Joensuu, literally "the mouth of the river", is the capital of the region of North Karelia in eastern Finland. Joensuu metropolitan area has a population of around 75,000 inhabitants and it is about 440 kilometers away from Helsinki.

It was founded in 1848 by Nicholas I, Czar of Russia, but people have navigated through Pielisjoki river for trade for many centuries. This river has always been a central part of the city both for business and leisure purposes. Joensuu is a small, but lively city with many students thanks to its two big educational institutions. Nowadays, the city is seen as a finnorussian business hub.




Joensuu is easily reachable by bus, train and plane. It has connections with a variety of cities in all the country.


Joensuu Bus Station (Joensuun Linja-Autoasema)

Address: Itäranta 6

Company: Matkahuolto (timetables, prices, buy tickets)


Joensuu Train Station (Joensuun Rautatieasema)

Address: Itäranta 12

Company: VR (timetables, prices, buy tickets)


Joensuu Airport (Joensuun Lentoasema)

Address: Lentoasemantie 30

Company: Finnair through his subsidiary Flybe.

The airport is located on Liperi, about 11 Km far from the center of Joensuu. There is a bus that can be used to go from the airport to the city and viceversa, operated by Savo-Karjalan Linja (timetable and general info).

There are usually taxis outside the stations and the airport, so they can be used if needed.


There are two main options regarding housing in Joensuu.

  • Getting to the private market usually enables you to choose more exactly the place you will live in, though it is a little bit more expensive. In order to rent an apartment this way, you usually have to directly contact the owner or the house, check for an advertisement on local newspapers or go to a real state management agency. This makes it a little bit more difficult, because usually you have to do it once you are already in Joensuu even though you can check opportunities online.

  • The second option is to use the services of the Joensuun Elli, which is a company that manages student housing in Joensuu. You can apply online, so it may be more convenient. The downside is that you loose flexibility regarding to choose the place you live in, but it is usually cheaper.

Educational Institutions

There are a couple of institutions devoted to higher education in Joensuu. The first and bigger one, is the University of Eastern Finland (Itä-Suomen Yliopisto), Joensuu campus. There are two campuses with around 15,000 students that belong to this University: Kuopio and Joensuu. The other one is the Karelian University of Applied Sciences (Pohjois-Karjalan Ammattikorkeakoulu) with roughly 4,000 students.

Finnish Universities are of good quality and usually take a significant amount of foreign students. It is advisable to sign up for the Student Union of the corresponding institution, as it entitles you to get discounts on meals and gives you access to some university-related services.