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Annual student events in Vaasa

It is no wonder that Vaasa’s cityscape exudes a youthful vibe – every fifth person you encounter is a university student!

Vaasa is the home city for approximately 14,300 students. Because of this, there are several student unions and associations in Vaasa that organise events together throughout the year. Below, you can find a list of annual student events in Vaasa!

Annual Student Events in Vaasa

Check out the social media channels of Vaasa’s student unions and associations for more information about these events.

  1. February | Fastlaskiainen

    Fastlaskiainen is a traditional sledding competition held in February on Shrove Tuesday. Several student associations gather to slide down a hill in sleds they have built themselves. The event is open to all students in Vaasa.

  2. March | Pampas Nationaldag

    A whole week filled with activities culminating in a grand student party! Pampas is one of the largest student events among Swedish-speaking students. The event is organised annually by the Pampas Mafia.

    The event consists of “Olympics” at Vaasa Market Square, a student party at the Rewell shopping centre, and the following day’s sillis, or traditional herring breakfast (see Dictionary for New Students below).

  3. March-February | Boom City Appro

    Boom City Appro is an “appro” event in Ostrobothnia, where you complete degrees by collecting stamps in your official “appro passport” at approved appro restaurants and bars. The appro tour takes place in the centre of Vaasa.

    The appro tour culminates in memorable afterparties, where each participant receives the drinking degree they earned with their appro passport.

  4. April-May | Vappu, The First of May

    Wappen, also known as Vappu or Valborg, is one of the most important student festivities that takes place in early spring.

    Unofficially, the onset of Finnish spring is marked by the exuberant celebration of Vappu (The First of May). Vappu is a carnival-like festivity intended for all. The Vappu that we know and love today has its origins in celebrating the arrival of springtime, the working class, and upper secondary graduates. It is very common to see people of all ages donning their student caps throughout the Vappu festivities.

    Vappu is the best time for students! A student’s Vappu consists of a weeks-long array of events, culminating on the first day of May. During Vappu, you can see a colorful crowd of students in their overalls at Hovioikeudenranta and the downtown area.

  5. September | Fuksiviikot, Gulisveckan

    When autumn arrives and schools start, many student associations organise their own so-called ‘fuksi-kastajaiset’ in Finnish or ‘gulnäbbsintagning’ in Swedish. It involves a series of small competitions and challenges for the new students. Participants form teams, and if you wish, you can sign up for one of the events.

  6. September | Vaasa Campus Festival

    Vaasa’s higher education institutions and student unions co-organise the annual Vaasa Campus Festival, typically held in September. In addition to university students and staff, all city residents are welcome to attend the festival. The event is free, and the age limit is 18 years.

  7. September | Rannikkoapprot, Coastal Appro Event

    The Coastal Appro is the largest student event in Ostrobothnia, where students complete an appro round in the centre of Vaasa. During the appro round, you earn credits by collecting stamps in your official appro passport from designated appro restaurants.

    The market square serves as the appro area, where various activities are organized throughout the day. At the end of the day, artists often perform at Vaasa’s market square. The festivities of the appro day are often continued with after-parties.

  8. December | Independence Day

    Finland’s Independence Day is a festive occasion for students as well, as student organisations organise a traditional torchlight procession at Vaasa Market Square. After the celebratory parade, speeches are delivered in both native languages, and choirs sing songs appropriate for the occasion.

Dictionary for New Students

Students’ everyday life consists of studying, but also traditions and celebrations. It’s good to be familiar with the following terms when starting your studies:


Graduates from an educational institution.

Academic Credit

Academic or study credits are a unit measuring academic progress. To graduate, students must complete a predetermined number of study credits. One credit corresponds to about 27 study hours, and a typical academic year comprises around 60 credits. The total extent of a higher education degree is usually 300 credits.

Academic Quarter

The quarter-hour discrepancy between the officially scheduled start time for a lecture or lesson and the actual starting time.

Anniversary Parties

Anniversary parties, often hosted annually by student associations or student unions, feature dinner, speeches, performances, and formal attire. Followed by a traditional sillis the next morning.


Appro events involve touring downtown bars and collecting stamps.

Overalls and overall patches

Student overalls are a key accessory for university students. They help identify fellow students, and students can collect overall patches, typically obtained from various student events. Patches should always be sewn by hand.

Sillis (Herring Breakfast)

Sillis, short for ‘silliaamiainen’ (Eng. herring breakfast), is an event hosted on the morning following student associations’ Anniversary Parties. It includes a relaxed gathering, drinking, and a meal (despite the name of the event, not actually consisting of fish).

Sitsit (Sitz)

An academic table feast where students sit at long tables, eat, drink, and sing. Dress codes vary, but student overalls are commonly worn.

Student Associations and Unions

Associations are clubs or societies of students within the same school organisation. They may centre on specific activities (clubs) or focus on  particular fields of study (student associations).

A student union is a formal organisation within a university that connects students in the same subject or field. They engage in advocacy tasks and organise events.


Tutors are typically older students who guide first-year students at the beginning of their studies, assist in integration, and act as a bridge between the new student and the academic environment.

Colour codes of student overalls

  • Young people using computers

    Studying in Vaasa

    Vaasa is a haven for those seeking an ideal study environment. Across six university and polytechnic institutions, you can pursue various degrees offered in Finnish, Swedish, and English.

  • In Vaasa, you have the opportunity to build the career of your dreams, study your dream field, explore the scenic shores of the sea, enjoy culture, and recharge through hobbies. The sky is the limit!

  • Top-notch jobs await top performers! The Vaasa region is currently in demand for various professionals. Explore the new career opportunities offered in this vibrant region.