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Opinions on living in Finland?

Opinions on living in Finland?

Old Jul 27th 2010, 6:56 pm
  #1  
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Default Opinions on living in Finland?

I love Finland and i want to know what it is like out there but i can't go till i am 21 for a holiday. I have heard to it expensive but i want people who have been there opinions? It is a nice place to live if i decide to move out there?
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Old Jul 27th 2010, 11:17 pm
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Default Re: Opinions on living in Finland?

I have never been to Finland, but I have meat Finish who have been on Vacation here in Spain. one point of view is they are taxed far too much. But hey who does not think that?

Any how welcome to the forum I just hope someone who knows more about the country responds to your posting.
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Old Jul 29th 2010, 1:43 am
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Default Re: Opinions on living in Finland?

How do you know you like Finland if you have never been there?
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Old Aug 2nd 2010, 4:08 pm
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Default Re: Opinions on living in Finland?

Originally Posted by JAJ View Post
How do you know you like Finland if you have never been there?
The pictures are beautiful, the language is beautiful, i like northern countries weather, many of my favorite musicians also come from there. I just anted opinions if it really seems that nice. I do know it is expensive though.
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Old Aug 3rd 2010, 2:20 am
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Default Re: Opinions on living in Finland?

I'd suggest a vacation before you make a decision. Also, you may want to try to learn the Finnish language (unless you want to live in one of the few Swedish speaking areas).
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Old Aug 3rd 2010, 9:24 am
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Default Re: Opinions on living in Finland?

Hi Kat!
I lived in Finland for 8 years. Ended up getting married to a Finn so I will give you some feedback based from my perspective.

Overall I loved Finland.
Money:
Yes, things definitely are much more expensive. Taxes depends....we are currently living in The Netherlands and I can tell you that the taxes here are the same. They come by different names, but if you add it all together then it's about the same. I'm not sure about overall UK taxes. (With overall taxes I mean personal income tax, council tax, health-care etc, etc).

People:
Finns in general tend to be quite reserved (except when pissed which they LOVE doing). They are very genuine people....people with few words. What I hear time and time again from foreigners coming to Finland is that initially you think the Finns are miserable people who don't want to talk to anybody. They definitely create that impression, but once you stay a while you realize it's not that they are miserable, but rather they are burning to speak interact with you BUT...they respect your personal space and will wait for you to talk to them. Many people initially see this as "arrogance" or "stuck-up", but it's not meant that way. You can just walk up to them and speak and you will find them very inviting.....but it is a challenge especially for foreigners coming from "talkative" countries in southern europe.
In short....they don't talk much, but when they do....they mean what they say. They don't talk a lot of bullshit and are not big on small talk, so people tend to brand then as "too serious".
I personally liked the honesty and straight forwardness. You know where you stand with them, they will tell it to your face.

Country:
Yes, country side is beautiful! Finns are very outdoorsy people and love to spend time in nature!We spend much more times outdoor than we do here in Netherlands.

Work:
This is a problem. You will struggle to find work unless you are either:
1) Fluent in Finnish
2) HIGHLY educated.
Education is literally free in Finland, and many people go to uni and finish off with a masters degree. This of course mean that the majority of the population is highly educated so it makes the marketplace highly competitive. I was working for a big multinational and there were assistants (secretaries) with bachelor degrees!
Language is definitely a barrier if living outside the major cities. I would say Helsinki is the best option for a foreigner. It's quite foreigner friendly. Leaving the big cities also means that english becomes a problem as not that many people in the country side speak it. They might understand but are not keen on speaking because they aren't good at it. Which brings me to another possible sticking point.....Finns tend to be perfectionists, for example if they can't speak perfect english they will say they can't speak it and refuse to do so as they don't want to be embarrassed. I remember it was so weird, being in a shop and asking the people working there if they speak english and they would reply in PERFECT english "No I don't, but I will get you someone who can!"....PERFECT I tell you!

I would definitely encourage you to go there and see the place and meet some people. They are friendly and welcoming so I'm sure you will have a good time there.
There's so much more, but I can't type anymore but feel free to pm me if you want specific info. As I mentioned, my story above is a generalization you will always find the other side of the coin. Especially Helsinki which has become much more international over the last couple years.

All in all I loved Finland and miss it, but in the end our family was growing and our salaries were not, so we decided to leave for financial reasons. But, that said, it's not impossible to find a decent paying job, but you will have to have the paper work to back you up!

Hope this helps.
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Old Aug 5th 2010, 12:09 am
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Default Re: Opinions on living in Finland?

Originally Posted by KatVonD View Post
I love Finland and i want to know what it is like out there but i can't go till i am 21 for a holiday. I have heard to it expensive but i want people who have been there opinions? It is a nice place to live if i decide to move out there?
Jim and I were there last spring for a few days. Beautiful country but very expensive.....English spoken extensively. Hope you enjoy winter sports.....
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Old Aug 8th 2010, 11:46 am
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Default Re: Opinions on living in Finland?

