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Arriving to Study in Finland: List of To Do’s

Moving to a new country can be very stressful. To make everything go a bit smoother, we have compiled a list of tasks you should complete when you first arrive here. In this post, we will tell you how to open a Finnish bank account, how to get a Finnish identity card, social security number and phone number.

You are probably very excited for the orientation week, to meet your fellow classmates and get started with the interesting courses waiting for you. There will be tons of wonderful things to do during your upcoming years in Finland. But firstly let’s take care of a few necessary tasks to make make your stay here easier.

Logos of popular finnish banks and phone operators

Social Security number

The local Register Office, Digi- ja väestötietovirasto maintains a national Population Information System where the data of Finnish citizens is stored. Also the basic data of international students in Finland are entered in the Population Information System if you live in Finland for at least a year. When you apply for a residence permit, you can at the same time apply for a Finnish social security number and be registered into the Population Information System. Public authorities, banks and employers, for example, often need to know your personal identity code.

If you haven’t applied for a residence permit yet, please do so. While filling out your residence permit application, remember to check the box that you wish to be registered in the Population Information System. 

Registration request form with tick box and red lines

If you don’t apply for the social security number during the residence permit application process, you can do it later in Finland by visiting the local register office, Maistraatti.

Identity card

This helps you identify yourself using your bank credentials and your mobile certificate. Read the links below. It is very useful to know these things when you are moving into Finland.

Remember, your Finnish identity card cannot be used to travel outside Finland. You will be needing your passport and your residence permit.

It is good to use your Finnish identity card to identify yourself in Finland and keep your passport at home; safe.

If you are wondering, this is how your Finnish identity card will look like:

Finnish Identity card Specimen with photo
Identity card in Finland


Bank account

Your degree will probably last for 3 to 4 years. Having a Finnish bank account could prove very helpful in the long run

Opening a Finnish bank account is easy if you follow the instructions carefully.

You will have to pay bills, rent and other n the long run.expenses every month during your time studying here; a Finnish bank account will just make it simple. Using your native bank account could cost you a lot of service tax.

Here are some things you would like to know about opening a bank account in Finland

  • It is very easy to create a Finnish bank account if you have all the requisites. Your social security number will be used to open your bank account
  • You will get your bank card a week after opening the account and a while later can start using your internet banking. Internet banking makes everyday banking easier because you can do it anywhere; on your phone, tablet and overall it is not mandatory but it proves very convenient
  • These are a few popular banks in the country and you can also use their services throughout Europe- Nordea, OP (Ossuspankki) and Danske bank

If you would like to know more;


Post-paid phone number

  • There are two ways you can get a post-paid sim card. The first option is using your new home address in Finland and usually you need to be living in Finland for a year to get a post-paid phone number
  • Second way would be to use the home address of somebody you know and whose residence is in Finland
  • Generally, international students opt for a pre-paid sim-card. Some operators could change it into a post-paid number; this is convenient in the long run.
  • As a student you get many benefits on call, texts and unlimited internet with certain post-paid schemes
  • The popular operators of Finland are DNA, Elisa and Sonera

Once all the formalities are taken care of, all you have to worry about is making the best out of this amazing experience.

Tervetuloa Suomeen! Welcome to Finland!

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