Last Updated: February 21, 2022
Study in Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki is the largest city and the capital of Finland. It provides an amazing quality of life and is home to the most renowned university in the world, the University of Helsinki. The academic institutions of Finland are known to have a curriculum including innovative techniques and extensive research programs.
Helsinki is a place for personal development and growth. A city where diverse people with different lifestyles and beliefs can co-exist. The Finnish people believe in the fact that helping the least fortunate brings inner peace and satisfaction. So they try to be of as much help as possible.
The city of participation and equality, Helsinki has several universities and UAS (Universities of Applied Sciences). It also has huge and beautiful public and private buildings. Helsinki's current economic and social life depicts an excellent example of how a system works. Helsinki as a study destination has everything a student wants.
Benefits of Studying in Helsinki
Location plays a major role in choosing a university. Helsinki, with its strong connection to nature and readiness to innovate, attracts many students from all over the world to enroll in its universities. There are around 10 institutions that offer bachelor’s and master’s programs in English. So, this is a plus point for students who are not familiar with the local language of Helsinki.
Some of the other benefits this place has to offer are:
- The locals are very friendly and polite, so for new students settling in can never be an issue.
- The Finnish education system is built in a manner that allows students to choose subjects of their choice and build a career in their dream field. The Finnish believe in the principle of freedom for all.
- Helsinki is one of the safest cities, which makes it possible for students to live there without any fear.
- Students can easily move from one place to another as Helsinki has a good public transport network.
- A variety of cultural events happen every year in Helsinki. So students can always participate in them and enjoy the world of films, art, theatrical works, music, and food.
- Students are being taught with a unique and innovative style and there is an informal relationship between a student and a teacher. So that way it becomes easy for students to reach out to their professors and the teachers are always ready to offer help.
Finding Accommodation in Helsinki
There are two ways to look for student accommodation in Helsinki. One can be the student housing foundations and another the private rental markets.
- HOAS is a non-profit foundation for student housing in the Helsinki, Vantaa, Espoo, and Kauniainen region and is listed with the Finnish Student Housing Limited (SOA). It provides accommodation to foreign students who will be doing their bachelor’s or master’s or are here for an exchange program. The student union of Aalto university also provides services related to this.
A student should apply for an apartment nearest to the institution as soon as the admission application is confirmed. However, there’s no guarantee that a room will be allocated to the student. So some extra effort will always be required on their part.
- There’s also a concept called Unihome, it is a type of short-term accommodation easing out the international visitor’s accommodation process.
- There are some private housing options also available to students in Helsinki that tend to be a little expensive. These are Anttikorppi Student House, Both Helsinki, Student Union Apartments, Airbnb, Eurohostel, Cheap Sleep, etc. Students can look for shared apartments, studio rooms workspaces, dormitories, etc.
Places to Stay in Helsinki
- Kamppi- This area is in the center of the city. Rooms can be a little expensive here.
- Toolo- The residential area is quiet and peaceful and attracts a lot of tourists. However, renting a room can cost much more than in other places.
- Kallio- Students and professionals love this place as it offers rooms at affordable rates.
- Pasila- It is a business area where many universities are located. Location is feasible and time-saving.
- Espoo- Students can also find it easy to live in Espoo and commute to Helsinki daily because living there seems to be a less expensive task. Also, Espoo is not very far from the Helsinki region so, time invested in commuting from one place to another is minimal.
- Vaanta- It is more like a suburban area near Helsinki city. For a student, it will roughly take around 30-40 minutes to travel from Vaanta to Helsinki either by bus, train, or private vehicle. This city is cheaper than Helsinki in many terms.
Cost of Living in Helsinki
Living here can prove to be of great expense. Students can control their spending to a certain extent but to meet their daily needs they should have a good amount in their hands.
There are many types of shopping markets in Helsinki from big to small, so students for the first few weeks can try shopping out at some of them to get a rough idea of prices at each one of those. Besides this, there are many areas of concern starting from accommodation and utility, transportation, entertainment, to food expenses.
Accommodation and Utility Expenses
Unihome housing can cost up to 350-610 EUR/month and for HOAS the range goes to 300-900 EUR/month. On average, a student must keep aside at least 300-950 EUR/month for rental purposes. As far as utility expenses are concerned students can be expected to pay around 100 EUR/month for basic utilities. It should be noted that heating and water expenses might be included in the rent, but the internet, gas, and electricity are exclusive of it.
This is another area where a student can spend a great amount on basic food necessities. An amount of not more than 170-180 EUR/month would be sufficient. The most popular budget-friendly supermarkets are Sale, Alepa, Lidl, and K-Market.
The basic prices of daily used grocery items are:
- Milk € 1.3/Liter
- Cheese € 7.5/Kg
- Potatoes € 1.15/Kg
- Apples € 2.3/Kg
- Lettuce € 1.7/Head
- Onion € 1.4/Kg
The excellent public transportation system makes it easier to travel to the nearest places to Helsinki. Students can explore the city using various modes of transportation like trams, trains, public buses, bicycles, taxis, and personal or hired vehicles.
One way ticket using local transport can cost up to 3 EUR/ride. It is always good to go for a monthly pass that can cost up to 50-60 EUR/month.
