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Saturday, 19 June 2010


 Finland is the fifth largest country in Europe. The area of Finland is 338,000 square kilometres or 131,000 square miles, of which eight per cent is cultivated. Ten per cent of the total area is covered by lakes, which number 188,000, and 69 per cent by forests.

 Major Cities

 Helsinki, the capital, pop. 539,000 (the metropolitan area including the neighbouring towns of Espoo, Kauniainen and Vantaa has a population of 920,000). Tampere, pop. 189,000; Turku, pop. 169,000.

 The population of Finland is about 5,1 million with an annual growth rate of 0.3 per cent. After Iceland and Norway, Finland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe, with 17 inhabitants per square kilometre. Therefore, the towns are quite small according to the European scale. Most of the inhabitants (76 per cent) live in urban areas. About 56 per cent have completed post-primary education, 43 % have a secondary level degree and 13 % have a higher level degree.

 Finland is a bilingual country, both Finnish (SUOMI/ FINSKA) and Swedish (RUOTSI/ SVENSKA) being the official languages. Around 6 per cent of the population speak Swedish as their native language. Most of the Swedish speakers live along the south and west coasts. The Lapps also account for a language minority with some 5,000 Sami speakers. The most widely studied foreign language is English, followed by German and French. You will be able to deal with all your official business in English.

 The majority of Finns are Lutherans (86 per cent), and one per cent are Finnish Orthodox. Government Independent democratic republic since 1917, with a President elected for a six-year-term, and a 200-member, single-chamber Parliament elected every four years.


 The Finnish currency is euro (EUR), divided into 100 cents(sentti).

 Finland is a Nordic country with four distinct seasons. The climate is milder than in many other areas of the same latitude partly because of the warming influence of the Gulf Stream. Temperatures range from minus 30 to plus 30 degrees Celsius. The long-term average is between +14 and +18 degrees Celsius in July, and between -6 and -15 degrees Celsius in February. Winter normally begins in November. There are good opportunities for winter sports in all parts of the country. If you are going to stay in Finland during the winter months, i.e. between November and April, you will need a good pair of warm, insulated shoes or boots, a warm winter coat, mittens and a hat/cap as well as woollen sweaters and long underwear. (Please note that Finnish buildings are generally well-heated and insulated, so it is warm indoors, even in winter.)

Historical Perspectives
 Finland and the Finnish national consciousness have been moulded by the country's geographical status between the East and the West. From the 12th century, Finland was part of the kingdom of Sweden. In 1809, after Sweden lost the war against Russia, Finland was ceded to Russia and became an autonomous Grand Duchy within Imperial Russia, its Grand Duke being the Tsar himself. During the 19th century Finnish national consciousness grew stronger. In 1906, Finland succeeded in establishing a new constitution based on equal and universal suffrage, Finnish women being the first in Europe to be given the right to vote. After the October Revolution in Russia in 1917, Finland declared itself independent. During World War II, Finland managed to retain its independence in the Winter War and Continuation War against Russia. After the war, Finland pursued a policy of neutrality and military non-alliance. Finland is a parliamentary republic with a multi-party political system. Finland joined the European union on the January 1st , 1995.

 Time in Finland


 There is only one time zone in Finland. From early Spring to Mid-Autumn so-called Summer Time is followed (set ahead the clocks by one hour in March) In Finland it is customary to use the following logic in indicating the time: 9.00 = 9 am. / 15.00 =3 p.m. / 19.30 = 7.30 pm. Public Holidays (Note: shops and banks are closed on holidays and close early on the Eves, but some kiosks and restaurants, however, remain open)

Information on education, training and youth issues in Finland, and on Finnish culture and way of life…recommended!

The Finnish Tourist Board
Travel in Finland
Virtual Finland
Education and Training in Finland
Finnish Schools in the Internet
Statistics Finland
Surf Finland -explore Finnish Municipalities and
Forest and Park Service
The City of Helsinki
The City of Joensuu
The Town of Savonlinna

COPIED:-From the Website of University of Joensuu/ Savonlinna Departments.

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