Introducing Singapore's thisisFINLAND Foreign Correspondents' Programme 2018 participant: Yunita Santoso Ong, 25, one of the lucky ones among over 1800 applicants!
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland has administrated thisisFINLAND Foreign Correspondents’ Programme (FCP) since 1990, targeted for young international journalists. Singapore will be attending the programme this year for the first time.
During the three weeks on August, participants will get to know Finland from its world-renown education system to inspiring business solutions and from vibrant urban life to pristine nature, and many more! The programme includes briefings on various subjects, meetings with Finnish professionals and visits to business enterprises, cultural sites and institutions. The programme provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about Finland, Finnish society and the Finnish way of life.
Hi Yunita!Can you tell something about yourself?
I am a 25-year-old property reporter at The Business Times, Singapore's only business paper which has a daily reach of 94,000 on the web and in print. I graduated with a Masters in Business and Economics Journalism at Columbia University in 2017, and magna cum laude from Northwestern University with a bachelor's in journalism and economics. I care about social inequality and gender empowerment. I enjoy yoga and HIIT, a good skincare routine and going to museums.
What kind of connection you have with Finland?
I visited Finland over the Christmas holidays about 10 years ago with my family. It was winter, so it was very cold, but I really enjoyed visiting many art museums in Helsinki, as well as the Santa Claus village. I remember especially the souvenir letter I got to send home from there! I also have a Finnish classmate from my Master's program.
How did you end up applying to this program?
I applied to the program to have the chance to meet young journalists around the world and to get to know a country that is similar yet different from my own small country, Singapore, in so many ways.
It was my classmate from my Master's program who told me about the FCP program and encouraged me to apply for it!
What do you want to learn from this program?
I would like to learn what makes this country tick - which can range from why Finns are so happy to the magic behind its spirit of entrepreneurship. As a business journalist I am interested in learning more about its urban planning, property market and startup ecosystem.
I'm excited to try berry picking and Finnish sauna, and personally, I think it would also be fun to meet the folks behind the Angry Birds game!
Yunita, as all the other participants, will be writing about her expectations before and experiences during her visit to Finland in the blog of Foreign Correspondents' Programme. Have a look and follow the blog, if you want to have a window to the Finnish society! Link to the blog: https://fcp.finland.fi/