Welcome to Kotka!

City by the sea

Kotka is the second largest city in Kymenlaakso County. It is located on the coast of the Baltic Sea, the Gulf of Finland, at the estuary of Kymi river. Kotka is known by its port, industry and maritime festivals. Kotka is also known as a multifaceted city of educational institutions and culture.

Kotka in brief
Kotka was founded in 1879. Now the population is about 50.000. The area is 750 km2, but most of it is water, 272 km2 is land. Kotka is located 130 km east from Helsinki and 290 km west from St. Petersburg; the highway no 18 runs through Kotka. In the city there are two centres, Kotkansaari (the Isle of Kotka) and Karhula.

The characteristics of Kotka are based on the sea and Kymi river. The Port of HaminaKotka is the biggest universal, export and transshipment port in Finland. The main traffic consists of timber, paper, metal and stone.

Kymi river is famous for fishing, you may catch salmon, pike, whitefish, perch, pikeperch. There are also many possibilities to paddle and shoot the rapids in the river. The archipelago of Kotka consists of tens of islands.

(c) City of Kotka

Please, check www.visitkotkahamina.fiwww.kotka.fi  and in Wikipedia Kotka for more information about the city and region.

In Kotka campus we offer four international exchange programmes:

  • Logistics (BSc. Eng. & BBA) (studies and double degree)
  • Energy technology (studies)
  • Social services (combined studies and professional interaction)
  • Health care (training)

Every year we host approximately 50-60 international exchange and double degree students and trainees in Kotka, what makes the atmosphere in the campus truly international. International students closely collaborate with the local students both in educational and free time activities.


See more: Kotka campus


Orientation before studies

The International office of South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences welcomes the new incoming exchange students by organizing Welcoming  orientation before studies begin. The purpose of this Welcoming orientation is to introduce the facilities, people as well as tools and platforms used during the studies.


Spring Semester 2023 Welcoming Day orientation will be on Monday 9 January 2023. More detailed information and log in instructions will be sent to accepted students in the end of November!


Online Orientation courses for new exchange students starting in Autumn 2022  will be open on 15 August 2022 onwards online, the log-in information will be sent by e-mail

Online orientation course 1: Digital environment 2022 – Digital tools

Online orientation course 2: Orientation 2022 – Studying and services


On Thursday 25 August  we organise Welcoming Day in campus and tell more about

  • South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences
  • International services,  Student & Library services
  • Student Union
  • Xamk Digital environment
  • Practical issues

And students meet departmental academic contact persons (Learning Agreements & timetables, enrolling for the courses)

On Friday 26 August we will visit Langinkoski Imperial Fishing Lodge and Nature Park area

Welcoming Day programme 





Student dormitory Savotta

Exchange and double degree students, who study in Kotka 1 or 2 semesters, are accommodated in a student dormitory / hostel in Mussalo, Savottakuja 3-5, 48310 Kotka. The service provider and administrator is THE Roomz: The Hospitable Experience


The rent for a room is 390 – 425 euro / month (private room / shared room with ensuite bathroom, shared common areas) and includes electricity, water, internet and use of sauna and laundry room. The rooms are furnished and ready for moving in.


NOTICE: Spring semester 2023: Accepted exchange students will receive more detailed information and link to accommodation application mid-November!!




Getting to Kotka

Kotka is situated some 130 km from Helsinki, and 60 km from Kouvola. Depending on where you are coming from, there are different means of transport you might find convenient:

  • If you are traveling via Helsinki-Vantaa Airport (HEL), we recommend to use train to Helsinki city center and a bus connection to Kotka (Sutela).
  • If you arrive in Helsinki by ferry (from Tallinn, Riga, Travemünde) or via other cities in Finland, please, check VR, Matkahuolto or Onnibus web-pages for the options.
  • If you are coming through Kouvola, we recommend using train (VR).

Useful information:

From the airport to Helsinki

TRAIN P or I to Main Railway station : terminal T1 arrivals floor -> Airport Train Station


From Kamppi Bus Station to Kotka

Helsinki – Kotka: Onnibus 

Matkahuolto Travel & transport services 

Kouvola – Kotka: VR railway company

Arrival information

We arrange pick-up services from local bus stations: Kotka (Sutela) or Kotka (bus station), for all incoming exchange students who arrive 1-3 days prior to the beginning of studies. Please, note that the pick-up can be arranged only between 8:00-21:30.

