Life with children in Finland vs. Sweden/Austria/Germany

Family life in Finland from kindergartens, child education, language schooling and everyday life. Share information and experiences. Network with other families.
Spucks
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:25 pm

Life with children in Finland vs. Sweden/Austria/Germany

Post by Spucks » Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:38 pm

Hi,

I am looking for someone who has experience of living in Finland AND at least one of the other countries mentioned and can tell me about what differences they noticed. I'm interested in absolutely anything that might be relevant when living with kids.

Thank you!



Life with children in Finland vs. Sweden/Austria/Germany

Sponsor:

Finland Forum Ad-O-Matic
 

Mizu1993
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:26 pm

Re: Life with children in Finland vs. Sweden/Austria/Germany

Post by Mizu1993 » Sat Mar 20, 2021 10:13 am

Depends what you want to know exactly. I live in Finland since 3 1/2 years and I am from Austria, having 2 kids. I can tell you, living in middle Europe is way easier than in Finland. Though for kids, but also depending where you live, Finland has a lot to offer, but if it's about help and kindergarten, middle Europe is better.

MaryHer
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:54 pm

Re: Life with children in Finland vs. Sweden/Austria/Germany

Post by MaryHer » Sat Mar 20, 2021 1:10 pm

Germany has much better health care and vaccination programs than Finland.

Kindergardens depend on the land. In some lands they are totally free, in some you have to pay according to income.

Life is generally cheaper in Germany, but again it may depend where you live> some big cities are expensive.

Child allawance is higher in Germany than in Finland, Parental leave is longer.

If you dont know German, getting a kindergarden or school with English may be difficult or very expensive in Germany. (For expats, Berlin is probably best)
Last edited by MaryHer on Sat Mar 20, 2021 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Spucks
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:25 pm

Re: Life with children in Finland vs. Sweden/Austria/Germany

Post by Spucks » Sat Mar 20, 2021 9:04 pm

Mizu1993 wrote:
Sat Mar 20, 2021 10:13 am
Depends what you want to know exactly. I live in Finland since 3 1/2 years and I am from Austria, having 2 kids. I can tell you, living in middle Europe is way easier than in Finland. Though for kids, but also depending where you live, Finland has a lot to offer, but if it's about help and kindergarten, middle Europe is better.
Well, nothing in particular I want to know, because many things you only notice when you have something to compare it with ;) So just in general differences that people noticed and that are or might be relevant when living with children, since I am considering a move to Finland within the next three years.
What exactly do you mean with help and kindergarten being better in middle Europe? The quality of the childcare?

Spucks
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:25 pm

Re: Life with children in Finland vs. Sweden/Austria/Germany

Post by Spucks » Sat Mar 20, 2021 9:10 pm

MaryHer wrote:
Sat Mar 20, 2021 1:10 pm
Germany has much better health care and vaccination programs than Finland.

Kindergardens depend on the land. In some lands they are totally free, in some you have to pay according to income.

Life is generally cheaper in Germany, but again it may depend where you live> some big cities are expensive.

Child allawance is higher in Germany than in Finland, Parental leave is longer.

If you dont know German, getting a kindergarden or school with English may be difficult or very expensive in Germany. (For expats, Berlin is probably best)
Thank you!
Sorry, I realised my original post wasn't very clear. I'm considering moving to Finland in the future, but have no prior experience in Finland. However, I do know how life with children is in the other countries in my title, so I am looking for comparisons. Because unless compared to the situation in other countries, I don't know how much value to put into experiences - e.g. someone could say "People in country X are very unfriendly", however, it doesn't mean a lot, because the person who said that is probably used to more friendliness, while others are used to unfriendlier people and would therefore consider the people in country X to be quite friendly.
So therefore it's comparisons I'm after, about anything (even small stuff that people might find great or very annoying) that comes to mind.

