American family moving to Finland

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misu
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:03 am
Location: Turku

Re: American family moving to Finland

Post by misu » Sat Nov 16, 2013 3:10 am

channing316 wrote: I still don't see a good future for my children here in the states, but I now know what we need to do, in order to leave the right way, and have a better chance of succeeding when we do choose to leave....
Sorry you feel that way but I think you lack perspective. Unless you've lived in another place you really don't know how good or bad living in the US is. I'm American and I moved here to Finland after marrying my Finnish husband. I've been here over 4 years now and it's been incredibly difficult adjusting here, so much so that it's likely that we'll be moving to the US within a couple of years. The main problem is that I've been unemployed the entire time I've been here. Even after 4+ years here my level of Finnish language skills is nowhere near adequate enough to get a job even as a cashier or waitress. I have no friends here and have been living a pretty socially isolated life. I really miss the choices I had in the US and I miss the diversity of the population. Life is so...dull here, imo. I miss *real* cities. And I want to go to graduate school but there are no programs I'm interested in as the selection of universities here is small. It's really really frustrating and humbling, the migrating thing. And that's even with having a family tie here, a spouse and supportive in-laws.

Before coming here I had started to become disillusioned with the US and thought Finland would be so much better. Now I can't wait to go back and whenever I go to visit my mom there I feel so nourished and happy to be in my own culture and around my own kind. We have no kids yet but if we ever do I'll be glad to raise them in the US. There's more opportunities, rent and housing costs are so much lower, the salary is higher, and there's so much stuff to do (nature reserves, road trips, amusement parks, cultural events, restaurants, etc., and all of it being relatively affordable). There's many states and cities and towns and suburbs to choose from, you know. If you don't like the location you're at now, you can move to an area that's better/safer/more progressive/liberal or whatever it is you're looking for.

By the way, have you thought of taking a family vacation to Finland just to see what it's like? Sometimes places are not like what one has built up in one's mind. I used to think Norway was paradise on Earth but when I finally went there I was disappointed with it. I did, however, fall in love with Denmark while coming back from Norway. You never know about a place if you haven't seen it and experienced it firsthand.


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Re: American family moving to Finland

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AldenG
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:11 am

Re: American family moving to Finland

Post by AldenG » Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:13 am

Maybe you should check out the Portland, Oregon area. It's more expensive than anywhere in Tennessee but it's considerably cheaper than Finland. Some of Oregon is quite fundamentalist and there are pockets of that around Portland. But for the most part the cultural and political values of Portlanders are very much like what you'd find in Finland -- more progressive than Finland, if anything. Oregon and Washington lead the country in political and practical innovation. As a result they have excellent infrastructure and schools. (Then again Seattle is one of the most expensive cities in the entire country, which is part but only part of what makes Portland so attractive.) The weather is similar to Finland's though somewhat warmer overall. The trees are like Finnish nature on steroids, the same type and look but they grow much bigger, lusher, and more majestic. The Cascade mountains make the Appalachian range look old, tired, and boring. There's far more variety in Oregon's nature and schooling and nightlife than you'd find in Finland but some of the schooling is of excellent quality. The scenery in Oregon competes with almost anything in the rest of the country and Oregon arguably has more variety of scenery in one area than any other state.

Or you could consider Eugene, which is home to the University of Oregon. It's not as picturesque as the Portland area but it should be cheaper and offer many of the same advantages. The Pacific Northwest is about the closest you get in the United States to "a whole other country," even though a different state likes to make that brag for itself.

You obviously need some renewal and you probably want to get out of the Bible belt. You don't have to go halfway around the world for those things. You'd be surprised what the options you do have could do to improve your view of life. And you could thrive so much sooner and more easily than you would do, if ever, in Finland. Any of the difficulties in moving to Oregon would only be multiplied many times over for a move to Finland even if you could do the latter, which you almost surely cannot. If you thought you were ready to hack Finland, you should be ready to hack Oregon.
As he persisted, I was obliged to tootle him gently at first and then, seeing no improvement, to trumpet him vigorously with my horn.


channing316
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:41 am

Re: American family moving to Finland

Post by channing316 » Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:11 am

AldenG wrote:Maybe you should check out the Portland, Oregon area.
My SO has some family in Eugene, Oregon. They haven't said much about the life there, but I will ask them. :) I also have some ex and current military friends, I'll see if any of them were stationed in Seattle. I know at least one of them was. And I will do some research on them.

Of course, even though it may be different from Tennessee, it still has the same US problems; but, it is definitely worth looking into, as a possible place to move to while deciding on a more long term plan. Thank you very much for your input.
misu wrote: Even after 4+ years here my level of Finnish language skills is nowhere near adequate enough to get a job even as a cashier or waitress. I have no friends here and have been living a pretty socially isolated life. I really miss the choices I had in the US and I miss the diversity of the population. Life is so...dull here, imo. I miss *real* cities. And I want to go to graduate school but there are no programs I'm interested in as the selection of universities here is small. It's really really frustrating and humbling, the migrating thing. And that's even with having a family tie here, a spouse and supportive in-laws.

