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Living costs in Finland: Various monthly and daily expenses to consider for international students

Mall Ideapark, City of Tampere, Laura Vanzo
City of Tampere, Laura Vanzo

Coming to study in Finland is undoubtedly exciting. Imagine the new environment, modern cities, social activities, and more you will encounter. Aside from a stimulating experience and new learnings, it is best to plan ahead of time for the costs of living in Finland.

Today, let us give you a preview of the expenses you will encounter in the country. From standards to fees based on cities, we will help you get familiar with the living costs in Finland. Note that all indicated prices are US dollars, courtesy of My Life Elsewhere. We also added valuable tips on how to save money while studying!

The standard living costs in Finland

The average living costs in Finland are generally between 600 to 900 EUR per month. The living costs certainly depend on which city you live in and what kind of accommodation you specifically choose. Helsinki metropolitan area is surely more costly because it is the capital of Finland.

Living costs, accommodation. Credit: City of Tampere, Laura Vanzo.
City of Tampere, Laura Vanzo

Rental houses for international students

There are student housing foundations in every city that certainly offer affordable housing options for students. Renting accommodation from these foundations is recommended because the cost is surely cheaper. The rent often includes water and free internet.

A room in a shared apartment is specifically more affordable than a studio. It is also advisable since you will certainly get to know others living in the apartment, the waiting line is not too long, plus you can surely save some money.

Furthermore, on top of the rent, you have to pay for electricity and home insurance. Additionally, apartments for rent specifically require a deposit when you move in. But do not worry; you generally get the guarantee back if the apartment is in good condition when you move out.


The transportation costs generally depend on where you live. In Helsinki metropolitan area, public transportation can be more costly. However, you have the choice to use commuter trains, buses, and trams.

The city of Tampere specifically offers trams for transportation. In other cities in Finland, there are buses available.

The cost of a 30-day ticket generally varies from 38 to 65 EUR per month. It also depends on how many zones in the city (A, B, C, D) you must travel through.


An essential factor in your living costs in Finland is food. Luckily, there are many big groceries in Finland. For budget-conscious students, we highly suggest you visit LIDL. You can download their app on your phone and receive notifications for the week’s offers. You may also get discount coupons.

The country also has K-Citymarket. It is a chain of groceries that specifically includes K-Supermarket and K-market. Once you download the K-rouka app and apply and receive a Plussakorrti, you can surely get many discounts and offers!

You may consider other stores such as Prisma, S-market, Sale, or Alepa.

Food market. Credit: City of Tampere, Olga Javits.
City of Tampere, Olga Javits

Here are the prices of some grocery items in the country. Note that costs may change depending on their availability.

Local cheese$3.76
Bottle of water$1.56
One kg of boneless chicken$9.81
One kg of apples$2.35
One kg of bananas$1.78
One kg of oranges$2.24
One kg of tomatoes$3.29
One kg of potatoes$1.05
One kg of onions$1.56
Prices of items in groceries


Finland has four seasons. It would certainly be best if you prepare beforehand as seasons changes. We specifically suggest you bring appropriate clothing to remain comfortable all year round.

If you plan to buy new clothes once you arrive in Finland, below are the prices of some items:

Running shoes$80.51
Leather shoes$115.54
The cost of some apparel in the country

Miscellaneous expenses That may affect your living costs in finland

There are undoubtedly other expenses included in the living costs in Finland. Whether you are in Finland as a new immigrant or as an international student, here are additional expenses that you will certainly encounter:

Monthly gym membership$39.79
Local beer$6.10
Ticket in the cinema$13.14
Cost of a taxi trip (8kms)$19.62
Meal combo at a fast food restaurant$8.55
Basic meal at an affordable restaurant$12.76
Bottle of coca cola$2.33
Other expenses that you may consider in the country

Health Insurance

Student health insurance is specifically crucial for getting a residence permit for studies in Finland. Your health insurance must be valid when you arrive in the country. The cost of getting insurance generally ranges from 17 to 28 EUR per month with Swisscare

Additionally, for those studying for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, there is an additional Finnish Student Health Service twice a year.

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Average living costs in Finland based on cities

The living costs in Finland generally vary per city. The rent for a studio in Oulu ranges from 270 to 500 EUR per month. On the other hand, the rent for a studio generally range from 270 to 600 EUR per month in Tampere.

Meanwhile, the rent for a studio in Helsinki metropolitan area generally ranges from 380 to 750 EUR per month. The amount also specifically depends on the size and location of the apartment.

Furthermore, a room in a shared apartment in Helsinki metropolitan area is certainly more affordable. The rental fee generally ranges from 270 to 520 EUR per month.

On the other hand, the rent for a shared apartment in Tampere ranges from 195 to 415 EUR per month. In Oulu, the rental fee ranges from 200 to 425 EUR per month.

The cost of transportation varies between different cities. A 30-day transportation ticket is generally around 52 EUR per month in Oulu and 56 EUR in Tampere.

In Helsinki metropolitan area, the transportation cost is generally 65 EUR per month. However, there are some discounts for young adults under 24 years.

University fees

Your tuition fee generally depends on the university and your chosen degree. The average tuition fee ranges from 6,000 to 12,000 EUR per academic year. You may specifically visit our tuition fee and scholarships page for more information.

Getting a Finnish card also helps lower your living costs in Finland. You can surely get discounts on food, transportation, and more!

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how to save for your living costs in Finland

Choosing affordable accommodation or sharing rent place is surely a great way to lessen your living costs in Finland. Furthermore, it also allows you to split utility bills such as electricity, water, etc.

In addition, buying homeware and clothes from second-hand stores is also advisable. Just make sure that they are sturdy and certainly usable for a long time.

Aside from trying to save money, you can surely work part-time in Finland for 30 hours a week! The updated law for international students explicitly allows you to earn eight to 12 EUR per hour, depending on the industry.

To learn more about saving, read our blog about five budget-friendly tips for shopping in Finland and the student guide on how to save money.

In summary

If you are an international student, studying in Finland is certainly more affordable than in Canada and Australia. There are also many positive and exciting reasons to live in Finland. Overall, the quality of life is also better!

Budgeting for your living costs in Finland will never be a challenge if you know how to adjust. Additionally, you must always prioritize your needs over your wants. Focus on finishing your higher education and enjoy the generous reward after!

Book a free counselling session now and let us help you achieve your higher educational goals in Finland!

In addition, we can also help you look for a part-time job in the country. It will certainly allow you to earn and cover some of your living costs in Finland!

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About the writer

Mark has been a professional content writer for more than three years. He is certainly an expert in creating articles about education and studying abroad. His writings don’t only inform, but he wants to establish emotional connections with readers.

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