Living costs and student discounts

Kuvituskuva: tietokone ja vihko pöydällä

Lead paragraph

In Finland, the wages, taxes and general living costs are slightly higher than generally in Europe. However, most of the public services are funded by taxes, which makes them affordable and accessible to all residents.

Living costs

The monthly budget for living and studying in Finland (including food, accommodation, transport and entertainment) is about €700-1000. It is advisable to budget a larger sum for the first month after your arrival, as there are always essential items which need to be bought in the beginning of your studies.

The minimum monthly budget can be roughly divided as follows:

  • Rent:
    • Student housing 300–600 €
    • Private housing 500–850 €
  • Food: 200–300 €
  • Transportation: 60 €

Other expenses, e.g. study material, also need to be taken into account. Please note that expenses for study materials are relatively low in Finland, because you can borrow most books from Haaga-Helia's library or from other libraries. 

Student discounts

University students are entitled to discounts for various services in Finland.

All students will receive a meal benefit card after their arrival to Haaga-Helia which entitles them to meal discounts at all student restaurants in Finland.
Students living in the Helsinki metropolitan area can also get a student discount on a monthly travel card for local travel inside the Helsinki metropolitan area. 

An easy option to get all the student discounts is to obtain a Haaga-Helia's student union HELGA's student union card. The card entitles you to discounts on transportation (both local and long-distance), meals, and several other services (cultural and recreational activities) with one single card.

You will receive more information about the student card and HELGA in the beginning of your studies.

Currency and payments

Finland uses Euro (€, EUR, E, e) as its currency. Most stores accept Visa, MasterCard, and debit cards. In general, Finns tend to prefer card payments.

If you need cash, you can obtain it from a cash machine in the Otto Network. Otto machines work with international cards bearing the following symbols: Visa, MasterCard, Visa Electron, Maestro, EC, Cirrus, and Plus.

Bills, such as your rent, must usually be paid to the recipient's bank account.


The policy for opening a bank account depends on the bank, so it's very hard to give exact steps for opening a bank account. We recommend that you contact the bank beforehand and inquire about the possibility of opening an account and asking what documents are needed. Banks in Finland are open Monday to Friday 9.30-16.15.

Banks operating in Finland:

Exchange students

Students coming to Haaga-Helia through the TFK exchange programme can open a Finnish bank account if necessary but also a foreign bank account that accepts international payments is okay. If you wish to open a Finnish bank account we recommend you visit the bank with your tutor and schedule an appointment with the bank in advance.