FinlandGirl
Posts: 750
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:43 am

Re: Life with children in Finland vs. Sweden/Austria/Germany

Post by FinlandGirl » Sun Mar 21, 2021 12:52 am

Spucks wrote:
Sat Mar 20, 2021 9:10 pm
Sorry, I realised my original post wasn't very clear. I'm considering moving to Finland in the future, but have no prior experience in Finland.
You do not speak the language and you do not know the country.
Why do you want to move to Finland?
Spucks wrote:
Sat Mar 20, 2021 9:10 pm
However, I do know how life with children is in the other countries in my title, so I am looking for comparisons. Because unless compared to the situation in other countries, I don't know how much value to put into experiences - e.g. someone could say "People in country X are very unfriendly", however, it doesn't mean a lot, because the person who said that is probably used to more friendliness, while others are used to unfriendlier people and would therefore consider the people in country X to be quite friendly.
In general Finns are not as annoyingly social and talkative as Swedes.
And if we Finns really are the happiest people in the world, I do not dare to imagine the grumpiest people in the world. :lol:

Spucks
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:25 pm

Re: Life with children in Finland vs. Sweden/Austria/Germany

Post by Spucks » Sun Mar 21, 2021 8:43 am

FinlandGirl wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 12:52 am
You do not speak the language and you do not know the country.
Why do you want to move to Finland?
Why not? :)

FinlandGirl
Posts: 750
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:43 am

Re: Life with children in Finland vs. Sweden/Austria/Germany

Post by FinlandGirl » Sun Mar 21, 2021 1:21 pm

Spucks wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 8:43 am
FinlandGirl wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 12:52 am
You do not speak the language and you do not know the country.
Why do you want to move to Finland?
Why not? :)
Usually people who want to move to Finland despite having never been there came after seeing lists on the internet where schools or happiness in Finland is ranked high.

When they arrive in Finland they discover that such rankings are not what they imagined, and finding any job requires learning the language first.

betelgeuse
Posts: 3954
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:24 am

Re: Life with children in Finland vs. Sweden/Austria/Germany

Post by betelgeuse » Sun Mar 21, 2021 1:37 pm

FinlandGirl wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 1:21 pm
When they arrive in Finland they discover that such rankings are not what they imagined, and finding any job requires learning the language first.
English language jobs do exist. We have been through this many times. Maybe let’s just focus on the original question instead of sidelining the thread.

FinlandGirl
Posts: 750
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:43 am

Re: Life with children in Finland vs. Sweden/Austria/Germany

Post by FinlandGirl » Sun Mar 21, 2021 2:32 pm

betelgeuse wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 1:37 pm
FinlandGirl wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 1:21 pm
When they arrive in Finland they discover that such rankings are not what they imagined, and finding any job requires learning the language first.
English language jobs do exist. We have been through this many times.
Sure, they do exist.
Some people are lucky enough to be the one among 100 applicants to be chosen for a low-paid post delivery job.

Giving people who do not speak Finnish false hope they would find a job after moving to Finland is irresponsible.
betelgeuse wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 1:37 pm
Maybe let’s just focus on the original question instead of sidelining the thread.
It is hard to answer such questions without knowing why she is considering moving to Finland at all.
Does she want to cure depressions and loneliness by being surrounded by the happiest people on earth, or is there some serious reason?

Spucks
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:25 pm

Re: Life with children in Finland vs. Sweden/Austria/Germany

Post by Spucks » Sun Mar 21, 2021 3:51 pm

@FinlandGirl: I've read several of your posts in this forum and I get the impression that the main thing you are doing here is ridicule people and/or try to prevent people from moving to Finland. Why is that? Is it simply you not wanting foreigners in the country, or is it so hard for you to comprehend that there a lots of people out there who are keen on new experiences?

Do you have experience in living in Sweden and/or Germany and/or Austria with a child? If yes, I am very happy to hear your comparisons. If not, I don't quite see the point of your comments on here, which aren't much more and a demand for a justification of my potential moving plans. I can tell you right now that I won't give you any such justification, because I don't have to justify myself.

MaryHer
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:54 pm

Re: Life with children in Finland vs. Sweden/Austria/Germany

Post by MaryHer » Sun Mar 21, 2021 7:51 pm

So I can compare Germany and Finland, I dont know if you lived in Germany. I lived in Germany since 2011, and now since 2020 I got stuck in Finland due to corona, since my husband has a job here (and is Finnish). We used to commute before.
I am expecting a child now.

