Student's Compass

The Student Compass is a well-being and life-skills program offering practical tools for enhancing psychological and emotional wellbeing, addressing motivation challenges, adjustment, stress-related issues, and promoting overall well-being.  

The Student Compass is part of Student Life, a unique cluster of innovative wellbeing support services for students that have been developed and extensively researched at the University of Jyväskylä.

Program's aims

The program’s aims are: 

  • to promote students' well-being including psychological, emotional, social, physical and mental wellness 
  • encourage self-development and self-care 
  • help students cope more effectively with study-related challenges such as difficulties concentrating and completing tasks, worries about graduating and any other motivation-related issues 
  • provide strategies to work through life challenges more effectively
  • to prevent and address stress, anxiety and mood-related problems 

Robust theoretical frame 

The program is primarily based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). One of the main goals of ACT is to increase psychological flexibility, which means the ability to be mindfully present and accept one's own thoughts, feelings, and other internal experiences while guiding one's own actions toward a meaningful life. Psychological flexibility can be practiced. Psychological flexibility skills have been found to be useful in academic and work performance, interpersonal relationships, and in many areas of mental health, such as stress, anxiety, and depression.

Based on rigorous research

ACT is an in­no­v­a­tive and ro­bust third-wave cog­ni­tive-be­hav­ioral mod­el that has over thir­ty years of sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly proven the­o­ry. In fact, there are so far over 900 ran­dom­ized con­trolled tri­als (ACBS, up­dat­ed March 2022) demon­strat­ing sup­port for the ACT mod­el. Many stud­ies show that it is an ef­fec­tive method in en­hanc­ing well­be­ing and help­ing peo­ple with a wide range of prob­lems, in­clud­ing re­duc­ing stress, anx­i­ety, de­pres­sion, which are also very com­mon is­sues amongst uni­ver­si­ty stu­dents. 

10 years of research

We have conducted numerous randomized trials on the program. Part of our re­search has shown that the pro­gram is ef­fec­tive in terms of en­hanc­ing the stu­dents’ emo­tion­al, so­cial, psy­cho­log­i­cal well-be­ing, self-es­teem, mind­ful­ness skills and over­all sat­is­fac­tion with life. We have also ex­am­ined if par­tic­i­pat­ing in the pro­gram has any ben­e­fits in re­duc­ing per­ceived stress as well as de­pres­sion symp­toms. Par­tic­i­pat­ing ac­tive­ly in the pro­gram does re­duce such symp­toms. If you would like to know more about the re­search con­duct­ed on the Stu­dent Com­pass, feel free to con­tact us.

Student Compass' Guide to Wellbeing

The program is easily accessible online and you can use it independently, at your own pace and anonymously. The program consists of different themes addressing well-being. The program is skills-based, with easy-to-learn experiential exercises and plenty of practice materials that are available in text, audio, and video form.

The English version of the Student Compass consists of the ‘The path to wellbeing’ -program, which includes five themes or steps that have been scientifically proven to enhance wellbeing and quality of life. 

Over 70 wellbeing exercises


"I got practical tools to deal with stress. The coach helped me by assessing my situation and guiding me through the program with concrete suggestions. We went through matters that helped me get a better perspective of how I navigate my life right now and how I approach academic studies. This program should become a mandatory course for all students!!" 

'What worked well for me was the diversity of ways of working: reading, writing, listening, meetings with the wellbeing coach. The content was also really effective and helped to gain new insights.'

"It was great to get a new perspective and concrete helping tools. Now I have a clearer understanding of my own thoughts and feelings. Exploring personal values helped me prioritize meaningful activities."

' It's great that something like this is made for students! A website like this should be open to everyone, regardless of city, place of study or job and age!'

'It's nice to have an opportunity like this as a student, I feel privileged!'

"The web program was a positive surprise. In a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere, I had the feeling that my coach wants to help, is interested, and understands me".

'The support of the wellbeing coach was absolutely essential to get through the program. I got concrete examples and exercises. A clear structure.  Especially the texts I read were very relevant and made me feel that I was not alone with my thoughts. In addition, the exercises were varied and of high quality.’

Group Guided Support 

Low-threshold coach support

The program is available with small group guidance (workshops) by specialized counselors and/or trained master’s level psychology students. The coaching support is organized by JYU’s psychology department and is free of charge to all University of Jyväskylä degree students. 

The group guidance options provide an additional opportunity to share your experiences with other students, to discuss and practice -in addition to the program- various exercises in a small group in an environment that is both safe and respectful. Currently, we are offering workshops for international students twice per year.


Individual support

Low-threshold coach support

We offer also one-to-one coach support. The individual guided option of the program is suitable for students that would like to work with the program's material in a more individualized manner, receive coach feedback, and address any other issues in addition to the themes covered by the program with their coach.