What I wish I had known when arriving in Finland

Published: 18.06.2024 / Blog

Welcome to Finland! I’m Zoa, a second-year Financial Management student at Arcada University of Applied Sciences. In this blog, I’ll share insights on "What I wish I had known when arriving in Finland," reflecting on my experiences to help you make the arrival as smooth as possible.

Paperwork Process

First of all, the paperwork process can be quite time-consuming. Finnish offices generally operate on weekdays, typically closing around 15:00 or 16:00, so it's essential to arrive early and be prepared to complete the process efficiently. Otherwise, you may find yourself in long lines, and your paperwork might take even longer to be processed. It took me three months to complete all my paperwork, which I found to be extremely long. Some of my classmates even experienced a six-month wait. Therefore, it’s better to start the paperwork process as soon as you arrive in Finland rather than delaying it.

Autumn falls quickly in Finland, but September can still offer beautiful summer weather.

Settling In

As a super introverted person, I have found Finland to be a very comfortable place due to its peaceful environment, fresh air, and blue skies. I’m truly grateful to immediately have been accepted into the student housing on campus, allowing me to stay just a three-minute walk from Arcada. Arriving before the academic year began gave me months to explore the national parks, lakes, and various spots around Helsinki. For me, Arabia remains the best area to live in.

Snow, Christmas markets, Santa, skiing ... Finland is truly a winter wonderland!

Social Life

One thing I wish I had known before coming to Finland is how friendly people are here. Initially, I stayed to myself, but the locals helped me gain the confidence to step out of my comfort zone. They are respectful, supportive, and proactive, encouraging me to be the best version of myself. This experience has taught me to be more proactive and confident in expressing my opinions. While Finns are known for being introverted, once you build trust, they become incredibly supportive and reliable friends. I never felt lonely or isolated thanks to the wonderful people I met here.

In the spring, Finland starts to wake up after the long winter.


Understanding the weather in Finland is crucial. While everyone knows it’s cold, the extent of climate change has made it even more unpredictable. For example, last winter had "Takatalvi," which means winter returned five times during spring. Always be prepared for sudden changes in weather and don’t take the climate lightly.

Finlan is not called the Land of the Midnight Sun for nothing; the long summer days and white nights are endless. 

Tips for Each Month Based on My Experience

  • January: Watch out for icy roads and sidewalks. Invest in sturdy winter boots with good grip to prevent slipping.
  • February: Be prepared for heavy snowfall and ensure you have proper winter gear, including a warm coat, gloves, and a hat.
  • March: As temperatures start to rise, be cautious of melting snow turning into slippery ice patches, especially in shaded areas.
  • April: Watch for sudden weather changes, as spring can bring both sunny days and surprise snow showers.
  • May: Enjoy the longer days and milder temperatures, but be prepared for occasional rain showers. Carry an umbrella or raincoat when heading out.
  • June: Take advantage of the midnight sun by exploring the outdoors late into the evening. Remember, mosquitoes can be prevalent, so use insect repellent.
  • July: Enjoy the warmest month of the year with outdoor activities like picnics and hiking. Don't forget sunscreen and stay hydrated.
  • August: As summer draws to a close, be prepared for cooler evenings and mornings. Bring layers to stay comfortable throughout the day.
  • September: Watch for the first signs of autumn foliage and cooler temperatures. Start layering up as the weather begins to transition.
  • October: Prepare for the arrival of autumn storms and strong winds. Secure outdoor furniture and watch out for falling branches.
  • November: As temperatures drop, be cautious of frost and icy conditions on the roads and sidewalks.
  • December: Expect shorter days and colder temperatures. Keep warm and cozy indoors, but when venturing out, be cautious of icy paths and roads.

As you embark on this exciting journey, I wish you the best of luck. I hope Arcada becomes a place where you create wonderful experiences, not only with friends but also with teachers, lectures, and the environment around you.

I hope this small blog provides some helpful insights based on my experiences. If you see me around school, feel free to say hi and don't hesitate to ask me any questions. Or follow me on Instagram @_zoaaa.mochii_

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