When Italy Meets Finland

We recently had the pleasure of welcoming high school teachers Marina Martina and Ada Origlia to study with Finnbrit. They came to Finland all the way from Cuneo, a small city in north-western Italy as part of an Erasmus project for teachers, and to improve their English Language skills.
“We want to improve our English so we can lead an Erasmus project for students and take them on educational trips abroad. I met some teachers from Tampere, and they recommended Finland to us” said Ada, a teacher of History and Philosophy.

The Finnish education system’s strong reputation (according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, Finland has the best-developed education system in the world) and the Finnish ability to communicate in English, both played a part in convincing them to come to Helsinki. However, the Covid-19 pandemic and the fact that their trip could only be arranged during their summer holidays in August created uncertainty as to whether their trip would take place.
“With the Korona pandemic it can be difficult to travel, and so we wanted to visit a place where it was possible to visit places and to meet people face to face.”
Marina added “we looked on the internet and Finnbrit was one of the first places we found. We looked at the website and found the contact details. We were very happy that Finnbrit could be so flexible and arrange a course for us in August, because we know it can be quiet at this time of year and not so many courses are taking place”.

Friends and colleagues for many years, they have previously travelled together many times to places such as New York, Madrid & Ireland. Finland compared favourably to previous trips, despite some unsettled weather.
“In some ways we are very different, but we like to do the same things and we enjoy travelling together. Here in Finland, we have been to many museums and to Suomenlinna! We also drove to the lake area, and we visited Savonlinna, Kuopio, Jyväskylä, Tampere, and Turku. She drove and I quickly took some pictures! We really love the landscape here and to see so many trees. In Helsinki, we like to see all the different styles and the colours of the buildings.”
“I like that I can sit outside of the hotel with a coffee and look at the sea.” Marina added.

As well as studying English, Marina described how they also had time to learn a little Finnish.
“We have learnt kiitos and kauppa!”
“Puisto, lahti means bay and we know hyvää yötä, but it is so hard to say!” Ada told us proudly.
Their English lessons went a little more smoothly and with two weeks of daily classes with our teacher Blake they made great progress.
“It was great Finnbrit could help us, and we are happy that we found Finnbrit! Blake has been a great teacher and we have enjoyed the lessons very much. We have had a lot of fun!”
We also enjoyed having Ada and Marina at Finnbrit, and as they are now proud Finnbrit members, we look forward to seeing them again in the future.