Working at Aalto University


The faculties and departments have people taking care of the - hand in hand - orientation in order to guarantee the new employee a smooth start to working life at the Aalto University. The University also arranges "Welcome to the Aalto University" events annually and other informative fairs targeted to the international staff at the Aalto University.

See intranet Inside for further information (requires an Aalto user account).

Staff Benefits

This section introduces very briefly some staff benefits that Aalto University provides. More elaborate descriptions are available on the Aalto intranet Inside (requires an Aalto user account).

Occupational Health Care

Aalto University provides occupational health care for its staff members who work a minimum of 14 hours per week. Each School has an occupational health (provided by Terveystalo) care near the campus area (see Inside for the contact information - requires an Aalto user account). Dental and ophthalmic health care are not included in the Aalto University occupational health care.

Competence Development

Aalto University supports the competence of its personnel by creating opportunities for professional development that support career advancement, flexible job rotation or moving on to a parallel career. More information on Inside (requires an Aalto user account).

Career Systems

The Career Systmes of Aalto University has been established to commit employees to continuous  development and learning. Aalto University career systems:

Aalto tenure track (professors)

Other academic positions

More detailed information on Inside.


Aalto University provides sport services for staff and students at Unisport for reduced price. There is a vast selection of different sports courses and events in Töölö and Otaniemi campuses and also in four Helsinki University campuses in Helsinki city center, Meilahti, Kumpula and Viikki. More information about Unisport.

Unisport provides classes and courses also in English.


There are several cafeterias for staff members (and students) in every Aalto University campus. Aalto staff get discounts for meals in the cafeterias (for students the discounts are bigger). There are several options from which to choose (warm meals, salads, sandwiches). Some cafeterias serve breakfast.

Support for Culture and Club Activities

Aalto University supports financially culture and club activities arranged on the campuses.

University Chaplains in Aalto

University Chaplains provide pastoral care and counseling for staff members of all faiths and none. Pastoral counseling involves nonjudgmental and compassionate listening that allows confidential sharing of one's joys and concerns. It aims at fostering and supporting person's spiritual wellbeing in a holistic context. Pastoral counseling can be a way to think throuhg a relationship or a concern at work or in one's private life and may be especially important in times of grief or loss.

Aalto University Chaplains are available for pastoral counseling in all campuses. Please e-mail us to make an appointment.

Arabia Campus: Rev. Henri Järvinen (henri.jarvinen [at] evl [dot] fi)

Otaniemi Campus: Rev., PhD Jenny Vainio (jenny.vainio [at] evlfi) or Rev. Juha Lassila (juha.lassila [at] evl [dot] fi)

Töölö Campus: Rev. Juha Petterson (juha.petterson [at] evl [dot] fi)

Language Courses

Although most Finns speak English to some degree, Finnish language skills are useful in many ways – they will make your life easier, and especially in the job market basic Finnish language skills are often required. There are many opportunities and different kinds of formats for learning Finnish. 

Aalto University encourages staff and visitors to study Finnish. The university organizes each semester basic Finnish language courses for the staff. Also spouses may participate in the classes if there are available seats. More detailed information on the Finnish courses for international staff members is available at Inside.

Furthermore the Finnish courses for students are available for staff as well if there are free places (contact: Aalto University Language Centre).

You can also search other available Finnish language courses in the Helsinki region through one address, There you can see courses offered by different organizers and use, for example, the course level and location as the search criteria.

You can also register for Finnish courses provided by University of Helsinki Language Services.

National Holidays

2018 Holidays
Mon 1.1. New Year´s Day
Sat 6.1. Epiphany
Fri 30.3. Good Friday
Sun 1.4. Easter Day
Mon 2.4. Easter Monday
Tue 1.5. May Day
Thu 10.5. Ascension
Sun 20.5 Whit sunday
Fri 22.6. Midsummer Eve
Sat 23.6. Midsummer Day
Sat 3.11. All Saints
Thu 6.12. Independence Day
Mon 24.12. Christmas Eve
Tue 25.12. Christmas Day
Wed 26.12. Boxing Day

National Holidays - Explanations

Public holiday:  On public holiday schools, stores and offices are generally closed in Finland. Small, kiosk-type stores may be open.

New Year´s Day

The New Year’s Day (uuden vuoden päivä) is a public holiday in Finland. Traditionally the president gives a speech to addressed citizens at noon.


