Joensuu, literally, "the mouth of the river", is a city in Finland. It is the capital of the region of North Karelia. It was founded in 1848 by Nicholas I, Czar of Russia. It is situated on the easternmost part of Finland, close to the Russian border, and 437 Km. far from Helsinki. Joensuu metropolitan area has a population of around 75000 inhabitants.
During centuries, trade has been made through the Pielisjoki river, which is navigable. This river has always been a central part of the city both for business and leisure purposes. Joensuu is a lively city with a majority of youngsters, specially students due to the two big educational institutions located in the city. Nowadays, the city is still 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.
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 three campuses that belong to this University: Kuopio, Savonlinna and Joensuu and around 15000 students adding up the three campuses. The other one is the Karelian University of Applied Sciences (Pohjois-Karjalan Ammattikorkeakoulu) with more or less 4000 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.