All posts by Kasperi Salo

On the Lake Geneva shoreline

Bonjour, Geneva here!

I’ve been doing my practical training here since the end of March in a recruitment agency, so I have been here for a few months by now. To sum everything up quickly, Geneva seems so much more than a city the size of Tampere (by population)!

Lake Geneva and the Geneva landmark Jet d'Eau in downtown Geneva
Lake Geneva and the Geneva landmark Jet d’Eau in downtown Geneva

The summer here has been extremely beautiful (nothing like Finland, eh?), but of course there’s more to that than the eye can see. Working in a office, where the temperature is +40 degrees celsius, with no air conditioning is not the most pleasant experience. Furthermore, try doing that for three weeks straight.

I’ve been working long hours at the office, but the more I think of it, the more I realize, that most Swiss people do that their entire lives. The Finnish system with regular 9-to-5 days does not prevail here, and it is almost expected from you to work at least nine hours a day, often ten, eleven, or twelve. Then again, you do learn much more about what you are doing.

The work itself has been interesting, yet extremely challenging. I’m still trying to get used to a completely different pace of work and several recruitment processes I was completely new to, but I feel, that I’m getting more and more into the job day by day. Most of my days go by interviewing candidates on the phone and searching for potential ones online.

Thankfully I also have some spare time, and the other weekend me and my girlfriend visited a beautiful mountain range not far from Geneva. In fact, only an hour and a half drive away.

Mont Blanc and the Alps in France.
Mont Blanc and the Alps in France.

The trip was wonderful, and the hike took approximately five hours circling around the mountainside. We also went to Lac Blanc, a beautiful mountain lake at approximately at 2400 meters.

Life here can be complicated at times (people on the French side just do not speak English!!!) due to my non-existent French skills and the lack of interest in serving me from the customer service’s side, but overall the pros overcome the cons. Besides, I have never lived so close to an airport, so it is good fun to watch planes from around the world take off and land. 🙂

The workload does not seem to decrease, nor does the temperature seem to go down much, but life in Geneva is all ways good!

Nuts’nuts’a’shun – hearty hello from Vancouver Island!

The word “nuts’nuts’a’shun” is included in the title for two reasons. The first one being, that it means snowflakes in Hul’q’umi’num language spoken by the Snuneymuxw First Nation in and around Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island, and since winter has already arrived (as much as it can in the Pacific Northwest), we have already seen some snowflakes gracefully flowing in the air. The second reason is, that especially during the first days of my orientation here at Vancouver Island University, I was told several times, that the city of Nanaimo is built on the 1st Nations’ holy grounds, and everyone should respect that. In general, the 1st Nations’ are a staple part of the past and present of Nanaimo.

I arrived here in late August, when the weather was still rather warm and I enjoyed the beautiful views on and off Vancouver Island. Since then there’s been this and that to complain, but that’s a different story for a different time..

Horseshoe Bay, just north of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada
Horseshoe Bay, just north of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada

I had never been to Canada before, and it is not often that I get to see mountains like the ones in British Columbia, so I was completely in awe when I took the ferry from Horseshoe Bay, BC to Departure Bay, BC.

I’m a 3rd year International Business student, and I set out to study accounting, finance, and economics here at VIU. One of the best things about VIU as a university is, that there are so many different courses to choose from, that it was almost impossible to pick just a few! Not just that, but some of my friends chose to study the wine industry (their first homework was to buy a wine glass to taste some samples in the following classes..), Chinese, and professional time management just to name a few.

The Vancouver Island University sign on Wakesiah and Fifth
The Vancouver Island University sign on Wakesiah and Fifth

Vancouver Island’s nature is truly amazing, from the mountaintops and very Finnish-esque forests to the massive Pacific Ocean’s shore in Tofino, BC. For a person who loves the nature and different outdoor activities like myself, Vancouver Island takes your breath away. Just be sure to grab your raincoat and umbrella, as the weather is definitely not always like in these pictures..

Tofino, BC, on the west coast of Vancouver Island
Tofino, BC, on the west coast of Vancouver Island

I only have a bit more than a week left until I depart from Vancouver Island, and several exams will keep me busy, but I can’t wait!


– Kasperi