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We have gathered materials for students related to wellbeing and studying in this exceptional situation. More information:

Here you'll find information on our courses (groups, workshops and MyCourses-services) in English. If you are looking for Finnish workshops and materials click "Suomeksi".

Co-studying remotely (no enrolment needed)

 Starting Point of Wellbeing goes Co-Studying, Thursday-mornings 9.00-11.00 via Zoom

SPW offers the opportunity to get-together remotely to do independent studying, utilizing Pomodoro-technic. We’ll start with a short intro and tips from the study psychologist to set goals and you can decide on your own goals for that morning. After that, all participants have 2 x 40 minutes available for independent study (Zoom connection open, but the camera does not have to be kept on). There is a break between these 40 minute “pomodoros”, during which you can also ask questions from study psychologist or chat with others.

The language is English, but you can also participate in Finnish. Participating in the discussion is always voluntary, so you are very welcome join us, also, even if you do not want to share your own goal with others.

When: Every Thursday until Midsummer from 9:00 to 11:00. (During May, also on Wednesday afternoons 13.00-15.00, starting Wed 5.5.2021)

Where: In the zoom

In what situations could SPW going Co-Studying be the right place? If any of these apply to you, don’t hesitate to join us!

  • You should work independently on a thesis or a larger project (eg write, review sources, etc.)
  • You should do course assignments independently (eg essay, exercises, part of group work, etc.)
  • You have study-tasks that you constantly postpone because there is no “compulsion” to start right now
  • You need a little peer pressure to get started and you feel that there have been too few opportunities to study together with others these days
  • It is difficult for you to decide where to start and what would be a suitably sized piece of study for certain amount of time
  • You have a hard time getting your studies started in the morning
  • You are curious to know what kind of tips and thoughts you could get out from this that might benefit your own studying


9.00 Welcome - study psychologist's instructions to Pomodoro and goal setting; the opportunity to share your own study goal with others

9.15-9.55 First Pomodoro 40 min, independent study

9.55-10.05 Break, opportunity to share thoughts and ask for tips

10.05-10.45 Another Pomodoro 40 min, independent study

10.45-11.00 Summary: opportunity to share if your own goal was successful, and ask for tips from a study psychologist.

 For doctoral students: Theses & Tomatoes, starting from 6.5

Theses & Tomatoes

What: co-writing event

When: Thursdays at 10-12 from 6.5 (not 13.5.)

Where: Zoom

For whom: doctoral students at Aalto University

Are you feeling stuck with your doctoral thesis? Or are you just finding it hard to get into a routine with working on your doctoral thesis? Maybe you are unsure of what the next step should be or how to get started on a new chapter? Do you feel lonely in your doctoral thesis work? Would you like to work in a shared space with others in the same situation?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you have come to the right place! Join a new co-writing space, which will be organized every Thursday at 10-12 in Zoom, starting from 6.5. (not 13.5; also the seminar will take a summer break at the end of June, more information about that later). The instructor is the Aalto psychologist for doctoral students, Maria Törnroos.

The aim of this co-writing space is to provide opportunities for you to work independently on your thesis and on self-specified goals alongside others in the same situation, creating a shared experience (see e.g., Beasy et al., 2020).

There is no enrolment needed, just join us and get your thesis moving. The seminar is intended for doctoral students at Aalto University.

We will start each Thursday at 10 with a short 15-minute introduction to different topics (e.g., goal-setting, time-management, academic writing). You will get to set your own goal and share it with others, if you want. After that there will be two 40-minute Pomodoros, with a 10-minute break in between. During the break, you can ask questions or we can all do some break exercises together.

The language of instruction is English but you are welcomed to ask questions also in Finnish or in Swedish. It’s totally voluntary to join in the discussion and share one’s goals – if you just want to come and work, that’s fine.



10:00-10:15 Good morning and welcome, a little introduction and goal-setting for the independent work

10:15-10:55 Independent work (in Zoom, camera can be off)

10:55-11:05 Break

11:05-11:45 Independent work (in Zoom, camera can be off)

11:45-12:00 Time to stop working and perhaps share how it went. You can also ask advice from the psychologist.

