Here are some memories of 4 other members of the FCP 2003 team.
They answered for the questions
1. What did FCP give to you?
2. What is your best memory from the programme
Adrianna Borowicz (Poland)
1. What gave me the participation in FCP in Helsinki? Personally: It opened my eyes. For a country named Finland. Since then Finland has special place in my heart. I met there fantastic people from all over the world. With most of them we still keep the contact (and that is incredible)! Professionally: When I was in Finland I was just student and volunteer in the radio. Now I am journalist focused on regional issues but anyway – if I ever get chance to be a foreign correspondent I would know what to do and who should I ask.
2. Best memory: eating reindeer soup in the middle of the forest in Lapland!
Veronika Mala (Czech Republic)
1. The FCP programme gave me background knowledge about Finland of such extent that I was able to return to Helsinki as a full-time journalist few years later. When the Czech Radio, the broadcasting company I work for, decided to make a serie about each EU country I was asked to be in charge of Finland because my colleagues considered me to know the most about the country. This probably would not happen without the FCP.
2. My best memory is the FCP group itself – everyone being from a different country, coming from different background but on the other hand we made a good team that perfectly fit together. That why wevare in touch even after 10 years :-). As for the programme, I liked most the trip to Aland Islands – this is probably a place I would not have a chance to visit otherwise and it impressed me a lot.
Massiel Ladrón De Guevara (United States)
1. The Program exposed us to the role of foreign correspondents and how they are quite literally a bridge between a specific country and the rest of the world. Our Finnish hosts did an excellent job in educating us on not only Finnish culture and society but also on the European Union and how Finland fits within the Union. The program was a strong foundation for my work as a reporter covering immigration issues in the United States. During my stay in Finland we learned that the country’s official languages are Swedish and Finnish. We also learned that children are taught in both languages. At the time California was debating the benefit of a program called Dual Immersion. The program allows children to be taught in English and a second language of their choice. There were strong arguments for it and against it. I was able to write a series of articles on bilingual education in the United States, using Finland as an example of a place where it is done well.
2. The best memory from the program is the time I spent with the group. We formed a bond that is still strong today.
Sameer Singh (Canada)
1. The Foreign Correspondence Programme gave me a great understanding and appreciation of Finland’s culture and economy, particularly how such a small and relatively remote country has made a big name for itself in a number of fields such as mining, technology, education, linguistic harmony (with Swedish) as well as achieving a very high standard of living for its inhabitants despite being a country with a cold climate and harsh geography (much like Canada!).
2. My best memory of the program is taking a number of ferries and boats across the country’s lakes and the Baltic Sea–I’ve never been in so many boats or had so much herring before!