Valkeakoski

Valkeakoski is a town of 21,000 inhabitants that is surrounded by lakes and lush forests. The town is known for its long history in the paper industry and a successful football team.

lake scenery with a sunset

In Valkeakoski, you can do many types of sports as the facilities are vast and in good shape. Watching sports in the national level is also possible. If you’re more of a culture loving person, there’s also ethnic restaurants, movies, theater and beautiful Finnish nature for you.

If Valkeakoski isn’t enough, bigger cities are easy to reach. Tampere is reached in less than 50 minutes with a frequent bus connection. Hämeenlinna isn’t so far either, as it is reached by bus in less than an hour. Valkeakoski city center offers also good shopping facilities. There’s all the services one could need in a city; shopping mall, cafés, restaurants, library, banks, cinema, swimming hall, ice hall etc.

Even better shopping facilities are not far away. Ideapark in Lempäälä is one of the biggest malls in Finland with over 200 shops, cafés and restaurants in the same building, only 30 minutes direct bus drive away from Valkeakoski.

Reasons to choose Valkeakoski

  • A calm, family-friendly city with affordable living costs
  • Enjoy the nature – Valkeakoski is surrounded by lakes and beautiful forests
  • One of the biggest shopping centers in Finland, Ideapark, is only 15 minutes away
  • Located in the Southern Finland, Valkeakoski is close to large cities like Turku, Tampere and Helsinki

Population: around 21,000

Founded: 1963

Foreign nationals: 1,6%

Total area: 372 km2

Warmest month: July, +21.7C°

Coldest month: February, -9C°

Currency: Euro (€)

Valkeakoski is located relatively south in Finland, thus the temperatures are usually not extreme. During the winter, the temperatures reach an average low of -10C°. The summer days can see an average of 20-25C°, and lows of 15C°.

There’s a variety of dinner restaurants to choose from, when in Valkeakoski. If you’re looking for something cheaper and faster, there are also multiple fast food spots, such as Subway and Hesburger, located in the centre of the town. There’s an abundance of cozy cafes throughout the city.

Because there are many students living in Valkeakoski, there are also many bars and pubs, where students can go to unwind after a long day of studying. HAMKO, HAMK’s Student Union, often organizes extra-curricular events for students, usually with discounted prices on drinks and entrance fees.

Valkeakoski is located in the province of Western Finland and situated 35 km from the major city of Tampere. The local buses take you to Tampere once or twice every hour and the trip takes 35-45 minutes. The Express bus route Tampere – Helsinki goes via Valkeakoski and in less than two hours you are in the capital of Finland. The nearest inland port is in the centre of Valkeakoski and the nearest seaport in Helsinki or Turku (distance from Valkeakoski 145 km). The closest airport is in Pirkkala (40 km) and the railway station in Toijala (20 km).

By train:

You get a 30 % student discount on basic tickets when travelling on long-distance trains, as well as on 10 and 30 journey multi-tickets. You are also entitled to a 50 % student discount when travelling on commuter trains in commuter train services area on single tickets and on 10 journey multi-tickets.

More information: https://www.vr.fi/cs/vr/en/students_new

By bus:

For single trips exceeding 60 kilometres, Matkahuolto grants a 50% discount for normal adult tickets. For shorter trips, the discount is smaller. The tickets are always cheaper when purchased online in advance. There is also a five-trip travel card available for students, that entitles the card holder for five travel times in the specified route. To receive the student discount, you must a full-time student at a Finnish institution, and have a student ID with Matkahuolto stamp on it. Alternatively, you can get a Matkahuolto and VR student ID from any bus terminal.

More information: https://www.matkahuolto.fi/en/

Local transport:

Valkeakosken Liikenne is Valkeakoski’s own company of charter buses, which will drive you anywhere around the town. Valkeakosken Liikenne also has connections to nearby cities, for which you will get similar student discounts, as you would with Matkahuolto.

In Finland, the meals for students are state supported, and thus healthy, nutritious, and very affordable.

With a student card or meal subsidy card, you can buy affordable food in HAMK’s student restaurants and cafes. The price per meal is €2.60 if you show your student card to the cashier.

It is also possible to see the weekly menu online.

In Finland, the health care of students is organised by Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS, in Finnish: Ylioppilaiden terveydenhoitosäätiö, YTHS).  The FSHS services are available for all students studying on Bachelor’s or Master’s level at universities and have paid their student union membership fee to a student union that is affiliated with the FSHS. Those studying for a Licentiate of Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Medicine degree are also entitled to use the FSHS’s services. The health services are not available for Doctoral students, so if you are admitted to Doctoral level studies, please contact your university for advice and options on local health care.

If you are studying at a university of applied sciences (UAS), the health care services are usually provided through municipal health care providers. You can find more information on your health care arrangements from your UAS directly.

Please note that even when your student status makes you eligible to access the student health care services, this does not replace the need for a valid insurance.

You can find more information from FSHS website: http://www.yths.fi/en/

Or directly from your own UAS or university.

Valkeakoski is a small, but beautiful, town. It is very rich in trees, which makes it wonderful during the wintertime to see the white layers of snow. What’s even better is that in winter all the lakes freeze, and the ice is thick enough to play hockey on it, or ice skate. Many Finns also like to do cross-country skiing on the frozen lakes.

However, when the lakes and rivers are not frozen and still flowing, it is possible to take boat cruises, which will take you to several spots, even to nearby cities, if you’d prefer to take a boat instead of a bus.

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