What is Nefa?

Nefa is the student association for the Ethnology students of the University of Jyväskylä.

“Nefa” named associations can be found from around Finland and even from Estonia, which is why we are called Nefa-Jyväskylä. All the different Nefa’s study similar subjects to our own e.g. Cultural Anthropology or Folklore. Nefa stands for the Swedish words: Nordisk Etnologisk och Folkloristisk Arpetsgrupp or in English: The Nordic Ethnology and Folklore group. The names of the other Nefa’s are: Nefa-Helsinki, Nefa-Tampere, Nefa-Turku, Nefa-Joensuu and Nefa-Tarto.

Nefa-Jyväskylä was established in 1973 and celebrates its birthday every five years (1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003, 2008, 2013, 2018, 2023, 2025). Our organization is small, with fifteen new students each year. It is fun and easy to get to know everyone and you can freely join us. Most of our events are entrance free and in addition to our traditional events we also arrange with the History students located in our same department two international events a year.

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What is a student association?

In Finland almost every single University subject has an association for its students. Associations are big in Finland. It is important, however, to note that Finnish student associations are not political! In some countries they may be political, but in Finland they are only to help organize and take care of our students. The associations, such as Nefa, make as much money as they use. Some associations sell overall badges, food or arrange events with entrance fees to help fund their programs. The main concern of student associations, including Nefa, is to make sure students have also fun during their studies and help forward messages from the department and Student Union to the students. We make sure nothing is amiss.

The student associations are run by the board, which in Nefa is chosen once a year in January in the annual meeting of Nefa. There are 4-10 members in the board and the board is run by the chairperson. Each board member has their own responsibility to take care of, for example, freetime activities, sport activities, international activities, social and educational activities and cultural activities. In addition there is the vice-chairperson or second-in-command and the secretary and treasurer. The board members are fellow Ethnology students who have volunteered to take care of the student association. They do not get paid for their work. The student Union or JYY helps trains us and adive us as well as offers us funding assistance from the money thay have left over. The student Union is for all of the students in the University and helps take care of our different assocations which are established for the different students of different subjects within the University.

Want to become a member of Nefa?

One of the ways we fund our program is through membership fees. Membership fee is only 8 euros but it is not obligatory for visiting or exchange students. Membership basically means that in return for 8 euros, you get different discounts, for example, you can visit the most museums in Finland for free.

To become a member, please pay 8 euros to NEFA-Jyväskylä’s bank account (Osuuspankki Poppia FI32 4783 0010 0781 08). The membership lasts for the duration of your studies. While paying, write the following message: Membership fee (+ your name). To receive the NEFA sticker for your student card, please bring the receipt to the treasurer.

As a member of NEFA, entrance is free at least to the following museums:

  • Suomen Käsityön Museo
  • Keski-Suomen Museo Keski-Suomen Taidemuseo
  • Aarresaaren Kotiseutumuseo
  • Radio- ja puhelinmuseo (Petäjävedellä)
  • Keuruun museon näyttelyt Kamanassa
  • Pihlajakosken Kotiseutumuseo
  • Äänekosken Kaupunginmuseo
  • Äänekosken Taidemuseo
  • M-Real Oy:n tehdasmuseo
  • Konginkankaan Kotiseutumuseo

It is recommended that you show your membership sticker and explain that you are a student of culture and museology while visiting museums anywhere in Finland. Whether or not the museum you are visiting is listed above, there may be a good chance that you may get in for free or at a cheaper price, considering that many who work at museums are former members of NEFA.