Where are you from and what brought you to Finland?

Originally from Luxembourg, I studied tourism management in Germany and came to Finland in 2010 for an exchange year at Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences.

I ended up liking it here so much, that I stayed in Helsinki for good.

Why do you like Finland? Why did you stay?

I strongly identify with the Finnish lifestyle and mentality. I feel at home in this relaxed, down-to-earth and honest environment, that respects your boundaries and personal space but is incredibly kind and supportive when it needs to be.

Not many people list the climate here, but I am really not very good with heat, so a place in the Nordics was meant for me. The true seasons make me really happy, I love to feel the cold frosty air on my face, but I also enjoy a dip in a warm lake in the summer time. But my all-time favourite season in the autumn!

Is there anything you don’t like?

Well, as we spoke about seasons, I left out the spring. From back home, I remember the springtime (it’s also my birthday then) being bright green, lots of light and flowers and a general airiness all around that I miss here. Spring here means that there is more light after the winter, but it is grey, muddy, brown and bleak. Not my fave.

Do you speak Finnish?

The dreaded question, eh! Well, my Finnish isn’t what it should be after all these years – and I admit that. Especially my listening and comprehension skills are not the best, and following conversations is difficult and tiring. I understand things fine, also written Finnish is going well (depending on context) but there’s room for improvement for sure.

Will you stay forever?

I love my chosen home. As long as I am happy and I can make my life here work, I will stay. I have my own business, and we own our apartment, I have a bunch of amazing friends – there’s no better place for me.

What is your favourite place in Helsinki?

This question is so hard! I have a special place in my heart for Töölönlahti and the cafés around there. The walk around the Southern bit of Helsinki, along Ullanlinna and Eira is just stunning every time as well. But I also never get sick of the classic view of the White Cathedral from Sofiankatu!

Your favourite Restaurant?

Oh, hard question. Here are favourites that come to mind

  • Restaurants: Pamela / Paisano / Petiscaria
  • Café/Bakery: Greenbake / Way / Signora Delizia

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