How Oulu sup­ports my career and sur­rounds me with natu­re


Hi! My name is Arja­ne, I’m from the Net­her­lands, and I moved to Fin­land in 2018. After living in Jyväs­ky­lä for a couple of years, I came to Oulu just over a year ago.

I cho­se Oulu because it has excel­lent resources for immi­grants: Busi­ness­A­se­ma, Oulu Skills Cent­re, Inter­na­tio­nal House Oulu, Vil­la Vic­tor, and more.

It also has good networ­king oppor­tu­ni­ties and is a very tech-orien­ted city. The lat­ter is especial­ly impor­tant to me since I switc­hed my career from bio­lo­gy to IT, and I found an interns­hip here that has real­ly hel­ped me make that switch. It’ll run until the end of this year and after that I hope to find a posi­tion in web deve­lop­ment, mar­ke­ting, or somet­hing simi­lar, as long as I can learn a lot eve­ry day. A place whe­re I can prac­tice my Fin­nish would be great since I’m not enti­re­ly fluent yet.

Knowing Fin­nish is essen­tial in most jobs, though in IT it’s usual­ly easier to find a place whe­re you don’t need to be fluent and can use English as a wor­king lan­gua­ge.

How Oulu fuels my career

Moving to Oulu has had a sig­ni­ficant and posi­ti­ve impact on my life. Thanks to my interns­hip at the ICTOu­lu team of Business­Oulu I have a con­si­de­rable network now, which real­ly helps me in my career. I also recei­ve much sup­port from my ICTOu­lu col­lea­gues and from the other places I men­tio­ned.

The way I found my interns­hip posi­tion was somew­hat of a coinci­dence. My network in Oulu con­sis­ted of two people, both from Busi­ness­A­se­ma, whom I met through a works­hop on wor­king life. I had added them on Lin­ke­dIn, and one of them tag­ged me in ICTOulu’s interns­hip vacancy. I deci­ded to apply since it would allow me to build a great Oulu-based IT network, and I mana­ged to get the posi­tion.

My network has more or less explo­ded since then, and ever since the begin­ning I feel very welco­med and valued. Even the hig­hest boss asks me now and then how I’m doing. Hie­rarc­hy is bare­ly pre­sent, and you’re on a first-name basis with eve­ry­one. It would be great if I could stay here or find anot­her posi­tion in Business­Oulu. Both Busi­ness­A­se­ma and BusinessOulu/ICTOulu have given me much to be tru­ly gra­te­ful for.


My favou­ri­te parts of Oulu

Oulu as a city is an amazing place to live, and I especial­ly enjoy that natu­re is eve­ryw­he­re. It’s also great to visit the city cent­re, which is not too big but has eve­ryt­hing you need. I also enjoy the his­to­rical buil­dings the­re, many of which are right at the sho­re in the cent­re which makes it a great spot to hang out at in sum­mer. Spea­king of which, somet­hing I find still qui­te surpri­sing here is the frozen sea, as that’s somet­hing I’d never seen befo­re.

Being from the Net­her­lands, I’m qui­te fami­liar with the coast, but it’s not qui­te cold enough the­re to freeze the sea. I like going to the Nal­li­ka­ri beach both in sum­mer and win­ter, but my favou­ri­te beach is clo­se to the light­house on Hai­luo­to Island. Clo­ser to home, my favou­ri­te spot is the forest around the cor­ner, since it’s so qui­et and inti­ma­te. It’s the best place to relax, think and just be.

“Learn how to dress warm­ly and fall in love with the snow, the silence, and natu­re.”

I also like the litt­le forest tracks that run eve­ryw­he­re, and I love wal­king on them and explo­ring the forest like that. It’s so nice to be able to enjoy natu­re right at my doors­tep and explo­re the bits of forest that are spread all throug­hout the city. Though of all the things Oulu’s natu­re has to offer, my favou­ri­te thing of all is when the trees are frozen whi­te, and the mor­ning- or eve­ning sun sets them alight in a bright blue sky.

How to move to Oulu

If you con­si­der moving to Oulu, it’s good to pre­pa­re a litt­le. Learn how to dress warm­ly (hint: dress in many layers!) and fall in love with the snow, the silence, and natu­re.

Find out about places whe­re you can deve­lop your social life, for example through a hob­by or joi­ning a sports club, network as much as you can even if it’s hard, and abo­ve all enjoy the heck out of it!