International Friendship Associations in Finland
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'Friendship Associations', 'Friendship Societies', or 'International Societies', however they are labelled, are communities which aim to strengthen friendship and cultural ties between Finland and other nations (ex. the Finnish-Australian Society). They arrange social gatherings, language courses, formal and informal meetings, lectures and more. If you want to meet your compatriots or Finns interested in your country, these are a good place to start!
Friendship societies have a non-political agenda and generally raise funds for their activities by charging a membership fee. There has been a prolific increase in the amount of friendship associations over the last decade, and there are now over 100 associations in Finland working to promote friendship and cultural relations with the countries they represent.
Maintaining an accurate listing is next to impossible for Expat Finland; thankfully the Union of Friendship Associations in Finland does just that! The site is available with limited English, but is easy to navigate. You can find the country's Association you're looking for in one of 2 ways; visit
Union of Friendship Associations in Finland: www.ysl.fi and
1) click the world map or
2) click Yhdistykset / Föreningar / Associations
Either method will lead you to a list of friendship associations in one of the following regions:
- South America
- North America
Locate the association you're looking for in the list and click it for full details including web sites, email addresses, phone numbers, contact names, and in some cases even details of membership!
The Union's site also works well in Google Translate; go to www.translate.google.com, paste www.ysl.fi in the left-hand box and click the Translate button.