New in Kauhajoki?
Tip: If you are new in town, you can find more information about Kauhajoki (link opens in a new tab) from the city’s own website.
In this section:
- Local authorities
- Finland guides
- The process of getting a Finnish bank account
- Renting an apartment
- Getting around
- Problem situations and emergencies
- Leisure activities
Local authorities and public organisations
There are various authorities and organisations that will work with you to get you settled in. Some helpful resources include:
- Vuoksi International Service and local immigration coordinator in Kauhajoki – e-brochure, opens in a new tab
- The Finnish Immigration Service – information about permits and applications, opens in a new tab
- Registration in the Population Information System for foreign persons – DVV or the Digital and Population Data Services Agency, opens in a new tab
- Living in Finland – InfoFinland guide by the city of Helsinki, opens in a new tab
- The Finland Guidebook – ExpatFinland guide, opens in a new tab
- Living, working and studying in Finland – Just Landed guide to Finland
The process of getting a Finnish bank account
One of the first things a person needs when moving to Finland is a local ID number. Registration to the population information system is done by DVV – one must book an appointment and bring along the the required documentation listed on the DVV website. From Kauhajoki the nearest DVV office is in Seinäjoki (link opens in a new tab). The appointment availability and processing times may vary.
Note: Migri is the government agency responsible for updating the information regarding the Temporary Protection for persons fleeing the war in Ukraine and informing different officials about how the process works. The Migri info page (link opens in a new tab) has links to relevant information.
Getting a bank account is important in Finland, as many public entities as as well as online shops use online or mobile banking authentication for identifying a person online. The banks have a list of checks they must perform to be comply with local laws, and therefore they will usually ask the customer to visit the branch in person with their photo-ID, address details and Finnish ID number. Googling and comparing banks and their services can be worthwhile – monthly fees, the availability of branches and multi-language customer support can vary quite a bit.
Making international payments through IBAN and SWIFT is relatively easy with a Finnish bank account, although there are some fees involved. SWIFT payment requests can be completed online, without having to visit the branch. Matkahuolto service branches also offer Western Union money transfers which reach the recipient overseas in minutes, but the service is subject to Matkahuolto branch availability and opening times.
Renting an apartment
It is good to know the Finnish fair rental practices when looking for an apartment. Always insist on a written contract and take time to go through it to make sure that you understand everything everything that is expected. Landlords must adhere to the Finnish Act on Residential Leases 481/1995.
- How renting an apartment works in Finland – opens in a new tab, Fair Rental Practice in Finland
- Information package for tenants in Finland – opens in a new tab, by Finnish Tenants’ Association
- Act on Residential Leases 481/1995 – pdf opens in a new tab, unofficial English translation
Finland has a good mobile network coverage and several operators. Landline telephones are increasingly rare and phone booths are practically non-existent. Most people have a mobile phone – at least an old Nokia if not a smartphone.
A monthly mobile service subscription normally requires a credit record check and a Finnish ID number, which may not yet be available if one has only just arrived. Prepaid SIM card starter packs are available from kiosks and supermarkets and they can be topped up with ”airtime” credits or SMS/call/data bundles as required. Mobile data is fairly affordable in Finland and the connections are fast enough for video calls, streaming and other online activities.
It is a good idea to compare the services and the coverage of different operators. In most cities there are usually no problems, but in more remote areas the network connection can be patchy.
Google Maps is a good resource when learning your way around the town – using the navigation tool with audio and headphones or a car’s hands-free Bluetooth system makes getting from point A to point B easy. Most things in the city are within a walking distance and there are good pedestrian routes along main roads. The main roads are easy to navigate, but the side roads may take some getting used to.
For both tourists and residents, connecting travel from Kauhajoki to other public transport hubs happens mostly by bus or by car (own car or taxi). Many public agencies have moved their services online, but before one has a Finnish bank account online banking logins one may need to visit a branch of an agency in person when settling to Finland. Some may be located in a different city and therefore travel may be necessary.