Reference: Kim Beasy , S. Emery , L. Dyer , B. Coleman , D. Bywaters , T. Garrad , J. Crawford , K. Swarts & S. Jahangiri (2020) Writing together to foster wellbeing: doctoral writing groups as spaces of wellbeing, Higher Education Research & Development, 39:6, 1091-1105, DOI: 10.1080/07294360.2020.1713732

Workshops and courses

 Time management for remote studying -group, SPRING 2021

Time management for remote studying

> Is it hard for you to create and maintain daily rhythm and routine while REMOTE STYDYING?

> Do you struggle getting study tasks done while studying alone at home?

> Is it hard to distinguish free time from the time spent studying?

> Does it feel like there isn’t enough time to do everything?

> Is your to do-list so long it seems almost impossible to manage to do everything?

If your answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’, we can help you! Aalto study psychologists organize group workshop about basics of time management in current situation (using Zoom and MyCourses).

Why? Time-management is one of the most important working life skills, and learning to manage your time is a relevant part of your university studies. When you can manage your time effectively, everyday life is smoother, stress levels are lower and you can find time for the things that are the most important in your life. In the current situations almost everything happens remotely and it creates some new challenges for time-management.

What and for whom? This group workshop is specifically aimed for bachelor and master level Aalto students (however, PhD-students are also welcome if the course isn’t already full when the enrolment closes). We will examine together time management as a part of self-leadership skills and practice creating a realistic schedule. In addition, we will practice ways to overcome the most common challenges in time-management. No study credits are earned received. Language is English. 

When? The 4 meetings will all be held in Zoom (March 2021) on Mondays 8.3., 15.3. and 22.3. and 29.3 at 14:00-15:30. We hope that all the participants check the timetable before enrolling, because attendance for all sessions is crucial part of this group workshop!

Who are the teachers? Aalto’s study psychologists Sanni Saarimäki ( and Henna Niiva (

Enrolment via this webropol link:

(When enrolling, you will have to answer a few questions. This will take about 5 minutes.)

Enrolment closes on the 1st March at 16:00.

The maximum amount of participants is 12. 




Study experience in Aalto not doing so grand?

Arrived in Finland just to sit home alone with your laptop?

We want to hear you and connect you with others! Join the Connection Group and come share your feelings about social distancing, remote studying, and being in a new country but not having the fun time you maybe were dreaming about.

Connection Group is for international students in Aalto. We will meet 5 times during March and April, starting on Tue March 2nd at 14. Other meetings 9.3., 23.3., 6.4. and our Grande Finale 27.4. Join us for no more loneliness!

Sign up by sending an email to Anna (latest on Feb 24th):

In your message tell your name and if you have specific wishes for this group or themes to discuss. We will take 20 students to the group. Please, commit yourself to join all five times when signing up.

Leading the group are Aalto study psychologist Henna Niiva, Aalto chaplain Anna Poutiainen and Psychotherapist Paula Ruotsalainen from Family Councelling Center.

  Climate change and emotions – Workshops for Aalto students

Climate change and emotions – Remote workshops for Aalto students

This group workshop is specifically aimed for Aalto students. We will focus on emotions and thoughts, concerning climate change and environmental crises, and how to live with that burden. Are there ways to maintain your own balance and resilience, and be mindful, whilst trying to cope with a constant stream of bad news and a feeling that so much more needs to be done? Together, we will create a safe place for sharing thoughts, connecting with others and finding our own ways face the emotions caused by the climate threat. The workshop consists of group discussions on specific themes as well as mindfulness-based practices.

However, we will not be teaching one another how to live in an eco-friendly way or argue what actions should be taken to solve climate change. This means you can join the workshop without fear of judgement, no matter what your personal views or actions concerning these issues are, as long as you remain nonjudgmental towards others as well.

The workshop is led by study psychologists Sanni Saarimäki and Merita Petäjä. Language is English.

If you are interested in this workshop, contact Sanni (sanni.saarimaki(a) and let us know there is need for this workshop during 2021!

