International House Helsinki (IHH) joined Helsinki Welcome Day in early June, a celebration of new international residents in Helsinki. At the event, participants could take part in various activities, learn about different services, and listen to international speakers share their advice and stories of life in Helsinki, Finland. 

The City of Helsinki organised Helsinki Welcome Day for the first time this June. Helsinki invited all new residents who had moved from abroad in the last 12 months to welcome them to their new home city. The special event took place at Helsinki City Hall.

At Helsinki Welcome Day, new residents could visit exhibition stands to learn about opportunities offered by Helsinki and various organisations. IHH and the Spouse Program were part of the exhibition stands informing new residents about relevant services. The event also featured activities for both children and adults, as well as inspiring speeches that covered many topics to help people settle in Helsinki. 

The Mayor of Helsinki Juhana Vartiainen welcomed the new international residents in his opening speech. He stressed the importance of the new residents feeling welcomed to Helsinki, so that they would also choose to stay in the city. 

About 700 people attended the event, and it received very positive feedback from the participants. “Helsinki Welcome Day was a lovely event and made me feel more a part of the community”, says one participant in their feedback. 

International House Helsinki was part of Helsinki Welcome Day. Photographer: Alessandro Rampazzo


How to enjoy Helsinki and settle in 

Helsinki Welcome Day focused on leisure activities, helping new residents discover exciting possibilities and meaningful ways of living in Helsinki. Both the exhibition stands and speakers offered fun ideas for things to do around Helsinki. 

Helsinki’s Director of Migration Affairs Glenn Gassen, who is also an immigrant in Finland, shared some tips from his personal experience: 

  1. If you want to learn Finnish, try to speak it consistently in every situation. You might also have to pretend that you don’t speak English, because Finns tend to switch to English quite easily.

  2. The best way of getting to know Finnish people is through hobbies and volunteer work.

  3. It is worth exploring Finland’s nature and maritime features, which are accessible even in the city – as well as Finnish karaoke culture. 

The other speakers shared more advice and ideas about how to live a good life in Helsinki. 

Finding meaningful things to do when you move to a new city or country with a different culture can sometimes be challenging – but when you do, it helps you to settle in your new home. 


More information on living in Helsinki 

Find more information about things to do and experience in Helsinki on the City’s website. 

You can also find information on living in Helsinki on InfoFinland’s website. The information is available in multiple languages. 

If you have moved to Helsinki because of your partner, consider participating in the Spouse Program.

If you are planning to move to Helsinki, you can participate one of International House Helsinki’s Newcomer Information Sessions online. Read more about Newcomer Information Sessions on IHH’s website.