It is very important to settle all housing matters well in advance, and if possible, to have these matters taken care of before you depart from the U.S. Also, please note that the Fulbright Finland Foundation does not organize housing for grantees.
Be sure to purchase home insurance for your accommodation, if it's not arranged for you!
What should you know about housing in Finland before renting an apartment? Check out this video that we created!
The video answers the following questions:
- where to look for housing;
- what to know about the lease agreement;
- what does fixed term and a permanent lease mean;
- home insurance;
- what appliances are usually included in the apartments;
- what to do when moving out;
- useful links for more information!
Core Scholars, Distinguished Chairs, and Specialists
Core Fulbright scholars, Distinguished chairs, and Specialist Program participants should have their lodgings arranged by their respective host institutions. Any necessary or special requirements should be clarified at the time of applying. If this is not the case, please contact your host as soon as possible, prior to arrival. The Fulbright Finland Foundation provides the housing for the Bicentennial Chair.
When renting an apartment, remember to leave the apartment in the same or better condition than you found it. Otherwise, you may not get back in full your security deposit after the end of the lease.
MCPD and Teacher grantees
The MCPD grantees and the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching grantees must arrange their own housing. The host institution is not responsible for arranging housing for the grantee (although in some cases they may do so). If you need assistance with locating housing, the host institution should be able to advise you on possible contacts.
Apply early! Apply for housing immediately after you have received your student status confirmation from your university. Please note that the housing situation for students has been extremely difficult over the past few years. Housing applications are processed on a first-come first-serve basis. Therefore, applying early is essential!
All students are responsible for their own housing arrangements. You will see further down this page that we have collected many website links that will help you in your search for housing. In practice, most grantees (completing a master's degree) live in student housing. Remember also to purchase home insurance for your apartment in Finland.
“Students should be aware of attitudes toward communal life, which can be a total shock to those coming from the U.S., where rampant sharing is the rule rather than the exception. In general, HOAS Finnish flatmates are civil and polite but do not expect to be friends with each other and often just leave each other alone. Each flatmate is expected to provide his/her own things and no type of sharing is taken for granted. For example, in my apartment, everyone had their own roll of toilet paper and own bottle of dish detergent, and God forbid I should touch their food in the refrigerator. I actually like this system because you don’t have to worry about flatmates who leech all your stuff or wonder whose rightful turn it is to buy how much toilet paper.”
“Explore housing options as early as possible. Apply to HOAS, but also check out the alternatives. By doing this, the grantee can find accommodation that works for his/her budget and desired location.”
“Living in student housing was extremely beneficial as I was able to have initial friendships form quite easily.”
Student housing in Finland is organized by Student Housing Foundations in each city such as with HOAS in Helsinki and TOAS in Tampere, etc. The various Students’ Unions, Student Nations, and some universities may also provide student lodgings. Please contact the Foreign Student Advisor or International Coordinator at your host institution for more information. You can also visit SOA web page for links to student housing organizations in different cities in Finland.
Usually, you are not able to apply for student housing before receiving the student status at the university. Contact your Finnish host university International Office staff for detailed information on the process of applying for the student status. If you are accepted in to the university as a visiting student or degree student, remember to fill in the standard housing application form (not the exchange student form).
Please note that the students’ housing situation has been extremely difficult during the past few years. Housing applications are processed on a first come - first served basis. Therefore, early application is essential! Please let the Fulbright Finland Foundation know when you have secured your housing or if you have any problems in finding housing.
Please note that depending on the city, Doctoral students can have very limited access to student housing and need to look for housing from other sources. It is also worth asking possible housing tips from your host.
Private Housing Options
Some students choose to live in private housing, and in order to secure your lodgings in advance, you should also apply for housing from the private market. Please see the following list given below to further explore private housing options.
It is recommended that you contact the Foreign Student Advisor at your host institution to find out whether or not assistance with housing arrangements is available, but please note that your host institution is under no obligation to assist you with alternative/private housing arrangements. Also note that rent costs can be very high, especially in the Helsinki area, and suitable private housing may be very difficult to find. Furthermore, please keep in mind that the Fulbright Finland Foundation does not organize housing for grantees.
Finland is generally a very safe country, but we advise you to use caution when looking for apartments from a private renter. If you are not using a rental company, we recommend you to see if your university contact or Fulbright Buddy would be available to go see the apartment before you sign a lease to verify its legality.
As your Fulbright buddies are experts of your host city, we recommend you to consult your Fulbright buddy in regards of housing:
- Distances and
- Access to public transportation
Finnish Association for apartment rentals including a call line:
In English | Vuokralaiset ry
Resources for House Hunting
General Accommodation Information
- Huge Amounts of Housing Information
- The International English Speakers’ Association of Finland ry: Useful Links
- Expat Finland
- Student Housing Information
Good Places to Start
- Real Estate Agent: Huoneistokeskus
- Real Estate Agent: Kiinteistömaailma
- Real Estate Agent: Vuokraturva
- Real Estate Agent: Céline Relocation Services
- Real Estate Agent: Sato Oy
- Real Estate Agent: Lumo-vuokrakodit
- Real Estate Agent: OVV Asuntopalvelut
- Nation Wide Listings (in Finnish): TA.fi
- Nation Wide Listings (in Finnish): Oikotie
- Nation Wide Listings (in Finnish): Data Base
- Nation Wide Listings: Youth Housing
- Student Housing Help (Turku, Tampere, Helsinki: Asuntohelppi (the website is in Finnish, but you can email/call the company in English and ask for instructions on how to apply for housing through them. The email address is helppi(a)netti.fi and phone number +358 40 537 5210 (Mon-Sun 8:00-20:00).
- If you are in the Helsinki region, there is also a very popular Facebook group with over 110,000+ members which may be of assistance to you.
Renting an apartment from a private person:
Please note that even though some of the web pages are in Finnish, you can still send out a search announcement in English! Contact the housing service directly by email and ask for assistance.
Student Housing Options:
“I lived in a dormitory style building with a bunch of international students from all over the world. It was a great experience meeting all of them and learning about Finland with other people who have never experienced it.”
U.S. Student grantee 2016-2017
“I really enjoyed living not on campus, and I recommend people check out opportunities to live with Finns in their community. And having the community aspect for me really helped me get outside my work bubble and engage with others in the area.”
U.S. Student grantee 2016-2017
“I was advised that because housing is scarce in Joensuu to just take the first thing available/offered to me. This turned out to be an exchange student housing through Elli. I would have much preferred to not share with loud, messy, exchange students in their early 20's. Its quite hard to figure out what housing is available and how true it is that housing is scarce. Also, a lot of the apartments I looked at required 1 year leases, which are too long for a Fulbright grant period. Having been here awhile I think it isn't actually as impossible to find suitable housing for a single person that isn't shared but it would have been nice to know that before arriving and getting stuck in the student apartments.”
U.S. Student grantee 2016-2017
- Student Union Housing Guide
- Student Housing Foundation (HOAS)
- Student Village Latokartano (only for students)
- Silta-Klubi (Only for students)
University of Helsinki’s student clubs rent apartments, but the applicant has to be a member of the club in order to apply.
- Keskisuomalaisen Osakunta (only for students)
- Pohjalaiset Osakunnat (in Finnish, only for students)
- Satalinnan Säätiön Opiskelija-Asunnot (in Finnish, only for students)
- Savolainen Osakunta (in Finnish, only for students)
- Wiipurilainen Osakunta (only for students)
- Svenska Studenters Bostadsstiftelse (in Swedish, only for students)