I can tell you that we plan to move back to germany as soon as the child is born. I have a job and all social security linked to Germany. I dont like health care in Finland and the way the social system works. I am not German and I also dislike many things in Germany, but still I prefer it there.
The health care in Finland compared to German one is really not very good. The maternity care is like a joke (although Finns think it is best in the world)
(all these things below are oppositite in Germany)
Finland health care:
-- most of the time you cant see a doctor, just a nurse,
-- most of your symptoms are ignored, they only start taking care of you if you really have sth like cancer or so
.. you cant choose a doctor (obviously, since you cant even see one)
.. you cant go to gynecologist, skindoctor or eyedoctor without refferal (well, you can go private)
-- with children you also get to see only a nurse and not a pediatrisian (only a few doctor check-ups)
-- many vaccines are not provided in the national program, you cant choose a vaccine, even if you have some allergies, there is one fixed brand for a free vaccine, e.g. vaxigrip flue, take it or leave.
-- you must pay up to the public health care, like 30-40 € for any visit related to specialized care (so any other doctor than GP)
-- if you live in helsinki, you cant make any scheduled test during your trip to e.g. Lapland, since it is regional
etc.
-- with many things you bascially have to rely on private sector, which is extermely expensive

Good side in Finland:
--most of the time you can communicate in English (although it happened to me that a nurse in the lab could not speak a word in English, and was rather rude to me, since I didnt speak a word Finnish) (In germany it may be hard with zero German)
-- most of the services are digitalized, you can change your residence address in internet, which is impossible e.g. in Germany
-- appartments to rent are partly furnished (kitchen, bathroom furniture, in-built wardrobes). In germany they are mostly unfurnished and in big cities might be impossible to rent due to large demand).
-- nature is beautiful
-- schools and kindergardens are supposedly good and free/cheap (but I dont know from experience)

Other comparisons (things I observe about Finland)
-- life is expensive , especially services but also food, compared to middle Europe
-- people are nice, but a bit cold and not very helpful, hospitable or open; there is a bit of negative attitute towards immigrants (like why dont they stay in their country, everything Finnish is better, even barries are cleaner and the foreign ones have hep A: seriously, thats what they tell you in maternity clinic;
even news are now they foreign people spread corona more), maybe paradoxcally Germans are more open towards immigrants nowadays.
Last edited by MaryHer on Sun Mar 21, 2021 7:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Spucks
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:25 pm

Re: Life with children in Finland vs. Sweden/Austria/Germany

Post by Spucks » Mon Mar 22, 2021 8:29 am

MaryHer wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 7:51 pm
So I can compare Germany and Finland, I dont know if you lived in Germany. I lived in Germany since 2011, and now since 2020 I got stuck in Finland due to corona, since my husband has a job here (and is Finnish). We used to commute before.
I am expecting a child now.

I can tell you that we plan to move back to germany as soon as the child is born. I have a job and all social security linked to Germany. I dont like health care in Finland and the way the social system works. I am not German and I also dislike many things in Germany, but still I prefer it there.
The health care in Finland compared to German one is really not very good. The maternity care is like a joke (although Finns think it is best in the world)
(all these things below are oppositite in Germany)
Finland health care:
-- most of the time you cant see a doctor, just a nurse,
-- most of your symptoms are ignored, they only start taking care of you if you really have sth like cancer or so
.. you cant choose a doctor (obviously, since you cant even see one)
.. you cant go to gynecologist, skindoctor or eyedoctor without refferal (well, you can go private)
-- with children you also get to see only a nurse and not a pediatrisian (only a few doctor check-ups)
-- many vaccines are not provided in the national program, you cant choose a vaccine, even if you have some allergies, there is one fixed brand for a free vaccine, e.g. vaxigrip flue, take it or leave.
-- you must pay up to the public health care, like 30-40 € for any visit related to specialized care (so any other doctor than GP)
-- if you live in helsinki, you cant make any scheduled test during your trip to e.g. Lapland, since it is regional
etc.
-- with many things you bascially have to rely on private sector, which is extermely expensive

