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 Frienship 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 aim of the programme is 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 something extraordinary or thrilling – you can well enjoy experiencing the 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. 

Next period starts at the beginning of 2022


The Friendship Programme periods are arranged twice a year, in autumn and in spring. The next period will start at the beginning of the year 2022. The application form will be publish on this website.

In the application form, we ask some basic information about the participants’ likings (e.g. cultural interests or interest in a certain type of activity), background and lifestyle to be able to match like-minded people. 

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 much as they want and however they like during the programme period. However, we hope that the participants will commit to at least monthly meetings. One period lasts for one semester, that is, about 4–6 months.

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

City of Events and Culture
Sports and recreation

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 Amanda Viitanen & Sanna Suoranta  
 tel. +358 294503142