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HAMK is looking for local Finns, families, and company representatives for foreign students

For a foreign student, a local Finnish friend or family offers an important window into Finnish culture and daily life. A company representative can be the foreign student´s gateway into the Finnish labour market.

After two challenging years of the pandemic, HAMK University of Applied Sciences´ Friend Family programme has finally returned. It has been enriched with new meanings and now operates as the International Friendship Programme. The main goal of this programme is to connect our foreign students with not only local Finnish families, but also with other Finnish locals who are interested in making friends with our foreign students.

We aim to form a local Finnish community where our students can dive more deeply into the Finnish culture, lifestyle and even job market. At the same time, we will provide the Finnish locals diverse opportunities to get to know our foreign students, their cultures, their languages, and their experiences. The friendship activities are voluntary and open to everyone over the age of 18. You can sign up either as an individual, as a Finnish student, as a family or as a company representative.

The International Friendship Programme is organised in Hämeenlinna, Riihimäki, Forssa, Mustiala, and Valkeakoski. The programme is now open for enrolment. You can enrol on the programme here before 23 October 2022. More information can be found here (in Finnish).

Intercultural encounters

It can be challenging for foreign students to get to know locals outside their studies and during their stay in Finland they may not get a chance to experience Finnish everyday life other than student life.

Friendship activities can include participating in a Finn´s or a Finnish family´s normal daily activities, joint leisure activities, cooking, trips to a summer cottage, or even watching movies together. Some things that Finns see as basic everyday life activities, such as sauna, outdoor excursions, Finnish food, ice hockey and skiing, are often exotic experiences for foreign students. Finnish language studies are part of the foreign students’ degree, and many students would like to find a Finnish friend to practise the language safely. Through the friendship activities, the local Finn or family has the opportunity to practise their language skills (English or another foreign language), and to get to know the student’s culture.

The purpose of this programme is to be as flexible and adaptable as possible, depending on what you and your new friend want to do in your free time or when you want to meet. You don’t have to commit to any themes or topics, but you agree together on how to build your friendship in different ways. With the registration form, we map out the wishes of the different parties so that we can better connect you with a friend.

If you want to sign up for the programme as a company representative or an entrepreneur, we hope that you will also bring work-related perspectives into your discussions, but only to the extent that they are meaningful and necessary for both of you. If you are interested in working more closely as a mentor for a foreign student at HAMK, please contact Tiina Björkskog (; tel. 040 7690 900). We would be happy to establish closer cooperation with you.

Campus contact persons




Forssa & Mustiala