Where to get help?

Personal coach

Out of all the teachers, students spend the most time with their personal coach. They will create a study plan together with the students and guide them in their studies in cooperation with other teachers. Personal coaches keep in regular contact with the students and monitor the progress of their studies.

School social worker and psychologist

School social worker

The goal of social work is to support social well-being and improve social conditions. Professional social workers help people in difficult life situations. Each Riveria unit has a school social worker.

The school social worker helps with school-related issues and personal problems.  They can offer help and advice on a variety of personal, social and school-related problems. The school social worker can also offer advice and information on questions related to social services and benefits.

Social security means that people are entitled to a living and care in all life situations. In Finland, a person is entitled to social security if they live permanently in Finland or work here. For example, municipality residents are entitled to social services.


A psychologist is a professional who offers help and guidance when a person is unable to deal with difficult issues by themselves. A psychologist can also assess the causes and extent of learning difficulties. The services of a school psychologist are best available in Joensuu.

Student counselling

You can contact a guidance counsellor to discuss matters related to studying, the progress of your studies or future plans. The guidance counsellor can also offer advice on career choices, suspension of studies or further studies.

Health care

Before starting your studies

Take care of the following already in your home country:

  • You have health insurance or a European Health Insurance Card
  • Find out what vaccinations are needed in Finland
  • Make sure that your vaccinations and health examinations required in Finland are up to date
  • Take the necessary vaccinations and attend the examinations before arriving in Finland
  • Request the signed vaccination certificate and examination information in English
  • Fill out the electronic form for student health care and send your health information two months before starting your studies at Riveria. Fill in the form in English

Take the necessary vaccinations in your home country and request a signed vaccination certificate in English. Submit the completed form with the required attachments to the Siun sote student health care. The instructions are available on Siun sote’s website: https://www.siunsote.fi/en/web/english/international-students.

The form is confidential and used only by the student health care of Siun sote, the joint municipal authority for North Karelia social and health services. Please fill in the form in English. Submit the health information form at least two months before arriving in Finland.

For further information, please contact the Siun sote student health care at internationalstudent.healthcare@siunsote.fi

Health care during your studies

  1. If you have a municipality of residence in Finland, you are entitled to treatment in public health care:
  • school nurse
  • health centre
  • hospital

When your studies have started, you will receive an invitation to a health appointment, if necessary. For more detailed instructions on booking an appointment, please see: Student health care.

  1. If you have come to Finland temporarily to study from a country other than an EU or EEA country, Switzerland, Great Britain or Northern Ireland, you are only entitled to urgent medical treatment. If you do not have a municipality of residence in Finland, your medical treatment costs will not be covered. You must have valid health insurance and travel insurance for the entire duration of your studies.

If you come from an EU state, make sure that your European Health Insurance Card is valid for the entire duration of your studies.

Student affairs office and service counselling

Student affairs office

The student affairs office provides advice on practical matters related to your studies and study documents:

  • certificates of student status
  • transcripts of studies and qualification certificates
  • financing of studies, guidance on the school transport subsidy and financial aid for students, as well as other benefits
  • documents related to studies with unemployment benefit
  • locker cards on the Peltola campus

The student affairs office service points and opening hours are available on Riverialainen.

You can also contact the student affairs office using the form on the website, by phone on +358 (0)13 244 2220 and by email at opintotoimisto@riveria.fi.

Service counselling

If necessary, you can book an appointment for personal service counselling. The appointment can focus on topics such as financing the studies, transitioning to working life, or matters related to immigration, such as opening a bank account, student welfare services and health care or municipal services. The goal of service counselling is to support the smooth start and completion of studies and, if necessary, to guide the student forward. Book an appointment from the Palveluneuvojan ajanvarauskalenteri section on the front page of Riverialainen.

Support during studies

The school social worker provides social work at the school. They support, advise and work together with the student, their family and teachers.

The school social worker helps with school-related issues and personal problems.  They can offer help and advise on a variety of personal, social and school-related problems. School social worker services are available to students who are completing a vocational upper secondary qualification or attending TUVA training.

Special education teacher

A special education teacher provides support in learning.  If necessary, the special education teacher assesses the following matters with foreign language students:

  • Has the student attended school in their home country? How long has the student attended school, and how many days a week?
  • How is the student’s reading and writing in their native language? What other languages does the student speak?
  • Does the student’s native language correspond to the standard language they have learned?
  • Have they had difficulties in learning to read in their native language?
  • Has the student had difficulties with maths or learning other foreign languages?
  • What is the student’s Finnish language skill level?
  • How long has the student studied in Finland?
  • Is the student motivated to study Finnish?
  • Does the student use the language outside of studies, and are they able to use Finnish in everyday life?
  • Have the study support measures and special education solutions been helpful?

If the student needs long-term special education support, a special support plan can be drawn up for them.  This allows the student to receive additional support for their studies.

Study workshops

Study workshops are quiet places for independent study. In the study workshops, you can work on, for example, joint study assignments, eRiveria online studies, and unfinished or missing assignments. Instructors, teachers and special education teachers provide guidance and support in study workshops. You can also work independently. The teacher responsible for the course assesses the competence gained in the workshop.

More information on study workshops:  Study workshops – A guide for students / Riveria (riverialainen.fi)