Living by yourself overseas could be daunting at first, thus, it would be a good idea to explore and do a bit of research on how life is like at Finland prior to your exchange studies there.

Housing options

Before you head to popular websites such as Airbnb, it is a good idea to explore the available housing options your university offers during your period of exchange. In Finland, an organisation called HOAS, which is the largest student housing provider in Helsinki, offers rental apartments for many areas in Helsinki. They provide basic amenities for all apartments, are well taken care of and offers reasonable prices for rent. This makes HOAS is a hugely popular option among students, however, slots are limited and it is a good idea to apply for it as soon as possible!

Transport options

The city of Helsinki offers many modes of transport such as buses, trams, subway and trains. As students, you are entitled to purchase student travel passes, however, to qualify for it, you would need a letter from your partner university to prove your enrollment to their university. After obtaining the letter, you will have to head down to the HSL office located in the central railway station to get the transport card that is needed to purchase the student travel pass.

Food options

Helsinki provides a huge variety of food options. If you are on a budget, you may look towards getting food from the school canteen or even cook your own meal. If you do miss Asian food, fret not as there are many Asian supermarkets available in Helsinki, especially near Hakaniemi. There is no need to worry about travelling far for groceries anywhere in Helsinki. There are many supermarket chains available within the vicinity of each neighbourhood. For example, there was a 24 hours hypermart located 5 minutes walk away from me and there were multiple smaller supermarkets that was just beside my student apartment.

Living in Helsinki is very comfortable and peaceful at the same time. With reliable infrastructure, it allows for students to be able to enjoy their exchange!

Bus in Helsinki
Train in Helsinki
Tram in Helsinki
Subway in Helsinki
View of snow outside the apartment
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