Reserve time for finding the apartment
Finding suitable accommodation in the capital region can be challenging as there is lack of housing in the area. You should start searching right away when you receive the acceptance letter. The peak time is in the beginning of the academic year. There is no guarantee that you will get a flat – you have to be active yourself!
Be prepared to pay 450-700 euro per month
Be prepared to 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 in your bank account but this is not enough for living in Helsinki.
Apply for an apartment simultaneously through various channels
If you get a housing offer – take it! You probably won't get another offer and the University does not offer temporary housing.
Find flat mates
Get in touch with other new international students and potential flat mates e.g. on Facebook.
Be prepared to live further away from the centre or campus areas
The public transport in Helsinki is ranked among the best in Europe ! The network is vast and connections are frequent and punctual, so living further away is not a problem! You can check the transport connections from your apartment to the campus from the Helsinki Region Transport Journey Planner.
Never send money or your passport information to anyone!
Do not send this information 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 euro in the centre) is usually a scam.
Cancel unnecessary applications
Remember to cancel unnecessary applications after finding accommodation as there are other students needing housing in the queue.
No flat before arriving in Finland? Book a hostel room early!
If you haven't received a housing offer by mid-August/mid-December 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 you temporary accommodation for the whole of September/January right away. Most flats and rooms are vacant from the beginning of the month.
If you have applied for a Hoas apartment but have not yet received an offer, you can also make use of the Forenom Pitäjänmäki hostel offer. Forenom offers Hoas applicants hostel accommodation in private rooms for €22 / night if the duration of the stay is at least 7 nights.