Oulu is the fifth most populous city in Finland, situated in the region of Northern Ostrobothnia. The name of the city derives from the Finnish dialectal word oulu that means "floodwater" and is today considered one of Europe's most developed "living labs", due to the fact that most residents use the latest technology (such as NFC tags and ubi-screens) on a daily basis. Oulu is home to many research institutes and it is a great innovation cluster, making this city an ideal spot for international students to enhance their knowledge and develop expert skills in their chosen field of study. Choose a degree abroad in Oulu and you’ll not only prepare to become an expert in your field, but you’ll also enjoy a thriving student life, as you will get to live in a fairy tale city, surrounded by splendid natural scenery.
The economy of Oulu is continually developing and the most thriving sectors are services, construction, transportation, farming, commerce and education.
Some of the top employers of Oulu are Nokia, Stora Enso Group, Kesko Group, Google, HP, Nuance Communications, Accenture, Ericsson, Scandic Hotels.
International students can engage in internships but most work opportunities require Finnish or Swedish language knowledge.
Oulu has a magical atmosphere and any visitor will instantly be charmed by the natural beautiful landscapes. Since a large part of Oulu’s population is comprised of young people, attractions and leisure venues have been transformed and adapted for students and youngsters. Whether you’re the type that likes to visit museums, spend your time in cafes or enjoying nature and sports, Oulu will satisfy your tastes.
Landmarks of Oulu include:
Admire the natural wonders of Oulu and see the archipelago around the Bothnian Bay. Make a visit to Hailuoto island and enjoy walks with the ferry in the summer or cross the frozen sea in the winter. If you’d like to try out fishing, canoeing, kayaking, or trekking, wander around Koiteli region, surrounded by rolling forested hills and rich vegetation.
Hupisaaret Islands, a large park in the estuary of the Oulu river is also a nice place to visit. Have fun with your peers and check out the numerous cafes, bars and restaurants.
Oulu hosts many musical events like the Oulu Music Video Festival, the Air Guitar World Championships, the Musixine Music Film Competition, the annual rock festival Qstock.
If you’re into sports, support the local ice hockey, football, and basketball teams.
Oulu has one of the youngest populations in Europe and although the population is quite compact, you will still find minorities from Estonia, Russia, Sweden, China.
Oulu provides increased support to immigrants in terms of employment and cultural integration and is highly interested in attracting foreign investment. Since Oulu is a great technological hub, several foreign companies have opened a local office here.
Oulu has cold, snowy winters and short, warm summers. The average annual temperature is 3 °C (37 °F) and rainfalls mostly occur in the summer and fall. The daily high temperatures in the winter are between -4 °C (25 °F) and -6 °C (21 °F) and they range around 18 – 20 °C (64 – 68 °F) in the summer.
The main housing options for students in Oulu are:
1. Campus housing – room in a shared apartment costs between 170 and 320 EUR/month.
2. Rent or share an apartment – the average price for rent is between 280 – 330 EUR/month for one person.
Oulu has affordable living costs, as most students spend between 600 and 780 EUR/month to cover all their expenses, usually including the accommodation.
Groceries from the local supermarkets would cost you around 260 EUR/month, while lunch or dinner in a mid-range restaurant would be around 30 EUR. Prices for a students’ pass for the public transportation is around 42 EUR/month.