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Story of Helena: From Brazil to Finland

Fascinating things you discover in Finland

“How efficiently the system works!”

Brazil people

Most memorable experiences in Finland

  • Meeting The President of Brazil and asking her some questions for my bachelor thesis;
  • Being the 2nd best at the entrance exam to Laurea University;
  • Being 2nd best at Logy´s national Logistics competition;
  • Logy Anniversary Conference where I was offered several job opportunities after discussing the future of Logistics with Amadou Diallou, the CEO of DHL on stage;
  • Being offered mentorship by the former president of Coca-Cola and Advisor of the UN/WTO Supply Chain program;
  • Wining the only scholarship offered by Metropolia to study in Hong Kong;
  • Dining with the Chief Ministry of Finance of Finland and his wife at their house;
  • Being a guest of Sami Hedberg and his former wife to his movie premiere;
  • Watching Barack Obama at Nordic Business Forum;
  • Getting free VIP tickets to watch Robert Kiyosaki (one of my favorite writers) at the Wealth Conference;
  • Interviewing Mörkö after Finland became the Ice Hockey world champion;
  • Singing “tina kengat tytöt” on karaoke at my company´s pikkujoulu;
  • Ice fishing in Kuopio;
  • Finally, spending the best weekend of my life in Finland in Levi with a bunch of famous people who I have no idea who they were.

What are your preparations before going abroad?

  • Save a lot of money!
  • Read all the procedures (about education, residence permit, relocation, housing, medical care);
  • Join Facebook groups to create a safety net.

How was your work life in Finland, and how did you manage and adjust?

“A roller coast. In the first year, I was focused on learning the job. In the second year, I was focused on excelling. In the third year, I began focusing on my relations and understanding the people, which was without a doubt the most difficult part. In the beginning, I felt excluded because of the language, but later I learned to appreciate it because I began learning the language just by sitting at work every day and hearing it on the background. Without realizing it I was learning Finnish. Not that I can speak it, but I understand it now.”

“Trying to make friends was the hardest part, it took me a few years to understand how Finns work and took them a while to get used to me, Brazilians are a little EXTRA. But I ended up staying another year and another year, and before I realized me and my workmates became friends and I feel happy to see their faces after a long holiday, Finland became home because of them.”

What would be your advice to international students planning to work and study in Finland?

“It is not cold, it is you who is under-dressed”, that saying is true! Investing in good quality winter gear makes your life so much better. I recommend buying it from here because unless your country has -30 degrees winters, you can´t be prepared. If you are not staying for several years like me, I would recommend visiting a second-hand shop in Finland, there are plenty of them, they have good quality clothing, its cheap and ecological. And don’t forget the winter spikes for your shoes, so you don´t fall when it’s slippery.”

How would you describe Finland to Brazil students and professionals planning to work in Finland soon, or has plans to study and work here in the future?

“Finland won´t be easy, it is cold, lonely, you don´t make friends easily, but it is where you will grow the most, you will learn about yourself, you will discover your strengths and if you are hard working, Finland will repay you with financial security, recognition, respect, equality, safety, and eventually, when you understand Finland you will make life-long friendships, you will begin to appreciate the four seasons of the year and you will fall in love with this country and your life here. Just be patient.

Brazilian student in front of wooden chapel

And the most important thing to make life in Finland enjoyable: seek the things that you love to do, there are plenty of free and cheap activities in Finland, summer hosts several festivals and traveling from here is super easy. Remember to celebrate the Finnish nature like a true Finn, get lost in Nuksio, rent a cottage, swim in a frozen lake, get naked in front of other people, burn aMakkarain the forest, and get drunk with your work colleagues. These will be your best memories here! Make the best out of your time in Finland..

More stories and adventure blogs that will inspire you: International students stories archive!

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