As I set out to write this piece – just a few hours before deadline – as any respectable and most likely overworked journalist does, I stop to read a piece in The Guardian, on how Finland had managed to reduce homelessness, by making housing unconditional, as a necessary condition to start fixing all the other broken things in your life. Since the launch of the Housing First programme, in 2008, ...  (continue reading)

Post from the last millenium

It was long long time ago, almost a century, or a millenium, now that we are in 2019…

At that time, there was no wifi, no Brexit, no war in Ukraine, telephones had no cameras, and Nokia was still big.
My name is Pierre-Olivier François. I am a French German documentary filmmaker and journalist. French-german meaning: I was born some 48 years ago in Nancy, France, moved as a child to Göttingen, ...  (continue reading)

It was not that long ago. But it sure feels like it

The year was 2013.

It was not that long ago. The word millennial was already a thing and we spent a lot of our time in Finland checking for the wi-fi password to post something on Facebook.

It was not that long ago. Someone in our group had a Furla bag and we shopped at H&M on Aleksanterinkatu.

It was not that long ago. We talked about startups, we went to Flow Festival and brought home ...  (continue reading)

There’s one thing which didn’t change – and I wonder why

When I participated in the FCP 2015, I basically knew nothing about Finland, the history, the culture and the Finnish way of life. When I left three weeks later, I have not only gained knowledge in all of this areas which led to coverage on social media and articles but also made life-long friends – in Finland and the whole world.

Back then, we discussed current ...  (continue reading)

Seagulls, taste of Salmiakki and memories…

Helsinki port. Seagulls are cawing around flower stalls giving residents an early morning wake-up. The sea smell is spreading in the air. Back at the corner, a building block made of red bricks is warming in the summer sunshine.

Once it served as a warehouse for salt but nowadays it is the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. A classic design interior ...  (continue reading)

A special af-fin-ity…

It was the summer Beyonce was Crazy in Love and Captain Jack Sparrow swashbuckled onto our screens. Can you guess the year?*

I was 25 and fresh out of journalism school when I travelled to Finland to take part in the FCP programme, eager to explore a country I had yet to visit but with which I somehow felt a bond.

Scotland and Finland share a population size of around 5.5 million, long winters, and ...  (continue reading)

From Belgium with love…

My name is Benjamin, Benjamin Carlier. My talent is not to save Great Britain against the evil but to help belgian viewers and listeners to understand the world they live in. I don’t have the pretension to know everything about everything, and after 15 years of practicing journalism I still learn new things daily. I have the chance to meet a lot of different people every week. It can be a student, ...  (continue reading)

Why on Earth are they so happy?

I remember the day almost as if it was today. I was standing in the hallway at the university where I studied journalism and I saw the FCP 2003 leaflet on the notice board. I knew immediately that I wanted to apply. Back then, Finland was quite an unknown territory for me – I knew Moomin stories and Nokia mobile phones but not much else. Instead, I found a very ...  (continue reading)

Here they are: FCP Alumni Edition 2019 Participants!

June and the beginning of thisisFINLAND Foreign Correspondents’ Programme Alumni Edition 2019 is approaching fast. Let us now introduce our magnificent participants, who come from 10 countries all over the Europe. They can’t wait to visit Finland again and learn what has changed and which things have stayed like they were, all those years ago.

Once more, a warm thank you to everyone who applied ...  (continue reading)

FCP Alumni Edition 2019 participants have been selected!

The long-awaited 2019 Alumni Edition of Foreign Correspondents’ Programme is getting closer. Approximately two months from now, the ten selected alumni will start their one-week journey in Finland on June 10th full of exciting experiences with new people and places. Even though the participants have visited Finland before, as part of the FCP, there is a strong probability that Finland ...  (continue reading)