Epiphany (loppiainen)is celebrated to commemorate the visit of the Biblical Magi to the Baby Jesus. Epiphany concludes the Christmas time, and is a public holiday in Finland.

Good Friday

Good Friday (pitkäperjantai) is observed in commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It is a public holiday in Finland.

Easter Day

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is celebrated on Easter Day (pääsiäispäivä), also called Easter Sunday (pääsiäissunnuntai). It is a public holiday.

Easter Monday

Easter Monday (pääsiäismaanantai )or (toinen pääsiäispäivä) is the day following Easter Day. It is also a public holiday and a non-working day.

May Day

May Day (vappu) celebrations start to on May Day Eve. In Helsinki the students gather for the crowning of the statue “Manta” in Kauppatori. May Day is a versatile festival: it is a celebration of spring, youth and work. There is a lot of carnival-style street festivity in the country. People -young and old - have picnics outside and wear student hats or other decorative clothing. May Day is also celebrated as a labour day. It is a public holiday.


Ascension (helatorstai) is a Christian holiday when the resurrected Jesus was taken up to heaven. The exact  time of Ascension varies, but falls always on Thursday. Ascension is a public holiday.


Whitsunday (helluntai) concludes Easter time in the church calendar. It is celebrated seven weeks after Easter, and ten days after Ascension. Whitsunday is one of the major Christian holidays- together with Christmas and Easter- in Finland. Whitsunday is always on Sunday, so it doesn’t affect the workweek, however, the majority of the stores are closed that day.

Midsummer Eve

Midsummer  (juhannus) is an important national festival in Finland.  It is the time of summer solstice, eg. the day is at its longest, and the sun goes only down for a moment even in the southern parts of Finland. In the evening, people traditionally make bonfires and gather around them.  There is a traditional bonfire every summer at Seurasaari open-air museum in Helsinki.  Midsummer Eve (juhannusaatto) is always on Friday and it is not a public holiday, however, people tend to leave the office early that day.

Midsummer Day

Midsummer Day (juhannuspäivä) is a public holiday. It is also called the Finnish Flag Day. The flags are raised on Midsummer Eve at 6 pm, which is considered as the official start of the midsummer celebration. Flags stay up until 9 pm at Midsummer Day. A lot of the Midsummer festivities take place in the countryside, mainly at summer cottages, and the cities may feel somewhat deserted.  

All Saints' Day

In Finland the All Saint' Day (pyhäinpäivä) is a day to honor the saints and the loved ones. Traditionally people take candles to cemeteries - and burn candles also in homes and churches. All Saints´ Day is always on the Saturday which falls between October 31st and November 6th. It is a public holiday and the stores remain closed that day.

Independence Day

Finland declared its independence on December the 6th, 1917. Independence Day (itsenäisyyspäivä) is a public holiday and is celebrated in a number of ways. One tradition is to light two candles in each window in the evening. Each year the president holds the Presidential Independence Day reception. The reception is broadcasted and very popular among the viewers. Throughout the country students march in parades with torches the university cities.

Christmas Eve

In Finland Christmas is a family holiday spent with together with family and loved ones. On Christmas Eve (jouluaatto) the stores close at noon and people start their Christmas celebrations. At noon the mayor of Turku declares the Christmas peace – an old tradition dating back hundreds of years. This declaration is broadcasted on TV, radio and the internet.   At homes people decorate the Christmas tree, go to church and cemeteries - which are lit by hundreds of candles. Christmas Eve is the most popular day for people to go to church. Christmas sauna is also a Finnish Christmas tradition. Christmas dinner is served on Christmas Eve after which – if the children behave – the Santa Claus may pay a visit and bring presents!

Christmas Day

Christmas Day (joulupäivä) is also mainly celebrated within families and relatives. People visit each other’s homes – or just stay at home and children play with the presents they received. Traditionally the Christmas mess was early in the morning on Christmas Day, however, nowadays the Christmas Eve messes have become more popular. Christmas Day is a public holiday.

Boxing Day

Boxing Day (tapaninpäivä), is also known as the second Christmas Day. On Boxing Day people visit one another and may take a Boxing Day ride (tapaninajelu) - preferably a horse ride. In the evening it is common to go dancing or to parties. Small stores may be open for a couple of hours on Boxing Day, however, supermarkets remain closed that day.


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Page content by: | Last updated: 09.04.2018.