Even though Finland is a relatively small country, it has managed to top the world rankings in pretty much everything, from education to life satisfaction ratings. Thus, we’ve decided to gather up a few things at which Finland ranks highest worldwide.
If you’ve ever heard anything about Finland, you’ve heard that they have the best education system in the world. Finnish schools have consistently stayed at the top of worldwide education rankings. Most of this is due to the fact that Finns have a completely different system from the rest of the world, when it comes to teaching. Students have only 30 minutes of homework, and only 3-4 hours of lessons per day. Moreover, Finland doesn’t have the traditional school subjects such as mathematics or physics!
Finland has been ranked as the safest country in the world, because of the extremely low crime rates. It’s also worth noting that the Finns’ trust in their police is the highest in Europe! There’s many other safety-related things where Finland ranks highest, including being the most stable country in the world, best governance in the world, the most independent judicial system, safest banks in the world etc.
Finns are the fifth happiest country in the world! The factors that played a role when calculating this were the GDP per capita, life expectancy, perceived freedom to make life choices and other such things. Finland is also a very desirable destination for women, as it is the second most gender equal country in the world, and the second best place in the world for mothers.
As mentioned, mothers’ and children’s well-being in Finland are the second best worldwide, and maternal mortality is the lowest in the world! Furthermore, Finland has the third lowest mortality rate from cancer. It’s also at the top of the lists worldwide for the highest life expectancy at birth.
Last but not least, here’s a couple reasons why visiting Finland would definitely be a good idea.
- The food here is the cleanest in Europe, so you won’t have to worry about poisoning!
- Finns drink the most coffee per person in the world, so it’s safe to say the coffee is really good.
- Finns’ English language skills are the 5th best in the world. You won’t have any problem getting around the country without Finnish.
We already know how awesome Finland is: one of world’s best education systems, clean air and nature, one of safest and least corrupt places on earth, and so on. With so many good things it is no wonder that these celebrities fell in love with the country!
“I love Finland, I love people and their energy” exclaimed the US rapper for Rumba. Snoop Dogg has performed in Finland multiple times. In Tampere Blockfest, probably the country’s most popular hip hop festival, he was even wearing the local ice hockey team Ilves’ jersey!
Kat von D
Scorpions guitarist Rudolf Schenker loves the “crazy” Finnish fans, and especially the lakes: “I love the Finnish lakes! Instead of a dinner after a gig, I ask the driver to get me to a nearby lake. After this I just dive to the cooling and refreshing water, and simply enjoy myself”, he told to Iltamakasiini.
Ashton Kutcher is not only renowned as an actor, but after becoming a father of two, he has contributed greatly to the social welfare. Especially children are close to his heart. Accordingly, no one should have been surprised when he shared in Facebook an article about the state supported baby starter kits, that all the parents receive when getting a baby. Even the caption for the post was enthusiastic: “Finland, you’re awesome!”
This is not the only time he praised Finland. In a Facebook video he recently shared, it was all about how the children in Finland receive free lunches at playgrounds during the summer. At all other times, free meals are offered at the schools, not to mention that they are prepared from scratch. The caption on the post suggested everyone to take example of the Finnishes practices.
“Innovation: production or adoption, assimilation, and exploitation of a value-added novelty in economic and social spheres; renewal and enlargement of products, services, and markets; development of new methods of production; and establishment of new management systems. It is both a process and an outcome.”
- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) manual’s definition for innovation
Finland is included in the top 10 innovative countries in the world in Global Innovation Index (GII). The GII 2016 is calculated as the average of two sub-indices: input index and output index. These are formed from five and two pillars, consecutively.
But what does this mean in real life? Let’s have a look what is behind the famous buzzword!
The Innovative Input Index
Institutional framework enables the innovation process. In Finland, political, regulatory, and business environments are supporting innovations and therefore are strengths of the country. Political situation is stable and the risk of terrorism is low, not to mention that the quality of public and civil services is high. Laws are set and followed conscientiously, and starting and running a business is effortless.
Real life example:
Imagine you want to start a business. The atmosphere is peaceful and you can trust that there isn’t any interruptions in the society. You can register you company online, fill in the tax for online, and rely on the support services that government is offering.
Human Capital and Research
The second pillar consist of Education and Research and Development. In this pillar, Finland is the number one in the world, which is not a surprise. The quality of Finnish education is high all way from primary school to the tertiary level. Pupils are succeeding in PISA tests and most citizens receive education for years. With educated people, it is possible to create value and develop new. Research and development is supported, and there is a great number of researchers in the country. Beneficial for innovations for sure!
Real life example:
As a Finn, you will start your school career at the age of seven and in most cases, continue all way through tertiary level programs. The government supports your path and education is free of charge for Finnish citizens. If you feel that you did not get enough with books, you can continue your career as a researcher after university.
The third pillar measures information and communication technologies (ICTs), general infrastructure, and ecological sustainability. Finnish government online services and online e-participation are top class, not to mention the good results in environmental performance.
Real life example:
The Government’s website is comprehensive and information is publicly available. You can do nearly all announcements and applications for the government online. No need for queues – you can take care of paper work comfortably wherever you feel like it. This reduces also paper waste. In Finland, environment is present in everyday business to ensure sustainable future. You better put the banana peel to the bio waste at the office.
The Market sophistication pillar describes the state of market conditions and the total level of transactions. This pillar is not Finland’s strongest one, but the tiny country performs well in worldwide comparison. There is still room for improvement.
