Wednesday, March 13

Mitt Nya Land, story of my life

There was just an article released about me on YLE:s pages, I used Google translate to get it for the english readers.

If you can read Swedish or want to see the original article, please go to following link and click: HERE

I was born in Helsinki, but shortly after we moved to southern Sweden for five years. When we returned, I could not speak any Finnish. But since I was the only Swedish-speaking in my neighborhood, I learned quite quickly. I lived in Espoo with my parents until I was 21, when I bought an own apartment in Lauttasaari. I spent my time in Lauttasaari until 2007.

In 2007, I got the idea to go to the exchange student office through Polytechnic Arcada (my University). My plan was to go to Japan but since Arcada did not have partner schools in Japan I took the closest destination which turned out to be China, Shanghai. I still remember how it was to land in Shanghai early morning after 11 hours of traveling with jet lag and no sleep.

There was something about Shanghai that made me feel at home even though it was totally different from Finland. Very dynamic, lots of traffic, new food, incomprehensible language, international and so incredibly big! Never before had I seen so many tall buildings and a lot of people in one place.

Having been in China six months, I wanted more! I studied and worked in Finland nonstop for nine months and then took a one-way ticket to Beijing. In Beijing, I began to study Chinese at a university called Beijing Culture and Language University. After about eight months of studies, my Chinese was already quite fluently and I started working in Beijing at a Finnish company as the only foreigner in my team.

The work became boring and after about 1 year an old friend of my phoned me and asked if I was interested to come and work for them and move to Shanghai. It seemed like a great idea and I had already begun to miss Shanghai after it has been 2 ½ years since I studied there.

Time in Shanghai went quickly and I learned lots of new things about China, Shanghai was the city that never sleeps. After 1 ½ years in Shanghai, it was time to once again move back to Beijing and open our new office for the company that I worked with.

Now I have been in Beijing about six months and established our new office here. Time has passed very quickly and it has been very rewarding to work here! Many of my friends I had in Beijing during the study have gone home or moved to another location, but there are some left and it's always fun to meet old acquaintances.

Now I'm 28 + and have lived abroad for a total of 10 years, sometimes I think how life would be if I never would have choose to go on exchange to Shanghai. What would have happened if Arcada had a partner school in Tokyo?

My future plan is to stay in China a few years to see what the future brings.

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