation does not allow visiting students to become members of a student union.
How to Become a Member and Facts About the Student Card
The membership fee
To get the student card, you have to be a member of a student union, in your case the Student Union of the University of Turku (TYY). The TYY membership fee for one year (2012-2013) is €91, for one semester €45,50. The cost of processing the card is €16,60. It may seem to be a steep price for a piece of plastic, but the benefits you get with the student card soon outdo the initial cost. For example, on one single round-trip to Helsinki, by train or bus, you will get almost €25 discount if you have the student card.
The fee for becoming a member of the Student Union of the University of Turku as a postgraduate student is €34 for 2012-2013. The fee has to be paid during the registration period. If you start your post-graduate studies in the middle of the term, you have one month time to join the Student Union, otherwise you have to wait until the next registration period.
How to get the student card?
To get the card, you first have to pay the Student Union membership fee in a bank. This must be done on a specific bank giro form (with the title Turun yliopiston opiskelijain maksut). New exchange students receive their giro forms when registering to the University at the International Office. New international degree students will be provided with the giro forms by the faculties.
After paying you can order the student card online at www.lyyra.fi. Click on the "order card" symbol on the left side of the page, and you will get instructions on how to place the order. You will have to attach a digital photo of yourself to your order. You can pay your processing fee instantly through an online banking system. If you are not a user of Internet banking, the payment can also be made as a normal bank transfer or be paid by cash at the student union's office. Once your payment has been registered, the application will be processed.
The processing will take approximately 2-4 weeks. You will be notified when the card is ready to be picked up from the TYY Service Desk (Student House A, Rehtorinpellonkatu 4 A).
More information about the Lyyra Student Card.
Can I get benefits before my card is ready?
The stamped and paid giro form will act as a temporary student card, and you will get subsidised lunches and the services of the student health care center with it, but not e.g. travel discounts. If you intend to travel by long distance bus or train before your card has been processed, you need to fill a special form at the Student and Admission Services which states that you are a student at a Finnish University. Then you go to the train station or main bus station with the form and a photograph of you. For €6 you there get a special student card for travelling that can be used before your student card (called Lyyra) is ready. With that card you will get the same 50 % discount that you get with your regular student card.
Supporting development cooperation projects
When paying your membership fee, you can also support one or several development projects that TYY cooperates with by paying a few euros extra. This year you can support the sustainable development of Wixarika -indigenous people of Mexico, Waterfinns project in Tanzania for Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Services in the Rural Area and Interpedia project in Nepal for High-Quality Education to the Children of Western Nepal.
The three different prices indicate which project you donated money to - by donating €3,90 you support our project in Mexico, by paying €3,50 you donate for the project in Nepal, and by paying €3 in addition to the student union membership fee, you support the project in Tanzania.
The Benefits of Being a Member
With a valid Finnish student card you can use the services of Finnish Student Health Service FSHS (in Finnish Ylioppilaiden terveydenhoitosäätiö YTHS). FSHS provides students with medical care, dental health care, and mental health care.
Appointments are available with general practitioners, specialists, dentists, nurses, counselling psychologists and psychiatrists. Queues are long for specialists, shorter for general practitioners. Consultations with nurses can usually be arranged on the same day. FSHS only offers basic medical services. If you get into an accident or have to be admitted to hospital the FSHS system will not cover it. For these cases you should have the EU-insurance card with you or another insurance. We recommend all international students to have insurance in case of emergencies.
You can find the Turku FSHS at Kirkkotie 13, between the campus and Student Village. The appointments must be made in advance, either by phone (046 710 1050 for doctors' appointments, 046 710 1047 for dentists') or by visiting the FSHS desk, at ground floor. More information about FSHS.
Shopping and Eating Out
Several restaurants and small shops in Turku give students small discounts. It's always worth asking, especially in establishments near the University campus area.
The Kansallinen kirjakauppa bookstore in Hämeenkatu gives 10% discount with the student card.
When you eat at a restaurant that gives a student discount, you will have to show your student card before ordering the meal.
When travelling in Finland, the student card will give you several benefits that you cannot get with the ISIC card or with any foreign student ID card. Non-Finnish student cards do get you student discounts in some tourist attractions, like museums. But for getting discounts on travel tickets in Finland, the Finnish student card is required.
Students with the Finnish student card get a 50 % discount on both long-distance train and bus tickets. During the off-season taking a boat trip to Sweden can be ridiculously cheap, if you have the student card.
Eating at Student Cafeterias
Student cafeterias are by far the cheapest alternative for eating, if you are not willing to cook very inexpensive grub at home. The price for the government-subsidised student lunch is usually €2,60 (for post-graduate students about €4,27). This sum will cover not only the hot meal but also a side salad, bread and 2 non-alcoholic drinks (water plus milk, juice etc).
You are expected to show your valid student card each time to get the lunch at student price - without the student ID card the price of the lunch is over €6.
In Turku there are many student cafeterias all around the campus area offering subsidised lunches. The food is cheap and usually delicious in all of the cafeterias. Assarin Ullakko (in YO-talo A) and Tottisalmi (in FSHS building) are also open on saturdays.
Benefits for postgraduate students
A postgraduate student who is a member of TYY is eligible for the following membership benefits:
- Student priced lunches at Assarin Ullakko (4,27€)
- Consultation services from the TYY secretariat and the specialists.
- Consultation services of the student lawyer, free of charge
- Student Loan Fund
- Turku Student Newspaper
- TYY Office services: for example renting the Turku-Sali meeting room or TYY Sauna and borrowing Tyyma dining set.
- Membership in TYY sub-organisations, within the limits of organisations' constitutions
Please note, that for reasons beyond the control of TYY, postgraduate students are not eligible for:
- student reductions on the trains or long distance busses
- student priced lunches in every student cafeteria
- student health care at FSHS
Regardless of TYY membership, you are entitled to following benefits:
- Right to apply for a flat from the Student Village Foundation (TYS)
- University Sports (separate fee)