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Andruta Ilie's story about Finland on the Romanian webpage

DBonline is a Romanian webpage, where one of our wonderful Tampere Ambassadors, Andruta Ilie, is sharing her experiences of living in three different countries. The article covers Andruta's life in Romania, England and Finland. Here's a translation of the interview's section where Andruta talks about her time in Finland:

How did you end up in Finland and what exactly do you do there?

I first went to Finland in 2014. It was around winter holidays and I had almost 2 weeks off from work. That time I was working as a Researcher at a local company which sells marketing data. The job was mainly ok, but I started to feel like a robot who repeats the same tasks every day. And I'm a very creative person and I need to express that through my work.

The experience I had those 11 days in Finland and the fact that I fell in love with a Finnish man contributed to my decision of moving there. I spent a few more months in the UK to save the money I needed for the move, and at the end of May 2015, I bought a one-way ticket with destination Helsinki.

Many of my friends thought I was crazy; I couldn't speak the language, I didn't know if I would find a job and not even where I was going to live. The only one who didn't cease to believe in me was Andrew, the father figure in my life who encouraged me to give my dream a chance. And that's exactly what I did.

I presently collaborate with TAMK, Business Tampere and Dark Art Conspiracy as a Freelance Writer.

I started working at TAMK last year as a Trainee in Marketing and Communications, I got promoted as a Communicator, and I ended as a Freelancer because of the budget cuts in 2017. In parallel with my job at TAMK, I wrote interviews and live reviews for Pitch Nordic Music Magazine and went to a few music festivals and events thanks to them. My articles have been shared by artists like Michael Monroe, Reckless Love, Battle Beast, SEELE, Snovonne etc.

I never thought I would have the opportunity to go back to journalism again. The job I had at the university provided me with a huge platform to explore my creativity and learn new techniques of expression. I constantly wrote for their English publications, I practiced photography, I organized events for students with an international coordinator, and I directed a group of students in a video project for their Media and Arts degree programme.

I've been one of the Tampere Ambassadors since last year and altogether with other talented people, we're promoting the city which has become our home. (www.businesstampere.com)

How are Finnish people like? How is the society there like? What are the pluses and minuses?

Finns are people with good and bad, just like any other nationality on the face of Earth. After you've lived in three countries, you come to the conclusion there's not such thing as the perfect country. All that matters is that the inhabitants of that country to be united and do what it takes to create and maintain an harmony on all levels.

What I admire about Finnish people is their belief system, the respect toward one's personal space, the sense of community and mainly, the importance given to gender equality. Finland is one of the pioneer countries to promote gender equality where women are highly-respected and can achieve important roles in society as leaders and entrepreneurs. In addition, their social system functions well and Finnish education is famous worldwide for its methods and proven results. The focus is on the practical side of the studies, and students here have access to amazing facilities and opportunities.

It's not so easy to succeed in Finland; it takes a lot of sisu as the citizens of this Nordic country would say. Sisu is a Finnish cultural concept used to describe an extraordinary determination, courage and resoluteness in the face of extreme adversity. The minuses of Finland are its specific climate, high taxes, high cost of living and few jobs for immigrants. There are other Romanians living here as well, but the ones I've met so far are remarkable for the knowledge they possess and a greatly shaped character.

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You can also read the story about Andruta's journey to Finland on Finland My Home blog.