The Finnish monetary unit is the Euro (€). One euro is divided into 100 cents. There are bank notes of EUR 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500. The coins are 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and EUR 1 and 2. Credit cards like Visa and MasterCard or travelers’ checks are the most convenient to use. With Eurocheque cards and Visa cards you can get money from cash machines. You can exchange currency in all Finnish banks at the same rate but there may be differences in commission fees.
Banks are usually open Mon-Fri 10-16.30 hrs but many times the cash services in banks are open Mon–Fri only 10.00–13.00 hrs. Students are advised to open a Finnish bank account as soon as they arrive. To do that you will have to show proof of your identity (e.g. passport). There is no fee for opening an account but other services are usually subject to a fee. Please ask the bank for a price of a service package and list of other fees (e.g. international money transfers). Fees are usually charged for receiving money to your account from abroad and sending an international money order. Fees depend on the bank and the form of transfer.
You will be given an ATM card with which you can withdraw money from cash machines (called OTTO) throughout Finland. If you lose your ATM card, call 020 333, 24 h/day.
All banks have special banking terminals (maksuautomaatti) for paying bills. You can also make your payments via the internet with specific personal banking codes. Self-service is much cheaper than paying bills at a bank desk or on the banking terminals. You can get banking assistance from student tutors and bank officials.
Social security for students
The Finnish social security system is built to ensure adequate basic security for people in all situations in life. However the students moving to Finland only for the purpose of studying will not be entitled to Finnish social security because your residence permit requires the adequate financial support. Also your family members or your children are not entitled to Finnish social security for the same reasons.
Examples of living expenses and grocery prices in Finland
- Student apartment in Kemi = 300 € / month (includes water and electricity)
- Student apartment in Tornio = 300 € / month (including water, electricity and free use of laundry room)
- Student apartment in Rovaniemi = 87 -320€ / month / person (not included furniture payment and utility fee)
- Internet, normal broadband connection = 15–30 € / month (depending on the speed of the connection)
- Internet, mobile broadband connection = 10–30 € / month (depending on the speed of the connection)
- Prepaid phone card = from 10 € and up
- Samok student card, first year = 41,10 €
- Lunch in student dining room = 2–3 €
- Freshments = 2–3,50 €
- Pizza in a pizzeria (lunch time) = 6–7 €
- Sports Pass 25.00 € / semester (35,00 € the academic year)
- Bowling, student price = 9,50–12 €
- Swimming, student price = 3,60 €
- Ticket to see a band = 5–35 €
- Bus ticket from Kemi to Tornio = 6,90 €
- Airport-Taxi from the airport to the centre of Kemi = 12 €/person
- Airport-Taxi from the airport to the centre of Tornio = 18 €/person