Finland – A country that seeks to create

Having an interest in a country and following a country’s progress from a remote location is one thing, but getting the chance to explore it from the ground is an experience that opens one to possibilities that one would have never imagined.

My first few days in Finland have essentially been of this nature. That Finland topped the list of the world’s happiest country is something that most of ...  (continue reading)

First impressions of a Finnish summer

The beautiful sunrise seen from the plane, a sort of small town atmosphere at the airport, the tall trees on the way to Töölö Towers, the nice view from the hotel corridor… And silence.

The silence was probably the most distinctive feature that caught my attention in Helsinki during my first 36 hours in the city. At first, it didn’t seem that extraordinary for it to be so quiet. I had ...  (continue reading)

Licorice and lessons from Finland

Finland seems a lot like the salty black licorice it’s known for. A sweet candy at an initial glance. More complex and extreme once you look closely.

On one hand, Finland is known for its robust social welfare programs. On the other, it has a history of struggling to combat long-term homelessness. There’s the world’s top education system by certain measures, but also a history of ...  (continue reading)

Finland: My First Trip to Europe!

For the past 5 years, I’ve visited around a dozen countries as a foreign news reporter for a TV station in Thailand. Most of them are in Asia and close to my home country such as China, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Cambodia; the others are USA and Russia. So Finland, where I will be traveling to in the next few days, will be the destination of my first trip to Europe.

I used to apply for some ...  (continue reading)

My expectations, confirmation and affirmation – Going the Finnish way

I will never forget the day I got an email that said I was one of the five people who were shortlisted for this program. I honestly felt like I was one step away from packing to my first oversea trip at 27. However, the day I got the email with these words: “I’m happy to let you know that we chose you to participate in the Foreign Correspondents’ Program (FCP) in ...  (continue reading)

Curiosity brought me to Finland

Curiosity is at the heart of journalistic endeavour — it is the desire to know why things work a certain way and how that might impact people’s lives and the decisions they make, and Finland has intrigued me particularly ever since my grad school days at Columbia University in New York. In our business and economics reporting classes, we’d compare and contrast major Western economies ...  (continue reading)

Counting the days

Hi you all! I am Nicolás Monteverde. But most of the people only call me Nico. I will tell you a bit of myself, and why I’m so very interested in Finnish culture and admire Finland in many ways.

Since I have memories, I have been amazed by nature. Some of my first memories are related to watching close spiders building webs in the garden of my grandmother or picking the feathers that fall ...  (continue reading)

A Most Finnish Summer: The Genesis

My love for Finland started with my uncle telling me soothing stories about the Nordic countries. He even taught me an acronym for them: FINDS. Deep down I wondered if I’d ever get to visit at least one of them.

The odds weren’t promising. Travel isn’t exactly cheap from Nigeria. So I followed thisisFINLAND and Guide to Iceland accounts on Instagram and allowed myself to enjoy ...  (continue reading)

Why Finland? Because journalism matters 

“My country has failed me, at this point I do not feel proud to be Mexican. My daughter is dead, I feel like I am dead and justice…well, we do not have the money to pay for it, unfortunately”.  I remember listening to this quote in a press conference. It was June 20, 2018. This phrase (with different words, similar meanings) repeated itself during ...  (continue reading)

Why Finland? Because I still can.

Marhaba! Which means Hello, in Arabic and specifically Lebanese Arabic. I’m from Lebanon, I’m 27 years old, and the most common questions and comment I get when traveling abroad is: You seem happy, you’re not what we expected, don’t you have war going on over there? Phrases that made me realize that I have chosen the right career and path.

I’d like to think that I did not choose Finland, ...  (continue reading)