Thomas Poole moved here from South Africa to explore opportunities with his girlfriend in December 2012.

What do you do here in Finland?

I currently own and operate a small event photography, photojournalism and media business out of a small studio in North Helsinki. I also work as a bartender, am currently completing my journalism degree as well as a volunteer internship at Helsinki Times.

“According to the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, around 1,600 Swiss are currently calling Finland their home. Apart from historic- or language-related countries like Sweden or Hungary, this number is bigger than the those from any other European country of similar size, namely Austria, Czech Republic, Portugal or Belgium. But what is it that has brought Swiss to the utmost north of mainland Europe?

SixDegrees hits the road to visit an aged care centre surrounded by Espoo’s wilderness. Once there, we witness first-hand the great connection between the international members of the staff and their experienced patients.

VANESA JORGE had been working as a nurse in Spain, the country she is originally from, for approximately four years before she moved to Finland last May. “Nowadays, the situation there is really bad,” she explains. “I wanted to cry every two days. The last hospital I was working for was private, and it’s really hard when you see money comes always before people; when you see the patient requires a concrete treatment and some other is granted to them instead due to economic reasons.”

RIVA SANDHIAJAYA moved here from Indonesia over ten years ago for his graduate studies, which have now motivated him to help improve the education system in Indonesia.

What do you do here in Finland?

I am currently running a small company with some friends to promote educational cooperation between Indonesia and Finland (www.necs.fi). We are still in a very early stage, but we have clear goals on what has to be done to improve the quality of the Indonesian education system by learning from Finland’s expertise and experience.

Geographically, more than 2,000 kilometres is the distance that separates Helsinki from Paris, but that doesn’t stop the French and Finnish communities from growing closer together; French culture, education and cuisine continue to expand here, particularly in the Helsinki area.

In keeping with the number of kilometres seperating the two countries, a minority of about 2,000 French people currently live in Finland (from which 65 per cent live in the capital), but what is worth emphasising is the way the French culture and language has managed to settle in this foreign country where everything is so different to what they know, to say the least.