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.
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.
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
Based on the survey results conducted by InterNations, the world’s largest for people who live and work abroad, Finland now makes it to the top in the Family Life Index, while last year’s number one, Austria, drops down to the fourth rank.
The Family Life index includes the quality of education available to expat families looking to give their children the best start in life. The quality of education in the countries listed below is based on the findings by InterNations.
#10 Australia – “Education is deemed easy to afford by 64% of expats, compared to 45% globally. The quality of education is also appreciated by an impressive 84% of respondents.”
#9 The Netherlands – Finding the right school is a big decision for expat families, but there are various public and private options, and expats don’t need to be concerned when it comes to the standard of education in the Netherlands.
#8 Taiwan – The Quality of Education comes in a respectable eighth. “Life in Taiwan seems to be rather inexpensive as well, as it ranks third in the Cost of Living Index.”
#7 Belgium – This year, a third of expat parents find the quality of education in Belgium very good. Last year, it was just about one-sixth.
#6 Israel – The quality of education is considered favourably by the majority of expat parents in Israel (84%)
#5 Hong Kong – The quality of education is top notch, but Hong Kong is in the bottom three for both the availability of education and cost.
#4 South Korea – “47% of expat parents in South Korea rate the quality of education as excellent this year compared to just 22% last year.”
#3 Switzerland – According to expat families, the quality of education is among the best in the world.
#2 Singapore – The living and education cost of Singapore are extremely high, but “53% of expat parents also rate the quality of education as excellent.”
#1 Finland – The top country for expat education, 70% say the quality of education to be excellent in Finland, compared to the global average of just 21%.