Finland boasts a soulful Nordic tranquility that is just as exciting as it is peaceful. The peaceful snow blankets forests in the winter with northern lights radiating in the sky, and the midnight sunshine sparkles on terraces in the short summer months. Although one of the most economical and social leaders of the region, the country maintains its comforting remoteness. As a volunteer abroad in Finland, you’ll meet the welcoming and experience the splendid beauty of the land.
Where to Volunteer Abroad in Finland
Finland is the easternmost nation of all the Scandinavian countries, sharing borders with Sweden, Russia, and Norway. It is a country made up up almost 180,000 islands, 190,000 lakes, and has approximately 4,500 kilometers of coastline. In spite of its relatively large size, only just over five million people inhabit the country. This provides citizens with the advantage of space, as it’s easy to find a remote area that offers a refreshing hideaway from the world. Here are the best places to volunteer in Finland.
Helsinki. Finland’s capital and largest city is located in the southern area off the coast of the Baltic Sea across from Estonia. With an electric art scene, flourishing foodie culture, and charming boutiques, volunteers in Finland are bound to fall in love with this Scandinavian city. Explore historical artefacts in the museums, stroll through Helsinki Central Park, and marvel at the prominent neoclassical buildings.
Pori. This city and municipality is located on the west coast of Finland. If you’re lucky to be here in July, you don’t want to miss out on the nine-day international jazz festival here, where renowned musicians have played there, like Bob Dylan and Ray Charles. You could also relax in a spa, go camping or hiking, or windsurfing on the popular Yyteri Beach.
Inari. The largest municipality is located in the northern area, and it’s a nature lover’s dream, as it’s filled with wilderness areas and National Parks. This area has four national languages with three being Sami languages, so you might pick up a phrase or two in uncommon tongues! This site has also inspired literary works, like “The Most Dangerous Game” and the “Snow Queen.”
How to Volunteer in Finland
Volunteering in Finland will give you the chance to experience Finland’s culture while providing essential support to local communities. They earn the opportunity to foster personal development, gain a broader view of the world, and improve their Finnish language skills. Here are the most popular volunteer projects in Finland.
Education. If you love working with young children, then you could assist the school staff with cultural learning activities for kindergarteners and elementary school students. This is a great opportunity to practice your Finnish skills while making lifelong friends with the staff and kids.
Social Work. Looking for something rewarding? You could help people with disabilities in foster homes or organizations that need volunteers like you. By assisting them with their needs, you’ll be helping them develop a sense of safety and security. Not to mention the fun you’ll have with art therapy, workshops, animal care, gardening, and more.
Community Development. You could also find opportunities where you assist with Easter festivities, indoor and outdoor tasks to maintain school surroundings, and learn some Finnish and see some sights along the way!
Costs of Volunteering in Finland
The cost of living in Finland a bit high, but it’s fairly comparable to the cost of living in the United States. The majority of program fees will cover the cost of food and housing. In most cases, programs will expect you to cover the cost of international airfare, which can take a large bite out of your piggy bank. You can use FundMyTravel and apply for scholarships to help cover the large portions of the costs.
Accommodations in Finland
While you won’t be able to get enough of the beautiful outdoors in Finland, you’ll want a comfy place to rest your head at night while you’re living in Finland to gear up for the next day. Some of the programs will place volunteers in dormitories, where you’ll be staying with other volunteers. Other programs offer homestay placements, where you’ll be boarding with a host family, which is a great opportunity for you to enjoy the local culture with its food, activities, traditions, and a chance to practice Finnish.
Visas for Finland
From a few weeks to a few months, the visa requirements in Finland depend on the duration of the program. You will need a passport that should be valid for six months beyond your stay. If you’re staying fewer than 90 days, you won’t need a visa. If you’re staying longer, than you’ll need to discuss visa requirements with the program — GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory can also be a helpful resource.
GoAbroad Insider Tips
Nice weather. Among the regions of the far north, Finland has the most mild climate, so you’re time living in Finland will be comfortable. All four seasons are experienced here in Finland — bright, warm summers and short, snowy seasons in the winter months.
Good food. Finnish cuisine is a fusion of Western and Eastern flavors and traditions. A country filled with varying environments, Finland has flourishing game, fish, and berries availability.
From the glacier formations to magnificent lakes, you’re time here will full of insta-worthy moments when you volunteer in Finland.