Well-being and everyday life

VYY wants to promote mental and physical well-being in their members’ everyday life. This includes maintaining and improving their ability to study. Maintenance of their ability to study includes health care, housing, income, well-being and time management. Important collaboration partners are the University of Vaasa, the Finnish Student Health Service FSHS and Vaasa Student Housing VOAS.

 

On this page you will find information on the following matters:

Health
Housing
Income
Who can I talk to?
Physical exercise
Other welfare issues

 

Health

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The Finnish Student Health Service FSHS offers health (general health, oral health, mental health) services to university students. FSHS services are available to all undergraduate students of Finnish universities, at all FSHS locations around Finland. The FSHS fee is included in the Student Union membership fee.

When visiting FSHS, you should carry a student card with a valid academic year sticker. A receipt of membership payment or a certificate of attendance from the University can also serve as proof of paid membership fee. With an old academic year sticker, you can use the FSHS services till the end of August. FSHS office in Vaasa, Finland, can be found at the address Hovioikeudenpuistikko 15 C (entrance from Harmanninkuja).

 

Housing

The Student Housing Foundation in Vaasa, VOAS provides student accommodation in Vaasa.  The student housing situation in Vaasa is relatively good. There are plenty of apartments and the rent is reasonable. The greatest demand for apartments is from August to October, but at other times homes are available easily.

Also, city owned rental apartments are available from Pikipruukki Oy.

Apartment rental ads are often found on the VYY Tori. You can also post your own rental ad there.

 

Income

As a student of the University of Vaasa you can apply for financial aid through Kela’s online services. Student Financial Aid services located in Luotsi can also help you on matters related to student financial aid.

Student financial aid consists of the study grant, a housing supplement and student financial aid. For detailed information on the amount and applying for it can be found on the KELA website. Financial aid will also set income limits that define the maximum amount of annual income.

VYY also strives to provide job opportunities for students. A good opportunity to explore future employers or to look for summer jobs is at the Contact recruiting fair held annually at the end of January. At the fair, students can establish contacts with future employers, as well as browse available summer jobs. Traditionally, the fair includes also a CV clinic, where students can polish their job search tactics with the assistance of professionals.

The University of Vaasa Career Services will also provide guidance on employment and training.

Students are entitled to Vaasa city social welfare services and, under certain conditions, to income support. For more details, please see the Vaasa City webpage.

In all matters relating to income you can contact the Student Union’s Secretary for Student Interests.

 

Who can I talk to?

 Finnish Student Health Service

Mental health problems are the most common university student health problems. Mental health can be compromised due to issues related to studying or other everyday life issues. Help on issues related to mental health can be obtained from FSHS health care and nurses, general practitioners, specialist nurses and social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists. Book an FSHS appointment if needed.

 

Educational Psychologist

An educational psychologist is working at the University of Vaasa, with whom you can discuss confidential issues related to studying, such as motivation, well-being or stress. A new educational psychologist starts their work at the University of Vaasa by the end of January 2017. The contact details will be updated here as they become available.

 

University Chaplain

The University Chaplain is a Chaplain of the Vaasa Evangelical Lutheran congregation. You can contact the Chaplain and arrange an appointment if you feel you are in need of a private, confidential discussion and support. These can be matters related to, for instance, human relations, crisis situations in your own life or those of your love ones, quality of life, religious matters, workload or stress from studying, risk of exhaustion. You can also ask for advice on all church services, adult confirmation classes or church related activities. Your church staff is bound by absolute professional confidentiality.

Contact: Chaplain Tiina Keinänen tiina.keinanen@evl.fi, puh. 044 480 8218.

For more information, please visit the Evangelical Lutheran Parish Union of Vaasa website.

 

Nyyti ry

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Nyyti ry is an association that promotes and supports the mental well-being and life management skills of students and offers all students various services which give opportunities to share their own experiences with others who are in a similar situation. For example, online groups may discuss and solve issues concerning loneliness, being single or with ending a relationship.