- Matkahuolto routes and timetables – opens in a new tab, for intercity bus travel in Finland
Problem situations and emergencies
For life-threatening emergencies the emergency number is 112. Calls to that number are free from all Finnish phone networks. Downloading the free 112 Finland mobile app by Digia is useful, as it will tell your GPS location to emergency services even if you don’t know the address or you are not quite sure where you are.
- Dealing with problem situations – opens in a new tab, InfoFinland guide about the assistance available
- When and how to contact emergency services – opens in a new tab, Emercency Response Centre information
Kauhajoki has a medical centre that mainly serves by appointment. The organisation taking care of public health and social care in Kauhajoki until 2023 is called LLKY. There are also a few private health centres and dentists in Kauhajoki. The nearest district hospital is in Seinäjoki.
- Urgent care: Kauhajoki/LLKY | telephonic bookings at 06 2413 3200 | accepting calls from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 8 pm.
- After-hours service from Seinäjoki: 116 117 | If there is no service in Kauhajoki, phone this number to consult a healthcare professional to assess the symptons and the need for transport to Seinäjoki
- Health problems, non-urgent: Kauhajoki/LLKY | telephonic bookings at 06 2413 3220 | accepting calls Monday to Friday from 8 am to 3 pm.
- Nurse’s appointments and minor operations: Kauhajoki/LLKY | telephonic bookings at 06 2413 3220
Pharmacies and medication
Kauhajoki has two pharmacies, which carry over-the-counter medication, prescriptions and toiletries. They alternate for service on Sundays. Supermarkets are not currently allowed to sell or dispense medication.
- Kauhajoen 1. (Ykkös) Apteekki, Topeeka 65, 61800 Kauhajoki | Open Monday – Friday 8.30 am to 7 pm, Saturdays 9 am to 3 pm, Sundays 11 am to 3 pm*
- Kauhajoen Nuotti Apteekki, Puistotie 51, 61800 Kauhajoki | Open Monday – Friday 8.30 am to 7 pm, Saturdays 9 am to 3 pm, Sundays 11 am to 3 pm*
*Ykkösapteekki takes care of odd weeks and public holidays, Nuotti Apteekki takes care of even weeks. Odd/even weeks refer to the number of the week on the calendar.
Shops and services
Most of the supermarkets are located near the northern intersection of main roads Topeeka and Puistotie, and many smaller independent shops, cafés and other businesses are located along those two roads. The school centre and the church are at the other end of the town centre, where Topeeka and Puistotie meet again. A click-and-collect service and home delivery of groceries are available through some supermarkets.
Mail orders and post
Posti and Matkahuolto both operate a domestic parcel service, which many local online shops offer as a delivery method. The delivery time is usually around 3 working days for parcels coming from Finland and about a week for parcels coming from EU area. There are several collection points around the city. To collect a parcel in person one needs to show a photographic ID at the counter. To collect a parcel from a parcel locker one needs the code that will be sent to the recipient usually via SMS or email.
Note: As of 2021, any shipments from non-EU countries must be declared to Customs. However, if there is no duty payable and you self-declare the shipment online, you 1) also do not have to pay the Posti processing fee, and 2) can just apply for the release of the parcel online when you have completed the online customs clearance process. It is therefore important to keep track of your online orders. If your friends are sending you a parcel from a non-EU country, it is advisable to ask them to take a picture of the contents, their quantity and value so that you can give that information to Customs. This is because Customs asks for this information from you as a recipient before you have seen the parcel.
- Information about the Kauhajoki library – page in Finnish, opens in a new tab
- Virkku leisure centre information – page in Finnish, opens in a new tab
- Bio Marlon – movie theatre in Kauhajoki, opens in a new tab
- VisitSuupohja – information about the Suupohja area which includes Kauhajoki, Isojoki, Karijoki, Kurikka and Teuva, opens in a new tab
Sports & Kauhajoki
Kauhajoki is known for its basketball team Karhu Basket and there are many different sports teams in the city. Many of them are affiliated to the Kauhajoen Karhu sports organisation (’The bear of Kauhajoki’). The local sports and leisure centre is close to the main road Topeeka. The centre has heated swimming pools and a gym. Next to the leisure centre there is also a vast riverside park with walkways and benches, frisbee golf, an open-air chess board, a basketball court, a skateboard park and a play area for kids. Equipment can be rented from the leisure centre.
