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general questions about Finland

Travel Forums Europe general questions about Finland

1. Posted by saraeg (Full Member 39 posts) 12y

I've been seriously thinking about applying for a program to teach English in Finland and would love any information anyone had on their time there, or folks who are from there. I think the program tends to send their teachers to the more rural areas. What is the general cost of living? The program pays their teachers between $850-$1000 a month and they estimate rent to be around $200-$300. Is this realistic? I think the program sounds interesting, but I'm just looking to get some more info from you all before I look into it any more.



2. Posted by BasiaAlm (Full Member 61 posts) 12y

I live in Sweden, which is close to Finland and my late spouse was half-Finnish so we travelled to Finnland often. Like all Scandinavian countries the cost of living there is high. Clothing is expensive, so buy at home before you go: and be prepared for a very cold weather all year round.
Food is very expensive, so be prepared to change your eating habits: bye bye biff, for example. Energy is very expensive, so make sure your rent includes heating and save electricity every way you can. Transportation is very expensive, too. Good news: you can SURVIVE on $1000 a month, especially if your lodging won't be more than $300, but just survive. There won't be any money left for travel, going out, etc.
But Finland is beautiful, if you like cold, peace and quiet.

3. Posted by vilmalotta (Respected Member 95 posts) 12y

Greetings from "cold, peace and quiet"!
(+28 degrees at the moment)

The cost of living really depends on where you're staying.
Helsinki-area has the highest rents. Also e.g. Turku and
Tampere and Oulu have higher rents than the rural areas.
In these town you can expect a rent around 350-500 euros
a month, in rural areas something from 200 euros up.

I think you can survive with 1000 USD, don't worry.
I mean it's not much, but it's enough. And as Basia
said, there won't be much left for travelling etc.

If you have more questions, I'd be happy to help.
Just send a message via the system. :)

4. Posted by saraeg (Full Member 39 posts) 12y

Thank you both for your feedback. A couple other questions: if I was interested in making some money on the side of teaching, would that be a huge hassle? Without knowing a word of the language, would there really be any place I could work to make some extra cash? What are the more rural areas of Finland like ( I can't give an example of a town as I have no clue where I'd be placed)? I'm from a more rural area in the US so am use to that lifestyle but also don't want to be in a place that is "very" rural in Finland. Thanks again!

5. Posted by vilmalotta (Respected Member 95 posts) 12y

Hi sara, :)

I think it would be a good idea to have another job besides
teaching. I would say that the job opportunities depend on
the area you're living. I think in many towns you could get
a job in a pub/bar, there might also be some proofreading
in English etc. And of course there might be some seasonal
jobs depending on area you're living in (jobs at ski resorts,
hotels, berry picking, etc.). Since you're coming from outside
EU, I'm not sure how it's going to work when it comes to
work permit, but I've understood that nowadays it's not as big a
problem as before. And since you're coming here to work in the first
place, I would think that you have some kind of work permit...?

You could try and contact the Finnish job center by mail:
They'll know about the legal stuff.

About the rural areas...
You'll have to remember that there's only about 5 million
inhabitants in Finland, so there's not any "big cities" around.
In the Helsinki-area (in a broad sense) there is about
1 million inhabitants, then there's a few towns with
100-200 000 inhabitants. The average town has
about 30-50 000 inhabitants... but I would describe most
of Finland as rural and many parts as "very rural".
This means towns having somehting like 3000-7000 inhabitants.
I would recommend avoiding the smallest places if
possible. I mean you can always visit the small places
and wilderness when you feel like it, you don't have
to live there... ;)
It's not that there's anything wrong with those places, but
the bigger places have of course better job opportunities
and services.