Internationals’ stories

Stories of how Highly Skilled Internationals Experience Working and Living in Finland

Discover the power of stories in shaping our lives! Stories provide meaning, convey emotions, and help us navigate our reality. They are not just narratives; they are the building blocks of identities and even entire nations.

In our quest to understand how highly skilled internationals experience working and living in Finland, we conducted interviews with 61 individuals and turned these into stories.

These are not stories of single individuals: each story combines the experiences, feelings, and thoughts of many, if not most, of the interviewees. As you read these stories, immerse yourself in the collective voice of these highly skilled internationals and gain a deeper understanding of their reality!

Before sharing these captivating stories, we sought feedback from the interviewees themselves and used it to further develop the stories.

Interested in how our researchers made the stories? Read more about the research process here.

Now, we invite you to join the conversation. Do these stories resonate with your own experiences or those of people you know? Have they surprised you in any way? Leave a comment below or engage with us on LinkedIn and Twitter, and together, let’s explore the transformative power of these narratives.

Five Stories of Working and Living in Finland

The stories delve into the nuances of the internationals’ experiences of working and living in Finland, capturing both the positive and negative aspects of their journeys. From the appreciation of Finland’s exceptional education system, safety, and work-life balance, to the challenges faced in finding suitable employment, navigating the recruitment culture, and grappling with language requirements, these stories offer a profound glimpse into their lives.

The stories are illustrated by Iida Sillanpää.

Story 1. I Came to Finland and Fell in Love!

This is a story of coming to Finland as a student and staying here. It portrays a predominantly positive experience of adapting to the society, feeling a strong sense of belonging, and successfully finding employment, despite encountering minor challenges. Read the full story here.

Story 2. High Expectations, Harsh Reality

This is a story about having high expectations of Finland, only to find that those expectations have not been met. It centers on the negative experiences of feeling unwelcome, unaccepted, and facing significant challenges in the working life. Read the full story here.

Story 3. As an Entrepreneur, I Can Make an Impact

This is a story of struggling to find employment as a highly skilled international. It depicts a journey from a challenging period to finding a way to contribute to society and positively impact the lives of others. Read the full story here.

Story 4. Finland: Not for Everyone, but Opportunities Await

This is a story of the ups and downs that come with adapting to life in Finland. It recounts the positive and negative emotions that come with it, and different changes one might undergo in their life in a new country. Read the full story here.

Story 5. Why Is It so Hard to Belong to Finland?

This is a story of leaving Finland to build an international career and eventually returning to Finland. It focuses on the challenges of reintegrating into the Finnish society. Read the full story here.