‘I was waiting for the honeymoon period to end. But as time went on, I realised I just really love it here,’ says Julia Capozza
Meet Julia Capozza, an American teacher and student coach who moved to the Jakobstad region in 2011. She talks to us about her experiences as an expatriate, about aurora hunting, and doing the Finnish wool sock race!
Why did you move to the Jakobstad region? I spent a year here as an exchange student in 2005. Then, back in the US, I missed Finland — a lot. I flew back when I could and, after my graduation, placed an ad, found a tutoring job, and returned in 2011. Funny thing is, though, that I had to make a “top five” list of countries for the exchange program. Finland was not on it!
Was it easy to settle in? There’s the paperwork, and getting to know how the legal and administrative systems work. But if you just ask people, they are happy to help.
What’s best about your job? Working with teenagers! Teen years are tough, and it’s great to help them along by chatting with them and lending an ear.
What’s best about the region? It sounds crazy but I love the cold winters — walking on the frozen sea, taking a thermos to the beach, going aurora hunting… In summer I stay out late with friends, chat, and watch the midnight sun.
Where do you live? In Nykarleby. It’s close to the sea and I can go to the beach whenever I feel like it. There are a lot of foreigners, and it’s friendly — I feel at home here.
What do you do after work? I like to train, be outdoors, and spend time with friends. I’ve started to follow ice hockey. Oh, and last year I competed in the annual wool sock race. It’s icy, crazy, and a lot of fun. I can tell you that running in wool socks is a whole different animal!
What’s on your regional bucket list? I haven’t hiked to Lostenen, one of Finland’s largest glacial erratics. I have heard it is very cool — I just haven’t made it up there yet.
What one piece of advice do you have for people who’d like to move to the Jakobstad region? Put yourself out there. Enrol in a course, join a club, and you’ll find that it’s easy to meet people and make new friends.