In our interview, Germans Dirk and Katja discuss their relocation and experiences in Finland.
Relocation from the UK to Finland
Dirk and Katja moved to Finland from the UK in the fall of 2020. They are originally from Germany and have lived in the USA and many places in the UK. Even though moving abroad was familiar to them, moving to Finland was different due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We moved at very short notice, and everything was complicated because of the pandemic. After arriving in Finland, we had to stay two weeks in quarantine, which we had never had before. Normally we like to meet many people, so it felt very different. Fortunately, we had an FRS consultant providing us with relocation help.”
“Everyone should have FRS and their relocation assistance, I can’t imagine how hard it would be without their help. It was important to have someone helping with the registrations with authorities, it made the process faster. Also, finding a long-term apartment would have been difficult without help, as everything was in Finnish and the procedure is different than in other countries we have lived.
As part of our relocation services, our relocation consultant found us a very nice apartment and assisted with insurance, electricity, and internet, and helped when we had troubles with the moving company, it was very helpful. She gave us practical information and useful tips; all these little things were really useful. She was very patient and flexible and had always time to answer all our questions. It was also nice to see a person in person, as during the pandemic, you don’t see so many people.”
Happy to be in Finland
Dirk and Katja like to live in Finland. “We definitely like to have a real winter in England, we missed that.” Adapting to Finnish culture has been easy for them as well, as the cultural differences aren’t very big. However, they have noticed some interesting differences.
“People in Finland are very sporty, they’re always going to sports hobbies. And they walk very fast! And even elderly people are outdoors no matter what weather.” They were also surprised that in Finland, you need a bank account for everything, but on the other hand, once you have it, you can do everything very smoothly.
They like how Finnish people act during the coronavirus pandemic. “It’s good that people here keep their distance. Even in the city center, it’s not crowded – It’s also because of the way of building here, there is a lot of space between buildings and there are forests everywhere. And it’s good that here the pandemic doesn’t make the country totally stop.“
Living in Vantaa
Dirk and Katja live in Vantaa, and they like the city a lot. “It’s different from the cities we’ve lived in before. There are many suburbs and shopping centers, and there are swimming pools and sports grounds everywhere. There are people from around the world and many restaurants from different countries.
And it’s nice that we can walk in forests. We can easily walk to many places, and public transport is great as well – we can get everywhere by bus, it’s faster and cheaper than in the UK. We especially like that we can get to the coast so easily and visit places like Suomenlinna and Seurasaari.”
They also like the quality of apartments in Finland. “The houses are modern and well insulated. And it’s amazing to have sauna turn every single week!”
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