Welcome to International House Oulu (IH Oulu)!
IH Oulu gathers different guidance services under the same roof. Services are targeted at international newcomers and immigrants, and also companies planning to recruit international people. We are located at BusinessAsema.
At our premises you can get help with questions concerning working, entrepreneurship or studying. You can also ask our advisors for advice and guidance about every day life matters. We offer integration services for those who have asylum. Have a look at the International House Oulu website or come to the House and ask, we will guide you forward.
In addition to our in-house services, Migri, Pohde, Villa Victor and Startup Refugees all hold regular pop-ups at International House. All services are free of charge and there is no need to book.
At International House Oulu, we provide you with information in different languages about daily living in Oulu, as well as low-threshold guidance to services offered by various organizations. You will be given all the information that you need, concerning for example, early-stage services, basic city services, and leisure activities. By using this service, you will get the newest information and guidance to the service you need.
At International House Oulu, there is always someone there to answer your questions. Our goal is to make everyone feel welcome.
The general information and guidance of International House Oulu is offered at a one-stop venue in BusinessAsema and collaborates with other services. We provide you with information in different languages about daily living in Oulu, as well as low-threshold guidance to services offered by various organizations, e.g. BusinessAsema guidance services for entrepreneurs and job seekers or Oulu Skills Centre services. If you are eligible for the city’s integration services, we will guide you to them. By using our service, you will always get the newest information and guidance to the service you need.
Are you looking for the right service? Do you need support in employment and business matters? Jobseekers receive advice and guidance on all employment and business matters from BusinessAsema Guidance Services.
Attention! If you are not a Finnish citizen, you can only start your job search for the first time by visiting the TE Office. If you have the necessary banking credentials to use the strong login function, this can be done online, but identity verification must be done on the spot at the local TE office.
International people in Oulu can receive free consultations in English about entrepreneurship, freelancing, and self-employment. To receive a consultation, you do not need to have a business idea, any prepared documents or a specific residence permit type.
Our business advisor can discuss with you the following topics:
Practical questions about starting a business in Finland.
Business plan and financial calculations.
Information about company forms and their registration.
Insurances, regulations, and taxation.
Startup grant and other benefits for new businesses.
After a consultation you will have an understanding of the ways you can run your business activities in Finland, a roadmap with clear steps, as well as resources with further information.
Advisory services of the Uusyrityskeskus for those planning to start a business
Uusyrityskeskus’ business advisors can be met without an appointment on Tuesdays from 12:00 to 15:00 at BusinessAsema. The service is for all those who are planning entrepreneurship.
You can also get an instant interpreter service or book an appointment in your language at the Kela office.
Kela’s pop up guidance service at BusinessAsema Fridays 12 noon – 3 p.m.
Daycare and school guidance
Oulu’s education selection is internationally cutting edge. After solid elementary education, our ecoystem enables moving ahead the way you want: you’ll find a wide selection of career developing job opportunities and esteemed research communities. What are you going to be when you grow up?
Early childhood education services (daycare services) support the growth and well-being of children under school age and their families. Read more about daycare (opens in a new tab).
Preschool is for one year before the child starts basic education. Preschool is free. Read more about preschool (opens in a new tab).
Basic education (comprehensive school) begins the year the child turns seven. Education, school meals, school healthcare and study materials are free. Read more about basic education (opens in a new tab).
If your child would like to attend school in English, please contact the Oulu International School, OIS (a City of Oulu school). In Svenska Privatskolan i Uleåborg children can study in Swedish (not a City of Oulu school).
Preparatory education, Finnish as a Second Language lessons, and mother tongue lessons
The City of Oulu offers preparatory education for basic education, which is intended for students whose Finnish skills are not yet adequate for studying in basic education groups. The City of Oulu also organizes Finnish as a Second Language lessons and mother tongue lessons (provided that at least six pupils study the same language and that a teacher or an instructor is available for the group). Read more about these (opens in a new tab).
