Being a journalist in Finland, the land that is known worldwide for its press freedom

After lectures and learning about Finland for two weeks, the days that everybody had been waiting for were finally here: ‘Finnish Media Working Day’.  Being a journalist in the one and only financial newspaper (Dünya) in Turkey, it was no surprise for me that my working day was at Kauppalehti, which is the leading financial newspaper in Finland.

Kauppalehti, established in 1898, is the biggest ...  (continue reading)

Working at Finland’s BBC

Finland is a tranquil country. Many in our diverse group of journalists are from cities buzzing with traffic and life. On Helsinki’s streets, rush hour is almost non-existent and on a relaxed Sunday afternoon it is so quiet that you could almost hear a pin drop at the other end of the city. On many occasions during our two weeks here, we have felt like our loud conversations and laughing were ...  (continue reading)

Åland: Small Islands and big examples

It was eight in the morning when the first cabs with thisisFINLAND Foreign Correspondents’ Programme participants arrived at the Turku Harbor. With a take-away cup of strong sugarless coffee in one hand a NY Times magazine in another, young journalists lined up in a queue and prepared to embark on the 1988 Viking Line Amorella ferry. “Next stop – Mariehamn,” the captain said.

Mariehamn is ...  (continue reading)

Summer cottage, sauna, good food and wonderful talks: the ultimate Finnish experience

Welcome to a Finnish summer cottage in Hyvinkää. Take off your shoes (as the Finns always do) and be ready to enjoy the summer sun, the smell of old wood, sauna, wonderful people, interesting conversations, starry nights and delicious food.

Being with a Finnish family for the weekend has been one of the best things of the Foreign Correspondents’ Programme so far. Jaakko Jokio, and Annukka and ...  (continue reading)

The holy Finnish public school you will not find in France

At the entry of the classroom, there is a string of small tidy shoes. That gives a feeling that we are in a holy place. For those barefooted 7-year-old children, this ritual turns the school into a very significant place – even if they probably haven’t realized it yet.

We are at Viikki School, and so: that was true. Everything you have heard about Finnish schools is here, in this place that could ...  (continue reading)

Kazakh and Finnish families: similarities and differences

I have never stayed with a foreign family alone. When I was a student, I visited my friends in Russia and Kyrgyzstan, but it was different from my last weekend.

Before the start of thisisFINLAND Foreign Correspondents’ Programme I read several articles about Finnish people, because I wanted to be prepared for my family weekend. I’m from Kazakhstan. You know, according to these articles, blog ...  (continue reading)

Old but pretty funky

No time can go to waste during our three-week programme, so it was no surprise that on the way to Turku we were given a presentation by representatives of VR, Finland’s major railway company. Sitting in the “extra concept” – an equivalent of first class – it was ...  (continue reading)

Finland’s economy faces a huge challenge

Of course Finland can’t keep up with the Silicon Valley but it has to make progress to stop the economy decreasing. Startups and changing production are thereby central.

On the first day of the programme, we heard that Finns are really good at underrating themselves and see better what has to be improved instead of being proud of their success. Well, that’s quite true: How often did I hear “We ...  (continue reading)

The greatness & challenges of Finnish art and culture

As a journalist, reporting about arts and culture, this was my day: a chance to learn more about many artistic disciplines in Finland, from design to music and the fine arts.

We started at Design Forum Finland, a non-profit organization that aims to promote design as a key to success for companies.

According to Petteri Kolinen, the newly appointed Managing Director of the Design Forum Finland, Finland ...  (continue reading)

Education is rigorous fun for Finns

Ever since the quiet and soft-spoken nation of Finland was placed in the spotlight because of its educational system thanks to its PISA results, the whole world has been wondering what makes Finland so good in education.

I got my first answer without even asking. “We are very good at reading! People here learn to read even before they go to school,” a young Finn told me. To me, it seems like ...  (continue reading)