Fill in the arrival form

Insurance and residence permit

EU/EEA and Swiss residents

You need to have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for your exchange period. In addition, you need to have personal insurance, with a full 3rd part liability and health coverage.

  • By presenting the European Health Insurance Card, you can prove your right to necessary medical treatment in another EU or EEA country and in Switzerland. With the card, you can get medical treatment if you become suddenly ill or have an accident. You can also get medical treatment if you have a chronic illness that requires medical attention. The card also gives access to necessary treatment during pregnancy and childbirth.
  • The European Health Insurance Card is recognised within the public health care services as well as by private doctors and hospitals that have signed a health insurance agreement. More information on the European Health Insurance Card can be found on the website of the European Commission.

Non-EU/EEA/Swiss residents

As a student, you will be responsible for your illness-related expenses in Finland. For your residence permit, you will need private insurance to cover your medical and pharmaceutical expenses. Please attach the insurance certificate to your application

  • The excess on your insurance must not exceed 300 euros.
  • Your insurance must cover medical expenses up to 120,000 euros if your studies in Finland last less than two years.
  • Your insurance must cover pharmaceutical expenses up to 40,000 euros if your studies in Finland last two years or longer.
  • Do not take out regular travel insurance. It is meant for holiday trips lasting less than three months.
  • You must have insurance for your entire stay in Finland. (including traveling days) Your insurance must be valid at the moment of your arrival in Finland. If you intend to study in Finland for one year or longer, take out a one-year insurance policy. Be sure to renew your insurance policy prior to expiry.
  • Make sure not to terminate your insurance policy, or you will have to cover your medical and hospital expenses yourself.

Please, check the guidelines from Finnish Immigration Service HERE



NOTICE:  Make sure you have the Travel insurance cover from the day you leave your home until you return after the exchange period.


Free time activities

Kotka and its neighbouring towns (Karhula, Hamina, Kouvola etc.) are well-known for their sports facilities. In general, Finns are enthusiastic about participating actively in sports events as well as being spectators. There are several sports grounds, sport halls and swimming pools in the Kotka region. Ice-hockey (JÄÄKIEKKO), cross-country skiing (HIIHTO), downhill skiing (LASKETTELU), basketball (KORIPALLO) and volleyball (LENTOPALLO) are very popular as well as Finnish baseball (PESÄPALLO) and football or soccer (JALKAPALLO). There are also opportunities for e.g. golf, bowling, riding, tennis, etc. Xamk has excellent facilities for indoor sports, e.g., students can play volleyball, badminton, tennis etc. free of charge.

There are also many cultural events in the Kotka region; very active Town Theatres, several other theatre groups, orchestras and choirs, art exhibitions, movie theatres. In addition to the usual cultural services, there are also several summer festivals taking place regularly in nearby Kotka. One of the best known is the Kotka Maritime Festival (4 days), this takes place at the end of July and brings to Kotka more than 100 000 visitors during one weekend.

In Kotka you get a chance to feel the Finnish nature easily..

BYOD - Bring Your Own Device

Use of student’s own devices in studies

BYOD is an environment, which is widely used in many business and educational institutions. The BYOD environment is a collection of workstations, printing solutions, security, software, user management and so on.  For students it means that students primarily use their own devices like laptops.

New students arriving in XAMK from August 2017 on will have our new policy in action. The new BYOD policy demands students bring their own devices, i.e. laptops, to campus.

For more information please follow this link

Student Union

All exchange students are welcome to join our Student Union Kaakko and benefit from being a student of XAMK.

Read more

Contact information

Contact information for incoming exchange and double degree
students to Kotka:


Ms Sari Pieviläinen
Pääskysentie 1
48220 Kotka
+358 44 7028236


Mr Henrik Luikko
Pääskysentie 1
48220 Kotka
henrik.luikko (at)xamk.fi
+358 44 7028232