Historically a part of Sweden and a territory within the Russian Empire, Finland declared independence from the former Soviet Union in 1917. In 1919 it became the Republic of Finland, as it is known today. In comparison to all its European neighbours, it was not until the 1950s that Finland’s industrialisation came into full swing, after which it created an extensive welfare state. Today, Finland is one of the best countries in the world to live in, ranking first in the 2010 Newsweek survey in health, education, quality of life and more.
Finland is also known as the country of lakes and islands. With over 180,000 lakes and almost as many islands, it is home to the endangered Saimaa Ringed Seal, one of only three lake seal species in the world.
With a quarter of the country located in the Arctic Circle, the majority of Finland’s population settled in the south and created its major cities Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa.
Discover this amazing country yourself during your WEP exchange program to Finland!