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Coronavirus – Information for exchange students

Coronavirus – Information for exchange students

This page has been created for all current and incoming exchange students to Åbo Akademi University regarding the COVID-19 virus and things you should know when you are on your exchange with us or planning your exchange with us.

Please scroll down this page for information if you have been tested positive for Covid-19 or suspect you have the virus.

 

Exchanges at Åbo Akademi University during the academic year 2021-2022

  • Incoming exchange students should be aware that the exchange semester will not take place under usual circumstances and that directions can come from Åbo Akademi at short notice depending on how the COVID-19 situation develops. It is also important to understand that studies can change quickly and courses may not be able to be offered any more or may only be able to be offered as online courses at short notice.
  • Exchange students are required to be in Finland and in Åbo or Vasa. Incoming exchange students are welcome for periods exceeding two months, following the guidelines applying to all operations – streaming is an option for international students unable to enter the country.
  • For full information and updates about how studies are being organized at Åbo Akademi University during the coronavirus pandemic please visit the following website: Instructions for staff and students

Guidelines for period 1 (6.9–31.10.2021)

Courses with less than 30 participants are primarily held on campus, with remote participation as an option for those who cannot come to campus.

For courses with between 30 and 50 participants a decision is made on a case-by-case basis if tuition is to be held on campus, uses a hybrid solution or entirely online. 

Courses with more than 50 participants are held online, with planned meetings in smaller groups on campus (i.e., group assignments).

Courses showing a good or improved level of student learning when given online may, of course, be offered online regardless of the number of participants. 

We expect everyone to use masks.

Libraries, student cafeterias and tutoring groups on campus will operate in accordance with those authority guidelines which are in effect during the autumn term.

Student associations will be given access to the facilities between 8 am and 5 pm in accordance with the safety guidelines in force at each given time.

No parties or events will be allowed indoors during period 1.

Accepted as an exchange student at Åbo Akademi University

  • Before making any arrangements to come to Finland, please check and organize an insurance cover that is comprehensive for your whole time in Finland. You can find useful information about what type of insurance you should get at the following websites; Finentry and Migri
  • For students coming from a country outside the European Union please begin your student residence permit application online at Enterfinland.fi You can find more information and updates at the following website: Migri
  • Erasmus+ exchange students should be in contact with their home university’s international office if the exchange cannot be completed, if they need to return to their home country earlier than planned, or if they have encountered extra costs due to corona pandemic related problems.

Arrival to Finland

  • Please keep in mind that the list of countries that people are required to complete a voluntary quarantine may change at any time, therefore please check updated information from the Finnish Government before your arrival to Finland. Country restrictions 
  • If you are arriving from a country in which you need to carry out the voluntary quarantine, please find more information at the following website. Quarantine Instructions 
  • You may be asked to show some documentation when entering Finland to show your reason for entering Finland. Please remember to bring your acceptance letter from Åbo Akademi University when entering Finland.
  • It is very important that if you are required to quarantine upon your arrival to Finland that you do so. It is every persons’ responsibility to stop the spread of the coronavirus responsibly.
  • When you travel home from the airport, use your personal car. Travelling by taxi or train is permitted if you have no car. If you do so, please wear a mask.

Instructions for voluntary quarantine:

Voluntary quarantine means that a person avoids close contact with persons other those from the same household whenever possible and stays at home. By observing a voluntary quarantine you protect other people from infections.

  • It is recommended that you do not go to university or elsewhere outside the home, but stay at home for the entire quarantine period. This helps protect others from infection.
  • Essential travel is possible. Essential travel includes going to a doctor’s appointment, for example. However, remember to keep a sufficient safety distance and use a face mask.
  • Avoid using public transport.

Follow the safety instructions

  • Avoid crowds and physical or near physical contacts as much as possible.
  • Keep a safety distance of at least 1 to 2 metres from other people.
  • Follow good hand, coughing and sneezing hygiene.
  • Follow the instructions provided by the health authorities.

Finally, please check the useful links of this page where you can find more information about the coronavirus situation in Finland.

