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Living and studying in Finland

Living and studying in Finland

Study at Åbo Akademi University. In Finland.

What comes to your mind when you think about Finland? When asked, most people associate Finland with the northern lights, saunas or perhaps the Nokia mobile phones. But there is so much more than that that our country has to offer. Here we list a few of them.

Finland is the happiest country in the world

For the sixth year in a row, Finland has been ranked the happiest place in the world, according to the World Happiness Report 2023 by Sustainable Development Solutions Network, which is funded by the UN. Source: World Happiness Report

Education system

Finland is world-renown for its education system, and Finnish students consistently rank high in the PISA education survey. One of the main principles of Finnish education is equal access, which means that every citizen should have equal access to high-quality education and training no matter ethnic origin, age, wealth or where they live. Read more: Finnish education in a nutshell

Structure of the Finnish education system

View larger version: Education system in Finland

Nature is never far away

We have numerous lakes and forests, as well as a rich archipelago of approximately 180 000 islands. Even if you are in the middle of the city centre in Turku or Vaasa, the distance to the closest forest is short. Finland is called “the land of the thousand lakes”, which is a suitable nickname, as there are 188 000 lakes here.

Everyman’s rights

Ever heard about Everyman’s rights? It is a legal concept that gives everyone, no matter nationality, the right to enjoy the recreational use of natural areas, such as our vast forests, lakes, and fells. These rights also include e.g. the right to pick berries and mushrooms as well as the right to temporarily stay overnight – at a reasonable distance from people’s properties. Although public access to private land is much wider in Finland and in the other Nordic countries compared to most other countries, these rights also come with great responsibility. You are for example not allowed to cut down or damage trees or to disturb animals, such as nesting birds. Neither littering nor lighting open campfires without permission is allowed. Other than that, enjoy! There is so much beautiful nature to explore in Finland. Read more: Everyman’s rights

Sommarstuga i solnedgång.


We can’t list reasons to love Finland without mentioning our saunas, as they in fact are very present in our daily lives. Some estimations suggest that there are about 3.3 million saunas in Finland, which makes saunas accessible to all in a country with only 5.5 million inhabitants. The sauna culture is more than just simply washing oneself. It is also about relaxation and finding inner peace. In 2020, the sauna culture in Finland was included in UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

Easy living

In Finland everything functions very well, which makes daily life easy. Finland is known for being a safe country with a high standard of living. Finns trust authorities, and levels of crime and corruption are low. Equality, universal healthcare, a good education system and work-life balance are important pillars in the Finnish society. We work to make a living – not live to work. Perhaps that’s the secret to a happy life? Welcome to Finland and find out yourself!

Useful links

Learn more about what it’s like to travel, study and work in Finland:
Visit Finland
Study in Finland
Work in Finland


Want to study at Åbo Akademi University?

Read more about our International Master’s Degree Programmes taught in English and how to apply: Apply to an international master’s degree programme.

Updated 16.2.2024