Apartment hunting help for exchange students

August and September are a busy time for the student union housing service. Foreign students looking for a place to live can now find help through a new service.

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More than 600 new exchange students will begin their studies at the University of Helsinki in September. The recently introduced Housing Service for Exchange Students is there to help them.

The Housing Service for Exchange Students is provided by the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) and the International Student Mobility Services of the University of Helsinki.

“In our marketing, we have also targeted Finnish exchange students, encouraging them to lease out their apartments while they are abroad," says Seija Anttonen from the International Student Mobility Services.

The number of applications received by the Student Unions’ Housing Service was higher this July than at the same time in 2008. Housing agent Susanna Hakkarainen cannot say if there really are more applicants, or whether students are just more aware of the difficulties of finding accommodation.

“There is no panic yet, but in the last few days, the number of applicants has clearly increased,” Hakkarainen says.

The housing needs of students vary. Permanent favourites include reasonably priced bedsits and rooms in shared student housing apartments near the campuses, but apartments shared with roommates are also an option for many. In the autumn, the Housing Service also accepts apartments that are available only for a few months. Apartments become available nearly every day.

According to Hakkarainen, there is currently no urgent need for emergency accommodation organised by the Housing Service. Last year was the busiest of the decade for emergency accommodation. Preparations for temporary arrangements have been made again this year.

“It’s the last choice, and we hope to be able to avoid it,” Hakkarainen says.

Read more:

Student Union’s Housing Service

International Student Mobility Services (University of Helsinki)

Text: Anna-Kaisa Kontinaho
Photo: Veikko Somerpuro

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