The Helsinki Metropolitan area is a fun place to live in, but finding suitable accommodation in the capital region can be challenging.
There is a lot of competition in affordable housing, so it is important to start searching for a room many months prior to arrival. Look into different options and make sure that you have reserved accommodation before you arrive.
Metropolia does not have housing services to offer. Thus it is the student's responsibility to find an accommodation for the period of their studies.
Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region - HOAS
The majority of Metropolia's degree and exchange students are able to secure their accommodation with the Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region (HOAS). HOAS is an independent, non-profit organisation which provides housing for approximately 17 000 students in the capital region.
HOAS offers the housing based on the student’s university campus area or within good traffic connections to the institution, so it is a very convenient option.
Note that there are different arrangements for exchange and degree students, so make sure to read the correct section!
HOAS for Degree Students
Many students who come to study for a degree at Metropolia live in the HOAS apartments.
HOAS properties are divided into campus areas for different schools. Each campus area has several options for families, friends, and students applying alone. HOAS apartments for the degree students are unfurnished.
HOAS deals with a huge number of housing applications. Autumn is the busiest time of the year and HOAS is not able to arrange housing for all applicants. Therefore it is vital that you will submit application to HOAS as early as possible and if you will get an offer from HOAS it is recommended that you will accept it immediately.
See more information on the accommodation options and submitting an application on the HOAS web site.
HOAS for Exchange Students
Most of Metropolia exchange students live in HOAS apartments. A limited number of furnished apartments has been reserved for the incoming exchange students.
HOAS is an easy, safe and affordable option for exchange students. The tenancy agreements for exchange students are made for full semesters (see Academic Calendar), regardless of the length of your exchange. The rent in all HOAS locations includes basic furniture, water, heating, electricity and Internet. All housing areas have shops, public transportation and other services nearby.
Applying for a HOAS room
The application periods for exchange student housing are:
- Autumn semester and academic year: 1 April - 5 May
- Spring semester: 1 October - 5 November
Please apply as soon as the application period starts! Because HOAS cannot accommodate all the students of the region, applying by the deadline does not guarantee that you will get a room.
In the autumn semester, rooms of the Metropolia quota are offered in the arriving order of the applications in two categories: first to students arriving for full academic year, and then to rest of the applicants for full autumn semester for as long as there are places available. In the spring semester the rooms are offered in the arriving order of the applications for full spring semester only.
Accommodation options at HOAS
There are four furnished room types that HOAS offers for exchange students:
- room in a shared apartment
- shared room in a shared apartment*
- studio apartment and
- shared studio apartment*.
See the details and prices on the HOAS website.
* These options with a shared bedroom are only possible for couples and friends who know each other, because they provide very limited privacy. Please note that you will not be able to change the apartment or roommate after signing the tenancy agreement. When applying for a shared studio or a shared room in a shared apartment, both tenants must write on their application whom they want to share the room with.
Accepting HOAS Reservation
Once HOAS has found you a room they will send you a housing reservation by e-mail. Check your e-mail on a regular basis - also junk mail / spam mailbox, just in case. Most of the HOAS housing reservations are sent out during June/November, so if you have not received a housing reservation e-mail by July/early December, be sure to apply for other accommodation options.
When you receive a housing offer, accept it as soon as possible. If you do not accept it by the deadline mentioned on the offer, the housing will be offered to someone else. You will not get a second offer. If you need more response time, please contact HOAS. If you didn't get the kind of housing or location you wished for, it means that your first choice was no longer available. It is common in Finland to live further away from the campus, and the public transportation system is excellent. Use the HSL Journey Planner to check connections.
Read carefully the detailed instructions on the HOAS website for exchange students. Please note especially that a signed housing reservation is a valid tenancy agreement which cannot be cancelled or edited afterwards. The agreement will be made only for full semesters.
Receiving the HOAS keys
Metropolia's exchange students have two different ways for receiving their HOAS keys. The instructions vary according to the two different move-in dates:
- Most HOAS locations allow exchange students to move in on 1 August.
- If you have a student tutor and arrive in Finland after 1 August -> your tutor will bring your HOAS keys to you upon arrival.
- If you do not want a tutor -> collect your HOAS keys yourself at the Student Union METKA's office from 1 August onwards. METKA office is open during weekdays between 9am and 3pm. Address: Bulevardi 31, Helsinki; phone number: +358 50 350 1603.
- One exceptional location "Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu 29" allows exchange students to move in on 3 September, after 6 p.m. in the evening.
- Wait for the move-in schedule and instructions from HOAS. Collect your keys yourself at the HOAS office (downstairs from your building) after the keys are released.
- Please arrange other housing for the first week(s): see e.g. the Hostelling International Finland or the Visit Helsinki website.
Plan your arrival according to the timing of your orientation at Metropolia.
You can also search for accommodation on the private market. However, it might be very difficult to find affordable accommodation, especially if you are an exchange student looking for furnished accommodation for a short period of time.
In the Helsinki Metropolitan area there are relatively few rental apartments available and the rents are high (appr. 600-800 euros/month/studio) even if you live outside the city centre of Helsinki - furniture, water, electricity and Internet connection are not included in the rent either. The highest demand for affordable housing is at the beginning of each semester, so start looking months in advance.
Be cautious in accepting a rental apartment from a private owner without seeing it though – there are scams and fake advertisements in the market.
Please note that Metropolia cannot offer any assistance in finding accommodation from the private market.
Temporary Housing Options
Many companies in the Helsinki region rent out furnished apartments or rooms in apartment hotels for a temporary stay, for example:
- AnttiKorppi Student House
- Citykoti Downtown city apartments
- City apartments
- Domin rental apartments
- Celine relocation service
- Comodo apartments
- Gella serviced apartments
- Helsinki apartment
- See also the accommodation section of the Visit Helsinki website
For hostels and other options, see for example:
- CheapSleep Helsinki
- Finnish Hostel Association
- Visit Helsinki website
- CouchSurfing, a volunteer-based network for short-term accommodation
You can also rent furniture for the duration of your exchange from Furent. For example, during a five-month exchange you could fully furnish a studio apartment for 90€ per month.