What are the living costs for a student in Finland? What do you need to take in consideration? Before you arrive to Finland, you should budget for tuition fees, residence permit and flights. As well as health insurance, accommodation and groceries.
Most common living costs
The average living costs in Finland is between 600 to 900 EUR per month. The living costs depend on in which city you live in and what kind of accommodation you choose. Helsinki metropolitan area is more costly because of the fact that Helsinki is the capital of Finland.
There are Student Housing Foundations in every city that offer affordable housing options for students. Renting accommodation from these foundations is recommended because the rent is usually a bit cheaper than renting from somewhere else. The rent often includes water and free internet. A room in a shared apartment is more affordable than a studio. Which is also recommended since you will get to know others living in the apartment, the waiting line is not too long plus you will save some money! On the top of the rent, you have to pay for electricity and home insurance, if you have a dishwasher or a laundering machine in your apartment. Also, you should know that most apartments that are rented require a deposit when you move in. But do not worry, you get the deposit back if the apartment is in good condition when you are moving out.
Living costs in Finland include transportation. The transportation costs depend on where you live, in Helsinki metropolitan area public transportation can be more costly. However, in Helsinki you have the opportunity to use commuter trains, buses and trams. In Tampere you can also use trams but in the other cities in Finland, there are only buses for short distance transportation. The cost of a 30-day ticket varies from 38 to 65 EUR per month, the cost depends on how many zones in the city (A, B, C, D) you have to travel through.
We have a few big grocery store chains in Finland. The most budget-friendly is LIDL, which also has an app for your phone where you can see the offers of the week and get coupons! Then there is K-Citymarket, which is a chain including K-Supermarket and K-market. These can be a bit more costly but if you apply and receive a Plussakortti and download K-ruoka app, you can get a lot of offers and discounts. Then, there is S-group, which includes Prisma, S-market and Sale or Alepa.
One of the requirements for getting a residence permit for studies in Finland is to have a student health insurance. Your health insurance must be valid when you arrive to Finland. The health insurance ranges from 17 to 28 EUR per month (with Swisscare). There’s also an additional Finnish Student Health Service fee twice a year for those studying for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Finland.
Average costs based on cities
The rent for a studio in Oulu ranges from 270 to 500 Eur per month, when in Tampere the rents for a studio ranges from 270 to 600 EUR per month. In Helsinki metropolitan area the rent for a studio ranges from 380 to 750 EUR per month. The amount of the rent also depends on the size and location of the apartment. A room in a shared apartment in Helsinki metropolitan area, the rent ranges from 270 to 520 EUR per month, which is more affordable than a studio. In Tampere the rent for a shared apartment ranges from 195 to 415 EUR per month and in Oulu from 200 to 425 EUR per month. Also the cost of transportation varies between different cities.
The 30-day transportation ticket is around 52 EUR per month in Oulu and 56 EUR in Tampere. In Helsinki metropolitan area it is 65 EUR per month. There are some discounts for young adults under 24 years.
Also the tuition fees vary depending on the university and chosen degree. The average tuition fees range from 6 000 to 12 000 EUR per academic year. However, Finland has affordable tuition fees compared to many other countries. Most universities in Finland have some kind of a scholarship program.
There are also some optional costs regarding your studies, for example joining a Student’s Union or buying overalls (almost every study program has its own colour of overalls).
how to save?
While living and studying in Finland, you can save some money. Choosing affordable accommodation and only buying what you need. Buying clothes and homeware from second hand store. Switching the lights off when you don’t need them and unplugging your charger after you have charged your phone, will save you money with electricity bills. Students are also allowed to work 25 hours per week during their studies, which is a good way to earn some money.
You can read 5 budget-friendly tips for shopping in Finland here.