Finland (Suomi, Finland) is a country situated in the north of Europe. Officially called Republic of Finland (Suomen Tasavalta, Republiken Finland), belongs to the European Union since 1995. Finland declared its independence from the Russian empire on 1917 and was widely recognised on 1918.
FACTS ABOUT FINLAND
- There are two official languages, Finnish and Swedish. Other minoritary languages are from the Sami family and Karelian.
- The currency is the Euro (€) since 2002. Before that, the Finnish Mark (Suomen Markka, Finsk Mark) was used. 1 and 2 euro cent coins are not used, and prices are rounded to the nearest multiple of 5 cents after adding up the total amount. The rounding doesn't apply if the payment is made with credit card, as coins are not used for the transaction.
- The flag represents "The blue of the lakes and the white of the snow" and was made official in 1918, shortly after the independence.
- Electrical current in Finland is 220 volts, 50 hertz. The europlug and the shuckoplug are used. Both are compatible and have two rounded pins.
- The international phone code is +358
- There are two different internet domain codes for Finland: .fi and .ax for Åland (Ahvenanmaa).
- Finland uses the Eastern European Timezone (EET) which corresponds to Greenwich Meridian Time plus 2 hours (GMT +2). Summer time is observed, so time is shifted to GMT +3 from the end of March to the end of October.
- Most stores accept Visa, Mastercard and Finnish credit cards. Other less widely accepted cards are Visa Electron and Maestro.
- The ATM network is called Otto. It serves in Finnish, Swedish and English, and accepts cards with the following symbols printed on them:
- Legal age for alcohol consumption is 18 for drinks up to 22º and 20 for drinks with bigger graduation.
- Alcoholic drinks up to 4.8º can be bought on the supermarket, while more alcoholic ones are only sold in Alko, a publicly owned chain of shops.
- When buying a can or a bottle in Finland, you pay a deposit that is returned to you when you return it back to the shop. It can go from 0.15€ to 0.40€, depending on the material and the size.
- Bikes are used daily in Finland, specially by students, to move around. You have to use a white light on the front and, optionally, a red one on the back when it is dark. Otherwise you can be fined by police officers.
Finland is a great place to study and to live. It is different from most countries out there, but you will feel great very soon!