By the way, have you thought of taking a family vacation to Finland just to see what it's like? Sometimes places are not like what one has built up in one's mind. I used to think Norway was paradise on Earth but when I finally went there I was disappointed with it. I did, however, fall in love with Denmark while coming back from Norway. You never know about a place if you haven't seen it and experienced it firsthand.
Have you looked into taking language courses at a university near you? There are also some really good websites that teach Finnish, from basic to advanced, they're just a little hard to find, since it's not a very wide spoken language... I'm sorry that you're having a hard time adjusting there, and I hope that it gets better for you.

We were planning on taking a trip there sometime relatively soon; within the year. I don't know when the peak tourist season is, but I want to avoid that. I know I cannot stand tourist times here, and we're a lot more hostile during those times, so I imagine it's like that everywhere else. :lol:


kharnynb
Posts: 158
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:56 am

Re: American family moving to Finland

Post by kharnynb » Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:45 am

"peak" tourist season is either just before christmas or july/august.

But Unless you stick to places like helsinki, noone really minds tourists here.

Personally i would either go in mid july, rent a mökki somewhere in the lake district for a bit and maybe see helsinki for a couple of days.

or if you prefer winter, just come in Januari, but get the heck out of helsinki asap :D


Australialainen
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Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:17 am

Re: American family moving to Finland

Post by Australialainen » Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:24 pm

Definitely come for a visit first.


wwallin
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Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:27 am

Re: American family moving to Finland

Post by wwallin » Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:15 am

I realize it's been 3 years since anyone posted here and therefore this may not get a single read, but I have to say I found this discussion heartbreaking. I currently live in Seattle myself, and while I'm not hoping to move to Finland in the foreseeable future, I certainly sympathize with the poster's plight.

Obviously this board is as unfamiliar with conditions in the US as Americans are of Finland. I live in Seattle in a highly-paid job, and it is still hard to feel good about raising a child here. It is not true that you can experience an affordable, progressive, socially enlightened lifestyle in the Pacific Northwest unless you are rich, i.e., two partners with highly-paid jobs. This assumes you're white (as am I), because racism here is off the charts. One-third of black men in the U.S. are or have been incarcerated and have no voting rights - for life. Laws are set up to re-segregate races, and the poor stand no chance.

There is very little high-quality childcare, and what little there is costs. As for access to education, my daughter is 10 and has always been in a private school, which as a concept I don't even believe it, because the public schools in my neighborhood are serious crap and even dangerous, the kind the Finnish might find unimaginable. It's true that there are some excellent schools, but they are only in rich neighborhoods, and even with my 6-figure salary, I'm unable to afford to live in a neighborhood with decent schools. If you're lucky, you can hope for a transfer to a better school, but the commute makes it unrealistic. (The public schools I have access to are rated 2 to 3 out 10.) Many Americans, including children, have no access to health insurance, and even if you have excellent insurance like me, it doesn't help because (1) you can't get an appointment and (2) doctors will only treat you for the most common illnesses. The reason is that healthcare here is profit-driven, so anything that takes time for a doctor to test extensively and diagnose just is not profitable. You get 5 minutes and the doctor is out the door. Mental healthcare is a nightmare along Victorian lines. Black people are being killed by police both in broad daylight and inside jails, brazenly, with no repercussions. I recently reported a (relatively minor) crime I witnessed and literally begged the police officer not to shoot the perpetrator. Poor Latinos are virtual slaves. Being an American has come to seem like a Dickens novel.

Seattle is incredibly expensive to live in, although as progressive as American cities come, and middle-class people are being pushed out by exponentially rising rents, not to mention the working class and homeless. Lest you doubt, Google any of this and learn for yourself. Or imagine you wanted to move to Seattle and search online for a decent place to rent or buy and check to school ratings, then figure out how much you would need to earn to live here. Six-figure salaries are relatively rare outside of the tech sector or doctor/lawyer. Or better yet imagine yourself working for minimum wage -- Seattle's $15/hour is the highest in the nation, but it doesn't apply to any business outside the city limits -- and then see if you can find a place online to rent within a reasonable commute. I challenge you!

The US is now a plutocracy. We are certainly nowhere near a Syria's plight, but average Americans are undoubtedly knocking at our neighbors' doors asking to be let in, just as the US has previously been the door desperate refugees have knocked on. The American people have little to no control over our government and haven't for a couple of decades. Worse, most of the population is so poorly educated (see above) that they are not well-enough informed to act in their own best interests.

The lack of human empathy on this forum must surely be a result of ignorance rather than intent. Please consider the content and treat young, uneducated posters with the dignity they deserve. Their lack of information may seem outrageous, but dishing honesty with a helping of gentleness is free.


Flossy1978
Posts: 1386
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 3:38 pm

Re: American family moving to Finland

Post by Flossy1978 » Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:47 am

My friend, her husband and their child live in Seattle.

They absolutely love it.

He is the only breadwinner. Makes a decent salary.

Their child goes to a public/state school and is doing well and the school is good.

They are buying their own place.

They love the culture of the place. The beautiful scenery and all that can be done in and around Seattle.

