Emigration and life in Finland - personal experience

One of our readers suggested to tellyour experience of emigration to Finland and write a guest post on this topic. Her scheme is clearly not for everyone, and, frankly, I have never considered Finland as a country for relocation, but nevertheless I was interested in reading impressions of this country, especially Irina is also the mother of a special child. I don’t know about you, but the climate there is scaring me, we are fans of warmth and sun, and for good reason we like to go to Thailand for the winter.

The content of the article


Hello! My name is Irina, I am 35 years old and the last four years I live in Central Finland, in the suburbs of the city of Jyväskylä. I noticed that Oleg and Darya’s blog has a lot of readers who are interested in emigration and life in different countries, so I decided to share my experience, I'm glad if it turns out to be useful for you.

Gardens are blooming on the platform in Helsinki

Gardens are blooming on the platform in Helsinki

Well, it all started with the fact that I strongly-verymy life disliked, and I really wanted to change it. There was a lot of things there, and the difficulties of relationships with parents and the always ill child with disabilities and the work that exhausted me and squeezed to the drop, well, I didn’t really like to live in Russia before the heap (read it didn’t like it at all).

I thought it would be cool somewhere.to leave, it is best to go to the ends of the earth, but instead went on a bus tour of Scandinavia. Yes, yes, I was far from such an advanced traveler as Oleg with Darya and Egorka. Before that, I was only once in the Czech Republic and once in Thailand. And you know what? This trip has changed my life! I just fell in love with Scandinavia and I wanted to go back there. And the least time we were in Finland, I decided that it was unfair, and came there again in two months - to walk without haste and breathe Finnish air.

And here I am again in Finland. My friend and I hired a car and drove along the south coast. It was July, the weather was wonderful, and this country finally conquered me: by the wind from the sea, cafes with delicious cakes, small toy towns, and it was important to have chickens walking there. In what city I saw them I don’t remember, since I moved here I have never seen any chickens walking freely around the city!

Rooster walks down the street in some Finnish city

Rooster walks down the street in some Finnish city

How was it with me

What I finally decided on was completegamble on my part. I accidentally found out that in Finland there is a free higher education in English, I quickly passed the TOEFL (you can estimate the scale of my non-advancement by the fact that at that time I didn’t even have a normal bank card to pay for this - I had to urgently arrange) and filed documents in the selected university.

New year we met with a second cousin onthe ferry between Finland and Sweden, and in April I was already rolling on the Lev Tolstoy train to Helsinki, and from there on another train to Jyväskylä, to take the university entrance exam. As a result, exactly one year after I first visited this country with a bus tour, I received an answer that I entered the university in the specialty “International Business” and they are waiting for me in August with things :-) I was just happy With pleasure I filed an application for settlement, and we had previously agreed with the parents that the son would stay with them for the first time. He was then 4 years old.

Why was this an adventure? Because I did not have any money to live normally in Finland with a child (and without a child), nor any guarantees that I could stay there after school. I rented two apartments in Perm, and this was hardly enough for me to eat, toothpaste and travel to Russia to my son in the first year. For a year I never used public transport in Finland (I went on an old semi-broken bicycle, the cheapest one I found), I didn’t buy anything at all, and went to the grocery store for 2 km, because there was a little cheaper.

I diligently taught Finnish, and at the same time Swedish,I registered an IP in Finland and was 100% sure that I would not leave here. Apparently, I was so persistent in my desire to live in Finland that the Expensive Universe helped me and I met the man of my dreams, who by happy coincidence turned out to be a Finn and offered me a hand and heart. To which I immediately agreed. Three years have passed since then, and last week we had a fight for the first time (we already made up :) )

Life in finland

Baking pancakes in a student apartment. First year in Finland

How can this be yours

Despite the fact that I sincerely consider Finnishmen are wonderful, and women too, I do not urge you now to indulge in all serious things! But if you also really want to move to Finland, perhaps one of the following options will suit you.

