Accomodation in Estonia
There are several options for arranging accommodation and these differ from one university to another as some universities provide student dormitories/hostels and some do not. Housing costs depend on the location, quality of the accommodation and on the season but the prices per month usually range from €80–150 in the dormitories to €200–510 in private flats.
Some universities have student dormitories with single, double and triple rooms. Most of the dormitories are newly renovated and in very good condition. The residential spaces in dormitories are usually apartment-type, consisting of two twin rooms; there is a kitchenette, shower and toilet (to share for maximum 4 persons).
Rent is calculated based on the number of tenants in the room and utility costs are added (heating, water and sewage, electricity). An average monthly fee (including utility costs) for a student living in a dormitory is around €100. It is sometimes also possible to rent a twin room for single use. In this case, all the expenses are doubled.
Rooms in dormitories are usually equipped with all basic furniture items – each resident has his or her own bed, desk, chair and shelves. Kitchens are equipped with a cooker, refrigerator, running water and basic kitchen furniture. The rest – curtains, carpets, blankets, pillows, cleaning equipment, dishes, water boilers, toasters etc. – is up to the student. Before you buy anything major, however, it may be sensible first to meet with your roommates/flatmates and see what is there already, decide how you are going to use it, and only then, if and as you agree, start purchasing new items.
Private rooms or flats can be found through newspaper advertisements, websites or real estate agencies operating in the city. However, the best flats are most often found via local acquaintances and friends. The International Relations Office/Admission Office can assist you in finding accommodation or recommending another university employee or student who could help arrange housing. You should be careful and look for an apartment with the help of Estonian tutors, students, friends or professors – like any place else, rents might be typically inflated for foreigners in Estonia.
It is common for international students to share bigger flats in the city centre. Rental prices in the centre may be a bit more expensive but one can cut costs and time on transportation. Splitting the rent among friends may offer an opportunity to find great accommodation at an affordable price.
Prices can vary widely depending on the number of rooms and facilities offered. On closing a rental deal, be prepared to pay a deposit. Generally the deposit is the equivalent of three months' rent; one month's rent will be returned to you upon your departure, provided that the accommodation is left in acceptable condition.