Life has a way of guiding us on unexpected paths, leading to incredible transformations. Meet Bora Kim, a kind individual who had a unique journey from South Korea to Oulu, Finland.
Let’s explore Bora Kim’s inspiring story, from her background in textile design to the field of social services in the city of Oulu.
Embracing a New Chapter in Finland
Bora’s journey began in South Korea, where she pursued her profession in textile design. However, her path took a turn when she discovered her deep empathy to care for others. Bora transitioned her skills into the realm of human resources, working in an elderly hospital for six years in South Korea.
Her experience in this role allowed her to grow her interest into the field of social services. Since it was difficult to study in South Korea, she found an opportunity to study in Oulu, Finland and started studying social services at the University of Applied Sciences (OAMK). Bora also got married in Finland and happily lived in Oulu for seven years and counting!
Main language used in her studies and working life is Finnish, in which she mostly learned at home by listening to the radio, watching morning news and talking in Finnish with her husband.
Thriving in Oulu’s Vibrant Community
For the past seven years, Oulu has been Bora’s second home. The city’s welcoming atmosphere and strong community spirit have provided her with a nurturing environment to grow both personally and professionally.
According to Bora, her first impressions of Oulu is the calmness and peacefulness in the streets. The buildings appeared simpler than she imagined as well as the Finnish peoples’ fashion styles are more towards neutral colors than she is used to back in South Korea.
Through her experiences, Bora gained a deeper understanding of different perspectives towards the Finnish culture.
“I found it surprising Finnish people don’t wear shoes in the office and having breaks are flexible, for example, my colleague was knitting during her break. In South Korea it is stricter and more competitive.”
In addition, she mentioned trust is one of the key factors for a successful and healthy working environment.
“These days, the concept of remote work is increasing in South Korea, but employers still want employees to work inside the company. Employers may not yet prefer working remotely, where they cannot check the status of their employees. However, in Finland its more flexible and there is trust and the employee can share ideas and depend on themselves.”
Do you have any tips for someone who has been thinking about moving and working in Oulu?
Here are few tips Bora recommends for newcomers:
- It can be challenging to find information about Finland in other countries. However, utilizing online resources and official government websites, can provide valuable insights into life in Oulu, Finland.
- “Learning the Finnish language is highly recommended. While many Finns speak English, having a basic understanding of Finnish will greatly enhance your experience and open more opportunities.”
- Connect with people in Finland before making the move. Online communities, social media groups, and professional networks can help you establish connections, gather information, and get a glimpse of what life in Oulu is like.
- “I reached out to the Korean Embassy for more information about Finland” Bora stated. By reaching out an embassy or consulate in Finland can provide you with resources, information, and guidance specific to the needs and interests of individuals from that specific country moving to Finland.”
- “Remember, thorough research and preparation will greatly benefit your transition to Oulu. Best of luck with your future!” – Bora Kim
Text: Nada Abass