How Finland is similar to Indonesia

Last updated on 22 May 2024
How Finland is similar to Indonesia


By: Joy Ananda

Finland-Indonesian relations have been established since 1954, and it has continued to be strong. Besides official government relations, these two nations have more similarities than you think! Let’s explore how Finland is similar to Indonesia - and how you, as a potential foreign student - can benefit from that!

Friendliness down to a pat

Forget empty answers and forced smiles; Finnish people treat a simple question, such as “How are you?” seriously. They don’t skedaddle around small talk, but they give you their full attention. They are present when you talk and will engage in counter questions. Finnish people have a good reputation for being friendly and genuine, much like their Indonesian friends, in which we are known to be friendly and polite. You won’t have to worry about mean European stereotypes that you have often been shown through books or movies because that kind of attitude doesn’t seem to exist in Finland!

Appreciating the wonders of nature

Indonesia is known for the beauty of its mountains and lakes - loads of foreign tourists visit Indonesia to hike, snorkel and experience beautiful nature. The same goes for Finland, in which their country has 40 national parks, unique Baltic sea islands, and breathtaking scenery. Although Finland is more developed because there are well-maintained walking, trekking, and biking paths all around, Jakarta is on its way there. But if you go to Finland, you get to have a good balance of nature and city, of fresh air but also fast-paced activities,

Healthy Lifestyle

As of 2019, people worldwide actually found the Finnish to be the healthiest people ever. The need for exercise or staying fit stems from a young age in Finland, particularly in schools where teachers encourage students to play outdoors. There’s even a well-known exercise practice invented in the country, known as ‘Nordic walking,’ in which you use modified ski poles to help walk long lengths. Since you use both arms to hold the sticks as you walk, your body burns more calories as you train your arm muscles. In Indonesia, although the rise of exercise-enthusiasts was only detected in mid-2017, the numbers have increased since. According to the health index researched by Sun Life Financial Asia, the three most preferred exercises in Indonesia include running, cycling and swimming. Outdoor activities are a norm for both nations, and it is no wonder that the people are healthy.

Healthy Diet

Speaking of health, the Finnish and the Indonesians have a similarity here too in which their natural staple diet is naturally healthy. While the Finnish eat lots of fish, because of its vast supply from the surrounding seas - we’re talking mackerel, trout, herring, salmon - all these fatty omega-3 fishes are their staples. Although Indonesians consider rice the most common staple, we Indonesians tend to eat lots of vegetables and plant-based proteins such as tempeh and tofu. Of course, there will be temptations that come in the form of sweet pastries or carbohydrates such as our beloved instant noodles - the foundation of both nations’ diets prove to be healthier than most.

City of Students

First, you read it here, but Finland’s capital, Helsinki, and Indonesia’s beloved Yogyakarta are practically sister cities. Here’s why: Since 2017, Yogyakarta has been dubbed the “City of Students” due to its vast choices of educational institutions, diverse circle of friends, and extra effort for extra-curricular in the form of giving back to the surrounding local community. For example, senior high schools in Yogyakarta can do activities from community service to teaching the village children. On the other hand, the university programs set up community healthcare services for the village elderly, initiatives that help villagers market their goods to potential buyers, and social endeavors to improve existing education systems.

On the other hand, Helsinki is a place that is known for its lively student population and modern education system. It's one of the most popular destinations for international students so that you won't feel alone. The students' existence is why the city has many activities, such as events, concerts, nature walks, restaurants, bars. The innovative teaching style in Finland is what earned its good reputation. Teachers and students are almost like friends, in which they are very approachable in and outside of studies. Much like their Indonesian counterparts, there is academic freedom in field trips, learning diaries, lab work - all expected by the students to manage independently.

If you do end up choosing Finland as your study destination, make sure to keep these cities in mind as they are considered the most student-friendly: Tampere (easy to get around with convenient transportation and busy student life), Turku (perfect balance of busy city life and quiet nature), Lappeenranta (close to big cities like Helsinki and St.Petersburg, and always busy with student activities), and Kajaani (the student community in this small city are very close, classes are smaller and more tailored to students).

Now that you have read the article, you would probably realize the only stark difference between Indonesia and Finland is the cold weather in the latter, but are you now more keen on possibly exploring EHEF as your choice of study destination? We guarantee it will be the experience of a lifetime. Make sure to check for more information regarding the required documentation needed to apply to Finland universities!