Frequently asked questions – how does the coronavirus affect the daily life of students?
Where does the University inform students about exceptional situations?
Students are informed about study-related issues at Into. Aalto.fi provides information on matters concerning all Aalto members. Students are usually informed about course-related issues on MyCourses. Please also keep an eye on your email.
I would like to have better information on what will happen in the future.
Currently, situations are changing constantly. This makes clear and proactive communication difficult, and unfortunately no one yet knows the answers to all the questions. Uncertainty causes stress and affects the well-being of students. If you do not find the answer to your question, please feel free to send a message to your course teacher or your degree programme staff. If necessary, you can contact AYY’s advocacy specialists who will try to find out an answer for you.
I must have the chance to read theses.
If you want to study the theses, you can find their information on the Aaltodoc thesis database. Some theses are immediately available at Aaltodoc as PDF files. If a PDF thesis is not available, you can send a request for it to [email protected] If it is in digital format, we will send it to you by email attachment. If it exists only as a printed archive copy, it is unfortunately not possible to read it during these exceptional circumstances. For more information, email [email protected].
I don’t know how the course assignments or exams are organised.
Please contact your course teacher first. If the matter is not resolved, you can get in touch with the head of your degree programme or the study advisor of your association. At Aalto, it is also possible to organise an electronic exam in MyCourses, which can be done at home. Information on exam arrangements is available on this Into site.
The workload of the course has increased with the transition to remote learning.
The workload of the course should not increase, as the workload should be scaled according to the credits. However, if this is the case, you should first contact the teacher in charge of the course. If the matter is not resolved, you can get in touch with the head of your degree programme or the study advisor of your association.
Can the course grading scales be changed?
Yes. Generally, the course grading scales remain unchanged. For this spring’s courses, changing the scale from 1 to 5 to Pass/Fail is possible by decision of the school. This exceptional arrangement due to the coronavirus pandemic is in force only until 31 July 2020. For students who retake an examination in the 2020 autumn term, the grading scale specified in the current curriculum (i.e. from 1 to 5) will apply. The scale of 1 to 5 is preferable to a Pass/Fail scale, and the student cannot choose the grading scale used. Read more on Into.
Is it possible to be flexible with course schedules due to my situation in life?
Ask the course teacher of this opportunity well in advance. Aalto encourages all to flexibility.
I need the university facilities for my studies. How can I access the facilities?
Currently, the facilities on the campus are closed. It is the responsibility of the teacher in charge to tell you how to complete your course.
How will re-exams be organised?
We do not necessarily have information on all matters yet, and study-related special arrangements are specified constantly. At Aalto, it is also possible to organise an electronic exam in MyCourses, which can be done at home. Please follow MyCourses and Into which include information on exam arrangements.
How will the situation affect the graduation schedules?
The goal is that no one’s graduation will be delayed. Students will be informed about any changes by email or at Into. If necessary, please contact the student services.
Does the situation affect Master’s theses or dissertations?
Follow the information provided by the University, and if necessary, contact the advisor or inspector of your thesis.
How does the situation affect the application for additional time?
Additional time for studies must be applied for well in advance in the manner prescribed by the University. Information can be found at Into. In unclear situations, please contact the student services.
I need the Adobe software.
It is possible to use the software on your own computer. More information here.
I need other software.
Check if you can use other software through a virtual desktop. More information can be found on this site when you log in to aalto.fi. If the matter is not resolved, please contact [email protected], +358 50 513 2000. If the software is not available, but it is necessary for your studies, please contact AYY’s advocacy specialists, for example, and we will clarify the situation with the University.
I do not have a computer at home.
I live in Otaniemi and my internet connection is too slow for remote studies.
There is a sufficient internet connection in all AYY apartments. Please check your router, which may cause problems with the connection.
Where can I print files?
It is now possible to print files on university premises.
I am worried about what will happen to my summer job I have already agreed on.
In employment-related matters, trade unions are the best parties to advise. You can already join a trade union as a student.
I do not have a summer job and I don’t know what I will do in the summer.
Not all summer jobs will be cancelled, so it is advisable to try to find one. However, you should have a plan b, which can include studying in the summer at Aalto or in other universities. Currently, you must apply separately for student financial aid for summer studies. If you are unable to receive student financial aid, you may be entitled to social assistance (read about the social assistance below). More information on Aalto’s summer studies can be found through normal channels and their situation can still change.
Links to free summer studies for all degree students at other universities:
Can I borrow books from the library?
Aalto University students and staff can reserve printed material to pick up from the Learning Centre. More information on the Learning Centre website.
Subsistence and well-being
I am concerned about my financial situation; will the situation affect my student financial aid and housing allowance?
If you are entitled to Kela’s student financial aid, your financial aid payments will continue as normal. You or your school do not have to notify Kela if your studies are interrupted because of the exceptional coronavirus situation. The payment of student financial aid will continue as normal, even if studies do not make sufficient progress due to exceptional circumstances. Read more about student financial aid on Kela site.
