Basic principles of the Friendship family programme

The purpose of the friendship family programme is to give international students a chance to have first-hand experience of the Finnish culture and way of life in a Finnish family, in addition to life on campus. Through meeting international students, the families also get an opportunity to learn about the students’ home countries and cultures.

The International Office unites the families and students by giving both each other’s contact information. The families and students can then contact one another independently. It is up to the student and the family to decide how often they meet and how they will spend their time together. In the beginning of each semester, the International Office organises a get-together for new international students and their friendship families.

The family can help the student to adapt to new circumstances and thus make the study period abroad easier and more enjoyable. Getting to know the Finnish way of life is best done by taking part in normal family life and in the hobbies of the family. The families are not expected to provide the student with a special and costly programme, such as organising trips for the student.

The International Office gives the students help with the practical arrangements of the study period abroad. The family can also give advice and help the student in the best way they can, but they are not responsible for the student’s everyday life.

The families do not have any financial responsibilities for the student. The students pay themselves for their housing, studies, hobbies, etc.

The student has no obligations to work for the family, for example as a babysitter, without a mutual agreement.

The student’s welfare and safety must always be taken into consideration by the friendship family; the family must not cause the students any harm. Similarly, the students should show consideration to their friendship families.

The families taking part in the programme are required to give someone as their reference.

Both students and their families have the right to leave the programme at any time by giving a notice to the International Office in writing. If a student wishes to leave the programme, due to reasons unrelated to the family (such as lack of time), the International Office tries to find a new student for the family.

If any problems occur, the families and the students are requested to contact the International Office immediately. 

The International Office reserves the right to accept or refuse an application to act as a friendship family.

For more information, please contact the International Office, e-mail: