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 Study in Finland
ABOUT Finland

STUDY IN FINLAND -about finland

General Information    |    Geography    |    Government    |    Communication

General Information


Area: 338,145 sq km (130,559 sq miles)

Population: 5,183,545 (July 2002 est.)
Population Growth Rate:
Population Density: 17.0 per sq km

Capital: Helsinki

Ethnicity / Race: Finn 93%, Swede 6%, Sami 0.11%, Roma 0.12%, Tatar 0.02%

Language: There are two official languages: Finnish, spoken by 93.6 per cent of the population, and Swedish, spoken by 6 per cent of the population. About 1700 people speak Same (Lapp). English is taught as the first foreign language.

Currency: The Euro is now the official currency of 12 EU member states (including Finland). The first Euro coins and notes were introduced in January 2002; the Finnish Markka was still in circulation until 28 February 2002, when it was completely replaced by the Euro. Euro (€) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of €500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of €2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.

Religion: 85 per cent Evangelical Lutheran, 10 per cent others including Finnish Orthodox, Baptists, Methodists, Free Church, Roman Catholic, Jews and Muslims.

Time: GMT + 2 (GMT + 3 from last Saturday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).

Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Continental two-pin plugs are standard

Health: Hepatitis A occurs. Cases of diphtheria have been reported. Campers and trekkers should take precautions against tick bites and consider immunisation against tick-borne encephalitis.

Tipping: A 15 per cent service charge is included in the bill in hotels. Restaurants and bars have 14 per cent service charge weekdays and 15 per cent weekends and holidays. The obligatory cloakroom or doorman fee is usually clearly indicated. Taxi drivers, washroom attendants and hairdressers are also tipped.

Customs: Visiting Finland is like stepping into a refreshing shower on a hot day. Even in the cultured capital, Helsinki, the air is clean, and the countryside has a cool but seductive beauty. The western coast is fringed with countless islands, while the southern Saimaa district is drenched by myriad sapphire lakes. Here you can sail, fish, or take a relaxing sauna – followed, of course, by a dip in the lake.

In Kuusamo, there are ancient forests where bears and wolves roam, where succulent berries grow, and where lichens glisten on the trees lining the waymarked walking trails. And in Lapland, far to the north, the indigenous Sami people still tend their reindeer herds – when they’re not surfing the Internet, that is: Finland is one of the most technologically switched-on countries in the world.

During winter, luscious snows create a sporting wonderland crisscrossed by ski trails, while in warmer weather you can watch an opera at Savonlinna, go canoeing, river rafting or gold panning, or simply join the Finns as they dance the tango under the midnight sun.





Location: Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Sweden and Russia

Geographic coordinates: 64 00 N, 26 00 E

Total: 337,030 sq km
Water: 31,560 sq km
Land: 305,470 sq km

Coastline: 1,126 km (excludes islands and coastal indentations)

Maritime claims: continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation exclusive fishing zone: 12 NM; extends to continental shelf boundary with Sweden

Territorial sea: 12 NM (in the Gulf of Finland - 3 NM)

Climate: cold temperate; potentially subarctic, but comparatively mild because of moderating influence of the North Atlantic Current, Baltic Sea, and more than 60,000 lakes

Terrain: mostly low, flat to rolling plains interspersed with lakes and low hills

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m
highest point: Halti 1,328 m

Natural resources: timber, copper, zinc, iron ore, silver

Natural hazards: NA

Environment - current issues: air pollution from manufacturing and power plants contributing to acid rain; water pollution from industrial wastes, agricultural chemicals; habitat loss threatens wildlife populations

Geography - note: long boundary with Russia; Helsinki is northernmost national capital on European continent; population concentrated on small southwestern coastal plain




Government Structure: The constitution allows for a President, who is Head of State, and a single-chamber Assembly, the Eduskunta. The President is elected by direct popular vote for a term of six years, while the 200-strong Parliament is elected every four years.




Telephone: Full IDD is available. Country code: 358. Outgoing international code: 990, 994 or 999. For international number enquiries and tariff information within Finland, callers should dial 020 208.

Mobile telephone: GSM 900/1800 networks available.

Main operators include

Fax: Many hotels and businesses have fax facilities. Also available in post offices in Helsinki.

Internet: ISPs include:

Public access is available in Internet cafes. There are also many Internet booths in Helsinki.

Telegram: These can be left with the nearest post office or hotel desk.

Post: Letters and postcards sent by airmail usually take about 3 days to reach destinations within Europe. Stamps are available from post offices, book and paper shops, stations and hotels. Visitors can have mail sent to them via Poste Restante, Central Post Office, Mannerheimintie 11, 00100 Helsinki, which is open Mon-Fri 0800-2100, Sat 0900-1800, Sun 1100-2100. Generally, post offices are open Mon-Fri 0900-1700, closed Saturday. During winter many town offices are open 0900-1800.

Press: There are over 200 daily newspapers, with the most popular including: Aamulehti, Helsingin Sanomat, Ilta-Sanomat and Iltalehti. Seura and Apu are weekly illustrated news magazines and are two of several periodicals. Kauppalehti is one of the leading business newspapers. There are no English-language newspapers published in Finland, but most UK and US daily newspapers are available as well as international papers in many different languages.

Radio: BBC World Service Website: From time to time the frequencies change and the most up-to-date can be found online.


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