If you are entitled to the general housing allowance, your housing allowance payments will continue as normal. If your income or your spouse’s income decrease, you can check if you can receive more housing allowance or if you can apply for the allowance in case you have not been previously entitled to the housing allowance.
Can I qualify for a student loan compensation if my graduation is postponed because of the coronavirus?
The total period of study, which qualifies for a student loan compensation, may be extended according to Kela’s decision. You can read more about the extension of the period of study on Kela site.
I am not entitled to student financial aid or my student financial aid has been discontinued, what can I do?
If you have reached the maximum eligibility limit for student financial aid or your student financial aid has been discontinued, you can apply for social assistance from Kela. Read the Kela site to see if you are entitled to social assistance.
Is Kela flexible with student financial aid in these exceptional circumstances?
Kela will make some adjustments.
Can I receive unemployment benefit? Can I study with unemployment benefit?
The primary form of support for students is student financial aid, and a person who receives student financial aid cannot receive unemployment benefit. However, not all students receive student financial aid. Unemployment benefit is affected by many factors, so please check to see if you are eligible. In this exceptional situation, you do not have to clarify your studies when you apply for unemployment benefit until 31 July 2020. Therefore, you can study freely during a lay-off, for example. All situations are individual, so please read more on the pages of Kela and TE Services.
What to do if you suspect having contracted the coronavirus?
According to the instructions of Helsinki and Espoo Health Care Services, if you have mild symptoms of a respiratory tract infection, such as common cold, cough, sore throat, muscle pain or fever, simply stay at home, rest, and wait for the illness to pass. You do not need to contact a health centre. Stay at home until your symptoms pass. If you have symptoms of acute respiratory infection, call your own health centre or the medical helpline. Healthcare professionals provide instructions on how to proceed. Read also the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare’s instructions on taking care of the virus at home.
If you are an international degree student, you have a home municipality in Finland and are equally eligible for municipal health care.
My issue is not related to respiratory infection, can I use the services of the FSHS?
Currently, appointments at the FSHS continue as usual.
If you are completely free of symptoms, you can come to your appointment according to the schedule. If you have an appointment or you are booking one, you will be offered the option of remote appointment whenever possible.
If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection or have returned to Finland from abroad within the past 14 days and you have an appointment, read the instructions on the FSHS site.
I do not have any symptoms, but I am worried or distressed about the coronavirus epidemic and its impact on my studies. Who can I talk to?
In this current situation, Aalto students are offered counselling by study and career planning psychologists by phone on weekdays between 9am and 3pm. Aalto psychologists support students in study related concerns. However, in practical questions related to courses or study planning, please contact the learning services of your own school or programme.
Contact information of study psychologists: +358 29 44 20080. Further information and instructions on Aalto site.
Free material of Terveyskylä provides information on how to cope with corona-related worries and uncertainty, as well as links to other material for mental well-being.
Can I eat in student restaurants?
Restaurants are now closed throughout Finland until the end of May, but restaurants are allowed to sell take-away food. Campus restaurants also operate in this way. Campus restaurants offer student-priced food as usual if the restaurant is open. At least Täffä is open and sells take-away food. Current information on the opening hours and take away service in student restaurants can be found here.
International students and student exchanges
How does the situation affect the payment of tuition fees?
Students liable to tuition fee at Aalto can apply for the Additional Semester Scholarship in case their graduation will be delayed due to the coronavirus situation. If granted, the scholarship covers 100% of the tuition fee for one additional semester. Further information here.
Will the situation affect my residence permit?
If your studies are delayed due to the situation, students from outside the EU/EEA will need to apply for a further permit if their current residence permit expires. We are currently clarifying the policies of the Finnish Immigration Service for granting further permits.
Please also follow the updates of the Finnish Immigration Service about the corona situation.
I am an exchange student at Aalto. What should I do?
Some exchange students at Aalto have been asked to return home. Aalto has paused all contact teaching for now and aims to organise teaching remotely. However, there may be problems with teaching arrangements. Aalto’s goal is to ensure that exchange studies can be completed remotely. You can apply for compensation for interrupted exchange studies from your national organisations.
I am a student of Aalto University and currently studying abroad as an exchange student. What should I do?
Exchange students from Aalto have been asked to return to Finland. If needed, Aalto University supports financially your travel from your university town to Helsinki, or alternatively, to your home country. You do not have to return the exchange grant already paid to you. If your exchange university does not offer remote teaching, you can enrol to Aalto courses. If you are not able to complete remotely the courses you have started, the aim is to find a solution to validate the acquired knowledge at Aalto.
I have applied for student exchange in the autumn. Will I be able to leave for the exchange?
For now, the arrangements for the autumn exchanges are proceeding normally, but it is still impossible to say how the coronavirus situation will affect student exchange in the autumn. Please keep an eye on messages from the University and your exchange coordinators.
I could not solve my problem with these instructions. What should I do?
Contact AYY’s advocacy specialists and tell us about your situation and we will help you.
How can I contact AYY’s advocacy specialists?
You can contact AYY’s advocacy specialists by email or phone. You can find the contact details of the specialists here. The specialists work on weekdays.