A student should get by in Finland with a minimum budget of 700-900 Euros per month. However, this is only a ball park figure and will depend on the location and your spending habits. One should remember that living in the metropolitan Helsinki area is considerably more expensive than in smaller cities.
Here are some examples of Finnish prices:
- Typical rent (student dormitories & student residence halls) per month for students is 250-500e
- Enjoying coffee at a café costs around 3 e
- Enjoying a beer at a bar costs around 5-6 e
- Going to the movies is around 10 e
- Combo meal at McDonald’s 7-8 e
Money and banking
Finland belongs to the European Monetary Union and uses the Euro at its currency. It is advisable when coming to Finland that you have some cash to hand although almost all international credit cards are accepted in. If you are staying in Finland for more than just a holiday, it is a good idea to open a bank account. You will need to go to a bank with a valid passport and can then open an account on the spot. Finland is one of the forerunners in paying with plastic, so you shouldn’t be too worried about this. However, it is always recommended that you carry some cash and you will be able to withdraw Euros from ATM machines with foreign credit cards.
The typical opening hours for Finnish banks are from 10 am to 4:30 pm on weekdays. They do not open at the weekend.
In most cases, when taking a placement in Finland you will need to cover your travel expenses yourself. As a student however, you will be entitled to student discounts when travelling inside Finland by train and bus. The student discount by both VR (the state-owned railway company) and Matkahuolto (the bus company) is -50%. Finland’s transport infrastructure is extensive, and you will get around using public transportation quite easily. However, it is good to remember that geographically speaking Finland is quite a large country and sometimes it is more convenient to use domestic flights to get from one place to another rather than to travel by train for example from the southern parts of Finland to Lapland.