I came to Finland for political reasons about 3 years ago in October. After a week of Helsinki camping, I transferred to Turku with my family. We signed up at the end of March 2019. We decided to settle in Turku and our transactions took place here and we started to rebuild our lives here. As soon as I moved home at the end of May, I started the integration and language course, the first course arranged by TE Office. My course lasted until December 2019 and at the end of the course, I had the opportunity to go to an internship for two weeks and get to know business life for a short while. Since my profession in my country is a pre-school teacher, I applied to the daycare as an intern and was accepted. This was a great opportunity for me, I had the opportunity to both practice language and learn pre-school education on site. Since I was accepted to another language course in January, I was able to go to an internship for two weeks. I kept thinking how much I missed my profession, which was unfairly taken away from me during my internship, what a meaningful profession it is to educate children with self-sacrifice and compassion, and I’m glad that I was educated in this field. My decision to do my own profession again has become completely clear. Now I would take steps in this direction and work harder.
The course I started in January 2020 was a 3.5-month Finnish continuation course. At the end of this course, I received a B1 level diploma in every field. In April, my course was over and I started the new course and training exercises. With the help of a teacher from the first course, I applied to the Ministry of National Education for diploma equivalency and started to wait for my result. My staff at TE Office was aware of my future plans and one day he called me to talk about a training opportunity and advised me to apply. It was an equivalency program for immigrants with pre-school teachers in the country of education.
Students from every city were admitted to this education, which was opened in Turku University. According to the conditional decision of the National Education, vocational courses and Finnish language courses were organized for the student so that he could complete his credits. One of the entry requirements was the submission of an official document of at least B1 language level. Entrance exams were also held and questions were asked from professional articles. I submitted the necessary documents and passed the exams. On August 4, 2020, the training started with Finnish lessons. I met the B1 requirement, but I started to have difficulties in university courses due to my deficiencies in the language.
Because what I learned in the course, which did not even last a full year in total, was insufficient for me to understand the lessons taught at the university. Quickly, I asked for support from the planner of the training and our teacher, who teaches our Finnish lessons, for a plan that supports my language. He suggested that I go to an internship for my free days. I talked to nearly twenty daycares in August, both on site and on the phone, but due to the pandemic, they did not want to take risks with extra adults, i.e. volunteer interns. As another solution, I decided to apply for a language course. I was going to go to a language course and complete my courses at the university. In September, I entered a language course that will take 9 months to prepare for university education. I attended all the courses of the university and language course (unless they conflict with each other) until the end of May 2021. In the equivalence program, there was a 3-week internship requirement in the spring semester in order to complete the education. I did an internship for 3 weeks under the guidance of a preschool teacher in the 3-5 age group. I have completed the assignments and tasks related to the internship. These were the tasks of writing a report, planning an activity and applying it in the group, writing feedback, classroom management and the delivery of videos in the activity application. In our Finnish lessons at university, there were group or individual assignments and exams based on improving and measuring our written and oral language skills. I completed and delivered all of them by the end of May and graduated. I fulfilled the requirements in the conditional decision of the national education and I applied for the final decision and received my official document that I could do my profession.
I would also like to share my experience with job applications. I think it was like March and my classmates had plans and searches for what we will do next term, while our education was still going on. Yes, I was in equivalency training, but I didn’t know exactly what to do when it was over. There was no point in standing still because there was a promise I made. I said the following to the lady who made our meetings with us during the waiting period of the session, who shed tears with us for our pain with a warm and sincere attitude. Our dreams, our future, were taken from us, unlawfully. We have been labeled and excluded from society. However, we were young and educated people, my husband and I. It should be beneficial to the society and I also said that I would love to do my job in this country if given the opportunity.
It was almost time to graduate, and with the praise and support of my teachers, I started to follow job postings and apply. In total, I applied for 10 different positions in two months, and I received eight interview invitations and participated in all of them. Due to the pandemic, interviews were generally held online, but sometimes in face-to-face kindergartens. As a result of the interviews, I was accepted to work as a preschool teacher from 3 places. But I had to choose one and accept it. I negotiated and evaluated the conditions and agreed with one of them. On August 2, I will start working as a preschool teacher in the 3-5 age group. Five years ago, on August 2, I was suspended from my job for no reason. By the irony of fate, I will return to my profession after five years, albeit in a different land. I will continue to add good things to my life by finding the meaning of my profession in the joy in the eyes of children who grow up happily and peacefully…