Finland is a very safe country, apartments are affordable, well-maintained and often situated within the reach of public transports. Although the demand for student housing varies depending on the city, the general rule is- first come, first served. If you want to be one-step ahead, you should start looking for an apartment right after receiving your residence permit. The peak time for finding an apartment is always at the beginning of each academic year.
When starting to look for housing options, the first query about accommodation possibilities should be directed to your school in Finland. Alternatively, you could also ask about housing from the student housing foundation in the area where you will be studying. These housing foundations offer remarkably lower rents than the private market, and the accommodation is often located within a convenient distance from the campus.
The accommodation for students in Finland is usually organized through the regional student housing foundations. Sometimes the housing can also be arranged through local student clubs, faculty organizations, or in some university towns, through the student unions themselves. The student housing organizers are listed on the SOA – Finnish Student Housing website.
As previously said, the demand for housing is usually high in the beginning of the academic semesters, as many students look for accommodation. Thus, it is recommended that you start the application process for student housing as early as possible.
Types of housing
Shared apartment: Usually shared by 2-4 students, this is a good choice for single students. Each resident has his/her own lockable bedroom, while kitchen and bathroom are shared. Basic furniture in the bedrooms is often included.
Studio apartment: The number of studio apartments is limited and since this is a popular option, there is usually a waiting list.
Group apartment: This option is great when a group of friends wants to rent an entire apartment together. Similar to a shared apartment, but you get to freely choose your flatmates.
Family apartment: These apartments are intended for couples and families with children and might be located in quieter neighborhoods. They usually have 2-3 rooms and a kitchen or kitchenette.
The residential buildings often have facilities such as saunas and laundry rooms for students to use. The student apartments are a safe option, as the landlord is a reliable student housing organization.
The rents vary remarkably between different locations and different types of accommodation. The most affordable housing option is usually a room in a shared student flat. Single and family apartments often have higher rents than shared apartments. The monthly rent usually includes utilities such as water, electricity, and internet. You can find detailed information regarding the monthly rents directly from the student housing foundations.
If you want more information or advice, you can ask your Finnish university/UAS for help, or read more about it at Infopankki. International student housing sites, such as Housinganywhere.com can offer good advice as well.
Private sector housing
Apartments and rooms on the private market are available both furnished and unfurnished. They can often be rented either on a fixed-term contract or on a month-to-month rental agreement. Read the advertisements carefully to make sure what is included in the rent. You might need to buy home insurance and pay for utilities separately. While the private sector often has a wider selection of housing options, the rent is usually higher too.
One provider offering short-term housing options is Forenom. If you fail to get a student apartment, you can find an apartment through Forenom. Their apartments are furnished so you can stay at their apartments after you arrive in Finland, while looking for more long term accommodation.
Furnish your apartment
Furniture for reasonable prices can be bought at second-hand shops. There are also several Ikea stores in Finland. For locations, opening hours and contact information, see Ikea’s website. They also have a delivery service.
You may also want to search for local Facebook recycling groups for affordable second-hand furniture.