Welcome to Finland!
We send job openings around the world, looking for people in every country to work and live in Finland. However, not everyone knows what country Finland is and which global brands were born here. On this page we will try to tell about this modest but successful country.
Finland, located in the northern hemisphere of the globe, is one of the most prominent countries where everything digital and IT has become one of the main industries. Many global brands and companies you know originally came from Finland.
One of the prime examples has to be Angry Birds. Angry Birds series cumulatively has 23 mobile games, 5 books (including one for cooking), 3 comic series, 2 big screen movies, 5 animated series, 3 amusement parks, a line of beverages and cookies, and all different types of toys. Even though Angry Birds has become an empire of its own, before it used to be just a mobile game, where you would shoot birds into pig’s fortresses. From the release of the first game in 2009 and till this day, Angry Birds is one of Finland’s national treasures, created by a humble Finnish company, Rovio Entertainment.
Another member of this list is Supercell. Supercell itself is not on everyone’s lips, but Clash of Clans is. Clash of Clans is another world known mobile game brand that came to market back in 2012. The idea behind the game was to put old 90’s RPG games about medieval wars between clans and merchants into a more modern mobile look. At first the game came out in English only, and nowadays it works in over 20 international languages.
Noticing global digitalisation of the world, Finnish government has been investing into creating spaces and teaching from children to young adults about digitalisation. Finnish capital municipality has started Ohjaamo, where youngsters from 16 to 25 get free space and resources to start a business and learn about trends and practices in digital world, nurturing future global IT brands. In addition to municipal programs accessible for everyone, there are programs implemented into curricula of every university.
As an example of school-based entrepreneurial IT society look at members of Screenful – a SaaS company that just raised over €305 000 in seed funding, – almost every single one of them studied in University of Helsinki and most probably participated in common entrepreneurial pulls and Hackathons.
Espoo-based Flowhaven, that has signed a number of contracts with US-based companies to license software, was created by minds participating in Aalto’s Entrepreneurial Society and Start Up Sauna.
Apart from nourishing digital development in the country, Finnish government also remembers to regulate it. Every year Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment issues a booklet dedicated towards foreigners for educational purposes. This booklet goes in-depth into most concerning questions that arise in a mind of an immigrant, when it comes to moving, employment, integration, housing, healthcare and more. (This guide can be found in useful links on the page below.) When it comes to regulations in the IT industry, the Collective Agreement of the IT sector holds the power. This agreement specialises in description and understanding of the services that are being provided, base salaries, resolutions for potential conflicts, employees benefits, rights and other issues an IT professional may face. Collective Agreement of the IT sector ensures rights and safety of the IT professional in the industry within territories of Republic of Finland.
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Prices and expenses
Cost of rental accomodation greatly depends on both city district and place to live, e.g. renting a studio apartment in the centre of the capital will cost you around €800 per month. For two bedroom apartments it will cost €1000-1500. In suburbs prices are much cheaper, on average €700 and €1000.
Outside of Helsinki rental cost is more moderate, e.g. in Tampere flat in the centre will cost €600 – 1000 depending on number of rooms while in remote district it will cost €400-800.
While renting a flat in Finland remember the following:
1. Deposit in 1-3 monthly rental value.
2. Facilities. In Finland almost all flats are rented without furniture (except kitchen and cupboards) so be prepared to move into empty flat and visit the nearest IKEA, Jysk, and Prisma for equipment.
2. Buying flat
In Finland real estate prices rise not so rapid as, e.g., in Hong Kong; here it’s only 2-3% per year. The cost depends on the city, distric, and the type of house. For example one square meter in brand new Helsinki buildings costs €5000, in an older building – €3760. In other parts of country you can find more valuable variants, on average €3210 and €1720.
Exact price of flat in the capital depends on the city district. Thus, you can find variants for €2000 either €6000 per square meter. In Kouvola one can buy decent apartments for 1200 per 1 sq.m, in Lappeenranta for €1800. On the south-east part of the country you can buy a piece of land with coastline in addition. It will cost at least €30 000, while buying a house starts from €150 000.
On average, typical Finn spends 27% of their incomes for their flat maintenance while people living in capital spends even more – about 37%.
3. Utility payments
The bulk of money is housing maintenance. However, it’s important to point in return of good money local citizens receive maximal comfortable conditions (such as cleanest drinkable tap water, uninterrupted power supply, Internet, mobile communication) even if they live in remote village.
So, what do payments consist of if you rent a flat?
* Electricity. €20-80 per month. With sparing consumption two-person family living in small flat spends about €30-50.
* Water supply. Approximately €13-18 per person per month.
* Garbage disposal. One disposal costs from €7. Final amount is distributed among tenants of the house.
* Home Internet. Unlimited Internet package with speed of 10 Mb per second will cost about €5-10.
* Insurance. It’s obligatory point in case of flat rent in Finland.
When renting you sign contract for electricity and insurance. Latter one costs €120-200 per year or €10-15 per month. This preventive measure save you from problems with repair and other unwanted expenses.
4. Food expenses
Finnish people admires natural products. This statement is also connected with food. Here you can find highly-qualified goods; the origins of the traditional dishes are fish and meat, mostly steam cooked and stewed. On the other hand, there are lots of tasty pastry. Public catering network is greatly developed from restaurants and diners to street stalks.