Work in Finland

This is just perfect! Even if only one family member found a job, you can absolutely safely transport the whole family here: children will be sent to kindergartens / schools, they will be fed and taught the language, and the non-working family member will be sent to language courses and will be paid a stipend, and then unemployment benefit if the work does not instantly appear. Plus not count. The main disadvantage is not easy. But it absolutely does not mean that it is impossible. I have a family I know, my husband is an architect. In his work in St. Petersburg, he often came across one Finnish company that designs houses, and as a result he now works there. There were also acquaintances from LJ, they also came to Finland on work visas - both husband and wife, found a job here. But they are already in America, in Finland they seemed bored.

Sites for job search:

  • LinkedIn
  • http://www.monster.fi/,
  • http: //www.mol.fi / tyopaikat / tyopaikkatiedotus / haku / (here you have to use the google translator if you don’t speak Finnish yet. Mostly jobs are in Finnish, but there are also English)
  • Well, in general, show imagination. Go to the sites of companies you are interested in, find a page about vacancies and act!

About visa and other points: http://www.migri.fi/

Business in Finland

It's not bad too. But you have to fight for a place in the sun! A residence permit as an entrepreneur is harder to obtain than at work, you will be closely examined under a microscope, and in the first year you are unlikely to have the social benefits of Finland shine. If you prove your worth (expressed in average monthly income and taxes paid), everything will come. Here they write how to do it http://www.migri.fi/ And in Finland there are state organizations that help (!!!) for novice entrepreneurs, including Russian, who want to start a business in Finland. For example, like this in Joensuu http://www.josek.fi/eng/.

Study in Finland

Does not give you any benefits or guarantees. After graduation you will have 6 months to find a job if you have not found one yet. Or go to another school .. You can study in Finland forever. For now, education is free for everyone, but they promise to introduce paid already from 2017. However, most likely, it will be cheaper than education in another European country. All you need to know about getting higher education in Finland in English is here: http://www.studyinfinland.fi/

There are still refugees, but Finland is sooooo not willing to accept them, and if you wish to become one, you will have to strongly prove that otherwise you face imminent death.

Well, those who in the family were Finns. I know almost nothing about this type of emigration, except that they have been waiting for such decisions for years and almost decades.

If you like Finland and you think you could live here, good luck!

Life in Finland - as it is

To be honest, I find it difficult to describe life in Finland in two words. I adore this country! Though sometimes grumbling about the climate, Finnish and Finnish culinary tastes :-) Seriously, I think that Finland is well suited to those who love to live in the village, but with all the amenities :-) That is, fresh air, forest from the threshold and the river behindturn, only in the Finnish version it is likely to be a lake. Plus a bonus to this would be excellent roads, a school nearby or a free taxi to it, and a high standard of living. But everything will be like a parochial, a little village in the good sense of the word.

Most likely you will NOT like in Finland ifyou like to break the rules of the road, like parties, especially at night, like the noise of big cities, a lot of people around and a crazy rhythm of life. Finns value calm, predictability, and compliance.

Very typical finnish picture

Very typical finnish picture


Finland is one of the most expensive countries in Europe. Expensive here: any services, transport, gasoline, alcohol, restaurants, utilities, insurance. For example: the normal price for a male haircut is 20 euro, and a female one is 50. I understand that there are such prices in Russia, but in Finland this is the lower limit. A 200 km train ride will cost you 60 euros if you are not a student, and 20 km on a city bus is more than 6 euros. I just live in the suburbs, 20 km from the city, i.e. if I traveled by public transport, I would have spent at least 12 euros per day only on the road, this is if without transfers.

For electricity we pay from 100 to 200 euros inmonth. To understand: we are a family of 4 people, we live in a three-room apartment with a sauna (electric), an electric oven that is used to the full extent, a dishwasher, an autonomous boiler, heated floors in the shower and toilet, and electric heating. Water costs 4 euro / cubic meter.

Products in supermarkets, in principle, to meit seems that if it is more expensive than Perm, it’s not so direct (I’m from Perm, so I’m mostly comparing with Perm, I don’t mean much, residents of two capitals and other cities and villages of the Russian Federation). But the drugs cost some unreal money. Valeriana will be offered to you for 18 euros, and iodine for 11. Maybe that's why nobody uses them here and the Finns have one remedy for all illnesses - ibuprofen?

