Stories Darryl

“The nature here is really incredible”

“Everything is very well organized and structured"

Darryl, Canada, Master’s Degree Programme, General History

Darryl from Canada decided to move to Finland because of his Finnish girlfriend, not knowing much about the country before. One and a half years later he is married, living in Turku in Southwest Finland and studying General History for a Master of Arts degree at the University of Turku.

Darryl says he definitely likes the city and the people, although there are better and worse days. “Mostly I love this place so much, but sometimes I still find it hard to live here. First of all, the nature here is really incredible. I love the Åland Islands, an archipelago with thousands of small islands along the coast. In the summer it’s beautiful to go biking from island to island, there. However, adapting to the Finnish winter with not much sun and little cultural life is still difficult.”

Coming from outside of the European Union, Darryl went through the registration process for foreigners in Finland. “For me, to get a student visa for Finland was no problem at all. Some difficulties came up, when I had to register in Turku. The Finnish authorities requested several certificates from Canada. But in the end, I received my residence permit. The people at the office were very kind and helpful and they spoke English very well.”

“I have the impression that everything is very well organized and structured in Finland – from the bus schedule to the study programme at my university.” Sometimes, Darryl says, he misses the chaotic circumstances he experienced in other countries. “Of course I like it when everything is working accurately like it is here in Finland. But sometimes the funniest things appear out of chaos.”

In general, he appreciates the organized Finnish way of approaching and completing tasks. “My university, for example, has an amazing welcome system. When foreigners arrive they get introduced very well to their new surrounding by their tutors. They are picked up from the central station or even from the airport. International students get support in nearly all of the things one needs to do in the beginning – finding a suitable apartment or even opening a bank account. All in all, I have experienced Finland as a very safe and reliable place. I feel very welcome here and I have never felt threatened or in danger.”

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