ihmisiä pyöräilemässä ja kävelemässä ylisoutajan sillalla talvella

Internationality makes the city grow

People come to Joensuu from all over the world

Outdoor activities and new experiences were enjoyed in Kuhasalo, when the city of Joensuu, Riveria and International House Joensuu organized a winter event for Riveria’s international students. The event was attended by chef and nursing students who had come to Joensuu from Ghana, Nigeria, Vietnam and the Philippines, among many other countries.

The growth of Joensuu’s population has been based on immigration already for the past five years.

– The growth of Joensuu’s population has been based on immigration already for the past five years. International students are very important and warmly welcome, and we hope they will stay permanently here in Joensuu, says Sami Laakkonen, strategy director of the city of Joensuu.

ryhmä kansainvälisiä opiskelijoita järven jäällä
Sami Laakkonen advised the students on the tricks of ice fishing. For most of the students it was the first time to try this winter sport.

From South America towards a new career

One of the participants was Peruvian David Andre Rivera Zavaleta, who started his chef training at Riveria last September.

– I didn’t know anything about Joensuu before I came here. I studied engineering in Peru, but it didn’t feel like my field. I started searching for other options and then I found Finland, Joensuu and Riveria, he says.

– Life in Joensuu has been great. I have made new friends at school and during my internship in the kitchen of the Carelia restaurant at the university.

I admire the forest and nature every day when I step out of the house or ride my bike to school.

Joensuu’s nature also deserves special thanks.

– Joensuu is a really beautiful city where nature is close by. I admire the forest and nature every day when I step out of the house or ride my bike to school.

Rivera Zavaleta’s dream is to find a job in Joensuu and settle in the city.

– After that, my wife and son could also move here and we could be together again, he says.

mies istuu pilkillä järven jäällä
David Andre Rivera Zavaleta has settled in Joensuu and hopes to bring his family home soon.

A future full of dreams

Many students around Asia also come to Riveria and other educational institutions in Joensuu every year.

Anh Nguyen from Vietnam and Moe Moe Aung from Myanmar arrived in Joensuu in January. Both are studying in Riveria to become practical nurses.

– A coincidence led me to Joensuu. I had a serious corona infection previously, but luckily I got good treatment and survived. That’s when I decided that I wanted to work in the nursing field myself. When I saw that Riveria was looking for students in Joensuu, I took the opportunity and now I’m here, says Nguyen.

In the future, I would like to work here and start a family.

Moving from Ho Chi Minh City, which has nearly 10 million inhabitants, to Joensuu has gone smoothly and Nguyen plans to settle in the city permanently.

– Joensuu is the right size for me and nature is close by. The best thing in Joensuu is the people, from whom I have received a lot of help. In the future, I would like to work here and start a family, Nguyen dreams.

kaksi naista pilkillä järven jäällä
Anh Nguyen (left) and Moe Moe Aung have had a good time in Joensuu and enjoyed the exotic winter weather.

Moe Moe Aung from Myanmar has previously worked as a nurse in Myanmar and Singapore.

– I want to live in a place where we can live together with my husband and my 11-year-old daughter. In Myanmar or Singapore it is not possible, but here in Joensuu we can live as a family, Aung states.

After her studies, Aung wants to continue working in the nursing field, and also hopes that his spouse will find work in Joensuu.

The whole family likes Joensuu, so we would like to stay here.

– The whole family likes Joensuu, so we would like to stay here. First, however, you have to get a nursing degree and learn Finnish.

Lovely people and ease of movement make everyday life smooth, and the weather conditions haven’t scared me either.

– Traveling to school by bike is easy and safe. The biggest difference is the weather, but I really like the snow, Aung says.

– Joensuu has felt like home from the beginning, and my dream of a life together has come true, she says with a smile.

Artificial intelligence has been used in the translation of the article.

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