Grace, a French national, found herself in an unexpected adventure when she decided to move to Helsinki, Finland 6 years ago.
It was through a mixed Spanish-Finnish friend that she got introduced to the Finnish culture. Her curiosity and desire to live a new experience in a northern country led her to visit Finland, where she immediately embraced the allure of a new country filled with the wonders of Nordic landscapes and the mysteries of a foreign culture.
As she settled into her new home: Helsinki, Grace excitement and enthusiasm for her new life in Finland were matched only by the challenges that came her way. As she embraced the Finnish culture, she soon realized that navigating daily life without knowing the language proved to be quite a hassle. Added to this, Grace also faced the daunting reality of being unemployed.
Undeterred, Grace knew exactly what she wanted to do. She mapped her skills and her strengths, and with the right mindset she set out for an opportunity where she could build skills and knowledge. Soon enough, Grace found a job in a startup company as an intern. This experience rendered her with the first glimpse of the Finnish job market, strengthen her resilience, and encouraged her to keep moving forward.
Grace embarked on a journey to learn Finnish, determined to connect with her newfound community on a deeper level. She took part of the integration course provided by TE-Toimisto. Her experience with Familia started when she visited an employment fair. She applied to a Palkkatuki position and got the job. Grace immersed herself in the Finnish working culture, cherishing every opportunity to learn and grow.
Some of her projects at Familia include “Puolisonpolkku”, focused on employment for foreign partners in intercultural couples, and Munduo. Grace also worked with volunteer activities, Duo groups, expert assignments, and trainings for professionals about volunteering, and couples and family counselling.
Grace also stresses the importance of trust. “Finding people who trust your skills and capabilities on a practical level is crucial. These are the people who will give you the opportunity to do a good job. In my case, Familia gave me the platform to be the best version of myself. This is one of the most beautiful things about Familia- they give you the opportunity to showcase your potential”.
Grace currently is a Planner Officer and runs the career development services at City of Espoo. She is also part of Familia’s Board.
editor: yvette ahonen
Haluamme kertoa juhlavuotemme kunniaksi 35 tarinaa kahden kulttuurin perheistä
ulkaisemme 35 viikon ajan 35 erilaista tarinaa, jotka kuvastavat monia haasteita ja mahdollisuuksia, joita kahden kulttuurin perheet jokapäiväisessä elämässään kohtaavat. Haluamme näiden tarinoiden heijastavan todellisuutta ja tarjoavan vertaistukea, voimaannuttavia kokemuksia ja inspiraation lähteitä sekä lisäävän tietoisuutta kulttuurienvälisyydestä ja monikielisyydestä Suomessa.
For 35 weeks, we will be publishing 35 different stories that reflect the many challenges and opportunities intercultural families face in their everyday lives. We want these stories to reflect reality and serve as an accessible peer support, source of empowerment and inspiration, and increase awareness of Interculturalism and Multilingualism in Finland.