Finland is a Northern European nation bordering Sweden, Norway and Russia. Its capital, Helsinki, occupies a peninsula and surrounding islands in the Baltic Sea.

Finland covers an area of 338,455 square kilometers (130,678 sq mi) with a population of 5.6 million. Helsinki is the capital and largest city, forming a larger metropolitan area with the neighboring cities of Espoo, Kauniainen, and Vantaa.

The vast majority of the population are ethnic Finns; Finnish, alongside Swedish, are the official languages. Finland's climate varies from humid continental in the south to the boreal in the north. The land cover is primarily a boreal forest biome, with more than 180,000 recorded lakes.

Winters in southern Finland (when mean daily temperature remains below 0 °C or 32 °F) are usually about 100 days long, and in the inland the snow typically covers the land from about late November to April, and on the coastal areas such as Helsinki, snow often covers the land from late December to late March.

A quarter of Finland's territory lies within the Arctic Circle and the midnight sun can be experienced for more days the farther north one travels. At Finland's northernmost point, the sun does not set for 73 consecutive days during summer and does not rise at all for 51 days during winter.

Finnish and Swedish are the official languages of Finland. Finnish predominates nationwide while Swedish is spoken in some coastal areas in the west and south. The English language is important in Finnish education. Several degree programs are taught in English, which attracts thousands of degree and exchange students every year.

During their nine years of common basic education, students are not selected, tracked, or streamed. There is also inclusive special education within the classroom and instructional efforts to minimize low achievement. After basic education, students must choose to continue with secondary education in either an academic track (lukio) or a vocational track (ammattioppilaitos), both of which usually take three years and give a qualification to continue to tertiary education. Tertiary education is divided into university and polytechnic (ammattikorkeakoulu, also known as "university of applied sciences") systems. Universities award licentiate- and doctoral-level degrees. Formerly, only university graduates could obtain higher (postgraduate) degrees, however, since the implementation of the Bologna process, all bachelor's degree holders can now qualify for further academic studies. There are 17 universities and 27 universities of applied sciences in the country.

The Finns' love for saunas is generally associated with Finnish cultural tradition in the world. Sauna is a type of dry steam bath practiced widely in Finland, which is especially evident in the strong tradition around Midsummer and Christmas. In Finland, the sauna has been a traditional cure or part of the treatment for many different diseases, thanks to the heat, which is why the sauna has been a very hygienic place. There is an old Finnish saying: "Jos sauna, terva ja viina ei auta, on tauti kuolemaksi." ("If sauna, tar and booze doesn't help you, then a disease is deadly")

Want to know about Finnish culture? Check out some of these Finnish social media accounts:


Sources & extracts taken from:

Finland - Wikipedia
Climate of Finland - Wikipedia
Your Official Finland Travel Guide (visitfinland.com)
Education in Finland - Wikipedia

Dos and don’ts in Finland 


Finland is a Nordic country of 5.6 million inhabitants with a weird language. You may have come to Finland to study, to work, for business or family reasons. Whatever your motivation, there are some things everyone should be aware of when they arrive in this country. Here are some dos and donts to follow which may in turn make your living in Finland pleasant and comfortable. 

Pay tax  

Finns go to work and pay tax on progressive principle. Government, on the other hand, transfers the collected tax money to less well-off- and vulnerable members of society in the form of study benefits, child benefits, maternal benefits, paternal benefits, unemployment benefits, housing benefits, health care benefits, elderly care benefits, and so on. Pay your tax per rate when you earn. Have your tax card if you want to do a job 


Take vitamin D every day 

Regardless of the season, while living in Finland we get less sun so less vitamin D compared to the needs of our body. Lack of vitamin D, among others, makes our feelings depressed and our bones cannot use calcium for their growth. Finns use vitamin D from the age of two weeks.  D-vitamin is available from pharmacy to grocery stores. Start your day with a D-vitamin tablet; ask a doctor about the appropriate dose for you. 

Punctuality is prioritized everywhere 

Life moves in Finland according to Clock time. If you have an appointment at 10 AM, reach the appointment venue at 10 AM or a bit earlier to avoid asking ‘sorry.’ Likewise, if the work time is from 8 AM to 4 PM, no one is going to force you to be at the workplace after 4 PM. The perception of time is linear in Finland instead of circular, the gone time never comes back. Stick to the timetable & deadline during your stay in Finland. Respect working hours.  


Equality in society 

Children start to go to daycare centers or kindergartens mostly at age two or before and grow up with a sense of gender equality. Consequently, one may consider Finland as one of the most gender-neutral countries; men and women equally participate in household work, business activities, politics, and everyday working life. A sense of gender equality and its practice are necessary preconditions for being part of Finnish society.  


Correlation between words and deeds 

Finns do​ not like bargaining and do not talk much. If they say something, they really mean it. There is a strong correlation between words and deeds among Finns – Finns seldom promise, if they do, they keep it. I have to say that “Finns are straight-spoken people.” While in Finland, stand always by your words.    


Sauna loving nation 

Finns love sauna, which many consider as a holy place; in old times Finns used to give birth in the sauna. A Finn visits sauna usually twice a week. Sauna is a place to relax; get fresh and warm up; discuss daily issues with family members and friends and make decisions for solving critical problems. One may consider sauna an integral part of the Finnish lifestyle. Visit sauna at least once a week. It’s an honour to be invited to someone’s sauna.  


Remember while in Finland that calling someone by his / her first name is common practice. It is just fine if you call your teacher by his / her first name. In daily life, wait for your turn, do not interrupt. Respect personal space. Be direct and honest with what you want or what you need. In addition, avoid doing the following while in Finland.   

Finns are very scheduled and plan-oriented people. Visits, hobbies, holidays, activities, and appointments are fixed well ahead. Working class people usually maintain daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly plans. Consequently, do not show up at people’s homes unannounced.  

Finns do not like bargaining and do not talk much. The tone of the voice is not a big issue, but the message is.  Do not Show off or brag, always stay humble. Moreover, do not fear silence, respect it. Except for known circles, Finns maintain silence with strangers, they usually do not take conversation initiative first. You may not be that successful in small talk with a Finn. Neither it is suggested to talk too fast with a Finn – they may need reactionary time.  

Finland has a beautiful-, sunny- and short summer (June-July); a touchy autumn (August-October); a long-, dark- and cold winter (November-February); and a shiny spring (March-May). Sometimes the weather changes quite fast. There is a common saying in Finland that weather is not a problem, but clothing is. This proverb is even more true during the Winter season. Therefore, do not underdress for winter. Oh yes, do not wear shoes inside a home in Finland! 

Once you have come to Finland and stayed some days, your inventory concerning what should do and what should not do may increase. At this moment these may assist you a lot.