Housing

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Have a look at this list of useful hints and sources of information for house hunters.

If you do not know where to start, check out first the factors to consider when searching for housing. If you already know what you want, select appropriate link under Quick links and go ahead and apply.

Please note that the University of Helsinki itself does not provide accommodation for students. The University of Helsinki is working in cooperation with HOAS and Unihome in order to accommodate the growing number of international students. Neither the University of Helsinki nor our partners can guarantee that you will find a place to stay – but we will do our very best to inform you about different housing providers.

Quick Links

Housing for international Bachelor’s and Master’s degree students

The University of Helsinki has reserved the following housing options for international degree students:

Housing for Incoming exchange students

Exchange students coming through an official exchange programme apply for housing in the Mobility Online application system. For more information, please see

Housing for incoming visiting students

As a visiting student, you have the following options to apply for housing

Factors to consider when searching for housing

Hurry up!

First the good news: Helsinki is a very safe city, apartments are well maintained and the public transport network is excellent. The bad news? There is great demand for housing as Helsinki is Finland's only metropole and there are not enough apartments for everyone wanting to move in. So be one step ahead and start looking for an apartment right after receiving your acceptance letter! We recommend you start your house hunting by checking what HOAS and Unihome has to offer you. If you are not willing to live in a student housing, check the “Other housing options”-section.

The more channels the better

Apply for an apartment simultaneously through various channels to increase your chances of getting an apartment. Remember: if you receive a housing offer – take it! As there is a lot of competitions in the housing market in Helsinki, it is unlike that you will receive another housing offer. Also, please note that the University does not offer temporary housing.

Be prepared to pay more

Helsinki’s loveliness and high living standards come with a price. You should have 700–1000 euro for living expenses per month of which 450–700 euro per month for housing. For the residence permit, you are required to have 560 euro per month on your bank account, but that will not be enough for living in Helsinki.

Could you live further away from the city centre?

The further you live from the centre of Helsinki, the cheaper the rents and the bigger the selection of apartments on offer are. Also, the public transport network is vast and connections are frequent and punctual, so living further away is not a problem! You can check the public transport connections from your apartment to the campus from the Journey Planner.

Remember these tips when applying

Especially in Helsinki, where the demand for housing is high, one housing offer might receive dozens of replies. To improve your chances to get an apartment, consider the following tips while replying to a housing offer or writing your own announcement:

  • Introduce yourself and tell that you are studying at the University of Helsinki.
  • Express your interest for the apartment in question.
  • Remember to write in full sentences.
  • If you decide to attach a picture of yourself, the picture should be decent.
  • If you find an interesting housing offer e.g. on Facebook, it is recommendable to contact the person via private message rather than only on the comment field.
  • Make sure to leave your contact information (phone/email).
  • Most importantly: be polite and take time to write your reply/announcement!

Never send money or your passport information to anyone!

There are many scam announcements online, so do not send money or your passport details to anyone on the open market before you have seen the apartment and signed a contract. An offer that sounds too good to be true (e.g. a studio flat under 500 euros in the centre) is usually a scam.

Cancel unnecessary applications

Remember to cancel unnecessary applications after finding accommodation. Otherwise, other students in the queue might have to wait longer for their housing offer.

No flat before arriving in Finland? Book a hostel room early!

If you haven't received a housing offer by mid-August (or mid-December for the spring term) it is likely that you won't get a flat by the beginning of September/January. In this case, it can be a good idea to secure temporary accommodation for the whole of September/January right away. Most flats and rooms are vacant from the beginning of the month.

HOAS - Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki region

HOAS is the main non-profit organisation providing student housing in the Helsinki Region. The University of Helsinki has reserved housing for incoming students (international Bachelor’s and Master’s degree students and incoming exchange students) in furnished rooms in shared apartments and studios.

It is advisable to apply for an apartment as soon as you receive confirmation of your place of study – but no sooner than four months before you need the apartment. Your possibilities to receive an apartment from HOAS are improved if you are willing to live outside the centre and campus areas.

However, please remember that applying as soon as possible does not guarantee that you will get an apartment when your studies begin. Unfortunately HOAS cannot guarantee housing for all students.

If you receive a housing offer from HOAS, there will be a mention about the beginning of the tenancy period on the offer. Most HOAS contracts start in August, but for some locations, the tenancy period starts on September 1st. You are expected to arrive in Helsinki before the Welcome Fair and orientation course  begins. If your tenancy period starts on September 1st, make sure you have booked a hostel or other accommodation for the last days of August.

The housing offer also includes information on when you need to send/give HOAS an official certificate of your student status. If you have any questions about this or need an extension to the deadline, please contact HOAS directly.

Unihome

Unihome concept was originally established in 2010 to ease International visitor’s of two universities, University of Helsinki and Aalto University, accommodation. An Easy living concept was created in 5 different locations in Helsinki and Espoo, close to both universities’ campuses. 

In all locations staying is easy, well equipped kitchens, laundry facilities and easy access to Helsinki City Center.

You can take a closer look at the apartments that Unihome has to offer on Housing options for Bachelor’s and Master's degree students liable to tuition fees

Other housing options

Besides student housing, you can also check the following housing options from the open market. Please note that these housing options are offered by private organizations that are not related to the University of Helsinki.

Long-term housing

To help you on the way the Student Union has created a short Finnish-to-English wordlist for househunting.

Short-term hous­ing

In case you don't have housing when you arrive, check the housing options below:

Furnish your apartment

Furniture for reasonable prices can be bought at second hand shops. There are also two Ikea stores near Helsinki in Espoo and Vantaa, for contact information and instructions on how to get there, see Ikea's website. They also have a delivery service. For one-stop shopping, check out the shopping centres in Helsinki and the surrounding area. You can find directions on how to get to the different shops and stores by using the Journey Planner, street addresses are provided below. You may also want to search local Facebook recycling groups for affordable second hand furniture.

Shopping centres, department stores and shops in the Helsinki area

Forum (Helsinki City Centre): Mannerheimintie 14–20
Kamppi (Helsinki City Centre): Urho Kekkosenkatu 1
Stockmann (Helsinki City Centre): Aleksanterinkatu 52
Sokos (Helsinki City Centre): Mannerheimintie 9
Habitat (Helsinki city Centre): Keskuskatu 6
Clas Ohlsson (Helsinki City Centre): Mannerheimintie 4
Itis (Eastern Helsinki): Itäkatu 1–7
Jumbo (Vantaa): Vantaanportinkatu 3
Sello (Espoo): Leppävaarankatu 3–9
Iso Omena (Espoo): Piispansilta 11

Second hand shops and flea markets

Reuse Centre department stores and shops: Kyläsaarenkatu 8 (Helsinki), Kauppakartanonkatu 12 (Helsinki), Keinulaudankuja 4 (Helsinki), Kutojantie 3 (Espoo), Rusthollarinkatu 1 (Espoo), Hosantie 2 (Vantaa)
Fida second hand shops: e.g. Hämeentie 5a (Helsinki), Hämeentie 31 (Helsinki)
Kontti second hand department stores by the Red Cross: Visbynkuja 2 (Helsinki), Nimismiehenpelto 6 (Espoo), Tammiston kauppatie 8 (Vantaa)
Emmaus Helsinki flea markets: Mäkelänkatu 54, Gyldénintie 2
Hietalahti Flea Market: Hietalahti Market Square
Hakaniemi Flea Market (on Sundays): Hakaniemi Market Square