About me

How on Earth Did You End up in Finland?

Whenever I meet someone I prepare myself for this question. Every. Single. Time. That’s okay, they want to know and I guess my story is kind of unique.

There are some of the usual elements thrown in (love, work, studies) that brought me here, but let’s go back to the beginning.

When I started my bachelor’s degree I was required to take a foreign language. Because my orientation date was so late in the summer, the only classes available were Swedish and Russian. In retrospect, it would be great to know Swedish but I may not have ended up where I am today. Also, so many people speak Russian I thought it might come in handy.

St. Petersburg Zenit March at the Palace Square in St. Petersburg, 2012.

So, I started studying Russian. Then I did an exchange in St. Petersburg, which I LOVED. After I graduated I moved back to Russia (I had a boyfriend there at the time) and lived there for three years. After unsuccessfully trying to find a job in my field, a friend of mine who worked at the Finnish Consulate suggested I move to Finland to get my master’s degree.

I hadn’t planned on post-graduate studies, but hey, it’s FREE (at least at the time) in Finland and they even PAID ME a monthly living stipend. I couldn’t say no.

In August of 2013 I moved to Lappeenranta to study International Marketing Management at LUT. I loved those two years, and I couldn’t have asked for a better student life experience than what I got in this small town in Eastern Finland (more on this later!).

In the glass corridor at Lappeenranta University of Technology, 2014.
Finnish student life at Lake Saimaa, 2014.

Fast forward to 2015 and I got my first job in Helsinki. Now, I’m on my fourth. It’s been a series of unexpected, sometimes difficult but in the end, invaluable, events. I hope this sets up a nice background for everything I write in the future.

And so, the journey continues!

–Penny

 

2 thoughts on “How on Earth Did You End up in Finland?”

  1. I have had a long held dream to travel to Finland to see my “first love”, a sweet Finnish boy I met many years ago when he was traveling in Australia. Fast forward 28 years and I made the trip from Australia to Finland this month. I spent one perfect week in the beautiful city of Helsinki and rekindled a wonderful friendship. The city surprised me with its cool laid back attitude and super friendly locals. The food was amazing. I will definitely be back, perhaps in winter… keep writing as I love to hear about westerners who have adopted Finland as their home.

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