Low-cost sporting and leisure facilities in Kauhajoki:
- Amexpo frisbeegolf (map opens in a new tab), City centre park behind Urheilutie 3, 61800 Kauhajoki – bring your own frisbee or rent one from the leisure centre during its opening hours.
- Outdoor gyms at 1) School Centre at Aninkuja 3-5, 61800 Kauhajoki; 2) Virkku Leisure Centre at Urheilutie 3, 61800 Kauhajoki; 3) Aronkylä School Centre at Aronkuja 18, 61850 Kauhajoki.
- Sotka Slopes sports centre, Sotkantie 113, 61800 Kauhajoki – located about 5 km from the city centre, the outdoor sports complex has walking or trail running routes (5 km and 8,5 km) and a 400 m stair route in the summer and a ski slopes, a toboggan hill for kids and cross-country/biathlon skiing routes in the winter.
- Hyyppä Walking route (info page opens in a new tab), Hyypän Maja, 61940 Hyyppä – Hyypän Maja, the cabin which is a starting point of a hiking route is about 18 km from the city centre accessible by bus followed by a 500 m walk. The self-service hiking routes are 17, 10, or 6 km long.
- Nummijärvi frisbeegolf and beach (map opens in a new tab) near Nummijärvi Camping, Nummijärventie 591, 61960 Kauhajoki – about 25 km from the city centre; no public transport, so carpooling is recommended for a summery day trip by the lake.
Tourism and leisure
VisitSuupohja has tourism information about Kauhajoki and nearby municipalities, with more and more information available in English. The focus is on outdoors activities, food and drink, places of cultural significance and accommodation. There is also some information on beauty and wellness services available; the local Vuoksi vocational institute trains hairdressers and Kauhajoki has several hair salons, beauty parlours and small day spas.
Keywords for searching for beauty treatments and hairdressers:
- Parturi-kampaamo kauhajoki (hair salons)
- Kauneushoitola kauhajoki (beauty treatments)
- Hieroja Kauhajoki (massage therapists)
- Fysioterapeutti Kauhajoki (physical therapy and rehabilitation)
Food and drink
There are many cozy cafés in town as well as a few restaurants. Many of the smaller restaurants are mainly open at lunchtime, but there are also kiosks, takeaways and fast-food restaurants that are open until late. In the summer parks and popular lakeside beaches will often have pop-up ice cream kiosks. Home delivery is not widely available in Kauhajoki, as restaurants mainly expect you to phone ahead or, less commonly, order online and then pick up your order. Oftentimes places will have either a Facebook page or a website, and staff who will try to help you in English if you need more information or have other questions.
The town has a small, family-run movie theatre which usually shows movies in their original language (usually English), with Finnish or Swedish subtitles added. Children’s movies may be dubbed into Finnish and for those English subtitles are not always available. Tickets can be bought from the front desk before the movie.
For enthusiastic hobbyists and life-long learners Kauhajoki has a community college that organises short courses in a variety of subjects including cooking, handicrafts, languages and music. At the moment the courses and course information are only available in Finnish (Google Translate cannot see the information on the course selection page and leaves the content blank), but one can browse the Kauhajoki course information at the Opistopalvelut website (link opens in a new tab).
The local library is a cultural hub that is open to all and has magazines, books, music, movies and other resources in various languages, as well as spaces for independent study. The library has a free wi-fi and one can reserve a computer for browsing the internet, should one not have a computer at home. Printing service is available for a nominal fee. You can find more information about all that the library has to offer at the library helpdesk.
Send an enquiry to the local immigration coordinator if you want to know more about local services, job opportunities or are simply interested in finding a new hobby. You’ll find their contact details from the link above. Happy exploring and welcome to Kauhajoki!