The student nations are student organisations for students of the University of Helsinki. Previously, membership of the student nations was determined by the geographical area of Finland that a student was from. Today, all students, including international and exchange degree students, are free to choose whichever student nation they wish. The University of Helsinki has 15 student nations, 11 Finnish and 4 Swedish speaking ones. The student nations consist of students from various backgrounds and ages across all faculties and campuses of the University. In addition there operates a Swedish-speaking nation at the Aalto University, Teknologföreningen.
The student nations, some of the oldest student organisations in Finland, have their own premises, where members gather to pursue leisure activities, organise parties, activities and especially to simply spend time together. It is in the student nation’s nature also to serve as a living room: members can spend their leisure time in which ever way they wish, such as reading, studying, using the Internet, watch television or just hang out.
In addition, the student nations organise their own traditional parties, balls and trips throughout the academic year. These often express the typical culture of their homeland. The student nations’ year culminates with the Independence Day Parade to the Presidential Palace held on 6th December.
The student nations have official friendships with student associations in other countries, especially in Sweden and Estonia. The student nations promote their members’ internationalization by encouraging them to familiarize themselves with the students of their friend organizations. Members of student nations also visit regular events organized by their foreign friends and are responsible for hosting events when representatives visit their own nation’s events.
The Co-delegation of Student Nations (CDSN) is an umbrella organisation of the 16 student nations. The CDSN organises activities and events for all student nations’ members.