 

Harassment contact person

The Student Union offers help on harassment cases to its members. This activity is not regulated by law, and student unions do not have authority to officially investigate harassment cases among students. The purpose of the harassment contact person activity is to provide an impartial person you can talk to and who can give advice about what to do and to help you solve the issues.

The most important task of VYY’s harassment contact person is to listen to and support students who have experienced harassment. The harassment contact person has a duty of confidentiality, and they do not keep any records of the people who contact them. You can come and discuss if you have experienced e.g. sexual harassment, bullying or other harassment from someone at the University. You can also contact the harassment contact person if you just want to talk to someone, for example about anxiety, loneliness or problems related to studying or relationships. Please feel free to contact if you need support!

VYY harassment contact person: hairintayhdyshlo@vyy.fi

 

Physical exercise

University sports

University sports are organized by the University. VYY wants to ensure that sports facilities will be developed and a wide range of options be offered in order to mobilize the students and motivate them to take care of their physical condition. If you do not find a suitable form of exercise, contact us and tell us of your needs, so that we can do our best to make it happen. More information on the sports services range you will find the University website. University sports also have their own Facebook page.

 

Sports tutors

Sports tutors are VYY members who volunteer as peer support in organizing sports and leisure activities, as well as sports introductions, to their fellow students. The most important point of sports tutors’ events is to get together with other people and have fun while exercising. All students are welcome to events and activities organized by sports tutors regardless of skill or fitness level. Event information is provided through the VYY information channels.

If you are interested in working as a sports tutor, you can get in contact with VYY’s recreation responsible at vapaa-aika (s) vyy.fi. Trainings for new sports tutors are arranged 1-2 times a year. Sports tutors have their own facebook page.

 

Finnish Student Sports Federation (OLL)

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The Student Union of the University of Vaasa is a member of the Finnish Student Sports Federation, OLL. OLL provides nation-wide supervision of student interests in cooperation with other sports, education and youth organizations. They also support student unions in developing university sports, for instance by participating in training sports tutors. OLL

OLL also coordinates the national university championships of various sports and provides supervision of interests for competitive student athletes. Associations operating within VYY can take advantage of OLL benefits in sports events (accident insurance, background music copyright contracts). In addition, individual students are offered OLL benefits for attending various sports events.

 

The Bottoms Up! project

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In conjunction with the Week of Well-being of 2015, VYY started the Bottoms Up! project together with the University of Vaasa and the FSHS. The project’s main message is that excessive time spent sitting down is hazardous to your health and it is therefore important to strive to work and study standing up every now and then. The university community often spends long periods of time sitting down (e.g. on lectures, at meetings, office work etc.), which causes ailments of the neck and shoulder area as well as of the lower back. The goal is to encourage students and staff to actively reduce their time spent sitting down by taking standing breaks. In the future, standing up during the work day or lectures will be socially acceptable! The Bottoms Up! project also makes an impact in the planning of the university facilities by ensuring that the university invests in standing work stations that enable work and participation to lectures while standing up. Reducing the time spent sitting down reduces fatigue and prevents musculoskeletal diseases.

In 2016 the FSHS physical therapist gave sports tutors and university staff break exercise training in order to spread the concept of break exercise to everyday use among students and staff alike. A guest lecture by Arto Pesola (LiTM) from the University of Jyväskylä was also organized during the Week of Well-being 2016. The current study and work culture which involves frequent long periods of sitting down has an impact on the whole university community, which is why the project is aimed at both students and the university staff.

Updates on the project are posted on the VYY Facebook page. Additional information and break exercise videos are available on the FSHS website. See also the university Bottom’s Up! page.

 

Other well-being activities

Every autumn, VYY organizes a well-being week in cooperation with the University, which features information on health and well-being and also fitness activities.

The Student Union also organizes sports event days together with the University, as well as other sports activities for both new and old students throughout the year. The best way to stay informed on these events is the VYY’s weekly newsletter along with our website.

In all matters relating to well-being you will be advised by VYY Secretary of Student Interests: edunvalvontasihteeri@vyy.fi.