Studying and Living in Finland LUT Alumni Experience by Aisulu Harjula

Living in Finland: accomodation and apartments

Maybe you have asked yourself 100 times “What kind of living conditions are in store for me in Finland?” Don’t worry. Finnish student apartments are quite comfortable and modern. And almost every occupied building in Finland has a sauna. Sometimes, even living flats have saunas inside them! But let’s concider student apartments and the ease to get them.

No, no. We won’t go inside the apartments while students are in the school. Let’s keep some privacy but ask couple of students about their experience. I have seen many different flats and conditions were very good. We are in Finland!

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Finnish belonging to nature finds its application in interior design. Honestly, these are the greatest curtains in a student housing I have ever seen. It looks beautiful both from the outside and inside. Windows may seem strange but they are functional: a lattice inside the window is for additional airing and protection from insects. Besides that, windows and doors are usually made of wood instead of widely spread plastic.

What do students say about their living experience?

July and Marina, exchange students from Germany: “There are minuses and pluses in our experience. It’s a pity that there are no kitchen stuff in the apartments, and we arrived to live only for a short period of time. So we had to buy everything we need for cooking and eating by ourselves. And we are 9 kilometers away from the university. But the positive things are that maintenance service comes pretty fast and the LOAS (Student Housing Foundation) office answers quickly to our emails.”

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The houses themselves look very ordinary but usually they have a beautiful view to nature from windows. Many cities in Finland are build within the area of forests.

Camille Bajeux, an exchange student from France: “Moving to Lappeenranta was my first experience of living abroad. I was really enthusiastic but also scared at the same time to find all the information I was seeking. Fortunately, finding an accommodation was a really easy step. The documents I received from LUT helped me in the procedure to apply for the Lappeenranta Housing Foundation apartment. Once the application form for the accommodation was sent, I received an answer pretty fast informing me about the place and also the number of roommates I will be living with. When I arrived, I was pretty reassured by the fact that a tutor will come to pick me up at the airport. She took me to my apartment and explained to me how the residence was working, that sauna, water and washing machines were included in the rent price.

But I locked myself out about 5 times and came to understand that I should unlock it for a fee. Usually, it costs 5 euros to unlock a door if you call the house elder at the right time – in other words, during the week and it should be day time. On the other hand, if you call the emergency service then you have to pay 60 euros. That’s really expensive, and I know a guy whose key got missing and had to pay a fee of 300 euros! Unbelievable!”

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Sometimes you may find something untypical for a house, for instance a socket near the entrance door. It’s not for charging phones or laptops outside the flat neither to place a microwave oven. Can you guess what it is for? And why is it placed so high? Generally, insides are built to achieve ease in functionality so that when problems occur there won’t be much of stress to solve it. Also any mail is directly delivered to the apartment, there are no post boxes. “Ei mainoksia, kiitos!” = “No advertising, thanks!”

About The Author

Researcher at LUT, Master of Economics, LUT & GSOM Saint Petersburg State University. Focus on Strategy, Innovation and Sustainability. Background in natural sciences.

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