Romy Valo, Germany

"Tampere is characterised as a welcoming city for international people and offers a wealth of opportunities for personal and professional development. As the most attractive and one of the fastest-growing cities in Finland, Tampere is a beacon for those in search of world-class education, business prospects, and technological innovations."

Tell us briefly about your journey to Tampere and how you ended up here?

My first visit to Tampere was in the autumn of 2013 as part of a school trip, where I also happened to meet my future husband. I returned to Tampere for a holiday in the summer of 2014 and quickly fell in love with the city. The two large lakes surrounding the city centre, the many indoor and outdoor activities, and the proximity to nature captured my heart. Since the summer of 2014, I have visited Tampere frequently to see my partner, and later we returned together to visit family and friends. In 2020, I got the chance to experience life in Finland first-hand when I was admitted to the Master's programme in Education and Learning at the renowned University of Turku. Over the span of my studies, I learned to love the Finnish way of life and was determined to settle in this country. Regular visits to Tampere, favoured by the presence of family and friends and our nearby summer house (mökki in Finnish), strengthened my bond with this city. Upon completing my Master’s degree, Tampere emerged as our top choice for relocation within Finland. When I received a job offer from the city of Tampere in December 2023, the decision to move was swift. Since arriving to Tampere in January 2024, settling here has felt remarkably like coming home.

What do you love most about living in Tampere?

What draws me to Tampere can be summarised in three aspects: the proximity to nature, the friendliness of the people, and the abundance of opportunities the city offers.

I have a great affinity with nature and enjoy activities such as going for walks, cycling, and hiking in the forest. Tampere and its surroundings offer easy access to nature all year round, so I can immerse myself in the great outdoors at any time.

The people of a city shape its character, and in Tampere, I have found a sense of belonging. Moving here brought me closer to family and friends, and already knowing some people made the transition easier. Moreover, interacting with the friendly and open-hearted people of Tampere enriches my everyday life in the city. Whether it's striking up conversations in shops, on trams, or even in elevators, there's a genuine warmth in the interactions.

Participating in the city's diverse array of activities provides yet another possibility for connection. Tampere's events calendar brims with cultural and sports events, many of which are free to attend, such as the events at the Metso city library. Besides the official events, I relish the opportunity to gather with friends at the city's numerous cafes, restaurants, and bars, fostering a vibrant social life.

Why would you encourage international talents to move to Tampere?

Encouraging international talents to make Tampere their home is an invitation to join a vibrant and inclusive community. Tampere is characterised as a welcoming city for international people and offers a wealth of opportunities for personal and professional development. As the most attractive and one of the fastest-growing cities in Finland, Tampere is a beacon for those in search of world-class education, business prospects, and technological innovations. For newcomers, navigating life in Tampere is made easy by its English-friendly environment, ensuring a smooth start. In addition, the city goes above and beyond to facilitate integration through a variety of support services. The City of Tampere's International Talent Attraction and Migration Service spearheads efforts to help internationals settle in the region. Institutions such as International House Tampere, Multilingual Info Mainio, and the International Tampere Skill Centre provide invaluable resources and advice, complemented by a wealth of language courses to support the mastery of the local language. In Tampere you will find support, opportunity, and a genuine sense of community, making it an ideal destination for international talents seeking a vibrant and inclusive place to live and work.

What is your favorite place, and your favorite thing to do in Tampere?

One of my favourite pastimes in Tampere is a stroll through Hatanpää Arboretum, especially on sunny days. The diverse collection of flowers and plants combined with the tranquil view of Lake Pyhäjärvi creates a perfect environment to relax and unwind. Even in winter, I like to stop by at the Arboretum after a hectic work day. For an extra dose of relaxation, I recommend a visit to one of Tampere's renowned public saunas. With its many high-quality options, Tampere has rightfully earned the title of sauna capital of the world. As someone who finds sauna sessions very pleasant, I believe that Tampere offers an unrivalled quality of life.

How would you describe Tampere as a city, what makes it special? 

Tampere is a clean, safe, perfectly sized, and well-located city. The excellent air and drinking water quality and the strong sense of security contribute to a comfortable daily life. Other factors making the city convenient on a daily basis are its size, its public services, and its accessibility. As someone who grew up in the German countryside and later experienced life in a European metropolis, I appreciate the balanced size of Tampere. Within its boundaries, the city offers a comprehensive range of public services, including healthcare and education. The recently added tram network adds to the urban flair, enabling convenient travel through a well-connected city centre by efficient public transport. In addition, its strategic location within Finland ensures accessibility to major cities such as Helsinki, Turku, and Jyväskylä within a two-hour commute and well-established connections extending to the north.

Is there anything else you would like to share with potential newcomers that make Tampere a great place place to live and work? 

Tampere is not only a fantastic place to settle and build a career, but also an opportunity to craft your own unique Tampere experience. While the city offers a plethora of opportunities, it is ultimately your own endeavours that will shape your personal experience here. So my advice is to take the chance to explore the city, participate in activities, immerse yourself in the local culture by learning the beautiful Finnish language, and connecting with other residents to really discover Tampere at its best. Whether you are looking for outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or professional growth, Tampere welcomes you to make it your own and create lasting memories.

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