 The Doctoral Thesis Booster, spring 2021

The Doctoral Thesis Booster, spring 2021 

  • Is your doctoral thesis not progressing as planned?
  • Does it feel difficult to start writing or getting things done?
  • Have the problems gotten worse because of remote work?
  • Are you finding it difficult to find motivation for your thesis?
  • Does thinking about your doctoral thesis cause anxiety, insecurity or fear of failure?

If the above questions apply to your doctoral thesis process, enrol in the doctoral thesis seminar “The Doctoral Thesis Booster”, hosted by Aalto psychologists. 

What? The Aalto study psychologists will organize a seminar (in Zoom) specifically designed for doctoral students who are having trouble finishing their PhD and have gone over the recommended time limit of 4 years. During the seminar, we will discuss the challenges associated with doing a doctoral thesis and try to find new perspectives on tackling these challenges. The seminar will include topics such as time-management, procrastination, motivation, writing, and emotions connected to doing a doctoral thesis. The seminar is 9 weeks long with one meeting per week. Every other week (5 meetings in total) the meetings (á 90 minutes) will include exercises, group discussions, and a short slot of independently working on one’s own thesis. In between those meetings, every other week, there will be four sessions (á 60 minutes) focused on only writing or advancing the thesis independently, so called “Write it up” -meetings.

There are no credits available for attending this seminar.

When? The 9 meetings will all be held in Zoom. NB! The meetings are different lenghts!

10.2. at 13:00-14:30: Introduction and the thesis process

17.2. at 13:00-14:00: Write it up –meeting

24.2. at 13:00-14:30: Time-management and academic writing

3.3. at 13:00-14:00: Write it up –meeting

10.3. at 13:00-14:30: Procrastination and writer’s block

17.3. at 13:00-14:00: Write it up –meeting

24.3. at 13:00-14:30: Motivation and emotions during the thesis process

31.3. at 13:00-14:00: Write it up –meeting

7.4. at 13:00-14:30: Self-compassion and wrap up of the seminar

 Who are the teachers? Aalto’s psychologist for doctoral students Maria Törnroos ( and Aalto’s study psychologist Sanni Saarimäki.

Enrolment: via this webropol link: 

If the group is full, those whose thesis is delayed will be prioritized. 

(When enrolling, you will have to answer a few questions about your thesis process. This will take about 5 minutes.)

Enrolment closes on the 3rd February at 16:00.

The maximum amount of participants is 15. 

 Let's talk about your future! - workshops, SPRING 2021 THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL

Let's talk about your future!


Two-session workshop on Monday, April 19, 2021 at 14-15:30 and on Monday, April 26 at 14:00-15:30.

Are you graduating soon and thinking of transition to work life? Are you thinking about what kind of career would be attractive and sustainable for you?

Are you wondering what are the skills you should have when you start working? Do you know what brings you meaningfulness in work?

Come and join workshop organized by Aalto psychologists!  

This Zoom workshop will focus on themes:

-Thoughts and emotions towards transition from student life to working life

-Leave room for development: skills that develop in studies and skills that will develop in working life

- Key elements that help you to find your attractive and meaningful future work

- How to build your career on your strenghts, motivation and values at work 

The workshop consists of info spots about elements of career planning and small group discussions on specific themes. 

Between the workshop sessions you will finish a few career planning exercises that can help you in making decisions and start acting towards attractive future. 

In the finishing session we will give feedback based on the exercises and discuss the next steps.

Ensure your participation by filling in the webropol form:

The workshop is led in English by psychologists Seija Leppänen and Henna Niiva.

You can send us questions and discussion proposals before the workshop by email:

Deadline for sign-up: Wednesday 14.4. at 16.00.

 Power of Self-Compassion in Stress-Management, spring 2021

Power of Self-Compassion in Stress-Management

At the heart of stress there can be the feeling that the demands of the situation exceed one’s own means and resources. That stress can be caused by both over- and under-alertness, but also by one's own feelings of inadequacy.

Welcome to join us to our exercises for a kinder, more accepting attitude towards life

You have come to the right place if:

  • Your thoughts about yourself are sometimes judgmental
  • You have feelings of inadequacy
  • You are otherwise just dissatisfied with your life or you have a hard time connecting with your feelings
  • You want to find out what self-compassion really means

Self-compassion is one of the most beneficial skills you can learn in life!

