At this point, you must have read a thousand things about Finland and Helsinki. You might think that Finland is a barren, remote and small country. Not much here to do, right? Well you thought wrong. We have very vivid and rich culture. What better way to explore this unique culture than to study in Finland. Here are few tips to make the most of your stay.
Nature in the backyard.
Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is an urban city by the seaside with a lot of buzz going on. Despite this, the nature is just around the corner, offering you a quiet place to clear your mind. For example, take the bus to Nuuksio national park in Espoo. We will guarantee that it makes your jaw drop. Make sure to travel around; don’t get stuck in the Helsinki region. Finland has really cool and beautiful places to offer. In wintertime, visit the snowy Lapland. If you’re lucky, you might see the northern lights. Why is Finland called the land of a thousand lakes, find out and take a trip to the Finnish Lakeland. Sometimes in winter, especially in the southern parts of Finland it might be dark if there’s no snow. It’s the time when sun might not rise at all, we Finns call it Kaamos. No, it’s not the end of the world as we know it, just a thing that you have to get used to.
Let’s be friends.
Finns are said to be anti-social but that isn’t true at all. We me might come off as shy and silent, but be brave, just start the conversation and make as much friends as you can. No travel guide or brochure can tell or show you the same things as a Finn. Especially student get-togethers and different kinds of festivals and parties are great places to meet new people.
Many of our traditional foods may seem like they come from a different planet, for example a little thing called Mämmi. However they say, you have to try everything once. Don’t panic, Finnish food culture is quite versatile, so there’s something for everybody. One of the best ways to get acquainted to the food culture is the Restaurant day in spring. It’s a day when anyone can set up a restaurant of their choice.
Sweat baby sweat!
Want to experience something totally new? Try the Finnish invention sauna. Yes, we cram into a tiny heated steamy room. It’s usually customary to prepare sausages over the sauna stove and flush them down with beer. Sometimes in winter, people go ice swimming after the sauna. You can try this, if you’re brave enough. Sauna and everything that goes with it may at first sound a little bit strange, but it is a big part of Finnish culture.
Go to a concert.
Helsinki is packed with small clubs that offer live music almost every night. The music styles vary from hip-hop to metal. Usually the entry fee for the small clubs is quite small. If you’re here during the summer, make sure to visit some festivals. There’s nothing better than a warm summer night, hanging out with your friends while listening to live music.
Can I interest you in a cup of coffee?
Experience the Finnish coffee culture. Finns consume the most coffee in the world, so cafés can be found in every street corner. When Finns meet their friends and relatives, it usually involves several cups of coffee. Coffee maker can be found almost in every home and workplace and it is used daily. Make sure to try the local brands!
Passing the time
Finnish people love their outdoor activities, no matter what time of the year. Cross-country skiing and ice skating are the most popular form of hobbies in the winter. It can take a while to master these skills, but it really is worth the trouble. In summer, people just love to roam around in the nature. The forests are so clean that you can eat berries straight from the ground, you just have to know which ones are edible. Lakes in summer don’t get that warm, but Finns love their swim. So, gather your friends and spend a day at the beach.