Aoi Yoshizawa

"I am very surprised that Finnish people have a very long holiday."

My career: From start to Finnish

Aoi Yoshizawa, Japan
Freelancer designer

1. I currently work as a… freelance designer specialised in surface, colour and material. I mainly work with textile materials in the industry, but I also create artworks as my own projects.

2. The reason I ended up in Finland is… first, I moved from Japan to Sweden to study art and design in the basic level and then to Norway to complete my BFA studies. I decided to study for an MA in textile art and design at Aalto University, because I heard the school is a very good place to combine art and design. In total, I have lived in the Nordics for 13 years now.

3. What I find surprising about working in Finland is… that I can work only in the English language. Of course, sometimes there are some struggles caused by not understanding Finnish, but it has been quite smooth. Also, I am very surprised that Finnish people have a very long holiday – it never happens in Japan.

4. If I could change one thing about Finnish working life it would be… about some workers leaving earlier on Friday than other working days – especially when I had to get something done when I was student at school, and also when I need to call somewhere, some people have already left, and I need to wait until Monday morning. It is, of course, nice to have an early weekend, and I am getting used to this fact, but sometimes it is still surprising for me as a Japanese.

5. My favourite thing about Finland is… that you have nature everywhere around you and you can enjoy it anytime. I love picking berries and mushrooms in the forest in the summertime and also swimming in the beautiful lakes – it is so refreshing and relaxing.

In this new series, we are getting to know what people born abroad think about working life in Finland.

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