Moving to Finland from the UK...

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Moving to Finland from the UK...

Post by Megan_xo » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:18 pm

Hey guys!

I was just after a little bit of advice and thought that this would be the best place to ask for it, so apologies in advance if this has been asked a thousand times before. I'm a UK citizen (London born) who is dating a Finnish citizen. We met while she was over here studying for university and she's just recently moved back, but she was hoping to move back here this coming fall. However plans have changed, and she's now said that she thinks it would be too expensive to live in England and is considering moving to Helsinki instead.

I'm obviously upset by the decision but I want her to be happy and, honestly, I've wanted to leave England for a long time and now I'm considering moving over there to be with her. The only issue is that I don't speak any Finnish, but my girlfriend has been teaching me and if I do move there, then I would most definitely take classes. I'm just worried about getting a job, though. The language barrier will be a problem and I don't have a university degree or anything. I currently work as a manager in retail, so I don't exactly have any skills unless 'leadership' counts as one.

If I were to move over then I would be able to live with her and her parents in Lapland for a little while as we sort ourselves out. I guess my question is: is this at all possible? What would I need to prepare beforehand? And would I have any chance of landing a job as an English-speaking person.

Thank you in advance!

Moving to Finland from the UK...


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Re: Moving to Finland from the UK...

Post by Beep_Boop » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:40 pm

Oh boy. This is a tough one.

Let's start with the easy part first. Unless one of her family members or friends hooks you up with some job, or you manage to catch a good opportunity in the tourism industry in Lapland, I honestly don't see you getting a job in Finland any time soon. Your biggest problem isn't really the language but rather the lack of useful skills. You miiight be able to score something in the English-speakers-only niche of the market, such as English teacher or English au pair, but that's pretty much as far as you'll be able to go.

Okay, so now the tough part. If you do decide to come, you're gonna need to prepare yourself for the following:
- You'll be living off of the state and/or your girlfriend's or her family's income for quite a while. That can have quite a heavy emotional load depending on your personality.

- Depending on your motivation and abilities, learning Finnish is gonna be a long, difficult process. Even among your girlfriend and her family, you'll feel isolated by the language and cultural barrier. Your new family will likely be nice and welcoming, but you'll always know that they'd prefer to communicate in a language they understand better. This is, by far, the most emotionally eroding aspect of the whole transition. You'll need to be mentally prepared for this experience while you get to an acceptable Finnish level, which can take anywhere between 6 months to a couple of years.

- For quite a while, you'll be like a toddler or a senior citizen. You'll have to fully rely on your girlfriend for everything; filling papers, communication with the insurance company, opening a bank account, and many other things. Again, depending on your personality, that might be mentally and emotionally taxing.

Others will chip in with their experiences, but the above is the common theme I've heard from friends and acquaintances.
Every case is unique. You can't measure the result of your application based on arbitrary anecdotes online.

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Re: Moving to Finland from the UK...

Post by HannahBanana » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:50 pm

As a Finn I reckon one of the best, if not the best, place for you to be is Lapland. There is a constant shortage for low-skilled (and not very well paid) labour on temporary contracts. Most of the jobs up there require English as they are in the tourism industry. Granted washing dishes at a restaurant is hardly anyone's dream job, but it would be something to tide you over and get you some work experience on your CV. I wouldn't say you have no skills as a retail manager, but Finland does love degrees. You basically need one to be a cleaning person, but they do offer on the job training. Your degree's discipline isn't that important, I'm a Master of Arts in Russian language and I work in a major Nordic bank as a financial advisor...

You should look into Finnish language courses, which might be hard to come by in Lapland. Also consider getting qualifications online so you will become more employable.

How long have you been together? Basically you need to have two years of history for you to be able to get a RP based on your relationship. This might be applicable to you if / when the Brexit happens.

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