How to get settled in Oulu

Have you arrived in Oulu? What's next? This blog will guide you through almost everything you might have to do once you are here, along with an approximate timeline.
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Have you arrived in Oulu? What's next?

Purchase the travel card

First things first, you need to travel within the city. The cheapest way is to buy a travel card which allows you to use it for busses in the town. The monthly card will cost 42 euros for students with unlimited travel. You can see updated information on their webpage.

If you are not a daily traveller or live near the university, you can simply top up your travel card without buying the monthly package. To buy the travel card, you can visit Oulu 10 service point.

Oulu 10 Service Point.

Find furniture for the apartment

If this is your first time in Oulu, the apartment you get will probably be unfurnished, in which case you have to buy at least a bed, a table, and a chair. The cheapest method is to look for used items that you can easily find in Oulu. Following are three main online options which you can look for furniture and other home appliances.

  1. Facebook Marketplace
  2. Oulu Sale Point (a Facebook group)

I recommend you select and reserve all items you need and then arrange a single trip delivery for all items. It will save the cost of delivery.

Apply for the Kela card

You have already paid for Kela Student Healthcare. Once you are in Oulu, you can request the Kela card at Kela Office in Oulu city centre. It is a card issued by the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme of Finland.

Kela office, Oulu.

Register in the municipality

You already have your residence permit, but it is certainly not enough. You must register with the municipality of residence. You can visit their website and book an appointment to fill out the documentation. This process will take around two months (at least in my case). Once you are registered, you will get a confirmation email.

Get the Finnish ID Card

After registering in the municipality, you must visit the Oulu police station to apply for the Finnish ID card. For that, you must have your passport, residence permit card and university registration certificate. This process will take around two weeks.

Create a Finnish bank account

If you are a master’s student, you must stay here for at least two years. If you plan to work either part-time or full-time, you must have a Finnish bank account. There are many banks here in Oulu, and you can simply call them and ask for an appointment to set up your bank account.

Those are the first things to be done once you are in Oulu. In my case, I had to find all those information from different people, and the process was quite slow. But I believe this blog summarizes everything to find information and settle easily.

Welcome to Oulu! :)

About the author

Ranjula Hettiarachchi from Sri Lanka is pursuing his master’s in Wireless Communication Engineering at the University of Oulu. He loves travelling and photography. Apart from that, he is playing basketball in Oulu.