I'm a Finn living abroad, so just a few pointers;

Probably quite an experience, if you're used to living in UK only. Go visit a couple of times, both in summer and in winter. The experience will be quite different. Get to know some Finns, maybe even Finnish expats living in the UK? After my moves I think understanding the people is very important.
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Old Aug 11th 2010, 6:01 pm
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Default Re: Opinions on living in Finland?

Originally Posted by nomadalien View Post
Hi Kat!
I lived in Finland for 8 years. Ended up getting married to a Finn so I will give you some feedback based from my perspective.

Overall I loved Finland.
Money:
Yes, things definitely are much more expensive. Taxes depends....we are currently living in The Netherlands and I can tell you that the taxes here are the same. They come by different names, but if you add it all together then it's about the same. I'm not sure about overall UK taxes. (With overall taxes I mean personal income tax, council tax, health-care etc, etc).

People:
Finns in general tend to be quite reserved (except when pissed which they LOVE doing). They are very genuine people....people with few words. What I hear time and time again from foreigners coming to Finland is that initially you think the Finns are miserable people who don't want to talk to anybody. They definitely create that impression, but once you stay a while you realize it's not that they are miserable, but rather they are burning to speak interact with you BUT...they respect your personal space and will wait for you to talk to them. Many people initially see this as "arrogance" or "stuck-up", but it's not meant that way. You can just walk up to them and speak and you will find them very inviting.....but it is a challenge especially for foreigners coming from "talkative" countries in southern europe.
In short....they don't talk much, but when they do....they mean what they say. They don't talk a lot of bullshit and are not big on small talk, so people tend to brand then as "too serious".
I personally liked the honesty and straight forwardness. You know where you stand with them, they will tell it to your face.

Country:
Yes, country side is beautiful! Finns are very outdoorsy people and love to spend time in nature!We spend much more times outdoor than we do here in Netherlands.

Work:
This is a problem. You will struggle to find work unless you are either:
1) Fluent in Finnish
2) HIGHLY educated.
Education is literally free in Finland, and many people go to uni and finish off with a masters degree. This of course mean that the majority of the population is highly educated so it makes the marketplace highly competitive. I was working for a big multinational and there were assistants (secretaries) with bachelor degrees!
Language is definitely a barrier if living outside the major cities. I would say Helsinki is the best option for a foreigner. It's quite foreigner friendly. Leaving the big cities also means that english becomes a problem as not that many people in the country side speak it. They might understand but are not keen on speaking because they aren't good at it. Which brings me to another possible sticking point.....Finns tend to be perfectionists, for example if they can't speak perfect english they will say they can't speak it and refuse to do so as they don't want to be embarrassed. I remember it was so weird, being in a shop and asking the people working there if they speak english and they would reply in PERFECT english "No I don't, but I will get you someone who can!"....PERFECT I tell you!

I would definitely encourage you to go there and see the place and meet some people. They are friendly and welcoming so I'm sure you will have a good time there.
There's so much more, but I can't type anymore but feel free to pm me if you want specific info. As I mentioned, my story above is a generalization you will always find the other side of the coin. Especially Helsinki which has become much more international over the last couple years.

All in all I loved Finland and miss it, but in the end our family was growing and our salaries were not, so we decided to leave for financial reasons. But, that said, it's not impossible to find a decent paying job, but you will have to have the paper work to back you up!

Hope this helps.
Thank you for the reply =) And thanks everyone else too. Thats very interesting to hear and helps alot thank you for taking the time to reply to this ^^
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Old Oct 8th 2010, 6:47 pm
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Espoolainen is just really niceEspoolainen is just really niceEspoolainen is just really niceEspoolainen is just really niceEspoolainen is just really niceEspoolainen is just really niceEspoolainen is just really niceEspoolainen is just really nice
Default Re: Opinions on living in Finland?

I have been living in Finland for nearly ten years.

If you have any more questions about life up here, then just ask... I think I would agree with everything nomadalien said in his long post. That's pretty much spot on. I might add that there really are big differences between life in the capital area (Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa) and life in some of the more remote areas. For most foreigners life is easier in Helsinki as the language barrier is not such a big issue. On the other hand it is easier to learn the language if you are living in a rural area where people are less likely to use English when they speak to you.

The winter can be very dark, especially if there isn't a lot of snow and the first spring flowers don't appear until April or even May. Not everyone can adjust to such a long, dark, cold winter. For me the worst time of year is March, April when I am dying to start working in the garden but the ground is still frozen solid.

In short, you either love it or you hate it.
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Old Oct 8th 2010, 7:04 pm
  #11  
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Default Re: Opinions on living in Finland?

So its impossible to get jobs there without knowing Finnish either huh? Well...if I can't get my Swedish perfect I've no chance with Finnish....
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Old Oct 12th 2010, 5:11 pm
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Default Re: Opinions on living in Finland?

No not impossible. It depends on your skills. The IT and telecoms sectors employ plenty of non-Finnish-speaking foreigners. Some big civil engineering projects also employ foreign engineers (the metro extension, the nuclear power plant construction site). And there are "niche" jobs in other knowledge-based industries.

But finding unskilled or semi-skilled work, anything in the services sector, anything in the public sector etc etc is very difficult.
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