This pillar is measuring firms’ input in innovation activity. It consists of knowledge workers, innovation linkages and knowledge absorption. Finland is performing well with high employment in knowledge-intensive services and high collaboration between firms and research.
Real life example:
You have positive prospectives when you want to be employed in a professional role. In optimal situation, you utilize the latest research to stay up-to-date on future trends and current findings.
The Output Sub-Index
The post is based on Global Innovation Index -report.
Why are people so alarmed over culture shock?
When I first decided I wanted to study in Finland, I only knew three things about it: It has the best education system in the world, it’s expensive, and it’s cold. As soon as I stepped on the Finnish ground, I found out something else about it too: it’s super clean. Seeing as I didn’t know pretty much anything about Finland, I had braced myself for some serious culture shock.
Coming from Kosovo, a developing country, I was bound to notice a lot of differences between my home country and Finland. The whole process of coming to Finland took a lot of unexpected turns. At first, I kept repeating to my parents that I needed to buy lots of winter clothes because I didn’t have enough to last me a whole year. I packed my bags full of skiing clothes, thick jackets, scarves and woolen shirts. I regretted that decision as soon as I arrived; turns out September is actually warm in Finland. I had to borrow clothes from my roommate for quite a while, before it finally turned cold by the end of November and I could start using my endless supply of winter clothes.
Upon arrival, I thought I would never get used to the quiet atmosphere of Valkeakoski, a small town where my university was located. The first few days, every time I went for a walk, I was reminded of the fact that Finland was completely different, not only from my home country, but also from all other European countries I’d visited. There was a certain air of morality and honesty here: everyone tries to be helpful, people don’t stare, they don’t lie, and no one will try to steal anything from you! The latter was especially hard for me to fully grasp. I remember this one time during my first few weeks in Finland, I was in class when I suddenly remembered I had forgotten my phone in the school’s cafeteria. I started freaking out that someone must have already stolen my phone. All my Finnish friends were looking at me weird (later, they told me they were trying so hard not to laugh at my unnecessary panic attack). It goes without saying that my phone was still in the cafeteria, just where I’d left it.
Another thing that came as a shock were the staggering prices. I mean, Finland is expensive even when compared to other EU countries, but I came from Kosovo, one of the cheapest countries to live in! The steep prices were extra shocking for me. Soon I found out this wouldn’t be a problem if I had a job in Finland, as the wages are more than enough to cover all expenses.
“How are you handling the culture shock?”
With every passing day, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, for me to have some sort of breakdown from the cultural differences. After all, everyone I had talked to since I’d arrived kept asking me “How are you handling the culture shock?” with a sympathetic, almost sad, look in their eyes. Yet, as time went on, I found myself growing accustomed to this wonderful place. It felt like home. I had made such an amazing group of friends, my professors were great, and I’d even discovered cheaper stores to shop in! My visits back home became fewer and shorter, and my stays in Kosovo were mostly spent missing Finnish culture. I missed the people, the food, the sauna nights, the nightlife (they throw parties on cruise ships to Stockholm!), I even started missing the weather… to put it simply, I missed the life I’d built in Finland.
While I’d also been accepted to study in the UK and the US, I had nonetheless decided Finland would be better suited for me, and I’d been right. Finland truly is one of a kind. The quality of education here is a delight to experience. Your professors are more your friends than they are your superiors. You call each other by first name, as you would with friends, you go out drinking with them, you mock each other, you share inside jokes… All the while, these people are giving you the best tools to grow and enhance your academic future and career. It is the best of both worlds.
Written by Morea Ibrahimaj
What do countries like Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden have in common? A booming music business. And what is the difference compared to Finland? In the three other countries, the most popular language in music is English, as per Spotify top lists. In Finland half of the songs in the Spotify top 20 list were from Finnish artists, and most importantly, sung in in Finnish.
The popularity of Finnish music within the country stems from musical traditions, such as iskelmä, that is quite close to the German Schlager tunes. However, the Finnish language is fundamentally different from the majority of other languages in the Europe. The different rhythm and flow are something that the people in Finland are familiar with, and the language has such a flexibility that the tricks and turns of speech are hard to translate to other languages.
Getting the international attention – with neon yellow hair
The time has come to expand the horizons and go international. Talouselämä wrote recently about the Finnish music industry, and mentioned the rising popstar Alma, who is aiming for the overseas markets. Alma, who was noticed by the world when collaborating with the German DJ producer Felix Jaehn in the song Bonfire, is now working on her own music – together with world class songwriters and producers. The same that have worked with Adele, Sia, and Amy Winehouse (Helsingin Sanomat).
Alma is trying to make a breakthrough in the UK and USA as the first Finnish pop artist. She is well on her way to this goal: the girl cited as “a cybergoth reimagining of a young Adele and sounds like Beth Ditto” by The Guardian, has already performed on BBC’s Future Festival and been interviewed by the British Vogue. Who would not take interest in the bold and charming singer with the glow-in-the-dark hair?
Going international has some implications for her fans in Finland, though. The local fan base had to wait for half a year for the song Chasing Highs, as Alma’s label PME Records wanted to release the song simultaneously in the Nordic countries, Germany, France, UK, and USA, tells Talouselämä.
A growing business
Like Alma, other young Finnish artists such as Isac Elliot and Venior, sing in English and focus on the international markets. According to Music Finland, the net export of Finnish music was 47 million euros, and the forecast for this year is 50 million. Although still small, the music business in Finland is growing fast. The talent is real, and just needs to get out there.
Check out our post about the best Finnish festivals here. Alma is performing in the Flow Festival, go show her some love!