Finland, the country known for the sauna, the handknitted sweaters, and the sport ‘women-carrying’ lies in a far corner of Europe. In the summer, the sun hardly goes down, in the very cold winter it hardly gets light. Lying approximately between latitudes 60° and 70° N, and longitudes 20° and 32° E, Finland is one of the world's northernmost countries.
The countryside is beautiful and almost deserted. Finland is the eighth-largest country in Europe and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union. Only 5.3 million people live in Finland, which makes it quite rare to be a Finn.
Finns speak Finnish, a Uralic language unrelated to the Scandinavian languages. In Finland the country is called Suomi.
Finland has about 168,000 lakes (of area larger than 500 m2 or 0.12 acres) and 179,000 islands. Its largest lake, Saimaa, is the fourth largest in Europe. Much of the geography of Finland is a result of the Ice Age. The glaciers were thicker and lasted longer in Fennoscandia compared with the rest of Europe. Their eroding effects have left the Finnish landscape mostly flat with few hills and fewer mountains.
Maybe you will find Finland a challenge as a country for a short term program, but Finland is a safe country and it is good to know that international students feel the same. 83% of international students would recommend studies in Finland, according to the International Student Barometer 2017.
Characteristics: Marimekko-design, Alvar Aalto, Nokia, Santa Claus Village
Greeting: Onko sauna lämmin? (Is your sauna warm?)
Good to know: people say that the Finns invented SMS, so they didn’t have to talk to each other