Today is just another day in Finland. I discovered it was Thanksgiving in Raleigh as I chatted with my B & B hotel breakfast colleagues about the weather…and discovered that today Raleigh is under a dense fog severe weather alert.
My life here is continuing to be a fascinating venture. I have found that Metropolia College, my project site, has an “adult education” effort focused upon select programs targeted to adults who are working and who wish to return and receive a credential or additional training. However, this focus is a unique one for the institution. If individuals desire to be in an undergraduate academic program that has an adult education commitment, they come four nights a week (yes, from 5-8pm taking courses) and complete their two year course of study in about 1 ½ years. Not all programs offer this option. At the master’s level, individuals come one week a month (yes, during the day) and complete their studies in approximately 1 year. Both of these options are paid by the government, so the program and courses are free to the students. At this time, there is not a significant press for adult career changers. Part of the stability is the economy and part of it is the culture. They have mandated retirement (which varies depending upon the year of your birth – due to policy changes. So, you may be required to retire at 54 up to 63 years of age…and you are called a “pensioner”.) I hear little of industrial layoffs, they face limited migration, and, I suspect, it is a hearty culture that doesn’t easily attract outsiders (to learn Finnish and live in a climate of colder weather and limited sunshine in the winter).
Tonight I will experience the Finnish Symphony in Finlandia Hall… It should be a special treat