Good side in Finland:
--most of the time you can communicate in English (although it happened to me that a nurse in the lab could not speak a word in English, and was rather rude to me, since I didnt speak a word Finnish) (In germany it may be hard with zero German)
-- most of the services are digitalized, you can change your residence address in internet, which is impossible e.g. in Germany
-- appartments to rent are partly furnished (kitchen, bathroom furniture, in-built wardrobes). In germany they are mostly unfurnished and in big cities might be impossible to rent due to large demand).
-- nature is beautiful
-- schools and kindergardens are supposedly good and free/cheap (but I dont know from experience)

Other comparisons (things I observe about Finland)
-- life is expensive , especially services but also food, compared to middle Europe
-- people are nice, but a bit cold and not very helpful, hospitable or open; there is a bit of negative attitute towards immigrants (like why dont they stay in their country, everything Finnish is better, even barries are cleaner and the foreign ones have hep A: seriously, thats what they tell you in maternity clinic;
even news are now they foreign people spread corona more), maybe paradoxcally Germans are more open towards immigrants nowadays.
Thank you, that's very helpful!
I've only lived in Germany for 6 months, but I am from Austria the countries are very similar, so I added Germany as well. What you've described about Finland - the positive and the negative - sounds pretty much like Sweden, good to know!

Upphew
Posts: 10689
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:55 pm
Location: Lappeenranta

Re: Life with children in Finland vs. Sweden/Austria/Germany

Post by Upphew » Mon Mar 22, 2021 1:51 pm

MaryHer wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 7:51 pm
-- many vaccines are not provided in the national program, you cant choose a vaccine, even if you have some allergies, there is one fixed brand for a free vaccine, e.g. vaxigrip flue, take it or leave.
Would you care to name few vaccines that are provided in German and not in Finnish program?

Imo the programme looks quite similar.
https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/Infekt/Im ... cationFile
https://thl.fi/en/web/infectious-diseas ... and-adults
http://google.com http://translate.google.com http://urbandictionary.com
Visa is for visiting, Residence Permit for residing.

MaryHer
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:54 pm

Re: Life with children in Finland vs. Sweden/Austria/Germany

Post by MaryHer » Mon Mar 22, 2021 3:38 pm

Yes, of course: differences I am aware of:

For babies:

Germany: Hep B vaccine is provided for free for all children. In fact, what is now given is 6-in-1 vaccine (do DPT plus polio plus hib+HepB)

Finland: Only 5-in-1, Hep b separate only for risk groups (e.g. when parents come from risk regions); I come from Poland, where Hep B is given to all newborns due to high risk and anyway Poland is not on the list of risk regions by THL.

In Finland there is always only one specific product that is offered free of charge, now it is Pentavac. So you cant e.g. ask for Infarix.

Since our baby will get the first shot in Finland and later will continue in Germany, it is a bit complicated. I cant even buy here the 6-in-1 vaccine (Infarix Hexa), it is not at all available. So I will need to take the 5-in-1 Pentavac, pay for separate HepB shot and hope to find a suitable continuation in Germany. Fortunately, Germany is usually more flexible and allows to change the brands from a default, often free of charge.


For pregnant women:

Since some years WHO recommends a whopping cough vaccine in EACH pregnancy at the end of second trimester, independent of prior vaccinations (e.g. in the childhood). The reason is that taking a booster shot in pregnancy allows to pass antibodies to the fetus who will be protected before they can get their first shot after birth (so for the first 2 months).
Many European countries adopted this programme and offer free of charge vaccination in pregnancy (e.g. Germany, UK, and other)
Finland does not offer it.


Flue vaccines:

In Finland they offer always one product, this year it was vaxigrip. In Germany you can ask for a different one, find another Hausartz praxis that offers it. A friend of mine has some allergies and got for free some egg-free flue vaccine free of charge.
I got vaxigrip here, but the appointment was a bit of a shock.
In Germany or Poland, a doctor checks on you before each vaccine. Here there was a nurse and I asked some questions about this vaccine (I was usually getting a different type in the past) and I was rudely told that the appointment is just for 5 minutes, so no time to ask questions and I can take it or go.


Asset in Finland:

Tuberculosis vaccine is given to risk group babies (Again Poland is not a risk region for them, even though in Poland it is obligatory given in the first 24 h, but apparently one can get it by wish here anyway).
In Germany, this vaccine was suspended years ago, and it is hard to even get by wish. This is a downside in Germany.


Post Reply