2 years in Finland and happy

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californiakontio
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:54 am

2 years in Finland and happy

Post by californiakontio » Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:17 pm

Thought I would update the board. Its been now 6 years married and now two years and 3 winters and living in Finland. I feel like this is home now and our children are loving living here as am I. As a bit of a background Im American (partial Mexican background) that moved from California. Sure there are some things I miss, thought I would share that and my observations and thoughts:

1. No matter where you move, everything is about attitude. I am a guest in Finland and the onus is on me to learn Finnish and Swedish, learn the culture, understand it and assimilate. Doesn't mean I forget that I am American, it means that I respect and learn the culture and minimize or cutoff parts of my culture which might not be cool here. For example, speaking loudly on the phone on the tram or yelling in a restaurant.
2. Everything works here, easy, predictable and reliable. Its awesome.
2. Finnish people are quiet, but its out of respect for the other person and are very helpful when you need help.
3. I do miss having a variety of food, but there is enough if you look for it. By far the best Mexican restaurant in Helsinki and probably the country is El Rey.
4. The darkness doesnt bother me that much, its the damn nonstop sun and how every Finn just wants to sit outside soaking it up. I walk in the shade and sit inside a restaurant when its sunny. Its annoying, the kids cant sleep, I wake up early, etc.
5. The cold isnt that bad, just wear the right clothes and dont be a masochist, take the train / bus to do whatever you need to.
6. I feel welcome here, have probably heard *welcome to finland* easily 20 times, even though I dont look like the *normal* Finn. I'd say Finns arent racist, maybe a small percentage are, for the most part that small percentage is prejudiced vs racist, there is a very big difference. Ive had a few situations but all have ended well and every time ppl have shook my hand and said welcome.
7. Work wise, you can find jobs, but you need to hustle. You have to remember you are an immigrant here so you already have one hand behind your back, work with it, accept it, dont complain and hustle.

All in all, this is an awesome place to live. I know some immigrants dont feel that way, but its about your attitude and acceptance of the local culture. If you come from country where women are all wrapped up in carpets like ninjas and you believe women arent equal and expect women here to be the same, no doubt you will be discriminated against and rightfully so, you are disrespecting the culture here.

Likewise if you are American and expect Finland to be the US with everyone saying *hi, how are you* every 2 min, thats not going to happen.

My advice to anyone marrying a Finn, first live in your own country for a bit. You will learn the culture from your spouse, your marriage will strengthen and you can plan your move vs landing here and staying in a small town with your in-laws.

Feel free to ping me with questions / advice.



2 years in Finland and happy

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Maeke
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat May 11, 2019 8:16 pm

Re: 2 years in Finland and happy

Post by Maeke » Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:07 pm

@CaliforniaKontio
This is by far the most comprehensive post I've read on here. I have lots of questions but let's take it one at a time.
So in a nutshell, I am moving there (from canada) in June, in Joensuu, where wife and kid are already awaiting. When you mentioned "few situations" about racism /prejudice, would you please elaborate with 2 of the most telling examples?
Also job wise, are the north American degrees recognized there?

heretostay
Posts: 272
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:54 pm

Re: 2 years in Finland and happy

Post by heretostay » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:51 am

Going on year 5 here and am extremely happy. nothing is perfect but definitely more than satisfied in Finland.

heretostay
Posts: 272
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:54 pm

Re: 2 years in Finland and happy

Post by heretostay » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:11 am

Maeke wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:07 pm
Also job wise, are the north American degrees recognized there?


Not necessarily. It depends on the field. Skills and experience are more relevant typically. Some things require Finnish qualifications. If you tell the degrees relevant to you, others here can advise.

Maeke
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat May 11, 2019 8:16 pm

Re: 2 years in Finland and happy

Post by Maeke » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:52 pm

My degree is a bachelor degree in chemical engineering.
Just be on the safe side, I'll be starting a masters in the same field in Finland, in order to have a "Finnish degree" in my curriculum.
Is it easier in/around Helsinki, being the big city or are you guys having success elsewhere?

deepsudeep
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:11 pm

Re: 2 years in Finland and happy

Post by deepsudeep » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:35 pm

Thanks for the mexican restaurant recommendation. That was something I was looking for a while. 6 months from the US and like it so far :)

pinkki
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Sep 07, 2019 11:08 am

Re: 2 years in Finland and happy

Post by pinkki » Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:12 pm

thank you for this positive post! It really gave me the motivation I needed! I would like to ask you, have you learnt finnish at all??
I am Greek , so I speak only greek and english but its my dream to move to finland, however it's the language barrier.
I have no one there and i am not planning to marry a finn :P (at least for now) so idk if its even achievable to start from 0.
what would you advise?
thank you so much again for the post!

Maeke
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat May 11, 2019 8:16 pm

Re: 2 years in Finland and happy

Post by Maeke » Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:20 am

Hei Pinkki

I have been in Finland since end of June 2019. I didn't speak a word of finnish while arriving and although it does sound impossible to learn at first (a bit like Greek lol), you would be surprised by how much progress you can make everyday if you really put your mind on the task.
So, all I can tell you is that nothing is impossible, and the Finnish language is actually not so bad when you practice it a lot. The more you embrace it, the easier it will be.
Good luck!

atex
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:07 pm

Re: 2 years in Finland and happy

Post by atex » Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:42 pm

good evening, are you familliar with the sport industry in finlad? i do have a black belt in taekwondo and quite experience in martial arts, also i'm passionated in football, i do play footbal (which is my reason to come to finland) and have a certification to be a coach, <3. anyway i have one question to ask, does the sport industry is difficult there?

vla
Posts: 241
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:23 am

Re: 2 years in Finland and happy

Post by vla » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:36 am

atex wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:42 pm
good evening, are you familliar with the sport industry in finlad? i do have a black belt in taekwondo and quite experience in martial arts, also i'm passionated in football, i do play footbal (which is my reason to come to finland) and have a certification to be a coach, <3. anyway i have one question to ask, does the sport industry is difficult there?
You have already posted this question in a new thread (which makes a lot of sense).


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