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Caroline
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Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2003 8:38 pm

Re: suomalaiset

Post by Caroline » Fri Aug 01, 2003 8:27 am

[quote="zedkoman"]It has been my experience that the kindest, most decent Finns, are the ones that live in the country, away from the gold and glitter of Helsinki.





I've had exposure to 2 small-town areas in Finland- Virkkala (Lohja) in the south, and Saariharju (Ranua) in the north, where my in-laws are from. I also grew up in a small, quaint, "white picket fence" town in New England, USA.

It's so hard to say whether or not you are looking at the situation from a viewpoint that is too simplistic... attitudes and cultures do vary between regional areas even in a sparsely populated country like Finland. I found the experience in Virkkala to be very nice, even though I did not get to know any local people on my own, except for my sub-let landlord's friends. One old gentleman caught my attention on the bus one day and started babbling to me about some newspaper article he'd been reading, and when I mentioned that I didn't speak much Finnish and that I was a new resident in Finland, he said, "Welcome!"


In the northern small towns, however, people seem to demand that you speak adequate Finnish if you want even the slightest chance of getting acquainted with them, and even then, they tend to take a bit longer than southerners to get used to the idea of outsiders. This does NOT necessarily mean that they don't like outsiders; they are just uncertain how to relate to us. In that area, people tend to be more conservative and old-fashioned: I once had a lady look at me like I was from Mars when she found out that I kept my own last name in marriage. I thought, "what is the big deal?"


But, then again, there are always exceptions to the above. There are people in both small towns and cities who really do not like foreigners. On one hand, it seems like it's the individual that makes the difference, but on the other hand there are certain areas stereotyped for certain mentalities. I've heard that Joensuu is not recommended, because, although it is a student town, it is also known for its racism and gangs- my husband and I know one Joensuu native who now lives in Helsinki; she confirmed that about Joensuu.


In my opinion, there is no town or city, big or small, that represents the "real" Finland. Every place is just what it is. Same with any country. I get really annoyed when people call ranch life in the midwest USA the "real" America, for example. Just because I don't like baseball and am not an Elvis fan, does that make me less American?


Instead of looking for the "real" Finland, concentrate on finding the place where you will have the best experience.


Former expat in Finland, now living in New Hampshire USA.

Remembah whea ya pahked ya cah!

Re: suomalaiset

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Juha H.
Posts: 438
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2003 8:32 pm
Location: Palokka, Finland

Post by Juha H. » Fri Aug 01, 2003 10:05 am

"Sauna, Sisu & Sibelius", A Survival Guide to Finnish for Business People, published by Yrityskirjat Oy might be of interest, too. Some 140 pages, all in English. Fairly good, in my mind.


zedkoman
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2003 11:28 pm
Location: Suomen tasavalta

finding a niche in finland

Post by zedkoman » Sat Aug 02, 2003 11:48 pm

Caroline-

Thanks for your comments. I came to Finland with my Dad at 17 and really fell hard for the place. While I was living in Vantaa and commuting everyday to school in Helsinki, there seemed to be an arrogance about that people, a superiority complex, that you find in all urban milieux. Also, there are sooo many English speakers (Americans, a few Canadians, English, Aussies, and from anglophone African countries, etc, etc) in Helsinki!! :o I want to get away from American English speaking upstate Ny, not visit it again. !! :D When I visited my Dad and his family in haukipudas or went with a group of social workers little towns or regional centers like Mikkeli and Pieksamaki, kouvola, etc. I really just thought how wierd Finns were, but especially how nice and open. Vantaa felt like one big housing project. It reminds me of my little town where I live now, but I am not attached to a place like Helsinki. The youngsters in Helsinki were somewhat intimidating, the ones my age (19) were travelling around the world, opening clubs, and taking charge, having businesses. Youth is much more respected and put in high esteem in Finland then over here, even though you here that america is a youth dominated culture. Dissing and dismissing is the name of the game where i am. One cool kat was a guy by the name of Jouni who owned both an advertising agency, and online travel agency, was an enthusiast of kung fu and had travelled to China several times, etc. The normalcy of this was a surprise for me. Another cool thing about Finland, are that things change. You feel the passing of time, but where I live now, it is dingy, dank, and dull. All industry has left, and to compete you have to be some superhuman, which leads me to think what would come after that? Most of the people that I hanged out with were liberal laestadians, and they were talented, beautiful people who truly lived life to the fullest. i just gotta keep searching.

zedkoman


Juha H.
Posts: 438
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2003 8:32 pm
Location: Palokka, Finland

Re: Studying in Varkaus

Post by Juha H. » Sun Aug 03, 2003 11:23 am

zedkoman wrote:hello everyone-

I had a quick question about studying in Finland. When I was there, I only got to see Helsinki and Oulu, but I never went to Varkaus, which I think is in the lakes district. I am thinking about studying there. Can anyone tell me about that town and if they recommend spending 4 years there earning a degree? I want to be in an 'authentic/small' Finnish region, ideal for learning the language and familiarizing one self to the culture. helsinki is too cosmopolitan by finnish standards, right?

