Finland is officially the Republic of Finland. Finland is a sovereign state and it is located in Northern Europe. The country is bordered by Sweden to the North West, Norway to the north and Russia to the east. The capital of Finland is Helsinki and it occupies a peninsula and surrounding islands in the Baltic Sea. Helsinki is also the largest city in Finland.
Helsinki is home to the 18th-century sea fortress Suomenlinna, the fashionable Design District and diverse museums. The Northern Lights can be seen from the country’s Arctic Lapland province, a vast wilderness with national parks and ski resorts.
The country has a total land area of 338,424 square kilometres with a population of 5.5 million people. Finland is the eighth-largest country in Europe and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union. Over 1.4 million people live in the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which produces one-third of the country’s GDP. The official languages of Finland are Finnish, native to 90% of the population and Swedish, native language to 5.4% of the population. The indigenous Sami language is an official language in the area of northern Lapland.
Finland has thousands of lakes (about 188,000) and islands (about 179,500) leading to the nickname for the country “Land of the Thousand Lakes.” Another nickname for Finland is “land of midnight sun”. In the far north of Lapland on the Finland and Norway border is the highest point in the country, the mountain Halti at 1,324 metres (4,344 ft).
During summer the sun does not drop below the horizon in the north instead shining all day and night. Forests including pine, spruce, and birch cover over 86% of Finland, making the country the largest forested area and largest producer of wood, in all of Europe. Telecommunications Company Nokia is from Finland; it is headquartered in Espoo and is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of mobile phones.
While Finland’s system of higher education is relatively young compared to some others in Europe, this is definitely not at the expense of quality. There are 10 universities in Finland featured in the QS World University Rankings® 2018, led by the University of Helsinki at joint 102nd in the world.