Live, Work & Travel in Finland
Most travellers to Finland visit the country to enjoy the rugged, lake strewn landscape, Lapland and winter sports. The capital Helsinki is one of the greenest cities in the world with around half of its area devoted to lakes, shoreline and forests. As in other Scandinavian countries, heading there to teach English is a lower sum game than in other parts of the world but some tourism jobs may be found in hotels. Volunteer work is not too difficult to locate but travellers are advised to find placements where food and accommodation is provided to offset the high cost of living.
Working in Tourism
A small number of Santa tourism jobs are available with tour operators in Lapland. Sammi Egan describes her job with Santa Safari, an inbound tour operator based in Karesuvanto, in her blog post The Life of a Day Break Tour Guide. That company appears to no longer be a going concern but the UK based Santa's Lapland employs staff ranging from resort assistants, cabin hosts, reps and elves in Saariselkä, the most northerly of Lapland’s resorts, 200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle. They do their recruitment though www.workaseason.com. We have also seen Transun recruiting via ski-jobs.co.uk.
Teaching & TEFL in Finland
Quinn's World of TEFL is both optimistic and realistic on the possibilities of teaching in Finland, stating there are more opportunities than expected in a country of accomplished English speakers. Positions are rarely advertised online but some of the schools listed at ESL Base, such as Berlitz, do have a jobs page.
Au Pair & Nanny Jobs
Au pairing isn't overly common in Finland but for those that want to give it a try and learn Finnish (a commitment to learn Finnish is a requirement) Best Au Pair provide information on the official Au Pair in Finland Program. The role is much the same as in other countries but with more snow clearing.
Few au pairs use an agency to find work, instead preferring to set up a profile at GreatAuPair and waiting to be contacted by families. One unexpected, if small and far off, benefit we have heard of working as an au pair in Finland is the need to set up a retirement plan. Several decades into the future former au pairs in the country will be surprised to receive a tiny monthly reminder of their time working in Finland.
Other Ways to Work in Finland
The American-Scandinavian Foundation Training Program offers training opportunities in Scandinavia for Americans aged 21 and over. Short-term placements of two to three months during the summer are possible for students majoring in certain fields, principally engineering, chemistry, business, and computer science. TEFOL positions are also available in Finland for the academic year. The ASF also provides assistance with obtaining the necessary work permits to those who have arranged their own jobs. Scandinavians can also get training in the US.
Low Cost Options for Volunteering
From local NGOs to work exchanges we track down and list a number of opportunities for free or cheap volunteer work in Finland on another website in our small group.
Other Ways to Travel or Stay for Free
Stay for free in return for caring for local residents' homes or pets. Join Trusted Housesitters to live rent free as a house sitter (Americans may prefer this link).You can get a free $25 Airbnb credit from us here.
More Resources from our Sites
More Working in Finland Resources
Work in Finland - Jobs in Finland for English speaking professionals and more. This site also has information on studying and working in Finland.
Finnish Immigration Service - Official information for working in Finland.
How About Getting a Job in Finland? - Information and a link list covering everything from job ads to taxes.
Articles on Living, Working & Travelling in Finland
Articles on other websites and blogs:
Suomi/Finland - Life as an Au Pair - A post written two and a half weeks into Naomi Mackay's gap year in Joensuu in eastern Finland.
Job Awesome: Au Pair - An interview with an au pair working in Espoo.
Got information about living, travelling or working in Finland? Write us an article or pass on a tip to other travellers here