How to find a roof over your head

There are different ways for student to find a home and a roof over their head. A definite plus for this university town is that there are some moderately priced rental apartments available in Oulu. When you’re looking for a place to live, you should consider the price, the location and the neighbourhood and whether it is shared.

In Oulu, there are many housing providers from the Student Housing Foundation of Northern Finland (PSOAS) to the city’s apartment rental agency Sivakka and many private renters as well. Students who are Finnish nationals or permanent residents can get the student financial aid’s housing supplement or general housing allowance to help with the residential costs. Check with Kela if you’re eligible for these benefits, especially if you have been in Finland for two years or more, or have a permanent residence permit.

The biggest housing provider for students in Oulu is the Student Housing Foundation of Northern Finland, better known as PSOAS. The Foundation offers over 5 500 apartments including studios, flat shares and family flats around Oulu. Often, the student residential buildings have a sauna, laundry facilities and recreation rooms for joint use.

A good way to get to know your neighbours is to participate in the resident’s committee activities. The largest student housing area in the city is Linnanmaa with approx. 1 500 apartments and situated right next to the University. Other areas with lots of student residents are Toppila and Alppila, and closer to the city centre Välkkylä and Tuira.

The key thing to finding accommodation is to ACT EARLY. Submit your PSOAS application as soon as possible. Re-new the application in 90 days as instructed. And if it looks like there is no possibility of getting a flat right away in September, the situation is still most likely going to change after the Autumn rush. Note that it’s not possible that everyone will get an appartement from PSOAS! Then get cracking, immediately, on finding something for a few months, or possibly for the duration of your entire stay.

Where to find flats, apartment rental agencies and cheap hotel accommodation in Oulu:

Student Housing Foundation of Northern Finland (PSOAS)
Oulu city’s apartmental rental agency Sivakka
Lumo & VVO
OSNA (furnished apartment)
Oulu Flat sublease site at Facebook, site is managed by Humans of Oulu team
Iskon mummola, room rental service (especially for temporary housing – from 1 day to monthly prices)

Having problems finding housing?

Not all students get a flat right away in September, especially those that did not manage to apply for PSOAS apartments early enough. Please see our list of agencies and places for accomodation and some tips below.

Students sublet their apartments

Lots of Finnish students leave Oulu for a semester or two, go abroad for exchange or go for an internship somewhere else. Many of them sublet their flats or their rooms in shared flats – usually furnished. On the PSOAS website, there’s a PSOAS asuntopörssi page where current flat holders can sublet their flats/rooms. Alternatively you can advertise that you are looking to rent. Here are some tips. This particular web page is only in Finnish and people usually only advertise in Finnish but here are some helpful tips and a quick housing dictionary to help you. You can also try Google-translating. It’s not perfect but it should do the trick. People usually leave their contact details, so you can always ask for more info! To the left of the page, you can find an option “Tee hakuilmoitus”. Here you can post a note that you are looking for an apartment. Alternatively, you can look at what has been advertised under “Vuokrataan”, which means to rent in Finnish.

Joining forces

Sometimes it is easier to look as a group of 2–4 students – there is usually a huge demand for 1-person rooms,  studios, etc. Family-sized apartments may be easier to find. Grab a few friends from among other arriving students (e.g. from Facebook-groups of new students) who might be interested and ask your kummi for some help!

Take a look at our mini dictionary of student housing (FI – EN and EN – FI)!