A glimpse of student housing options for exchange students at Haaga-Helia
Haaga-Helia's International Services team spoke to exchange students in the Helsinki capital region about their housing situation. Many exchange students need to be made aware of the pricing of student housing and the different options available.
The financial impact of moving to a new country and studying in Finland are often discussed challenges for exchange students and international students. However, in speaking to a group of exchange students at Haaga-Helia, Helsinki we learned that they found the cost of student housing relatively affordable relative to the quality and convenience of their locations.
Subsidized housing is often discussed as a benefit of student life in Finland, but in practice, what does student housing look like, and what are the benefits of student housing in the Helsinki capital region?
To better understand the student housing situation in the capital region and to learn more about their exchange experience, we interviewed a group of exchange students during a get-together event that we organized on the campus in the middle of the semester. Most of the exchange students are staying in HOAS (Foundation for student housing in the Helsinki region) apartments, but there are other housing options available too. In general, it’s easy to find student housing in the Helsinki region. Exchange students going to the Porvoo and Vierumäki campuses have guaranteed student housing in close proximity of the campuses.
Overall, a key theme of each interview was the social activities student housing provides. These activities organized by fellow exchange students and HOAS tutors gave for the new exchange students the opportunity to make friends right after arriving in Finland. Whether it be a HOAS tutor-organized pizza party, an outdoor excursion, or simply making dinner with a roommate, student housing plays a key role in their social lives.
Price, location, and quality
Compared to their home countries, Helsinki capital region student accommodation's quality and price per month were an additional benefit. Being able to find student housing for under 400 EUR a month was a huge benefit of student housing.
From their HOAS apartment in Kannelmäki, an exchange student from Woosong Univerity, can travel to Haaga and Pasila campuses. Two other exchange students from Hong Kong, who live in the same student housing facility, mentioned that they appreciate the location's proximity to the train station and easy connection to campus.
Students overall expressed great satisfaction with the sauna facilities in their chosen student accommodation and appreciated the chance to learn more about Finnish sauna culture. Another standout was the accessible and free laundry facilities offered by HOAS housing.
Haaga-Helia will continue providing affordable and good-quality student housing in cooperation with HOAS for the exchange students as we want to support students’ wellbeing in general and their whole experience of settling in a new country.