Staged for the third year in row, a range of shopping centres, boutiques, restaurants, museums and many other operators in the centre of Helsinki are celebrating Ihana Helsinki during the month of May. Translated as “Lovely Helsinki”, the event seeks to officially open the door to spring and summertime by decorating and taking over Helsinki with flowers and also presenting a versatile and interesting programme.

IT ALL started in the most common way: with a drink at the bar. “Julie and I started to talk about the I, too, am Oxford initiative and contemplated the idea of bringing it to Finland” says Meg Sakilayan-Latvala. “We really liked the strong message it was bringing forward and how efficiently it was exposing everyday vexations done to people considered as ‘outsiders’,” adds Julie Breton.

In Finland you have this saying: a beloved child has many names. That is Constantine, the City of Knowledge, the City of Bridges, and the City of Warriors. It is one of the biggest and wealthiest cities of Algeria, as well as the commercial centre of the region, and therefore a place where many people come in their search for a better life. The official number of people living there is around one million. During daytime, however, the population doubles as people come to the city for work and study. Poor people around the area gather there to try and earn some money.

THE sale of alcohol in Finland continues to be a delicate matter for both sides of the argument of moderation. While wine lovers have to plan their consumption in light of Alkos being closed around the country on Sundays, Helsingin Sanomat reports that mid-strength beer may next on the list of restrictions in order to curb the enthusiastic consumption of alcohol around the country.

Will Finland pay the cost of charging international students for tuition?

Finland is currently the only country in the EU that does not charge tuition fees, but this may change as Helsingin Sanomat recently reported that the Ministry of Education and Culture is preparing a report to be discussed in budget talks. The report proposes that tuition fees be charged to students from outside the EU/EEA who undertake courses in languages other than Finnish or Swedish.