More Than the Degree

Living in Otaniemi: A Key to an Easy Student Life

Three students, Olia in the middle, chatting and laughing in front of a student housing building.

Hi there! My name is Olia, and I am pursuing a master's degree in Photonics here at Aalto University. In this blog post, I want to share my experience of living on campus and provide insights into the various housing options available.

Let's dive straight into the housing options. The two main companies that rent student apartments on campus are AYY and HOAS. There are various living arrangements, including a room in a shared apartment, a studio, a single-room apartment, a room with a private bathroom, a room in a shared apartment for two (usually for friends), apartments for families or couples and so on. You can explore these options on the websites of these renters:

AYY: (click "Search apartments")


Prices vary depending on the housing option. The most economical choice is usually a room in a shared apartment, starting at around €260, while studios tend to be the most expensive. Check out the links above, they include pictures and plans of the apartments.

I have been living in the same apartment for almost three years. I love my apartment, although it is not perfect. It has large windows with a tree view, spacious rooms, and provides warmth during winter. It is a bit old, and renovations may be needed at some point, but for now, it is an amazing option. I also had the freedom to paint an accent wall, which made the apartment feel even more like mine. When it comes to furnishing, we have a great Telegram channel called Otaniemi sell/buy, where people sell various items at affordable prices. Since most student apartments in Otaniemi come unfurnished, this channel is excellent for finding necessary items like a bed, table, chair, etc. I bought some of the furniture items from that group for really cheap or for free. 

Another question I wanted to address in this blog post is why one should live on campus, and there are various reasons:

A sunset over the sea in Otaniemi.

Central location

Firstly, let's talk about the campus's location. Aalto University's main campus is situated in Otaniemi, an area in Espoo, close to Helsinki, making travel there easy and fast. For instance, it takes around 15 minutes to reach Helsinki center from Otaniemi by metro. I used to live in another area of Helsinki, and it would take much longer to get to the city center. Additionally, there are many buses and a recently introduced tram serving the area.

Otaniemi is Packed with All the Essentials

The location of Otaniemi is perfect, but if you don't want to leave, you don't have to. The campus has all the necessary amenities, including grocery shops, two gyms, a stadium, basketball (during winter - an ice rink), tennis courts, a few restaurants, a pharmacy, a barber shop, a library, and numerous university buildings for studying or relaxation. This makes my life much easier during busy study weeks.

Otaniemi is the Capital of Events

I love this about Otaniemi - there are constantly things happening here! And I am not only talking about student events (of which there are many) but also non-university-related ones. For example, recently, a presidential debate event was held in Otaniemi, and before that, I participated in an event about purchasing real estate in Finland. From student events, I particularly enjoy those organized by Aaltoes (Aalto Entrepreneurship Society). They often invite successful entrepreneurs from Finland to share their journeys and experiences, mostly related to start-ups. Also, if you are part of a student association, they probably have a space here on campus! I like to learn new skills, so this year I took dance classes organized by volunteers of Aalto, and they took place just 3 minutes from my home!

Living Among Other Students

Most people living in the Otaniemi area are students, and living with like-minded people is fun! Sometimes you just walk to the shop and can meet a friend or make a new connection somewhere on campus. Meeting friends is easy because some of them also live here.

Surrounded by Nature

Otaniemi is located near the bay area of Laajalahti, providing proximity to the sea and a forest. After long days, it is relaxing to walk to the sea and enjoy the view. During the summer, it is an amazing place for sports and outdoor activities.

I have been living in Otaniemi for three years, and I absolutely love it! Otaniemi has everything you need, from groceries to a haircut, offers numerous exercise options, and is surrounded by nature. It is a place where you can pursue your hobbies, meet inspiring people, and learn skills that are not taught in school. And when you feel tired, there is nature where you can take a moment to relax and reflect. I have enjoyed my time living on campus and cannot think of a better place for a student to live. 

Hope this post helped you get an idea of what living on campus is like! Bye!

- Olia

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