Embracing the Magic of Oulu: A Jour­ney of Inte­gra­tion and Explo­ra­tion

Sri Lankan woman in Oulu

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.

Sri Lankan woman in Oulu

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.

Sri Lankan woman in Oulu

Immi­grant Sup­port

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!)

Sri Lankan woman in Oulu