Housing for Exchange Students

All exchange students should apply for housing immediately after they receive their letter of acceptance.

General Information on Housing

The housing situation in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area (cities of Helsinki, Espoo,Vantaa and Kauniainen) is challenging.The rental level is high (starting from approx. 650€ for a small studio apartment in Helsinki and 500€ in Espoo) and there is a lack of small rental apartments and student housing within the area. Therefore, finding suitable accommodation can be difficult especially in the beginning of the autumn term (August/September).

Aalto University does not itself own any student dormitories. The main student housing providers for Aalto’s students are the Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki region, HOAS (hoas.fi) and Aalto University Student Union, AYY (ayy.fi). The apartments are located in Espoo and in Helsinki, all with public transportation connections to the university campuses.

Please, note! Aalto University, HOAS or AYY unfortunately cannot guarantee housing for all exchange students. Prepare yourself to seek for accommodation from the private rental market as well.

Key points!

  • Apply early and reserve time for finding the apartment!
  • Apply simultaneously through various channels! (HOAS/AYY/Private rentals)
  • It is good to reserve minimum approx. 450€- 700€ for accommodation/month (should be enough for a room in a shared apartment). Note that usually small studio apartments near Aalto campuses start from min 650€/month when renting through private rentals.
  • If/when you are offered an accommodation, accept the offer, even if the location or the quality of housing does not match all your requirements! Remember also to cancel all your other housing applications as there are other students needing housing in the queue.
  • Your chances of finding an apartment increase remarkably if you are willing to live outside the centre and campus areas. A new metro line to Aalto University Otaniemi Campus will be opened in October.  You can check the transport connections from your apartment to the centre or campus areas at Helsinki Region Transport Journey Planner http://www.reittiopas.fi/en/
  • Make sure that you have a roof over your head when you arrive in Finland, even if it is a hostel room. See more info and important tips in the final section of this page: "No flat before arriving in Finland?"
  • Watch out for rental scams! Although the majority of the private person landlords are reliable, and you should not become too scared, it is good to keep in mind the possibility of fraud.  If the apartment sounds too good to be true (e.g. cheapness in relation to its size and location), it is usually a scam.  Never send money or credit card details/passport information to anyone in advance. Do not pay the deposit payments nor the rents in advance if you have not seen the apartment, met the landlord or signed the contract.     

Exchange Student Housing - main providers

1) HOAS (Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region)

HOAS is the biggest non-profit student housing provider in the Helsinki region with over 17 000 tenants. HOAS's exchange student rooms are located in the cities of Helsinki and Espoo, all with good public transportation connections. The monthly rent is approx. 400€/month including furniture, internet connection, electricity and water plus other additional free services.

 Further information >>

Aalto University has reserved a quota of furnished rooms from HOAS for Aalto's new incoming exchange students. Unfortunately the amount of rooms is insufficient and thus we cannot accommodate all our exchange students. Kindly note that even if you are left queuing on the waiting list, there is still a possibility to get a HOAS furnished room in case of cancellations. Thus it is important that everybody fills in the HOAS application!

HOAS’s application period for the spring term 2018 begins already 1 October 2017. It is highly recommended to apply immediately for HOAS housing even before you have been accepted as an exchange student at Aalto University. Note that you need to apply 10 November 2017 at the latest. After this date HOAS will start sending the housing offers by e-mail, and all the offers for spring term will be sent by Mid-December.

Please, read carefully all the information and instructions before filling in the application form:

Separate housing application form for exchange students

Further questions, inquiries: exchangestudents@hoas.fi

Unfurnished apartments

Exchange students can also apply for unfurnished HOAS housing. This can be done by filling out the housing application for degree students. However, kindly note that these apartments and rooms are not furnished and students studying the full degree (Bachelor or Master) in the Helsinki region are prioritized. Thus the chance of an exchange student to receive this accommodation is very small. Exchange students applying for both furnished and unfurnished apartments will be offered first a furnished apartment and only if all furnished apartments are rented out, they can be offered an unfurnished apartment.

2) AYY, Aalto University Student Union

Exchange students can apply for AYY apartments, if they join the Student Union.

 Further information how to apply >>

Students apply for housing through Domo application system, and all AYY housing services will be handled through Domo. The deposit payment is 250€.

If you want to apply for an apartment for the spring term 2018, please do it in the housing application system Domo https://domo.ayy.fi/. Application period already begins 1 October but please be aware that most of the AYY apartments will be offered not earlier than 15 November (DL for applications).

Further information about AYY Housing at


Contact information: asuntotoimisto@ayy.fi

8.6.2017 ->

AYY has decided to give up furnished shared apartments. Due to this change, it is no longer possible to apply for furnished shared apartments through Domo.The change will not affect your applications’ place in the queue or your application points. Unfurnished apartments have a kitchen with a stove and fridge but no bed, table or lights. You can get furniture from Reuse Centres https://www.kierratyskeskus.fi/stores or rent from the rental company Furent http://www.furent.fi/home/

Further information:https://ayy.fi/en/housing/instructions/furniture-for-ayy-apartments/


Private rentals/Other options

Aalto Sharetribe

A portal where users can offer each other items, favours, rides and housing - and also request all these from other users. Aalto email address is needed in most cases to reply to the announcements.


Sharetribe Otaniemi International Network

Same as  Aalto Sharetribe, but can be accessed even without an Aalto email address.


University Marketplace

University Marketplace is a joint portal for students and staff at the University of Helsinki, Aalto University, Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences and Laurea University of Applied Sciences. Registered users can browse listings as well as announcements for available flats etc.


TKY housing market

A housing portal of the former student union of Helsinki University of Technology (TKY) (nowadays AYY- Aalto University Student Union).

Forenom Apartments and Hostels

A private housing provider Forenom offers both long and short term housing in furnished apartments throughout Finland, for example in Helsinki and in Espoo. Forenom has a variety of furnished flats and private single rooms in a hostel style. From April 2017 Forenom has reopened the Hostel Espoo Otaniemi located nearby Otaniemi Campus Area! Good option e.g. to apply with a friend.

Facebook groups

 Other private rental portals

Aalto’s Housing pages: http://www.aalto.fi/en/studies/about/housing_for_students/

No flat before arriving in Finland?

If you do not have an apartment before arriving in Finland, here are some hints and links:

  • In Autumn term Student Union AYY also arranges emergency housing in co-operation with the Aalto University for AYY members who have ABSOLUTELY no other options on where to sleep. Emergency apartments are located in Otaniemi Campus.
  •  Check other short-term housing options, e.g.Couchsurfing, Airbnb, Hostels Website