Even though I am irreligious, I believe some great power led me to Finland at this significant point of my life. My life was full of what I can do, what I had to do, not what I wanted to do. Like others, there were some happy moments and sad moments. Every time I got stuck in a swamp, I tried to comfort myself by reminding myself, “C’est la vie.” In Korea, everything is crowded and tightly rushed, unlike spacious leisurely pace of Finland. But now I am here in Finland, doing what I want to do. I even feel as though I am getting spoiled.
Frankly, right before deciding to do my Masters degree in Europe, I was living the most dreadful moment of my life. I was in a French financial corporation for 5 years, which only led me to have miserable thoughts in the end. I had no motivation or glee doing my career. In the beginning of planning, I just wanted go abroad and take some time to look back at where I am. Strangely, the closer I looked, the more clear vision I had. I know it sounds crazy, but I could find meaning in the life steps I have taken. Even the worst moments of my life seemed to have meaning and made me grow to enable me to study Education in a European country.
My choice of country and major was done almost simultaneously. It was a interesting experience for me. As soon I felt life led me here, it was so easy to choose the major and countries. It had to be Education and those three countries (Norway, Finland, Germany) were famous for their education system and education industry. I wouldn’t say free tuition fee didn’t effect my choice, but it was not a critical prerequisite for me, as Korea’s higher education fee is also quite high.
When I started my education in Finland, it was a bit awkward to have this liberty and flexibility of learning. I guess it is not just because I came from South Korea. Spanish, French, Russian, German, Kenyan, Indian, and American, any of those who I met here told me they all feel like that. At first, I was lost not knowing what to do. Now I think this is my prime time to do what I most love and to study and to learn stuff I am truly interested in.
Finland was a way out when I was stuck with my life, a turning point for my career, a reason to keep me alive, a chance to dream again, a chance to reunite with my foreign friends who I met in Norway in 2006, an opportunity to practice academic writings and English, and an opportunity to study Education. Coming to Finland broadened my perspectives by allowing me to go traveling and to have friends of various nationalities. Until now, I have visited 32 foreign countries and around 90 cities. Even if my life doesn’t get any better compared to when I arrived in Finland, I will still treasure these moments of my life.
I love Finland for its high safety, silence, composure, humbleness, and family-oriented life. Finnish people seem to be generally happier for they live a slow life without rushing. For me, it sometimes strikes me as too laid back, having apathy to others, and not being emulous. But I guess that is the double-edged knife of every lifestyle. As I am an international migrant at the moment, I don’t fully know about Finland and also Finland will change over time with various types of immigrants and social remittance caused by them. Jean-Paul Sartre, French philosopher and novelist, once said “Life is C (Choice) between B (Birth) and D (Death). I believe my choice to come to Finland was one of the good ones. I am just one individual but I hope I had an effect on Finland in a positive way and I hope I can bring back the strong points of Finland to my home country.