Supermarkets are the most budgetary variant for those who is ready to spend their time for cooking. The most largest and popular chain stores are Prisma, K-citymarket, Tokmanni, and Lidl. The first three are the most budgetary while in Lidl prices are higher than in Europe at all. There are also chain stores Alko where you can buy strong alcohol while in average shops you can find only light drinks.
Goods are more expensive than in Russia but cheaper than in Sweden or Norway.
* bread – €0,6-3
* milk – from €1 per liter
* cheese – from €8 per 1kg
* butter – €2 per 0,5kg
*eggs (ten-pack) – €1,5-2
* beef – €16-43 per 1 kg
* pork – from €6,5 per 1 kg
* chicken – from €7 per 1 kg
* smoked meat – €9 per 1 kg
* fish – €8-26 per 1 kg (1 kg salmon fillet €12-26 )
* sausage – from €1,5 per 0,3 kg, or €7-15 per 1kg
* apples – from €0,70 per 1kg
* bananas – from €1,5 per 1kg
* oranges, tangerines – €1,5-3 per 1kg
* tomatoes – €2,5-6 kg per 1kg
* cucumbers – from €2 per 1kg
* potatoes – €0,6-2,5 per 1kg
* coffee – from €3 per 0,5 kg
* spaghetti – €1,8 per 1 kg
* rice – €2,5 per 1kg
* oatmeal – €1,5 per 1kg
* wine – from €7 per 1 bottle
* mineral water – from €1,5-2 per 1 bottle
* beer – from €1,5 per 1 bottle
You can also save your money buying nearly expired food. In such case price is lower by 30%.
Street stalks and fast food restaurants allow to save some money to people who are not fussy eater and don’t want to cook by themselves e.g. in Hesburger hamburger with cutlet will cost you €4, double-cheeseburger – €5. Price for Big Mac set is €7-8.
In Finland grill-kiosks are rather popular. Here you can have a bite of grilled sausages, hamburgers, meat pies; the set including these snacks will cost €7-10. Single items cost €4-6.
There are also kebabs and pizzerias. In the first dinery average bill is about €7-10, in the second one is around €20 including drinks.
5. Restaurants and cafes
At restaurant you can have a dinner for two people without alcohol just in €45-70. If you happen to come at lunch hours with buffet table you can eat for €9,5-12 per person. A delicious dinner for two people with alcohol will cost €70-90. In case you want to visit high class restaurant be prepared to spend at least €120.
If you decide to add some beer you will cost €7-9 per bottle. And in case you want to treat yourself with tasty dessert and coffee the cost will start from €4 per cake and about €3-5 per drink.
Another budget variant to have a snack is to visit cafe near gas station. Here you can have a dinner for €10 including the main dish, salat, drinks, and dessert. You can buy coffee per €2.
Restaurant with one dish
There is unique restaurant “Kippurasarvi” located in commune Lemi serving only one national dish called “särä”. It’s specially baked lamb with potatoes. It is being cooked about 12-16 hours after three days of soaking meat. A dinner for adult will cost €33, but you will able to eat as much tasty meal as you can!
6. Transport and communication expenses
Public transport is rather expensive. According to distance of movement ticket in capital area will cost €2,2-5. You can buy monthly season ticket which will be valid on the territory of all capital region. It will cost €100 but if you decide to buy season ticket only for one region, e.g. Helsinki or Vanta, the cost will be about €53.
In Finland gasoline costs €1,4-1,7. Finnish people care about ecology so local fuel contains many bio-ingredients trying to lower negative influence on environment.
Personal car brings additional expenses such as:
* obligatory insurance from €500 per year (about €42 per month)
* road tax about €200 per year, or €17 per month
* technical inspection about €70 (once in a year) (if car is older than 3 year)
Expenses don’t include unexpected repair, car washing or wheels changing.
It’s recommended to receive driver licence before arrival in Finland. You can change them to local ones for €50-100. It’s quite expensive to pass exam for driver licence here; it will cost around €1000-2000.
Price of used car depends on year of manufacture and mileage. You can buy old Ford for €500 and drive around all Finland. A car made 5 years ago will cost about €25000. In Finland new cars are expensive by the reason of the tax.
€18-25 for person per month with unlimited Internet connection.
7. Clothing and shoes expenses
Prices are quite adequate to the production made by local producers. Clothing and shoes of european brands are not cheap however in the time of sales you can find discounts in 20-30%. The most popular places for shopping are located in the capital. These are Stockmann, malls Jumbo and Iso Omena (“The Big Apple”), Itäkeskus, Forum, Kamppi.
Prices of goods (as for european brands so Finnish ones) are the following:
* jeans – from €40
* dresses – from €30
* down-padded coat – from €100 – local brands, from 250 – european brands
* winter pantyhoses – €5-7
* sport shoes, leather boots – from €80
8. Other expenses
The Finns respect free time and try to organize work week with giving people opportunity to rest not only on weekends, so you probably would want to make your way consisting of work and home more full, e.g. by buying subscription to fitness club for €30-80 or walking to the cinema for €12-18.
You can visit all possible museums with tickets from €3, rides (e.g. Ferris wheel for €12), observation platform (from €5). Cheapest way to travel between cities is bus; you can find ticket for €3-4 if buying in advance.