Oulu and global mobility

Global talent and relocation services are needed in Oulu as well. In this interview, our relocation consultant Jenni tells about the city from the perspective of international experts.

Jenni Kullas works as FRS’s relocation consultant in Oulu. She helps foreign employees moving to Oulu, for example, with local registrations and other official matters, and finding apartments, schools and kindergartens.

Jenni became interested in the work of a relocation consultant, especially because of its internationality. She has worked as an au pair in California, studied in Canada and been on an internship in New York. She has also gained international experience while studying for her international M.Sc. degree in Finland.

“As a relocation consultant, I get to use my language skills and international experience. I also like helping people, and that’s what this job is all about. I know how it’s like to move abroad, so I understand the challenges involved.”

The Arctic Silicon Valley

Oulu is Finland’s fifth-largest city and it’s growing fast. Oulu, also called as “The Arctic Silicon Valley”, is especially known as a city of technology. Significant industries include for example gaming and health technology.

In addition to large IT companies, the city has several startups. A good example of the city’s innovative atmosphere is the Polar Bear Pitching event, where startup entrepreneurs present their business ideas while standing in a hole in the ice.

Many foreign employers that move to Oulu are technology experts, such as software engineers and product owners. Most employees move from Europe and Asia, and some from the United States. In addition to employees, the city also attracts researchers from various fields.

International talents in Oulu

According to Jenni, the foreign employees like Oulu a lot. In particular, they like the size of the city. “Many employees have moved to Oulu from big cities, where commuting takes hours. Here the distances are so short that you can get to work quickly, wherever in the city you live in.” Many foreigners also appreciate the good cycling opportunities in Oulu, known as the Finnish cycling city.

The biggest challenge for newcomers is the Finnish language. According to Jenni, many documents, such as forms related to housing, are written only in Finnish. The help of a relocation consultant has been very useful for this reason as well.

The wind caused by the sea and the cold and dark winters can scare people moving to Oulu. On the other hand, the city’s northern location also attracts foreigners. Many people like the four seasons and a snowy winters, and walking on the frozen sea is an exotic experience for many foreigners.

Oulu and attracting global talent

According to Jenni, Oulu has several advantages in terms of attracting international experts. “Oulu is a compact but dynamic city. Compared to larger cities, living here is cheap and moving from one place to another is easy. However, there are plenty of activities, cultural attractions and hobbies.”

The proximity to nature is attractive in Oulu. “When I lived in New York, I missed the peacefulness and space, because there are people everywhere. In Oulu, it’s easy to find peaceful jogging trails where you don’t meet anyone. It’s also really safe here compared to many bigger cities,” Jenni says. These things have become even more important nowadays due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Jenni, Oulu is a good option for families, as there are international schools and kindergartens. It is also convenient that the city has a big university with many options for studying different fields.

Jenni thinks Oulu needs more internationality, and she encourages the local companies to hire from abroad. The first international recruitment may seem challenging, but with the help of an expert, it goes smoothly. Oulu has a lot of potential for attracting international experts, and it should just be advertised more.

Need help relocating your foreign employee to Oulu? Feel free to contact us!

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