City of Turkuhttps://www.turku.fi/en/corona

City of Vasa/The hospital of Vaasa – The hospital of Vaasa

 

Vaccination in Finland

If you need to get your second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in Finland, remember also your Health insurance card when you book your time at:

Corona vaccinations in Vaasa | Vaasa

Corona | Turku.fi

 

Information for students who have been tested positive for Covid-19 or suspect that you have the virus

Where can I get tested for coronavirus?

There are health information points at airports, harbours, and land borders where you can ask where the nearest testing place is located.

You can have a test at an airport, the health clinic of your home municipality, or a private medical clinic. If you go to a private clinic, you will have to pay for the test.

If you are not a permanent resident of Finland, get in touch with your local health centre. You can also take a test at a private clinic, but the test is subject to a fee.

Getting tested in Turku

Tykslab (vsshp.fi ). Please note that you need doctor’s referral and booked time. You can get the referral from Omaolo or from COVID-19 helpline +358 2 266 2714.

Testing place in Varissuo (address: Nisse Kavon katu 3) where you do not have to reserve appointment time beforehand. The health care centre is open from Monday till Friday at 9am-11am and from noon-2pm. If you don’t have Finnish social security number, they will make you a temporary one that makes it possible to register you into the health care system. You need to bring your ID card with you.

COVID-19 testing bus

You can find more information about Coronavirus Prevention Bus and Varissuos’s Walk-In Test Point from https://www.turku.fi/en/news/2020-12-09_coronavirus-prevention-bus-offers-testing-and-information-halinen-and-perno

You can also get tested one of the following ways:

  • the City of Turku coronavirus helpline, tel. +358 2 266 2714 (open Mon–Fri from 8 am to 3 pm) or
  • joint emergency services of the Turku region, tel. +358 2 313 8800 (outside office hours and during weekends)

Getting tested in Vasa

Students who enter Finland should take a coronavirus test at their point of entry to Finland. Passengers arriving in Finland have the opportunity to be tested for example at the Helsinki Airport (the PCR test is free of charge). If testing is not possible at the point of entry, it should be done in Vaasa as soon as possible after arrival (free for students of Åbo Akademi University).

COVID-19 tests taken in your home country are not valid.

Contact Vaasa Central Hospital`s Corona center to schedule a time (mention that you are a student at Åbo Akademi University):

 

Getting groceries whilst in quarantine or isolation

When a person is in quarantine or isolation, they are unable to leave their accommodation therefore you will need to organize food deliveries to your accommodation during this time.

You can order food to be delivered to your door through the Wolt App and the Foodora App. 

Students in Turku

If you have any trouble receiving the food aid from the City of Turku, you can also contact the Social Emergency Services about emergency food package. Please call – tel. 02 262 6003

Additional places where you can order food for home delivery in Turku:

  • Kylän valinta: https://www.k-kylanvalinta.fi/ – Send and email at juha@foodstore.fi and explain the products you would like to get. Include your phone number, name and address. The invoice will be in the same box with the groceries.
  • Annika: https://www.k-ruoka.fi/kauppa/k-supermarket-annika  – Payment method: bank or credit card (upon delivery) so not sure if possible in corona/quarantine – Contact: chat possible – call: +358105329836
  • K Citymarket Kupittaa: https://www.k-ruoka.fi/kauppa/k-citymarket-turku-kupittaa – Payment method: bank or credit card (upon delivery) so not sure if possible in corona/quarantine – Contact: chat possible – call: +358105329836
  • Manhattan city – klo 9-16  – +358600-02325 – Home Delivery
  • Prisma – www.foodie.fi – online banking credentials (strong identification)  message box: write that you are in quarantine  
  • Foodora: https://www.foodora.fi/en/  Payment method: bank or credit card
  • Wolt: https://wolt.com/en/discovery  – Also possible to order groceries – Payment method: bank or credit card 

 

Information for exchange students who have been exposed to a person with the Coronavirus or think that they have the Coronavirus

If you do become infected with the coronavirus it is important that you let us know at the international office by sending an email to: exchange@abo.fi 

If you have been exposed to someone who has been tested positive for the coronavirus, or if you suspect that you might have the coronavirus or start to have some symptoms, it is very important that you follow the following instructions below.

