Physicist, data scientist and Discovery Channel TV host Deborah Berebichez has ended the 90 – day Finn program, saying that the program did not keep its promises – but he and his family still intend to stay in Finland.
Inside something send On LinkedIn, Berebichez explained that the gap between the participants promised by the program organizers Helsinki Business Hub (HBH) and the actual deliveries was "too large and could not be closed."
"Most importantly, our efforts to close this gap distracted us from the goals that brought us to Helsinki: setting up a technology company and balancing work and private life;" he wrote. "Morally, we didn’t feel like we could continue to promote a program that hadn’t kept its promise and left us with bad feelings."
Nevertheless, Berebichez said that he and his family plan to stay in Finland, describing the time in the country "the most amazing experience".
Key promises were not kept
Berebichez had the highest visibility among the 14 participants selected to participate in the program, which aims to attract foreign expertise to Finland and improve the country’s reputation as a workplace.
Its call With regard to the applications published last November, HBH promised a smooth transition to Finnish life, including helping successful applicants with the necessary documents as well as housing, day care and healthcare. "organized according to the individual needs of the participants".
"Unfortunately, the expected support did not materialize," Berebichez wrote in his LinkedIn post. "In reality, we found our children their own apartment and kindergarten; we bought our own health insurance."
He added that the first three weeks in the country were spent on repairs "wrong information" he had received information about applying to Finland with the Finnish Immigration Service Migr.
Despite these problems, Berebichez said he and his family were committed to the program and eventually began to get some "logistical support" From HBH. However, problems arose and relations with the organizers tightened.
"We started to see a model in our interaction with the program – a constant struggle to meet our needs," he wrote. "We felt that the program was not committed to success."
This led to Berebichez and his family deciding to quit, which he reported tweet on Monday morning with reference to a "a terribly difficult experience".
Dissatisfaction with transition counseling
Business Director of HBH Johanna Huurre told Yle News that there have been "some misunderstandings" about what the program offered to the participants, but the organizers respect Berebichez’s decision to leave.
"All participants have had their own transfer expert to help them personally with everything they have wanted, but of course each participant also has the right to decide how much they want to use these services," Frost said.
Berebichez confirmed to Yle News that a migration specialist had been booked for his family, but they were dissatisfied with the services provided and much of the assistance was general or even flawed in nature.
Berebichez added that he provided HBH with a very detailed 7-page document outlining all the adversities and problematic advice they had received from the migration expert. In the case of Migri, for example, the wrong advice almost made the family lose the opportunity to apply for a residence permit and stay for more than 90 days.
HBH offered the family another expert after hearing about these issues, Huurre said.
Lessons from the pilot project
In addition to promoting the country as a workplace, Huurre said that the 90-day Finnish program is also an opportunity to learn where the immigration and integration process needs to be improved through the participants’ experiences.
"I think there is a lot to improve in Finland, and the idea of this pilot project is that we can also learn what the participants think works and doesn’t work, and then we can improve the whole society." he said and added that it is now "a lot of will" between the authorities, the city authorities and Finnish companies to make the necessary changes and to facilitate work-based relocation.
Some of the 13 participants in the program have already announced their intention to continue in Finland after three months, Huurre pointed out.
"Our experience is that when people move here, they realize it’s a really great place to be," he said.
Plans for the future in Finland
In his LinkedIn message, Berebichez emphasized that he will only end the 90-day Finn program and intends to stay in Finland.
"We love Finland, which has many positive qualities for foreigners, including a safe place to live, public health care, efficient public transport, good food, delicious tap water (I am serious), beautiful nature and soothing silence," he wrote.
Instead, she said she plans to develop her own programs for knowledge literacy and leadership for women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).
"I plan to build programs that are attractive to both women living in Finland and women like me internationally who are looking for a better work-life balance than in the United States," Berebichez explained and added that he wanted to help Finnish society overcome the challenges faced by the working-age population gap.
Source: The Nordic Page