More Finnish feature, which I longI got used to it - everything local here is worth ... MORE EXPENSIVE! Moreover, the closer it is grown or produced, the more expensive it is sold, because meeeeestnoooooeeee! And if you expect to buy cheap apples in the granny market, you will be very disappointed, the apples will be three times more expensive than in the store and the granny will stand at his own price to death, threateningly rolling his eyes and proving that the apples are more difficult to eat! You have already understood, yes, that the Finns are great patriots and originals?

Property prices are pretty strongdifferent from the type of property and location. The most expensive is a surprise surprise! real estate in the capital. Also, the Finns are very fond of private homes, and so that the neighbors could not be seen (if you look at this point, then I'm definitely Finn!). In our region (the city of Jyväskylä and its surroundings) a good, sound house can be bought for 200 - 300 thousand euros. Well, for example, like this:

talo 2


In general, I recommend this site if you also like to hang on looking at real estate for sale. :-)

Finland and children

I know that many dear Russians have Finlandassociated exclusively with juvenile justice and horror stories about selected children from innocent parents. My opinion is that Finland is a wonderful country for families with children, including (underlined twice) for families with special children.

My children run to local kindergartens with songs anddancing, although in Russia kindergarten - it was one of the worst nightmares of our family. And the same picture of my friends Russian families. Among the Finns, by the way, I met those who are dissatisfied with their garden, but I think they simply have nothing to compare with.

Schools here are not subdivided into anyelite or shameful, no entrance exams in the first class is not in sight. And in general, tests and examinations are held mostly between times, children do not prepare for them in any way, but show what is. It does not create any particularly stressful stress associated with school and study. Homework set a little, but on the weekend do not ask.

The main thing for a child is a happy childhood, andThe main function of the parent is to have fun and usefully with the children, for example, to go camping or skating, but certainly not to exercise, and not to do homework until everyone becomes hysterical. There are so many articles on the Finnish school system. I like this one; it very well reveals the topic of the Riddle of the Finnish school: you learn less - know more?

Fedya and ducks. Yyväskylä

Fedya and ducks. Yyväskylä

Special children

I mentioned special children here. The fact is that I had the opportunity to learn from my own experience - what it is like to be a mother of a special child in Russia and Finland. I must say that this is not just neither there nor there. But here (in Finland) I receive such colossal support from teachers and other representatives of the state in relation to my son with a severe degree of hearing loss, that I almost stopped to perceive him as special! For me, it's just a son, well, yes, it is different from others, duck is not the same people, all children are different!

This is due to the fact that I do not needachieve acceptable conditions for your child, for example, to be taken to a regular school or that teachers take into account his poor hearing. On the contrary! I am constantly contacted by a special city curator for hearing impaired children, asking how we are doing and how she can help us. She communicates with the teacher, makes sure that Fedor doesn’t have any problems caused by his hearing in the school, takes over negotiations with his doctor if there is a need for this.

In the classroom, all the legs of the tables and chairs upholsteredwith felt - for the sake of one child. He uses the FM system to hear the teacher better - for free. We have all the necessary equipment that can facilitate his life (an induction system to hear the TV, a doorbell with a light signal, a vibrating alarm clock, a fire alarm), and it was free for us. The main thing that they do - it does not leave the parents face to face with children's characteristics, they really HELP! This is very valuable to me.


I hope I managed to show you a little bit - what kind of Finland is she? And maybe you even wanted to go here, if you have not been. Come, Finns are very glad to Russian tourists. :-) And if you fall in love with this country, then I’m sure you will find a way to move here!

If I talk about me, then in my lifeThere have been global changes since moving to Finland. Well, besides the fact that my wonderful daughter was born, my son with 3-4-degree neurosensory hearing loss now speaks Finnish better than me and I don’t want to travel, because I am at home well (!!!) :) I also gradually got rid of the husk,liberated and learned to trust their dreams. I went to study again - at the pastry baker! And already making cakes, rolls and cupcakes to order. I just love this job and invite you to your blog about baking, desserts and strange Finns: http://finbake.ru/

And I am also in LiveJournal: http://irina-staro.livejournal.com/ Look at the light!

Our family

Our family

Thanks for reading!

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