Cheers
zedkoman
Further information on Varkaus: http://www.varkaus.fi/

You find information on other municipalities by writing the name of the place followed by .fi.


Caroline
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Re: finding a niche in finland

Post by Caroline » Sun Aug 03, 2003 3:39 pm

Another cool thing about Finland, are that things change. You feel the passing of time, but where I live now, it is dingy, dank, and dull. All industry has left, and to compete you have to be some superhuman, which leads me to think what would come after that? Most of the people that I hanged out with were liberal laestadians, and they were talented, beautiful people who truly lived life to the fullest. i just gotta keep searching.




öööööö, liberal Lestadions?!? Lestads are among the most old-fashioned and conservative social groups in Finland, at least that is true where we are in 'Bothnia and points north. Their culture usually expects women to be stay-at-home mothers (although some mothers do work), popping out kids in order to qualify for more government aid, they do not believe in premarital sex or birth control, which is why 20 or 23-year old couples have 3 or 4 kids already.

But I am wondering why you are evaluating the entire country of Finland based on interaction with a specific group of people, when you'd likely get the same inspiration from living in the "right" place in the USA. In other words, if you compare a stagnant area in the USA to a stable and progressive area in Finland, then of course Finland looks better. But if you compare a progressing area in the USA with a stagnant area in Finland, then the USA looks better. People of all ages where we live in Finland seem to be much less motivated than the youths from my home region in New England. They don't call it the "Educated East" for nothing. Where I come from, young people are always in the news because of their charity work, businesses, achievements in competitions, etc. But here in northern Finland, people seem to believe that "if it ain't been done before, then it ain't possible"....and I get a lot of comments like "ei hyvä", "ei onnistu"...(not good, won't work out...give up...accept the fact that life is miserable). The reason why I am (for now) committed to live here and develop my career ideas, is because I believe and hope that I can prove those people wrong and make a difference.
Former expat in Finland, now living in New Hampshire USA.

Remembah whea ya pahked ya cah!


BAT

Post by BAT » Sun Aug 03, 2003 5:00 pm

Caroline makes good points.

The grass sometimes seems greener on the other side , but everyone preferes a different kind of "yard" - so it isn't a simple matter.

You can make it anywhere if you have a positive attitude and look for the good things.


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Hank W.
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Re: finding a niche in finland

Post by Hank W. » Sun Aug 03, 2003 6:58 pm

Caroline wrote:The reason why I am (for now) committed to live here and develop my career ideas, is because I believe and hope that I can prove those people wrong and make a difference.
After you prove those people wrong the only difference will be in the amount of envy...
Cheers, Hank W.
sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.


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Richard
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Re: finding a niche in finland

Post by Richard » Sun Aug 03, 2003 7:02 pm

Hank W. wrote:
Caroline wrote:The reason why I am (for now) committed to live here and develop my career ideas, is because I believe and hope that I can prove those people wrong and make a difference.
After you prove those people wrong the only difference will be in the amount of envy...
hehehe


zedkoman
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2003 11:28 pm
Location: Suomen tasavalta

liberal laestadians

Post by zedkoman » Thu Aug 07, 2003 8:19 am

they exist. go to the seurakunta in pukinmaki, you will be surprised.


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Hank W.
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Re: Studying in Varkaus

Post by Hank W. » Thu Aug 07, 2003 8:26 am

Juha H. wrote: You find information on other municipalities by writing the name of the place followed by .fi.
Except Nokia, which is nokiankaupunki.fi, helsinki also used to be something else, as the uni had the helsinki.fi addy, but they have a joint portal now.
Cheers, Hank W.
sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.


zedkoman
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2003 11:28 pm
Location: Suomen tasavalta

studying in varkaus

Post by zedkoman » Sun Aug 17, 2003 9:41 pm

hey

A while back I stated that I wanted to study in Varkaus. The school located there, which also has campuses in Iisalmi and Kuopio, is called the Pohjois Savo Ammattikorkeakoulu. Does anyone have any unbiased information on this school? It repuation? Is it a polytechnic, like Stadia, with some renown in Finland? Does it have a good, but not necessarily strong International department? Thanks for your answers. I am either thinking of going to PSAK or HUT, but Hut has an entrance examination.

zedko


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Hank W.
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Post by Hank W. » Sun Aug 17, 2003 9:59 pm

PSAK also has some sort of an entrance examination, but it is not such an ordeal as getting into the university. Major difference too is that HUT gives you a masters and PSAK bachelor's. Depends on what branch you want to study, but LUT in Lappeenranta is also quite renowned.

Haven't heard anything negative about PSAK. And what comes to their international stuff... look for yourself: http://www.pspt.fi/walt/KV-toiminta/
Cheers, Hank W.
sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.


zedkoman
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Location: Suomen tasavalta

it seems ok

Post by zedkoman » Wed Aug 20, 2003 7:30 am

using my bad finnish i gather that it is a so so place. there are international students from the baltic countries and china, so it should be pretty cool. did it say something about finnish students taking these courses as well?


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