Upper secondary education
After basic education, students apply to upper secondary education or to vocational upper secondary education. At Oulun Lyseo Upper Secondary School there is education in English (International Baccalaureate Diploma programme). Read more about upper secondary education
(opens in a new tab).
OSAO Ovi provides guidance and advice on applying for vocational education. OSAO Ovi admissions services help in all matters related to applying. They will provide you with guidance on sub-selection.
You can ask for advice on how and when you can apply or, for example, how you would finance your studies. You can meet study and career counsellors every weekday for personal career guidance discussions. You can visit in person or meet remotely via Teams.
OSAO Ovi (opens in a new tab) at BusinessAsema: Wed 12– 3 p.m.
Oulu University of Applied Sciences
Oulu University of Applied Sciences (Oamk) offers free of charge guidance on educational opportunities for immigrants who are interested in higher education. Oamk also offers education that helps immigrants get to university, for example Finnish preparatory language courses.
In Oamk there is also a separate selection for higher education in several fields of study for immigrants. They also offer guidance on regulated professions for people who have completed a university degree.
The University of Oulu is one of the northernmost science universities in the world, located in the city of Oulu, Finland. Interested in becoming a degree student in one of their international programmes? Read more about bachelor’s and master’s programmes taught in English: International Programmes | University of Oulu. (opens in a new tab)
Interested in doctoral studies? Read more about the University of Oulu Graduate School and its doctoral programmes. (opens in a new tab)
You can find more information about studying in Oulu here (opens in a new tab).
The official languages of Finland are Finnish and Swedish. The majority of people living in the Oulu region are Finnish speakers. It is important to study Finnish, as language skills make it easier to find a job and to integrate into daily life. Start today! Several institutions offer Finnish language courses (suomen kielen kurssit) at different levels.
Multicultural Centre Villa Victor provides free of charge Finnish teaching from the elementary to the advanced level in several groups, both in the classroom and online. You can join a group that suits your own skills and timetable. Read more here (opens in a new tab).
More courses all year around
Oulu-opisto is a community college owned and run by the City of Oulu. It offers hobby and study opportunities for people of all ages. Oulu-opisto also organises tailor-made English and Finnish courses for foreign groups. Read more here. (opens in a new tab)
Vuolle Institute offers many courses in Finnish. Read more here (opens in a new tab).
Summer University of Northern Ostrobothnia offers various courses all year round. Read more here (opens in a new tab).
Fangying “Fanni” Li is originally from China. Currently, Fanni works at the IH Oulu. She admires Finnish work culture. “Somehow here, this freedom brings you more possibilities. You can do whatever you want.”
Eduardo Acosta is from Colombia. Over the past two years, he has been able to experience all that Oulu has to offer. “When I came here, I was surprised by how you can find many things here, how well connected everything is.”
Shefat Islam came from Bahrain to Oulu and fell in love with the city’s nature. What was most important to her was that her daughter adjusted well. Shefat thinks Oulu is a picturesque and calm place, a postcard city.
Jun Nakamura decided to move from Japan to Oulu and study for his master’s degree at the University of Oulu. He is very impressed by Finnish sauna culture. “In the sauna, Finns are more open compared to other places.”
Meet our international talent living in Oulu and read their inspirational stories.
We can help your company find international employees, especially from among people already living in the Oulu region. We also organize recruitment events and campaigns that your company can participate in. You can participate and present your company’s vacancies in our “Job Corner” service at BusinessAsema where job seekers and companies seeking to recruit new talents meet.
In addition, we organize information sessions and coaching for companies related to international recruitment and provide information on current events and services related to the topic.
European cooperation network of employment services, designed to facilitate the free movement of workers. Eures has a register of over one million CV’s.
University of Oulu
The Soft Landings training by the University of Oulu supports companies and organizations in making recruitment of an international talent successful and recruitment-related investments profitable
Business Finland, in cooperation with Suomen Mentorit, is implementing a free mentoring program aimed at supervisors of Finnish SMEs. The program aims to develop leadership competence in an internationalizing world. The next application round is in autumn 2023.