Joseph K.

Sometimes, especially when I have business with the social insurance institution of Finland, I feel like Josepf K.

In two months, I might be going to Melbourne, Australia to study environmental journalism. In the way are mountains and mountains of bureaucracy. I’ve spent the day filling out forms and going to offices and trying to find the right people to answer my questions.

Now, I know I sound like a spoiled brat when I complain about stuff like this. I get a study grant from the state. I get financial aid for accommodation. I get a grant to study abroad.  I really shouldn’t complain that there’s some amount of bureaucracy to go through. When I used to be active in a local school student union and through it in the organization for European school student unions, a lot of people couldn’t believe the benefits of being a student in Finland. The Italian organization had to deal with the mafia bombing their offices, we had to deal with insufficient financial aid.

Speaking of student financial aid, though, believe that education is the basis for an affluent society. A free education (or, more accurately, an education free of charge) is at least one of the secrets behind Finland’s economic growth in the last century. And part of this is the financial aid students get. At the moment, it’s insufficient – at least if students are to concentrate on their studies and graduate fast.

Anyway, I hope everything works out and I get to go to Australia. When I was there last year it looked something like this.

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