Terve! My name is Pavani, and I am delighted to share my incredible journey arriving in the enchanting city of Oulu, Finland, in August 2022. Hailing from the beautiful island of Sri Lanka,
I embarked on this adventure with my husband, and we found a warm and vibrant community that has made Oulu feel like home.
Having a background in Human Resources Management and three years of experience as a management assistant in Sri Lanka, I felt well-prepared to contribute effectively to the Finnish workplace. However, I recognized that the language is the key to integration, therefore, I embraced the opportunity to learn Finnish as a full-time course which is offered by the TE-office.
What I’m doing now?
Learning the Finnish language has been an essential part of my journey, as it has allowed me to connect with the locals and be a part of society. But the Finnish language is not easy to learn, especially the grammar. But they do not consider grammar errors in spoken Finnish, and, there are many dialects around Finland.
I had the opportunity to have two internships related to our future jobs during the integration. That is an excellent opportunity to understand the work culture here. Moreover, as a Finnish language student, I have enjoyed many benefits, including discounts for gyms, swimming pools, and some restaurants.
As a social person, I have found joy in meeting and chatting with Finns about their culture and traditions. One of my favourite places is “Valotalo,” located only in Oulu. You can also visit there, meet friends, relax, and take free mentorship. I often visit there to volunteer and help people.
Especially in summer, cycling and walking during summer evenings are my favourite part of the day while enjoying the midnight sun.
How I Prepared for the Winter
As the winter approaches, the city transforms differently. It becomes totally dark even during the afternoon, which offers the breath-taking opportunity to see the beauty of the Northern Lights. Winter brings lots of exciting activities, like skiing and skating. Also, many events are organized by local organizations freely.
In winter, my favourite place is Lapland which welcomes visitors to Santa Claus Village, a truly enchanting experience.
What truly amazed me is Finland’s warm welcome to immigrants. Some numerous cultural events and programs aim to share information and foster a sense of belonging among immigrants.
The University of Oulu has some language classes and knitting clubs for immigrants that they can attend. This openness has made me feel appreciated and valued, further solidifying my love for this country.
My journey in Oulu has been nothing short of magical. I am grateful for the welcoming community, the opportunities to learn and grow, and the chance to experience the unique wonders of both summer and winter in this beautiful city.
Oulu has truly captured my heart, and I look forward to embracing more adventures, making new connections, and contributing to this thriving community. Kiitos, Oulu! (Thank you, Oulu!)