Here is some useful information to help you during your stay. The Welcome to Finland -guidebook (on the right) provides you practical information on Finnish everyday life from health, work and family to local Finnish traditions and Finnish Culture.
Banks and Credit Cards
The monetary unit in Finland is euro (EUR). Every international student is advised to open a bank account after the arrival. To open an account, a passport and a study certificate from the university are needed. Opening the account is free, but other services are usually subject to a charge. A credit card is good to have for emergencies. In Finland all the major credit cards (VISA, Mastercard, Eurocard, Diners Club, American Express) and Finnish bank cards are widely accepted. Credit cards can also be used to get money from cash dispensers, ATMs (Otto, pankkiautomaatti, pikapankki). ATMs are open 24 hours a day. All banks also have special banking terminals (maksuautomaatti) or services on the web.
The major banks in Finland are: Osuuspankki, Sampo, and Nordea. The offices of the banks are usually open Mon-Fri 09.30 – 16.30.
Health Care for Students
Students can receive health care services at the Student Health Care Foundation (YTHS), health centres, and the hospitals. You can find further information from the Student Health Care Foundation Website and from the University of Lapland’s Student Union.
In cases of emergency or acute illnesses, you can use public health care services when the YTHS is closed. Public primary health care is the responsibility of the municipal health centres. Please note that Student Union membership does not cover public health care or hospital expenses. For EU and Nordic citizens, and citizens of Australia and Quebec in Canada, the charge of a visit at a public health centre is EUR 12,80. EU citizens, excluding Nordic and British citizens, are required to have an E111, E128, or European Health Insurance Card and your ID with you, otherwise the charge will be EUR 90,50 in cash. The fee for persons from other countries than those mentioned above is EUR 48,10 / visit. In order to avoid unreasonably high cost in cases of, for example intensive care or difficult operations, students coming from outside EU/EEA countries are required to have their own medical insurance. Additional medical insurance is also highly recommened for student coming from EU/EAA countries.
In Finland, only pharmacies ("apteekki") sell medicine. Pharmacies are normally open Mon-Fri 09.00 - 18.00. In addition there is always a pharmacy on duty ("päivystävä apteekki"), which is open Mon-Friday 09.00 - 21.00, and weekends and public holidays 12.00 - 20.00. Information about the pharmacy on duty is posted on the door of each pharmacy.
The crime rate is relatively low in Finland in comparison with most other European countries. Visitors have little need to fear for their personal safety or their property. However, reasonable caution with one’s belongings is always recommended. Incoming international students are reminded to take into consideration that although Finland is by international standards a safe, tolerant, and open nation where inappropriate behaviour does not usually occur, this does not necessarily mean that one will not encounter such occurences.
Emergency Number 112, Police emergency number 10022
If you need help in case of fire, sudden illness, traffic accident, or other accident call the emergency number 112. The quickest way to call the police directly is the police emergency number 10022. Calls from all phone booths and mobile phone operators to the general emergency numbers 112 and 10022 are free of charge.
In Finland, incoming mail is delivered Monday through Friday. There are no deliveries on Saturday, Sunday, or public holidays. The branch post offices are usually open Mon – Fri 09.00 – 18.00 and the main post office 09.00 – 20.00.
In Finland, the home of Nokia phone company, it is more and more difficult to find a public telephone as mobile phones are widely used. The few public phones are mostly card phones. International students are recommended to obtain a mobile phone for the duration of their stay in Finland. The price of a mobile phone can vary from EUR 50 to EUR 400 depending on the properties and functions of the phone. Second hand mobile phones are also available in mobile phone shops.
Making phone calls
Calls within Finland : In order to make a long distance call within Finland , dial the area code and the phone number. Each county in Finland has it’s own area code. For individual area codes, you should check the phone book. The area code of Lapland and Rovaniemi is 016 for domestic calls and 16 when calling abroad. The prices of calls can vary depending on the operator used.
International calls from Finland : You can call direct to most countries from Finland . For a list of countries, codes, and charges, you should check the phone book. The charges for different operators vary greatly depending on time, day, and country you are calling to. To compare the prices, you should contact the operators.
International calls to Finland : Dial the international code for Finland (+358), the area code (without the general prefix 0, for example in Rovaniemi 16) and the phone number, for example: + 358 16 341 4202 / The University of Lapland, International Studies Centre
Useful things to remember
Electirical current: The electrical current in Finland is 220V (230V), 50 Hz. The plugs used are two-pin continental size.
Time: Finnish time is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
Measurements: Finland uses metrical system.