Finland's educational system is world-renowned for its quality, and that includes the University of Helsinki. If you want to enjoy this during your exchange, living in a shared flat is going to be the best alternative you are going to have with an average student budget. Remember that, as in the rest of the Nordic countries, the cost of living in Helsinki is very high, so you should save as much as you can.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you don't have to worry about the language, as most Finns and international students speak English. For this reason, do not be afraid to choose roommates of different nationalities and take the opportunity to learn about their cultures and habits.
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of living in a shared flat in the capital of Finland:
It is the cheapest accommodation option for students. If you have a budget that is not very high, sharing an apartment has more opportunities to find one that includes your preferred characteristics in areas such as the centre of Helsinki or Kallio, two of the most chosen by young people.
You will have the option to choose between single or shared rooms, in which the cost is usually even cheaper.
Living with roommates is key to getting through winter in Finland, especially if you come from a warmer country. The winters in Helsinki are very cold and the days are very short and living in a fun environment will keep your spirits up.
The Finns, although they are friendly, tend to be distant and cold with people they have just met. Keep this in mind if you are going to share a flat with locals, since it may be convenient for the other roommates to come from different nationalities.
In winter you will have to reach an agreement with your colleagues about the use of heating. Many like to live in heat and keep it on all the time! The positive thing is that the expenses are usually included in the cost of the rental.
In the apps for Erasmus+, you will find all kinds of useful information for your exchange, both about the paperwork you have to do and about life in the city. For example, some of the tips from students that you can read are about aspects of their culture that may seem strange to you, such as that they offer coffee everywhere, that there are no blinds in the houses or about meal times.
You can befriend your roommates, with whom you are going to spend a lot of time at home. You can also use some of the following options to meet people in the Finnish capital:
ESN Uni Helsinki is one of the most prominent student associations in the city. They organize, for example, cheap student trips to the Baltic and Lofoten countries, events in bars, visits to city sites, among others. It is a very good way to meet other students and enjoy the Finnish culture together.
Most of the Facebook groups for international students are divided according to the academic year, so choose the one that corresponds to the period in which you will be there. You will also find ESN Uni Helsinki groups and other organisations, such as Erasmus Plus Helsinki.
The students themselves or associations create groups on Whatsapp to be in direct contact. This allows youth to introduce themselves, meet each other and find other students who have similar interests to share activities.
Keep in mind the following about living in the Finnish capital:
There are many windows in the flats that cannot be opened. Strange, right? They are only placed so that outside light enters, but they should not be opened unless it is to clean them because the wind can damage them.
If you're going to be in Helsinki on June 23, you're in luck! That night San Juan is celebrated, in which the Finns celebrate by performing typical dances, games and a Kokko, a giant bonfire. Normally, in Helsinki, the main celebrations are held on the island of Seurasaari.
Students of the different universities of Helsinki usually use jumpsuits with colours that represent them, be it green, blue or burgundy. Surely you will have fun doing different outdoor activities with students from your same university.
|How much does a shared flat cost in Helsinki?|
|The price of single rooms in Helsinki starts at €450 and up and that of shared rooms usually starts at €290 per month per person.|
|How to find roommates in Helsinki?|
|We recommend that you do it in online communities, such as Erasmus Play, where you will also be able to see the characteristics of shared apartments.|
|How to meet people in Helsinki?|
|Besides connecting with your flatmates, the best ways are by joining ESN Uni Helsinki and other associations, as well as Facebook and Whatsapp groups that are available.|
|Should I share a flat or live alone in Helsinki?|
|Living with flatmates in Helsinki has many advantages, among which is, having company when you arrive in the city, meeting people who are in the same situation as you easily and having fun with your roommates on the short days of winter.|
|What to ask before entering a shared flat in Helsinki?|
|You have to ask what is the atmosphere that predominates in the apartment if it is a party or a more calm apartment. You should also find out how cleaning and other basic house chores are organized.|