From Costa Rica to Savonia


I was very surprised!

When I won a scholarship from the U.N.E.D university in Costa Rica, to go to Savonia, I was very surprised.

The opportunity of traveling to Finland brought me happiness but the fear of the unknown always makes us think the worst can happen. I couldn’t be more wrong, everything has turned out great and it has been an experience that I will always be telling my grandchildren, repeatedly.

Upon arrival from Costa Rica, I thought that the biggest distress for me was the small plane that I had to take from Helsinki to Kuopio. But then I confronted my reality: I was alone in the farthest apartment, in front of a lot of trees, with a large amount of snow almost covering my window and some footprints in the snow, that I prayed were not from some wild animal. The next day I saw cute white rabbits, so I laughed to myself.

I realized that I was facing an experience quite different from anything I had before, and that I had to use my best attitude.

Nauyaca Waterfalls in Costa Rica

Once I met the people from Savonia Mobility, I felt protected, until one of them gave me a present and said: this is for you to stay alive in Finland. My fear returned, it was a reflector keychain so that when I walked down the street at night, a car wouldn’t run me over.

I remember that I answered with great certainty, I don’t plan to walk in Finland at night and even less with this great amount of snow! But again, I was wrong, since my second day here, I have not stopped going out.

In my work environment, at Business Center, I felt a great warmth from the people who work there, boundless friendship and lots of laughs. The first thing I noticed was the peace with which they work and that inner harmony they reflect. In my past work experiences, I have had only stressed bosses, but here it was different.

People look happy and they reflect to me why Finland has already won the award of the happiest country in the world several times.

My country won the happiest country award in Latin America, so I was determined to find similarities and differences from my first hours in Finland.

Conchal Beach in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica there is no snow, although there are beaches and some lakes, there are not the number of lakes that they have in Kuopio. Education is free also and the university degrees are very similar. The prices are quite the same, but unfortunately in my country the minimum wage is much lower.

I had been told a lot about how Finns were, however, they have not ceased to amaze me with their warmth and kindness.

One interesting thing I noticed is that even though they have everything to be boastful or arrogant, they are humble. They do not seek to impress, and they are not materialistic.
Their diet is very healthy and just like in my country you can’t miss rice, here you can’t miss potatoes.

I love how punctual they are, for the parties of my children I must put two hours before so that the guests arrive on time.

Thanks, Savonia and thanks Kuopio for welcoming me with open arms and allowing me to me see what a beautiful country is Finland.

Monica visiting Puijo Tower

Monica Quesada