“I must apply to this programme. It is a must!”
This is the first thing that crossed my mind and heart when I heard about thisisFINLAND Foreign Correspondents’ Programme. And I am really happy that I got accepted. This programme provides a perfect opportunity to build a global network of colleagues whose hearts also beat for new adventures.
I’ve written some articles about Finland in the newspaper I work for, Dünya. I’ve described the developments in Finnish technologies, increases in entrepreneurship among Finnish women and business relations between Finland and Turkey. I have also interviewed some of the Finnish Ministers during their official visits to Turkey. However, this is clearly not enough in order to get familiar with a country.
I’ve been to France and Poland before with similar programmes which I enjoyed a lot. Participating in these programmes also widened my perspective and we learned many new things with my Turkish colleagues.
But FCP is quite different. Especially, I am really excited having the chance to spend a weekend with a Finnish family. There is no better way to learn about the lifestyle of a different culture.
When I think about Finland, things like Finnish sauna, education system, freedom of press, the Northern Lights and beautiful nature come to my mind. From Finnish culture I know the book ‘Finland : The Country of White Lilies’ written by Gregory Petrov, the composer Jean Sibelius and last but not least rock band ‘The Rasmus’.
By the way I think that the Finnish saunas and Turkish baths are a perfect combination together, which I believe everybody should try at least once in a lifetime.
As a reporter, I’m sure that many good stories to share will come up at the end of the programme. I am especially interested in the education system of Finland, which is one of the best in the whole world. My aim is to bring back to my country as much information about the school system as I possibly can. It will not be wrong to say that there are some excited educators waiting for me back home.
I also hope to get a chance to write articles about Finnish start-ups, bilateral relations and to interview the first Turkish politician in Finnish Parliament, Mr. Ozan Yanar. I believe too that the photos I will be publishing on our newspaper’s webpage will attract a lot of attention from our readers.
I am sure that there will be so much to learn from my colleagues and about Finland during this journey. At the end of these three weeks, I hope I’m going back to my country with a big smile on my face, based on lots of good memories which I will cherish for the rest of my life, 21 sweet friends all around the world and many successful and interesting stories to write about.
I am sure these weeks are going to be among the best ones of my life. I can feel it in my heart. So here I am, following my heart to Finland.
(Photos: Kadri Karahan)