Studying at LUT: What will that cost me?
In this post we will go into the cost of living and studying in Finland. Our student ambassador from the Netherlands shares his personal findings.
Compared to other western and northern European countries, studying in Finland will cost you about the same, but if you’re from somewhere else, things might seem expensive to you. Fortunately, Lappeenranta and Lahti aren’t the most expensive Finnish cities to live in, mostly because the rents are lower than in places like Helsinki. No matter where you are from, it’s always a good idea to look into costs.
Accommodation usually takes up most of your budget. Luckily, students are entitled to inexpensive student housing. In Lappeenranta, student housing is provided by LOAS and in Lahti, student housing is provided by Lahden Talot. One-room apartments cost around € 400 to 600 per month, including heat, electricity, water and internet.
Other fixed charges would be home insurance, which can be around € 10 per month and a phone subscription. If you use mobile data regularly, a subscription will be cheaper than prepaid. Most Finnish phone subscriptions include unlimited data and are priced around € 20 a month and up. If you don’t need unlimited data, moi (website in finnish) offers a subscription that includes 6 Gb of data a month for only € 9.
Food, beverage and clothing
Another significant part of your expenses will be food and other groceries. At the university campus, you can get a warm lunch for € 2.70. Students pay only € 0.50 for a cup of coffee with their lunch and at the TEK lounge, TEK members get free coffee and tea. TEK Student membership is free.
If you choose to eat off campus, an inexpensive restaurant meal, such as a burger, pizza or pasta in a casual restaurant, costs about € 8 to 15. If you want to eat at a mid-range, fancier restaurant, the main course will most likely be around € 30 to 40. A coffee on average will cost about € 2 to 6, depending on which type of coffee you prefer. Luckily, some restaurants provide a student discount with a valid student card. The same applies for some recreational activities and shops.
Alcohol is pretty heavily taxed in Finland. A pint of beer costs about € 6 at a bar or about € 3 when you buy it at a store. Beverages with a 5.5% alcohol content or higher are only sold in a government-owned monopoly called Alko, so you can’t buy wine at the supermarkets. A bottle of inexpensive wine typically costs € 10 at the store and € 20 to 30 in a restaurant.
All food and groceries together will cost you about € 150 a month, though this amount will vary greatly depending on your habits. Clothing will cost you another € 100 a month, with the cold Finnish winters good clothing is very important.
Transportation and gym
A 30-day student bus pass for the city of Lappeenranta will cost you € 42, one way student value tickets are € 1.60. If you use a bike often you’ll spend less, but cycling might not be an option in winter. Speaking of exercise, a gym pass for the university gym only costs € 25 for half a year.
At LUT, students rarely have to buy books. Most of the time, all study content is available through provided study materials and otherwise you can find most books in the LUT academic libraries. If you don’t have to pay a tuition fee, the only mandatory fees are the student union fee, which was € 74 for academic year, and the student healthcare services (FSHS) fee, which was € 35.80 per term, € 71.60 for the whole year.
All students are entitled to a Frank card which will give you discounts in a lot of different shops. The digital frank card is free, you can also buy a physical card.
Tuition fees & health insurance
If you are a citizen from the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you will not be required to pay a tuition fee. If you’re from another country however, you do need to pay a tuition fee.
Another cost international students must consider is the cost of health insurance. Non-EU/EEA citizens will need a residence permit to be able to reside in Finland. One of the requirements for a residence permit is health insurance. The most basic health insurance will cost you about € 200 a year, such insurance will not cover accidents during high risk sports. Health insurance plans with the best coverage might be up to € 700 a year.
All in all, a student can get by on a small budget when living in Lappeenranta or Lahti. More detailed information on the average cost of things in Finland can be found here.
LOAS student housing lappeenranta: https://www.loas.fi/en
Lahden Talot student housing Lahti: https://lahdentalot.fi/?lang=en
Moi phone subscription provider: https://www.moi.fi/
Website to register for TEK membership: https://oma.tek.fi/en_GB/join_as_member
Lappeenranta public transport: https://www.lappeenranta.fi/en/Maps-and-transport/Public-Transport
LUT libraries: https://www.lut.fi/web/en/library
Student union fee: https://ltky.fi/en/for-students/new-students/
Student healthcare services (FSHS) fee: https://www.kela.fi/web/en/healthcare-fee-for-students-in-higher-education
Frank student card: https://www.frank.fi/en/
Tuition fees and scholarships (Bachelor’s): https://www.lut.fi/web/en/admissions/bachelors-studies/fees-and-scholarships
Tuition fees and scholarships (Master’s): https://www.lut.fi/web/en/admissions/masters-studies/scholarships-and-fees
Kela for students: https://www.kela.fi/opiskelijat
Student ambassadors chat page: https://www.lut.fi/web/en/admissions/chat-with-our-students