This course consists of mindfulness exercises that help us to nurture an accepting and empathetic relationship with ourselves. There is also a chance to connect and reflect your thoughts with other students, but also possibility to just self-reflect by journaling.

Mindfulness refers to a conscious acceptance of the present. It helps us to perceive the environment around us as well as our own thoughts, feelings and bodily senses just the way they are. These exercises help us to develop an accepting and friendly relationship with ourselves. However, mindfulness and self-compassion do not mean the same as “ just think positive”-attitude – so, during this course we will also form skills to live with the ambivalence and uncertainty of life.

For whom? This group workshop is specifically aimed for bachelor and master level Aalto students (however, PhD-students are also welcome if the course isn’t already full when the enrolment closes). Language is English. 

When? The 5 meetings will all be held in Zoom on Thursday 8.4., 15.4., 22.4., 29.4 and 6.5 at 14:30-16:00. We hope that all the participants check the timetable before enrolling, because attendance for all sessions is crucial part of this group workshop!

Who are the teachers? Aalto’s study psychologists Sanni Saarimäki ( and Merita Petäjä.

Enrolment via this webropol link:

(When enrolling, you will have to answer a few questions. This will take about 5 minutes.)

Enrolment closes on the Tuesday 6.4.2021 at 16:00.

The maximum amount of participants is 40. 

MyCourses-materials for self-study

 Self-Study Material: Mindful Tools for Stress Management

Feeling stressed or anxious? The self-study material will help you to learn how to

  • be here and now
  • observe our thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations more clearly
  • be more self-compassionate
  • reduce stress

When  facing difficulties we many times try not to notice them. Handling stress becomes easier when we approach difficulties rather avoiding them and learn to recognize when we start to feel stressed or worried. With practice it is possible to become less reactive and more free with our responses to the stressful situation.

Mindfulness is a state of open attention on the present. It’s living here and now. Mindfulness involves nonjudgmental conscious awareness of one’s feelings, thoughts and surroundings. Our mind often wanders to the past or to the future. Mindfulness skills will help you to focus on the present moment.

You'll find the material in MyCourses

 Self-Study Material: Career Planning Exercices

Career Planning Exercises


This self-help material is designed to help you to process the key elements of career planning individually. 


The sequence of exercises is numbered. You can do them in the same order or you can choose only the ones that appeal to you most and seem to help you. Having completed an exercise, reflect the results. What do the results of that reflection add to your self-awareness, your current thinking and goals of a good future as an individual and as a member of a society? How can you use the results? What will you do next?

How to get started

  1. Log in to MyCourses with your Aalto user account
  2. Enroll for the workspace by following these instructions.
 Self-Study Material: Time-management

Time to Get Cracking – 3 week Self-study material on time management for students

Time management and learning to use a calendar sound boring and tedious and are often seen as being in the same category as managing your personal finances. Why spend time learning something like that? Do these sound familiar to you: ‘I know how to plan, but the problem is putting the plans into action!’ ‘I do make plans, but I just don’t have enough time to do all I should!’ This self-study material focusses on these two common issues: having too much to do and having trouble getting things done.

Time management is not just about taking care of responsibilities. It helps you see what you really spend your time on and why. The underlying question is a fundamental one, maybe the most important question for us as human beings: how do you spend your limited time on this Earth? Your calendar says a great deal about what you actually spend your time on. Does your calendar reflect your values and the things you hold dear? Does it take you towards something meaningful? If not, what do you think should change?

This self-study material offers you opportunities to:

- look at your time use as a self-management skill

- learn to make schedules and stay on them

- learn new skills and review what you already know.

Going through this self-study material and doing the related tasks will take you about 3–5 hours. To make the most of it, you should spread the tasks over several days. Reading on time management without taking any action is the same as reading a healthy eating guidebook without changing your diet at all or talking to a personal trainer on a regular basis without ever going to the gym to try out the programme. Please take time to also do the exercises included in this material.

Self-study material can be found here:

 Self-Study Material: Stress-management

Materials for Stress-management

Self-study material can be found here: