“I think searching and applying for an apartment was the most stressful thing I had to deal with when I needed to move to Finland. I live in a small town, Mikkeli, which probably has its pros and cons regarding apartment hunting. I started applying and actively searching for a place in January and I was supposed to move in August. Very early, I know. But now looking back, I do not regret applying and looking so far in advance.
After visiting a few other flats in my apartment building, I understood that I did get one of the best/newest looking apartments, with a bit newer furniture and new floors. I like to think it is because I applied very early on, maybe it is pure luck, but maybe timing does have something to do with it as well. 😊
Options for students
So, there are two options you have as a student coming to study in Mikkeli, it is either renting from a private landlord or applying for student housing through a company called MOAS. As an international student, it is probably way more comfortable and convenient to apply through MOAS for one of their apartments. This company offers private studios, one, two room apartments, etc. You can also apply to live with a neighbor, where you share a kitchen and bathroom with another person. MOAS offers furnished apartments, with a bed, mattress, kitchen table, desk, and chairs. In my opinion it was perfect to move into a place and not have to spend money on extra furniture. I applied to live in a private studio, with my own kitchen and bathroom. I will be very honest, the apartment was not new, not freshly renovated, but very okay for a student.
The good part about renting with MOAS is that they include all the bills like water and electricity + wifi in your rent. Very convenient in my opinion. But my absolute favorite part about living in a MOAS building is the community we have here. So quite often multiple MOAS buildings are located right next to each other. In my case, Raviradantie street in Mikkeli has 7 MOAS buildings all withing 1 minute distance from each other.
Therefore, all of my friends lived on the same street as me, if not even in the same building. This is the most fun thing ever to live so close to all your friends, so we were all very frequent guests in each other’s flats. Honestly, it is probably the best part about renting a student apartment.
Now, talking about the distance from the apartment to the closest store and university, I cannot vouch for all the locations of the apartment blocks, as some are situated further from the center, some are very close in the center of the city, some are right next to the campus. But I think that even from the furthest MOAS location, it is not more than a 20-minute walk or 7-minute bike ride. Once again, very convenient.
Overall, I do recommend to rent a student apartment, if you know you will not be staying for longer than couple years, it is good value for money and genuinely just a good temporary home.”
-Viktoria Ude, student at Xamk and student ambassador