Finland’s solution to an aging population

My interesting fourth day with FCP really helped me to understand some important aspects of Finnish society. But not only this: I also had a great opportunity to taste Finnish food and to see how a true Finnish cook prepared it. It was a great experience to participate in the Finnish food workshop by Flavour Studio in Teurastamo: raw fish, reindeer meat and berry cakes give you a taste of Finnish ...  (continue reading)

Four things you should know about the Finnish way of life (that are not necessarily true)

It is general knowledge that Finns are quiet, nature loving people who are passionate about the sauna and foraging. Or are they really? My yet another trip to Finland this last week confirmed what I had already known before — there is much more to the stereotypes we usually have about five million Finns and their way of life. Here are four things you should know about the Finnish way of life that ...  (continue reading)

Return to Rovaniemi

One of the things I was most excited about in the FCP alumni program was a return to Rovaniemi and a reintroduction to the Arctic Circle. I have long been fascinated with Arctic issues. Since my last trip to Finland in 2013 the Arctic has resurfaced as a big topic in geopolitics – and, according to Timo Koivurova, Director of the University of Lapland’s Arctic Centre, not always with the nuance ...  (continue reading)

Different faces of Lapland

There are always different versions of the story for every place we have been to. And for Lapland, each visitor has his or her own interpretations.

My first impression of the place is familiarity with the unfamiliar stuff.

Lapland is not a new place to me. There are always, however, something new to explore every time I am here. It is about fun and insights as well.

I was here for the first time in ...  (continue reading)

Experiences of conducting interviews in Helsinki

What a day was yesterday! During the FCP every day something new and unexpected happens. The programme is so dense that it feels as if we arrived here many days ago already, but in fact Wednesday was only the third day of our stay here.

In addition to the common meetings, we also started to work on our individual assignments. I remember in 1998 one of the several striking moments was to interview ...  (continue reading)

Reinventing the news with Finland’s public broadcaster Yle

“Welcome to Yle, I am Miss World!” That is how we were greeted at Yleisradio Oy, Finland’s national public-broadcasting company. Miss World is called Elina Ravantti in real life. The nickname derives from her position as Head of World News and Current Affairs at Yle, where she oversees the production of 220 radio and TV news bulletins per day. Her editors work in Finnish, Swedish, Sami, English, ...  (continue reading)

Education and equity: twin pillars of Finnish culture

Platitudes about education are not hard to find. Education is “the key to success in life”. It is lauded as “our greatest natural resource” and proclaimed to be “the single most important job of the human race”.

But all this implies that education is a uniform, unchanging force for good. Far from it: education is shape-shifting and can serve myriad purposes, whether indoctrination or ...  (continue reading)

A brief resumé of Finland

For the newcomer to Finland, this day 1 of FCP 2016 could have been a perfect introduction to the art of Finnishness. For the 12 of us – some of us being here for the first time in 20, 18 or 7 years – we could finally catch up with the country and jump straight into it.

A short briefing with Kai Mykkänen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, updated us on current affairs with ...  (continue reading)

Coming home to Finnish nature

One day in Finland and I already feel like I’ve come home to an old friend, even if we are both a little older and wiser. Catching a tram through Helsinki with a gaggle of international journalists, all chatting in a score of languages about current affairs, was as stimulating as the first time I tried it, back on the Foreign Correspondent’s Programme in 2010. It was also a little bittersweet ...  (continue reading)

Henry Hepburn starts the series of blog posts by FCP Alumni participants!

My first visit to Finland in 2001 is one of the highlights of my career in journalism – but there’s a lingering guilt about it.

I arrived in Helsinki that summer straight out of a postgraduate journalism degree, and still unsure of where my first job would take me. The Foreign Correspondents Programme provided me with many eye-opening issues and vivid characters to write about, but I was still ...  (continue reading)