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Living

In this page: Communities of Expatriates | Ranking of Cities | Renting an Apartment | School System | Health System | Tourism and Culture | Individual and Civic Freedoms | Religion

 

Communities of Expatriates

The Number of Expatriates
The number of foreigners living in Finland is approximately 122,000.
Blogs For Expats
Finlandforum.org
Blogs of some expatriates in Finland
International English Speakers' Association of Finland
For Further Information
Virtual Finland: a guide to the Finnish way of life
Expat Finland
Immigration Authority
Finnish Immigration Service
Ministry of the Interior
Transportation Companies For Moving/Removals
Airport Travel Cargo
Beweship
 
 

Ranking of Cities

Cost of Living
Helsinki is the 64th most expensive city in the world according to the Mercer Index 2016.
Quality of Life
Mercer's 2017 Quality of Living Survey ranks Helsinki 31st out of 231.
Sanitary Conditions
Helsinki is 3rd of 50 cities in the world in terms of sanitary conditions. All cities and villages in Finland are very clean; the air and the surroundings are fresh and unpolluted. The tap water is drinkable. Access to health care available to foreigners .
For Further Information
2017 Mercer Survey - Quality of Living Worldwide City Rankings
2016 Mercer Survey - Cost of Living Worldwide City Rankings

Renting an Apartment

Description of apartments
Apartment (asunto) is usually rented in good or very good condition and unfurnished. Water (vesi) is paid monthly and may or may not be included in the rent. The electricity (sähkö) is normally not included in the rent and tenant should contact the local electricity provider to make the agreement. This can be done after signing the agreement and by telephone.
Normal Lease Term
Generally, during the length of stay (with a notice period of one month for the tenant and three months for the landlord) or for a duration of one year.
Rental Costs
The deposit equivalent to 1-3 months rent is payable before the hand-over of the keys. No other guarantees are usually needed. The deposit is returned after the lease has ended if the apartment has not been damaged.
Agencies or Private Rentals
Private rentals may have more flexible general conditions and sometimes cheaper prices than agencies. Finnish landlords can be trusted and they often speak English. Therefore, private rentals are an option to consider. The advantage of rental agencies is that service in English is guaranteed and that there are always apartments available. The agency fees are paid by the owner of the apartment and not by the tenant, but the deposit is often quite high (three months rent).
Rental Agency Websites
Céline Relocation Service (especially for expatriates)
Huoneistokeskus (in English)
SKV (in Finnish)
Etuovi.com (both agencies and private rentals; in English)
Private Rentals Announcements Online
Expatriates.com - Finland
Finland Forum
Etuovi.com (both agencies and private rentals)
Other Possibilities For Accommodation
International Student Housing provides economic housing alternatives in all major cities in Finland. Click here for more information.
For Further Information
Expat Finland, useful information about finding an apartment

School System

School Level
The Finnish education system is an egalitarian Nordic system with no tuition fees for full-time students and free meals served to pupils at primary and secondary levels. Attendance is compulsory for 9 years (primary and secondary school) starting at age 7. Pupils go to their nearest local school.

Education after secondary school is divided into the vocational trade school and academic-oriented upper secondary school which both last 3 to 4 years. Trade school graduates may enter the workforce directly after graduation. Upper secondary school graduates are expected to continue to university or polytechnic.

International Schools
There are several international schools situated in major cities in Finland. Click here for a detailed list of the schools and the languages.
For Further Information
Ministry of Education

Health System

Quality of Healthcare
Healthcare in Finland is of a very high standard. Local authorities provide health services at health centers, maternity and child welfare clinics, at schools, rehabilitation clinics and dental clinics. It is the duty of local authorities to make sure that residents have access to care if they become ill, regardless of their financial situation.
International Hospitals
There are no international hospitals. However, Finnish hospitals, healthcare centres and private clinics are available to foreigners in case of emergency, and it is easy to find a healthcare professional that speak English. Moreover, after moving to Finland a foreigner is generally covered by Finnish social security. This includes healthcare benefits.
Health Insurance
Yes
Accessibility of the Health Insurance Network to Foreigners
Possible
Health System Insurance Body
The Social Insurance Institution of Finland (KELA)
Health Ministry
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health

Tourism and Culture

Different Forms of Tourism

Historical
Some of the historical sites in Finland include museums and examples of ancient architecture remaining from the reign of the Swedish Empire. Castles are found in Turku, Hämeenlinna and Savonlinna.
Cultural
Finland has a lot to offer for cultural excursions such as museums, concerts, and cinemas. During the summer there are a lot of different international music festivals such as Savonlinna Opera Festival, Pori Jazz and Provinssirock.
Nature
For nature loves, Finland offers a landscape of lakes, rivers, forests, meadows and falls, as well as views of the midnight sun, polar night and northern light. There are currently seven UNESCO world heritage sights in Finland.
Religious
Many churches and cathedrals are scattered all across Finland reflecting the strong Finnish Lutheran following, as for example the Orthodox monastery of Valamo.
Thermal
Original Finnish saunas can be found everywhere. There are also many spas.
Beach
There are over a hundred thousand lakes, tens of thousands of summer cottages and a long coastline with plenty of beaches and holiday resorts by the Baltic Sea. The most well-known is the Yyteri beach with six kilometers of sand and dunes.
Winter Sports
There is a large variety of winter sports and activities to do, such as skiing, snowboarding, sledding, etc. 
Outdoor Activities
There are various types of outdoor activities in Finland, such as hiking, fishing and natural tourism.
Shopping
Finland is a country of modern design as reflected in companies such as Marimekko, Iittala and Arabia. Helsinki offers a wide range of possibilities for shopping for everyone. For more information on Finnish fashion, design and shopping in Helsinki check out the Visit Finland website.
 
 

Individual and Civic Freedoms

Political Freedom
Universal
Civil Liberty
1/7
World Ranking of Freedom of the Press According to "Reporters sans Frontières", 2017 report : 3/180
Evolution: 2 places down compared to 2016
For Further Information, Consult Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2017, Reporters Without Borders
Free Access to the Internet
Widespread
Rule of Law
Extensive. Finland is one of the least corrupted countries in the world.
Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights
Free
Women's Condition
Women and men have identical legal rights and are to be treated equally.
For Further Information
The U.S. Department of State

Religion

Degree of Freedom
Freedom of religion
Beliefs
Lutheran Church of Finland 84.2%, Orthodox Church 1.1%, other Christian 1.1%, other 0.1%, none 13.5%.
Role of Religion in Society
Small

 

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Last Updates: May 2018