I thought in America, everyone and anyone can apply for scholarships, loans etc to go to higher education? So is there really any reason they aren't able to educate themselves?

Racism is everywhere. America isn't special in that case. Look at South Africa, Zimbabwe etc. The racism against blacks and whites is even worse there.

Funny, when a black person is shot dead, etc in America, people cry racism, hate crime etc. But what about the white people who get murdered by black people? Some years ago there was the horrific crime of the young couple out in their car. They were hijacked. The girl was raped, abused and left to die in black bags in a garbage bin. The boy was raped and I believe shot in the head and left on some railway tracks. Who did this horrific crime? A group of black thugs. And of course, this wasn't racism or a hate crime. Turn it around, so the victims were black and the thugs white.... And imagine all hell would have been raised, especially by that black preacher guy who pops up all the time about how racist white people are. I can't remember his name. I was happy to hear some of the thugs got the death penalty. As they should, as any person of any colour should have gotten from such an awful crime.

People can be so negative, to the point they can't think of the positives, at all.

I am sure there is plenty of good in America. It can't all be so bad. Especially if you compare it to life in places like Syria, etc.

Life is what you make it. Running away to Finland will not fix your problems.


inkku
Posts: 603
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:26 pm

Re: American family moving to Finland

Post by inkku » Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:29 pm

Flossy, you cannot compare racism against white people and black people. Much of the racism black people face (in many Western countries) is structural, which diminishes people's chances for the same rights, and is much worse than occasional personal level hatred.


wwallin
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Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:27 am

Re: American family moving to Finland

Post by wwallin » Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:10 pm

To Flossy I can only say that you would fit right into the Tea Party and Trump supporters here in America. You are woefully uninformed about life in the U.S. and I suspect you aren't from Finland, since Finland has no death penalty. Good luck with your life, and may the truth set you free.


Flossy1978
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Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 3:38 pm

Re: American family moving to Finland

Post by Flossy1978 » Fri Jul 08, 2016 12:55 am

I live in a great country and I lived for fourteen years in Finland.

My country doesn't have the death penalty either. Some people truly deserve to die. They have no right to walk amongst us.

Life is what you make of it.

It is sad, instead of making your own country better, you choose to run away to Finland, in the hopes the grass is greener. Finland has its own problems. No country is perfect.


betelgeuse
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Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:24 am

Re: American family moving to Finland

Post by betelgeuse » Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:14 am

Flossy1978 wrote: My country doesn't have the death penalty either. Some people truly deserve to die. They have no right to walk amongst us.
Are you willing to accept innocent people as collateral? Since no existing justice system is perfect, accepting killing of innocent people is a requirement to support the death penalty.


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Oombongo
Posts: 1900
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Location: local sewer pipe

Re: American family moving to Finland

Post by Oombongo » Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:46 am

betelgeuse wrote:
Flossy1978 wrote: My country doesn't have the death penalty either. Some people truly deserve to die. They have no right to walk amongst us.
Are you willing to accept innocent people as collateral? Since no existing justice system is perfect, accepting killing of innocent people is a requirement to support the death penalty.
These people are certainly not innocent:

1. Cartels/drug dealers
2. Terrorists
3. Pedophiles
4. Rapists
5. Politicians/Bankers
7. Kardashians and Jenners.
Image Image


inkku
Posts: 603
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:26 pm

Re: American family moving to Finland

Post by inkku » Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:35 am

wwallin wrote:I realize it's been 3 years since anyone posted here and therefore this may not get a single read, but I have to say I found this discussion heartbreaking. I currently live in Seattle myself, and while I'm not hoping to move to Finland in the foreseeable future, I certainly sympathize with the poster's plight.
....
The lack of human empathy on this forum must surely be a result of ignorance rather than intent. Please consider the content and treat young, uneducated posters with the dignity they deserve. Their lack of information may seem outrageous, but dishing honesty with a helping of gentleness is free.
Thank you for this. I enjoyed your writing and fully agree with your last sentence. When I joined this forum the tone was different, there was much more more banter and genuine discussion and advice but now it is all just so negative. People are trying to force feed single solutions like life was a single story, criticizing personal level decisions instead of advising. I was wondering if this is the reason why many former forum members have either disappeared or are not active anymore, who knows.


niceguy40
Posts: 85
Joined: Sun May 31, 2015 4:00 am

Re: American family moving to Finland

Post by niceguy40 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:47 pm

You'll have to serve in the finnish army for at least a year. Which would not be fun or easy.


tatelate
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:34 am

Re: American family moving to Finland

Post by tatelate » Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:51 am

Serving as a conscript in Finland takes 6 to 11 months. The system has saved the democracy of Finland twice (Winter War 1939-1940 and Continuation War 1941-1944, where by Helsinki, London and Moscow were the only three capitals remaining not invaded in WW 2).
Conscription in the Finnish Army gives young men and women (today about 10 % of conscript) excellent management and specialist skills that are highly appreciated in Finnish companies and administration.
It is quite sorry that the US education does not provide a world-covering view of different cultures and countries. So, welcome to Finland for a safer, gun-free, secure, egalitarian community.


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