A Singaporean Mrs Sarosa Raju, made an interesting video about the history and architecture of Merikasarmi. Merikasarmi is the Naval Barracks in Katajanokka, the compound the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland is using in Helsinki.
The video is made in co-operation with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and Keski-Uudenmaan Koulutuskuntayhtymä Keuda, where Sarosa is studying media. The video is part of her studies.
Have a look on this excellent, informative video and learn more about this historical Merikasarmi:
We wanted to know more about Sarosa and her relationship with Finland, so we had a chat with her.
I have been visiting Finland for a long time, and during one visit in Helsinki I met a Finnish man, whom I married and moved to Finland in early 2014.
I instantly liked Finland not being too crowded, and I also like the very bright summer nights and white snow in late winter. I didn't like - and still don't like - the darkness in November and December with only a few hours of daylight.
Very well and I cope well with the weather. I have Finnish friends here and I am happy to be able to study in Finland.
Both are very developed and things run fairly smoothly in both countries. Main differences are of course the weather and crowdness. And Finns do not small talk much. In real discussions they talk, listen and change views a lot but they don't talk just to try to be social. I know there is even an old saying "Silence is gold".
I am studying media and I wanted to do my video project in English with my foreign background fellow students. I have looked at the compound from the outside many times and the history is interesting. Also my school said that it would be a rare opportunity to see and present in public a governmental compound. I got the permission to do the video with my team members Demian Stimson from England and Paul Bowo, a Finnish citizen but originally from Central Africa. I am very proud and honoured that I as a Singaporean and the whole foreign background team got the opportunity to do this with the ministry.
My situation is a bit different than for example for young students applying to study in Finland. I am already a resident and my studies are done within the Finnish adult education system where the municipalities and government provide and give support to the studies to improve my skills in Finnish labour market.
But if you come from outside European Union for example to Master's studies, the universities charge tuition fees to cover part of their costs.
But when you do come and study, remember at least three things.
1. As in my studies the schools have emphasized, remember that there are no such thing as non-cost studies. Whether you get studies for free or pay for it, the Finnish tax payers too are paying for it. So honour it, do your work well and be successful in your studies.
2. Don't take Finns as non-polite or rude even they might not be very talkative. They will make good friends with you when you get to know them better.
3. Remember not to live for studying but to study for living. Enjoy your time in Finland, explore and enjoy all the totally different seasons in Finland.
And one practical hint for those coming from Singapore or other tropical countries. If you need more aircon, just open the windows :D
Thank you so much Sarosa. We wish you all the best in the future!