What is the currency in Finland?

The currency used in Finland is Euro. Currency can be exchanged at any bank in Finland. It is advisable to exchange larger amounts at a time because of service fees. Banks usually open at 10.00 and close at 16.30. At weekends, the banks are closed.

Do I need a bank account in a Finnish bank?

It is recommended that international students open up a bank account in one of the Finnish banks. Opening up a bank account is usually free of charge. When having a Finnish bank account, it is easier for students to e.g. pay their rent and other possible costs related to living and studying in Finland. When you open up a bank account in Finland, you should ask for internet banking service keys which enable you to use banking services online in English. Also, the bank will usually give at least a Visa electron card to students opening up a bank account. You may use it for paying, checking your balance and withdrawing money from ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines).

Please note that a valid passport is often needed when opening a bank account. Also, in order to open a bank account, a student should usually reside in Finland for at least 6 months.

I want to make a call, how can I do that?

Telephone booths are almost nonexistent in Finland as most people use mobile phones. A mobile phone and a pre-paid phone card can be the solution to your communication needs. It is a relatively cheap way of communicating in Finland. Frequency of mobile phones in Finland has also resulted in some other services being operated by mobile phone. This might cause problems in case your pre-paid connection has call barring services.

International phone calls from Finland can be made by dialling '+' and respective country and area code. Other possibility is to dial 990, 999, 994 or 00 (pan-European code). When calling from outside Finland to Vaasa, dial the international prefix + access code for Finland (358) + area code 6 for Vaasa, then dial the number you want.

What about driving in Finland?

Cars drive on the right and overtake on the left in Finland. Headlights must be used even during the day. Also, wearing seatbelts is compulsory both in front and back seats. If a mobile phone is used when driving, the use of a hands-free device is obligatory.

Main roads are in good condition also during winter. Snow tyres are compulsory in Finland from 1 January to 28/29 February. Studded tires may be used from 1 November to 31 March or when weather conditions require it.

License holders from countries that have joined the Road Traffic Convention (Geneva 1949 or Vienna 1968) may drive in Finland on their national driving license for one year from the date of entry into the country. After six months, you are eligible for a Finnish driving license. The age requirement is eighteen.

Please note that driving under the influence of alcohol is strictly forbidden in Finland. A driver can also be guilty of drunken driving or aggravated drunken driving when under the influence of other intoxicants than alcohol if his/her driving ability is impaired or seriously impaired. Infringement of these rules always results in penalties in the form of a fine or imprisonment.