What is MaO?

MaO ry (Maantieteen opiskelijat ry) is an association for geography students in University of Helsinki (established in 1971). Our aim is to activate and bring our members together as well as promote our rights at the Department of Geosciences and Geography, in the student union HYY and in the University of Helsinki in general. All of the activity is organized by students to students. Anyone studying geography or geosciences in the University of Helsinki is eligible to join MaO and our activities.

The board of our association consists of maximum ten students. The board and other active members meet up twice a month to discuss study affairs, plan upcoming events and to hear feed-back. Anyone who is a member is free to participate in the meetings.


We organize various kinds of activities for our members from study-related to recreational events. Fresher tutoring plays also an important role in MaO. To integrate students into the university and the geographer community, our tutors keep the new arrivals busy with a diverse variety of events. MaO also supports students in their studies by organizing an info lecture on the vast variety of subjects ideal to study alongside of geography as a minor subject (for bachelor students), collects feedback from students on teaching which is used to further improve the level of teaching in our department.

The range of the recreational activities is wide and includes for example weekly sports, occasional game nights, academic dinner parties, pre-christmas party, first of May celebrations and a lot more. One of the highlights of the year is a traditional excursion to an interesting cultural geography destination in one of the neighboring countries. If you have an awesome idea for an excursion or a party we are happy to put it into effect with you.

MaO publishes its’ own gazette Mantu four times a year. All members are encouraged to send in articles, photos or just share their ideas. The gazette is available in paper and on Internet for everyone to read, for free.

Information on the upcoming events and current affairs can be found here at our homepage, on the board at the lounge area, and on MaO ry Facebook page. All the same info – and more – is sent to our members’ very own e-mail list mao-lista[a]helsinki.fi (see how to subscribe on the Menu -> In English -> How to subscribe to mailing lists”).

Friends from other programs

As an open minded organisation we have good relations with other student associations at Kumpula Science campus and also with associations outside the University of Helsinki. Throughout the years we have thrown multidisciplinary events with e.g. biologists, geologists, environmental scientists and surveyor students from Aalto University. Once a year we meet up with geography students from other Finnish universities in a weekend long seminar.


MaO is based in Physicum building in the heart of Kumpula campus. We have a lounge area with a kitchen to provide our members a facility to have a nice cup of coffee or tea for a student friendly price. You can relax at the sofas, reading the local newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, geography related publications or just catching up with other geography students. If you want a bit more privacy or want to interact with geologists outside the lectures, make your way to our mutual student room “Suppa” (eng. kettle hole). Suppa is ideal for group discussions and meetings as well as just for general hanging out.