Tips: applying for housing


My name is Jibril Taufiq Iddriss and I am currently one of the University of Helsinki’s International Student Ambassadors. I am passionate about helping students out, especially those coming from Africa with a different culture and outlook on life.

By now, most of you are just jumping up and down telling the whole town or on a lighter note village that you have received an admission into the University of Helsinki. University of Helsinki is one of the 100th best universities in the world. All said and done, you are told to apply for accommodation as soon as possible from this site ( or any other sources provided by the university website.

I live in a Hoas apartment, so I would like to share my experience with regards to that. First of all, Hoas is a non-profit organization providing student housing. Hoas offers rooms in shared apartments as well as family apartments and friends’ apartments. Let me give you guidelines to follow and the best tips to look out for in your search for an apartment at Hoas.

  1. Helsinki is the closest to the school. Therefore, if you prefer your journey to school not to exceed 30- 45 minutes, the Helsinki area is your best choice but be willing to pay between 400-650 Euros.
  2. Vantaa and Espoo are also part of the Helsinki region but your journey might take you usually between 45- 1hr 30 minutes to school because you will use buses and trains. Rents around these areas are a bit cheaper compared to the Helsinki area. You might pay between 180- 400 Euros.
  3. Hoas has several types of apartments, including Room in a shared apartment, Studio apartment, Two-room apartment, Family apartment and Friends’ apartment.
  4. The shared apartment is usually the cheapest because you will share it with other students either from your own university or universities around the Helsinki region. You can check out the blue prints of the apartments from the Hoas website as well as detail descriptions.
  5. Be very careful in your application for an apartment. In Finland, Basic degree refers to both bachelor’s and master’s students. So if you are a master’s degree student, choose basic degree in the application because you are likely to be offered an apartment within a short period of time compared to you mistakenly choosing post graduate which is the PhDs and Doctoral students.