The city of Cambridge is one of magic. If you keep your eyes open, you’ll spot Stephen Hawking in his wheelchair running his daily physicist-cosmologist errands. Throughout my past two years studying in this great place, I’ve met a myriad of inspiring people, including discussions on Kosovo with Nobel-prize winning peacekeeper Martti Ahtisaari and the Finnish cultural society, to a discussion with Pamela Anderson over iPhone chargers, to taking advice from the successful-and-charitable Mo Ibrahim.
WHILE you may have noticed how common it is for your Finnish friends and relatives to traverse long distances around the country, it seems that the world has also cottoned on. While many Finns wouldn’t bat an eyelid at driving say, from Helsinki to Rovaniemi for an overnighter, did you know that Finns are actually leading the global pack when it comes to travel?
What has traditionally only been an option forthose residing at the lower end of the wage scale, the number of loans taken out in Finland in recent times suggests that times have indeed changed. People from all walks of life are in debt.
A recent article in Helsingin Sanomat shone a light on the situation. Over the last year, a third of Finns have spent more than they can afford, while one in ten have asked for a salary advance.
I sat down with Mariam Tokmazishvili to learn about her city, Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. Tokmazishvili is a 24-year-old a master’s degree student at the University of Helsinki, studying intercultural encounters.
There are approximately 4.5 million inhabitants in Georgia and about 1.5 million in the city of Tbilisi. Georgia’s historical old buildings and churches distinguish it from other mainstream world capitals. Georgian people and their hospitality is a salient marker of the country.
Students continue to struggle with housing costs. But will this change anytime soon?
YOUR years as a student undoubtedly represent some of the best moments of your life. Fresh out of home, away from the grasp of your parents, you are now free to do whatever you desire. Gone is the nagging, the hassling and the moral compass, and in their place is the time and space to rack up a bunch of knowledge related to life’s lessons. For the overwhelming majority, this means living on the bare minimum, heating up one-minute noodles and spending everything else on beer and entertainment.