Vladimir is a St. Petersburg native who moved to Finland 10 years ago. He completed a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Linguistics in St. Petersburg, and then moved to Jyväskylä to do another Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Economics. He currently calls Helsinki home.

HAS somebody approached you lately on the street and requested to take your portrait? If so, you are already familiar with the online photography project that has been shaking up Helsinki since its creation in early March. If not, you should definitely keep on reading and find out more about this new daring initiative that brings you closer to your fellow citizens.

It is not easy to imagine Finland as a travel destination that is too common for the sun-loving Egyptians, who are unlikely to have experienced temperatures colder than 15°C. It is probably easier then to picture a Finn tanning or snorkeling under the sun of Egypt at a Red Sea resort. In fact, it seems that the first Egyptian who entered the Finnish sphere was through Finnish Mika Waltari’s 1945 bestseller entitled The Egyptian that is set at the time of the 18th dynasty ruler Akhenaten of ancient Egypt. Since then Egyptians have stepped out of Waltari’s historical novel and set on their own journey to the Finnish lands. What then has inspired around 400 Egyptians to leave the sun for the larger portion of the year behind to come all the way up to the country of the second most northern capital in the world? The answer is simple: love and the hope of a better career.

Troy Woodson moved here from the bustling metropolis of the Big Apple three years ago. So, just what does he make of the Finnish way of life?

What do you do here in Finland?

I am an English language teacher and corporate trainer. As a freelancer I work for several language training companies.

Making their way up from the sunburnt country (or the ‘lucky country’ as some would have it) here to the other side of the world where the forests are thick with birch trees and punctuated with some 188,000 lakes, it’s somewhat of a surprise to discover some 600 Australians have immigrated to Finland. While, in fairness, one could turn over a rock anywhere in the world and find an Aussie underneath, given their knack for travelling the globe, somehow the harsh climate that envelops the country for nearly half of the year here would appear to be the ultimate repellent for the laid back folks from Down Under.