Freedom to learn and grow

Looking up towards her, Priyanka Banerjee stands at a plateau on top of some wooden steps, in the midst of practicing martial arts, blue sky behind her.
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Helsinki’s public schools are among the best in the world, and the city is home to several world-class universities. Every adult can return to college in Helsinki at any time, and opportunities for life-long learning are limitless. Finland is a country that believes in everyone’s right to a high-quality education, regardless of wealth or previous career. The world is constantly changing, and we want to contribute towards changing it for the better. With us, you can learn and grow, changing both your life and the world.

In the fifth episode of the Helsinki Freedom mini-documentary series we meet Priyanka from Delhi, India. She arrived in Helsinki four years ago, after a very quick decision. The beginning of her story with Helsinki might not have been the smoothest but currently she's an entrepreneur and enjoying the spirit of the start-up community. She is also making the most of her personal learning path.

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Director: Virpi Suutari

The film-maker Virpi Suutari describes herself as a carnivalist humanist. Her newest feature film documentary Aalto tells the story of the world-famous Finnish architect couple Alvar and Aino Aalto. As a child, Suutari admired the local library designed by Alvar Aalto in her hometown Rovaniemi in northern Finland.

Learning and growing in Helsinki

"I address everyday life and ordinariness from surprising angles in my films. It is important for me to get to know the lead characters, to become enchanted by them and to recognise something similar in myself. I tend to empathise with my characters greatly. There is often a strong magnetism that forms between me and my lead characters. 

There are many architecturally ambitious spaces in Finland that are open to everyone. We can all enjoy them in a democratic manner. This was the starting point for the Aalto film. 

Helsinki's libraries and adult education centres stand for beauty and learning. A student or start-up entrepreneur can go, for instance, to the central library Oodi to study or work.

The adult education centres offer an unbelievable range of different courses. Adults are able to learn all sorts of things in return for only a small fee. I caught my breath as I browsed through the adult education course manual. It included both big theoretical classes and practical skill learning. I instantly had a strong urge to learn."

- Virpi Suutari

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Finland is a country that believes in everyone’s right to high-quality education regardless of family wealth or previous career path. The world is constantly changing, and we want to contribute to changing it for the better.
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