One week to AIESEP – Last minute tips.

So, you’re on your way to Finland…


I promised that I would not do another blog. But four seems like such a weird number to end at. So here is a short blog to round it out to five blogs about Finland!


Let’s get some logistics out of the way. If you are coming to AIESEP and you have a presentation accepted in the program, make sure you know the requirements. Oral presentations are limited to 10 minutes with two to three minutes of questions afterwards. Poster presentations have specific requirements and they are listed online in the main conference website just scroll all the way down to the tab called presentations… this can be found right under the preliminary schedule and a drop down menu.


Don’t sleep on the closing ceremony! The closing ceremony is where all the magic happens! We award our three new AIESEP fellows, our early career scholars, the developing country scholar award winners as well as the best poster awards (top 3)! This is also the time when we pass the AIESEP flag from Finland to Florida! We also have an announcement of the 2026 World Congress location. I hope to see you there… If you are staying around Friday night, a reminder that there is a Finnish baseball game that evening that several members are going to attend.


I was thinking about what people would want to know two weeks before their trip. So, I guess I will talk about what to pack!


The Weather in Jyväskylä in May is typically a range of +15c to +4c. On average it rains 6 days in May. So, the likelihood that you will get a rain shower is pretty high if you are going to stay there for a week. But again, as I have said in past blogs… there is no bad weather in Finland just poor clothing decisions! With that said, I would pack a rain jacket and if you are presenting and a walking from your hotel a long distance, then I would suggest bringing some shoes that can handle some water. Perhaps a warm jacket for late nights to walk back to your hotel?


If you have not been to AIESEP before, you are in for a treat! The Thursday banquet is a highlight! Typically, people get dressed up for this banquet and although I won’t say that it is formal, if you are thinking about what to pack, I would pack at least one nice thing to wear for that banquet. Just make sure that you are able to dance the night away in that outfit! This year, the dinner portion of the banquet will be split into two venues. We had such an overwhelming attendance for the conference in Finland that we can’t fit everybody in one space in this city. With that said, this is only for the dinner portion. We will all join together at the same place to dance and continue the night.


Pack a swimsuit. If you have looked at the program you may have noticed that there is a morning swim on Tuesday at 8am on Lake Jyväsjärvi. You will be taught the ways of acclimating to cold water and how you can actually enjoy a cold water swim by a local Finn! The temperature of the lake is something like +6c. I am not convinced yet but, I will give it a try in Finland! If swimming in a cold lake is not up your alley, then maybe you will join the Yoga or running group starting at the same time on Tuesday. Each day has a morning activity (swim, yoga, or running). There is even a morning yoga, swim, run at 7am after the banquet! (I won’t be there for that one). If you booked a hotel, there is most likely a sauna there (check the closing time). If you are not staying in a hotel you can go to Sataman Viilu which is a bar, restaurant, sauna combo! 22Eur for 2hrs + 3Eur for a towel rental.


Arriving early? There are campus tours scheduled for 16:30 on Monday and 9:00am on Tuesday. The campus is beautiful and has some Alvar Aalto designed buildings. If you arrive early, it may be a good walking tour to check out the campus and orient yourself.


Credit card or cash? Do I Tip? Finland is a very digitized country when it comes to paying for goods and services. Most places accept cards and it is very common to just tap your card for a purchase. However, especially for US cards (I’ve found) sometimes payments get declined by your bank or they send a two-factor authentication to your phone (which you may not have turned on in Finland) so it’s good to have some cash on hand. Finland is on the Euro, and you can take some out at an ATM when you land at the airport or bring some with you. It is not very customary to tip in Finland in general. If you buy a drink at a bar or a coffee shop, you just pay the price they tell you. Taxes are always included in the price also. If you really think someone did a great job of course they will accept a tip but it’s not expected. Maybe in Helsinki it’s a bit different as it is a capital city, but no one will look at you weird if you just pay what they tell you to pay.


I look forward to meeting you at AIESEP in a few weeks!


The one thing I ask… if you’ve read to this point of the blog. Tell someone else about AIESEP. Encourage them to get connected. Join us in a conference, join in our on-line professional development sessions or connect in other ways. Our goal is to increase membership 25% by our 2025 conference in Florida. If you believe in what AIESEP does, and like the conferences we put on, I hope you can share that with others!


See you in Finland.



Picture of Risto Marttinen

Risto Marttinen

Risto Marttinen is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at George Mason University in Virginia, USA. He earned an Ed.D. from Columbia University Teachers College in 2015. His research revolves around implementing sustainable and educational after-school physical education programs in elementary and middle schools. These programs specialize in sports and fitness in under-served communities while reinforcing character development and academics. Additionally, he conducts research on the integration of academic subjects and technology into PE. Risto also sits on the board of directors and is the Secretary General for AIESEP, the chair for the SIG 93 (the special interest group for PE) for AERA and a past facilitator for the PETE Collab

About Us

AIESEP was founded in Lisbon in 1962, with the intent of bringing together scholars in the field of physical education and sport to share knowledge and engage in quality research.

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