Symptoms of coronavirus vary and may even be very mild. Symptoms may occur in different combinations or separately. These symptoms may include, for instance, runny and/or stuffy nose, sore throat, elevated temperature or fever, shortness of breath, muscle pain/headache, unusual tiredness, nausea, diarrhoea, shortness of breath, disturbances of smell and taste. You must get tested even if you only experience mild symptoms. If you have symptoms, stay home and avoid contact with others.

  • You should take Omaolosymptom assessment online at omaolo.fi. (Available in Finnish and English).
  • Stay at home and limit contact with all people
  • Take a corona test – information how to do that can be found above

 

Quarantine and Isolation

If you are put in quarantine or isolation it is important that you follow the quarantine and isolation guidelines well to reduce the risk of infection. Please find detailed information here: Quarantine and isolation

When you have been ordered into quarantine/isolation, you must stay home. You cannot visit anyone or invite anyone over. During quarantine, you will remain under the monitoring of a doctor or nurse regarding the state of your health. More detailed instructions related to coronavirus and quarantine can be found on the City of Turku website at: – https://www.turku.fi/en/immigrants-corona 

More detailed instructions on quarantine can be found at: www.turku.fi/quarantine

Questions?

If you start to feel very unwell 

Students in Turku

If you develop serious symptoms, such as shortness of breath or a deteriorating overall condition, it is important to contact health care services. You can call the City of Turku coronavirus helpline, tel. +358 2 266 2714. The helpline is open Mon–Fri at 8 am–3 pm. A nurse will interview you on the phone, assess your condition, and direct you to a doctor if necessary.

If you need urgent medical attention, and during the evening and weekends, contact the Emergency Department at Turku University Hospital on +3582 313 88 00 or call the emergency services on 112. Please remember to inform these services of your exposure to COVID-19.

Students in Vasa 

You should go to the accident and emergency clinic at the Vasa Hospital. You can call them first at this number: +358 (0) 6 213 1310. They are open 24 hours per day. More information and directions can be found here: https://www.vaasankeskussairaala.fi/en/for-patients/treatment-and-examinations/emergency-clinic/

 

Where to get help if you need mental support

How to deal with the current situation — A support webinar for international students is on March 23 2021 at 13.00 -14:30.  You will get the zoom link later via email.

Help and support

There are many that can help you, if you experience corona worry or don’t know how to handle the situation.

Who else can you contact: 

  • International Office:
  • Åbo Akademi Student Union:
    • If you have problems with your studies due to quarantine or illness and need help with for example finding the right person to contact you can be in touch with the Students’ Rights Expert Petra Lindblad; petra@studentkaren.fi, 050 3626285 or The Executive Board Member for International affairs Emma Lundström: emma@studentkaren.fi

 

Common Question and Answers about the corona virus, isolation and quarantine

The University of Turku have created an information page with common questions from students at the moment and answers.

The website page can be found here: https://www.utu.fi/en/coronavirus-qa

Please check the website to see if any of your questions are answered there.

If you have very specific questions regarding you personal quarantine, personal isolation, certificates that you have had corona for travel to your home country, please email the following email address: tartuntataudit.hyto@turku.fi

 

Changes to public transport in Åbo – FÖLI

Passenger on FÖLI transport

Usually, the most crowded buses include buses heading towards Turku city centre between 7 am and 8:30 am and buses heading away from the city centre in the afternoon between 1 pm and 4:30 pm. If possible, please don’t travel during these busy times. Föli, the Turku region public transport system, will readopt the mask mandate in public transport due to the deteriorated coronavirus situation. As of Tuesday 10 August, all those aged 12 or over must wear a mask when using Föli public transport unless there is a health reason not to wear one. 

To read the full article please click here.

Updated 18.8.2021