Last modified 15.3.2011 at 13:23

Finland: a fairly American country?

Text and photo: Anni Jyrinki

35 years ago William Fasse arrived in Finland. Moving from Massachusetts to Muhos happened at the same time that William celebrated his 27th birthday.

William Fasse is a citizen of two countries. He thinks that the USA and Finland are much alike even though a distance between Oulu and New York is so long.

William Fasse is a lecturer in Oulu University of Applied Sciences. He teaches at the School of Business and Information Management. To his students William usually speaks English, but his Finnish is as fluent as his mother tongue English. That’s because William has lived in Finland for 35 years.

– I moved here because of the common reason: my wife is Finnish, William explains.
– About thirty years our home was in Muhos and just few years ago we moved to Oulu. No we live near the Market Place and it’s so nice that I can walk to work.

It seems that William is settled down more than well. Even though he is American, Finland is a country where he has lived most of his life. And he enjoys his life here.

– Life itself isn’t any different than back in the USA. But I have noticed that people in Finland are more relaxed.

Career as a teacher

William has been a teacher almost whole of his life.

– I had no idea of a job when I arrived to Finland. Then my in-laws noticed a job advertisement in the newspaper, he tells about the first steps of his career in Finland.

When William started teaching here, the school was called the Commercial School. 1992 it changed and became a part of the University of Applied Sciences.

– I teach here English and many kinds of cultural courses like body language and business in Asia, William tells about his job.

He thinks that studying and students are very similar between Finland and the USA. Education system on the other hand is very different.

– Studying in Finland is free. In the USA it can cost a lot! Especially higher education there is very expensive, the best and most famous schools may cost even 20 000 dollars and students have to pay all that by themselves.

Because getting higher education is so expensive there is a scholarship system in the United States. It means that if you are good at sports you can get a scholarship and you are asked to join the University’s basketball or baseball team.

– That is something you Finns don’t have. You don’t have sport teams that are organised by the schools.
– Baseball is something I used to really miss before. To watch games and eat peanut butter with toast. That’s really something, William smiles.

International interaction

William used to visit the USA nearly every other year. Now he plans to go there next time in two years. He doesn’t think he travels a lot, but in the same sentence he explains that he has visited at least in Turkey, Spain, England and Portugal. In Portugal he has been now six times.

– We have a lot of exchange students from Portugal, so I think it is important that we teachers also do short of promotion trips there.

He usually goes abroad once a year through a teacher exchange program that is financed by the European Union.

– I find that cultural interaction is very interesting and important, William considers.

avain Keywords: teachers
You can find specific information and how to apply from the Studies and Applying section of Oulu UAS website.

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