Universities in Helsinki
With many interesting courses and a huge pool of world-class academic resources, universities in Helsinki provide an innovative and smart learning experience to their students. Some of the best universities in Helsinki are:
University of Helsinki
This university aims to provide knowledge and learning based on research to everyone. It operates on four different campuses.
Human sciences → City Center campus
Science → Kumpula campus
Life sciences → Vikki campus
Medicine → Meilahti campus
With over 30,000+ students it offers a wide variety of master’s programs taught in English. Some of the English led faculties of this university are:
- Faculty Of Arts
- Faculty Of Law
- Faculty Of Biological And Environmental Sciences
- Faculty Of Social Sciences
- Faculty Of Pharmacy
Located in Espoo which is right next to Helsinki, this university is a mix of four fields, Science, Arts, Business, and Technology. It has six schools - School of Business, Engineering, Chemical Technology, Science, Electrical Engineering and the last one is a School of Arts, Design, and Architecture.
Hanken School of Economics
With three international accreditations namely AMBA for the executive education program and AACSB and EQUIS for the whole school, it is one of the leading international universities having years of experience in business administration, economics, research, and education.
Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences
A complete business-oriented institution that trains young professionals for business services through its research, education, and training programs. Having more than 10000 students, it operates on five campuses:
Haaga campus, Pasila campus, Porvoo campus,Malmi campus and Vierumaki campus.
University of the Arts Helsinki
Offering best class education in fine arts, dance, music, and theatre this university is the result of a merger of the Academy of Fine Arts, the Sibelius Academy, and the Theatre Academy. It has over 1900 students from all over the world. Transparent smooth and effective work in everyday management is the motto of this university.
Some Other Universities in Helsinki
- Metropolia University Of Applied Sciences
- Arcada University Of Applied Sciences
- Tallinn University
- Diaconia University Of Applied Sciences
- HUMAK University Of Applied Sciences
Entertainment Options in Helsinki
Students in Helsinki cannot get bored as they will find many options for fun and entertainment during the weekend. Various active and lively student organizations host parties and organize events and fun activities for students in Helsinki.
Some of the students might engage themselves in playing lots of sports, some might just work on their hobbies. Some might work extra during the weekend to support their living some might just hang out with their friends at the local coffee shops to enjoy the nightlife, fancy nightclubs, and pubs, attend rock concerts or visit the Kaivopuisto park.
Watching movies, relaxing at the Finnish saunas or the Esplanade Park, visiting the Winter garden of Helsinki, experiencing the Helsinki walking tour with a local citizen, or with the help of a guide are some of the other entertainment options available to students.
Places to Visit in Helsinki
There's no such place in Helsinki, where one cannot find beauty at its best. When it comes to students, they want to visit those places that can be free of cost or there are minimal charges for that. Also, a one-day short and affordable trip can be more than enough. Below are some of these places:
- Kamppi Chapel (the Chapel of Silence)- It is a uniquely-shaped wooden building that turns out to be an innovatively designed structure in the shape of an oval bowl. Located on the Narinkka Square, it is called the Chapel of Silence because it comprises of just a room for people to get away from the liveliness and hustle and bustle of the outside city. With high end interior designing, this building is a perfect example of simplicity at it's best.
- Uspenski Cathedral- From the outside of Uspenski Cathedral, students can have a wonderful and breathtaking view of Helsinki city, as the cathedral is located on top of a hill on Katajanokka Island. Made up of red bricks the building displays Russia's influence on Finnish architecture. Inside the cathedral, students can see beautiful chandeliers and many religious icons.
- Sibelius Monument Park- Named after the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, Sibelius park represents a combination of nature and music. It is a structure of 600 huge metal pipes joined together to create a soothing natural music as a result of wind blowing through them.
- Temppeliaukio Rock Church- With its unique and modern architecture, this church is one of the main attractions of Helsinki. It has been built inside a giant rock and is supported by beams on to the domed structure. The marvelous architecture took decades to move from paper to 3D.
Some of the other places of tourist attraction are Helsinki Cathedral, Finnish National Museum of Art (Atheneum), Esplanade Park, Kiasma Museum, Suomenlinna Island, Kauppatori, Linnanmaki Amusement Park, Seurasaari Open-Air Museum, Nuuksio National Park, and Sipoonkorpi National Park.
Things to do in Helsinki
There are many things students can do while studying in Helsinki:
- Students who are very fond of shopping can shop at Helsinki’s market square, one of the most famous shopping locations in Finland. Students can try out some of the local art and craft items or buy fruits and vegetables. The famous Baltic herring market is also here.
- Students can try the famous cuisine or traditional dishes of Helsinki at some of the best restaurants and cafes that have a student-friendly environment.
- They can take a food tour around the city to know Finnish food in a better way.
- Explore every corner of the city to understand the local culture and history behind it. Roaming around with a local along the streets of Helsinki can be a great experience.
- Students should work on making connections and building strong networks with the local citizens as that can help them in getting jobs soon or recommendations. If they plan to continue their studies or reside there permanently, this will help a lot for their living.
- Taking out some time out of their busy study schedule, students should plan a trip with friends to watch the northern lights.
- One cannot miss riding in the Helsinki trams to see some of the most famous sites of Helsinki.
- Relaxing at the Esplanade park that is in the middle of the city can be a good choice. That’s the popular hotspot for locals and also the best place to arrange picnics.