15 puhe-eläimet web
(c) Johannes Kaarakainen

Next spring exchange students coming to Finland will receive free pre-paid mobile phone subscriptions.
Erasmus Student Network Finland and the telecommunications company DNA have agreed on a deal to provide a total of 2 500 incoming exchange students with a pre-paid subscription worth 7,90 euros each. DNA buys the students the first round of calls and text messages after which the students have the option to purchase refills.

According to Oscar Boije, currently the vice-president of ESN Sweden, 12 out of the 15 ESN sections in Finland will be taking part in the arrangement.
Boije started working on the project last spring as the president of ESN Åbo Akademi. He says that the deal came out as a side-product of finding advertisers for the ESN student overalls.
”I contacted telecommunications companies about the overalls, but ended up also asking about possible deals on pre-paid subscriptions. At the end, no one was interested in the overalls, but some in a mobile phone deal”, Boije tells.

After negotiating with three companies, ESN decided to work with DNA. According to Boije, the company’s refill rates, for example, are very competitive compared to other mobile service providers.
”The DNA pre-paid subscription was also the only one that works outside of Finland. That’s useful considering all the trips to Sweden and Russia ESN is organizing during the semesters”, Boije adds.

In Jyväskylä the pre-paid subscriptions will be distributed to incoming exchange students on orientation week along with a new welcoming package. Marja Ojala, the president of ESN JYY, says that the organization is very glad about both the DNA-collaboration and the new package.
”This is truly a joyous triumph. It’s good to have something tangible to give to exchange students upon their arrival”, Ojala comments.
The deal with DNA will serve at least three semesters worth of exchange students and Boije hopes it will be renewed after spring 2012.
”It’s been good to see a project, for which one has worked for so long, come to life.”

Marja Honkonen