The Republic of Finland is situated in northern Europe. The countries that border Finland are Norway to the north, Sweden to the west and Russia to the east. Finland is bounded by the Baltic Sea, with the Gulf of Finland to the south and the Gulf of Bothnia to the west. The Åland Islands, off the southwestern coast, are an autonomous, demilitarized administrative province of Finland. The Republic of Finland is a member state of the United Nations and the European Union.
Archaeologists suggest that the present day geographical area of Finland was settled around 8500 BC in the Stone Age era. The early inhabitants were hunter-gatherers. Finnish people knew pottery work around 5300 BC and started doing agriculture work around 3200 BC.
During Bronze Age and Iron Age the people of Finland made contacts with other cultures in the Fennoscandian and the Baltic region.
Sweden take holds of Finland in 13th century. Finland was Grand Duchy in the Russian Empire between 1809 to 1917. Finland declared its independence on December 6, 1917, shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. The Finnish declaration of Independence was approved by Bolshevist Russia.
Finland became the presidential republic, with Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg elected as its first president in 1919. During World War II, Finland fought the Soviet Union twice: in the Winter War of 1939–1940 and in the Continuation War of 1941–1944. After the Second World War, neutral Finland lay in the gray zone between the western countries and the Soviet Union.
The political system in Finland is semi presidential. The president of Finland and Finnish Council of state are responsible for foreign policy outside the European Union. The prime minister of Finland has executive power. The Finnish Council of state is composed of the Prime Minister, the ministers for different ministries, an ex officio member and the Chancellor of Justice. The parliament of Finland is called Eduskunta in Finnish or Riksdag in Swdish. It is the supreme legislative authority in Finland.
The foreign policies of Finland are adhering with membership of European Union. Finland is in the Nordic council and carries the long tradition of cooperation with the Nordic countries. Finland has no border conflicts and shares good relations with neighbors, Sweden, Norway, Russia and Estonia.
The economy of Finland is mainly industry driven. The per capita output equals to the western economies- Sweden, United Kingdom, France and Germany. Service sector is largest economic contributor, which sums to approximately 65.7 percent followed by manufacturing and refining 31.4 percent. The largest industries in Finland are electronics, machinery, vehicles and other engineered metal products, forestry and chemicals. Finland has joined the Euro Monetary System (EMS) on January 1, 1999 and started using currency Euro in the start of 2002. The World Economic Forum has declared Finland one of the most competitive countries in the world for three consecutive years (2003–2005) and four times since 2002.
Finland is becoming favorite travel destination among international tourists. In 2005, Finnish tourism grossed over €6.7 billion with a five percent increase from the previous year. More than 4 million people visited Finland in year 2005. The Finnish tourism activities has boosted manifold due to globalization and modernization of the country.
Some facts about Finland
- According to the World Audit study, Finland is the least corrupt and most democratic country in the world as of 2006.
- In the PISA study, Finland has ranked at the top in education; the study measured the skills of 15-year-olds in topics relevant to everyday life.
- Finland has been at the top of the worldwide Press Freedom Ranking list every year since the publication of the first index by Reporters Without Borders in 2002.
- Finland is home to the world's leading mobile phone company, Nokia.
- The first day of the week is Monday, and the weekdays are maanantai, tiistai, keskiviikko, torstai, perjantai, lauantai, sunnuntai. Weekday names are not capitalized and may be abbreviated with the two first letters (i.e. ma, ti, ke, to, pe, la, su).
- The Gregorian calendar is used. Week numbers are commonly used in businesses and institutions.
- Decimal separator is a comma: 123,45
- Thousands are (optionally) separated by a space: 10 000
- Currency sign is placed after the digits, with a space as a mandatory separator: 10 €
- Percent sign is placed after the digits, with a separating space: 10 %
- The Finnish alphabet includes no accented letters, but the additional letters Ä and Ö are used in Finnish. Furthermore, Å is used in Swedish, and is included in the Finnish alphabet. In some rare instances, one also needs the letters Š and Ž.
- The Finnish QWERTY keyboard layout is shared with Swedish. A demo version of a new keyboard layout, which is meant to help typing accented characters, was released in Summer 2006.
Visa Requirements To Study In Finland
International Students require to apply for a Visa to study in Finland. The common minimum requirements to apply for a Finland student visa are:
- Accepted by a college / university in Finland to pursue a Full Time Course.
- Possess required eligibility certificates to take admission in one such.
- Hold a valid Passport for the intended period of stay.
- Proof of income or sufficient means to support studies in Finland
- Health Certificate issued by a competent hospital from the home country.
- Candidates holding above documents may apply for Visa with nearest Foreign Mission Office of Finland in the home country.
Finland also welcomes candidates for part time sudies, log term studies like research programs and training programs etc. For detailed visa requirements for different level of studies you are advised to check with Official Website of Finland Government.
List of Universities in Finland
Finland @ A Glance
Official Name: Republic of Finland
National Anthem: Maamme (Finnish)
Vårt land (Swedish)
Our Land (English)
Largest City: Helsinki
Official Language: Finnish, Swedish
Government: Parliamentary Democracy
Independence from Bolshevist Russia
- Autonomy: March 29, 1809
- Declared: December 6, 1917
Recognized: January 3, 1918
Accession to the European Union: January 1, 1995
Total Area: 130 558 sq mi
Population: 528 460 (According to 2007 estimates)
Currency: Euro (€) (EUR)
Time Zone: EET (UTC+2)
Summer (DST): EEST (UTC+3)
Internet TLD: .fi
Calling Code: +358