Back to Finland – the story of a foreign researcher

Italian researcher Adriano Mazziotta is living in Finland already for the second time. He tells how it was to move to Finland again, and how working as a researcher here differs from other countries.

Returning to Finland

Adriano lived in Finland first time while completing his Ph.D. in 2011-2015 in Jyväskylä. After that, he has lived in Denmark and Sweden, until he received a job offer from the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke). “The most important reason to move back to Finland was the interesting job, but my positive experiences of living in Finland influenced the decision as well.” According to him, the best aspects of Finland are security and the general culture of trust. He has not faced major problems in Finland – the cold and darkness are challenging, but they have not been big problems either.

Although Adriano already knew from his previous experiences what it is like to live in Finland, there have been some differences compared to the previous time. Helsinki is a bigger city than Jyväskylä, which can be seen in many things. For example, there are more English speakers in Helsinki, and the city is more international.

Living in Finland is different than before also due to the coronavirus pandemic. Adriano moved to Helsinki during the pandemic from Sweden, where the coronavirus situation and related restrictions were very different from those in Finland. He says it feels safer to live in Finland due to the better coronavirus situation.

Working as a researcher in Finland

Adriano is studying the impact of forest management on nature and biodiversity at the Natural Resources Institute Finland. Based on his experience, working in Finland differs a little from working in other countries. In Finland, researchers are given more freedom to study things that interest them, and they are allowed to be creative and develop their own projects. According to him, the Finnish culture emphasizes co-operation and the exchange of ideas between different researchers and units. “In Finland, researchers work more in collaboration with each other, while elsewhere they compete more against each other.”

Relocation services an important help in moving to Finland

Relocation services influenced Adriano’s decision to move to Finland, as he knew how difficult it is to move to a new country without help. “Moving to Sweden in particular was really difficult because I didn’t get relocation help. So the opportunity to have FRS helping me was one of the reasons I decided to take this job.”

According to Adriano, relocation services were very useful and speeded up the process. “It would have been really hard to find an apartment alone and take care of all the administrative issues so quickly.” For him, the most important service was the help with finding a suitable apartment. “Getting an apartment in a foreign country is not easy, but thanks to the relocation consultant, I got an apartment in Helsinki that meets my wishes. She also helped with everything else, like finding a moving service for my furniture. She also gave me tips on what to do in Helsinki, and told me, for example, about interesting nature areas near Helsinki. She was very friendly and helpful and I could ask her about anything.”

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Read more:

From Sweden to Finland during a pandemic

Relocation services helped in a difficult situation

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