The Friendship Programme


International student! Would you like to meet more Finnish people and get in touch with the Finnish way of life during your stay in Turku? 

Citizen of the Turku area! Would you like to meet international people, improve your language skills and learn from other cultures without leaving Finland? If your answer is yes, participate in the Friendship Programme! 

The Friendship Programme takes place twice a year, in the spring and autumn semesters. Enrollment for the spring period is open on 13.1. – 5.2.2023.

Enroll here! -


The Friendship Programme

The Friendship Programme connects international students with locals in the Turku area and offers a chance for mutual cultural exchange and new experiences.

For international students arriving in Turku, the academic world naturally becomes a part of their everyday life. However, there might be a lack of contact with locals and daily local life. Through the Friendship Programme, students get to know the daily life in Finland and, more specifically, Turku. The programme offers simultaneously an opportunity for Turku and nearby citizens to get to know a new culture and become internationalised without leaving their hometown.

So, join the Friendship Programme and meet Turku area locals! The programme aims to connect international students and locals.

Shared activities with a local friend could mean cooking together, going for a walk or to the gym, or e.g. taking a trip to a museum to enjoy some art. You can introduce your local friend to your international friends or your home here, or you can e.g. discover the city or the natural sites of the Turku region. The activities do not always have to be extraordinary or thrilling – you can enjoy experiencing Finnish everyday life!

Who can participate?

Every international student (exchange, degree, doctoral) in the higher education institutions in Turku is warmly welcome to apply for the programme. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that everyone can be matched with a friend but we will do our best.

Locals can be almost anyone: families, students, pensioners... anyone living in the Turku area and interested in making international friends.

Participants should have at least basic English language skills. Because of the nature of the programme, the participants should be physically in the Turku region during at least most of the programme period.

Start of the Friendship Programme

The programme period begins with an opening event in which friends are paired with each other. After this, the friends can agree on when they want to see each other and what they want to do together. During each programme period, the aim is to organise another joint meeting where the friend pairs can meet other pairs and exchange their experiences about the programme.

The Friendship Programme is reciprocal and voluntary. The international friend can also invite the local friend to do something together. The friends can meet as often as they like during the programme period. However, we hope that the participants will commit to meeting monthly. One Friendship Programme period lasts for one semester, that is, about 4–6 months.

Here are some suggestions for what to do together in Turku:

Who organises the Friendship Programme?

The Friendship Programme is organised by the city of Turku and the higher education institutions in Turku under the Study in Turku -network.


Programme coordinators Karolina Aaltonen & Anna Ryzhova  
tel. +358 294503142