Every foreigner (including me) moving to Finland has had different experiences when they moved here. For some, the cultural shock wasn’t even noticeable, but for others, it hit hard.
Coming from Spain, Finland was a country that surprised me. I didn’t know much about it, but after four years of experiencing and mixing into society, I needed to adapt to many new societal rules.
From my perspective and many of my foreign friends, Finns tend to be introverted, friend groups are tightly encapsulated, and social skills are not easily achievable for many. This led me to have a hard time finding Finnish friends. Thanks to Facebook foreign groups, I managed to form a social circle. But not everything are bad news. Once Finns feel comfortable with you, they will open their arms and have you as a present part of their lives. Honesty is highly valued in Finland, and that will help you find true human relationships.
Finland’s nature is something I’ve appreciated since the first time I moved here. In Spain, nature and animals aren’t respected and protected as much as Finns protect their ecosystem. Forests are for me and many others a retreat where the thoughts in our minds can be eased, and inner peace is achieved.
My recommendation for foreigners in Finland: be brave, lower your expectations, and be open to new ways of living 🙂