My Life

Why Am I Leaving The Best Country In The World?

(Prizes my younger little brother have won from ice hockey and football)


I knew it. According to Newsweek Finland is the best country in the world. China is on the 59th place. Let’s do little bit comparing between the two homes of mine. Finland’s overall score is 89,31 and China’s 62,10. The best score Finland got from education because the literacy rate is 100%. Also according to PISA the Finnish education is the best in the world.

In China the economic dynamism got good scores but political environment was ranked to be one of the worst. Also the education was only on the 61th place but that seems to be understandable when I remember some complaints of  Chinese university students. One of them said directly that politic lessons are completely waste of time.

It may seem to be crazy to leave the best country in the world but being a foreigner in China is not the same than being a Chinese in China. I can’t fully explain my interest towards China but it definitely is a adventure. I want to see if I can understand and survive it. I have no need to change China even I would definitely want to see some things change. I am there to observe and learn why they do things the way they do.

Hopefully someday I see a new China that is better than today. But I think that will not happen before some changes take place in the governance.

Photo by lago Laz.


  • Pat

    the majority of the countries on that list has low population. i think there’s some correlation between low population density and standard of living. it’s easier to make things better (education, environment, housing, etc) when you only have to look after 5.4 million people (finland) than 1.3 billion (china).

  • Sara

    Thank you for your comment Pat.

    That might be one reason. But there are 126,8 million people in Japan and it’s the 5th best. But in Nicaragua there’s only 6 million people and it’s on the 75th place.

    So there must be other reasons why Finland is the best. I think one of the reasons is the quality of education that also reaches everybody.

    When I searched the Newsweek website I found this:

    “Of course, being small and rich is best — A good, broad-based educational system is crucial—it’s very closely linked to future economic prosperity”

    So small population combined with wealth and excellent education seems to be the winning method. (The size isn’t the most important factor.)

  • eugene

    The latest results of PISA seem to suggest that with respect to education, the ranking of China and Finland has now reversed.,8599,2035586,00.html

    China Beats Out Finland for top marks in education

    Sara Reply:

    Thanks for sharing the link Eugene! The situation isn’t really reversed so easily. This was the first time China was participating in PISA and Finland got a good score too even it wasn’t the best this time. I really hope that this is the beginning of better education in China. But we should remember that China is more than Shanghai and Hong Kong (who got top scores in PISA) and improvement should be done across the country.

    And how Shanghai and Hong Kong did it? Read this quote from the news:

  • Autumn

    Sara,do you still in Guangzhou University?What do you major in?Could you tell me why you want to stay in China and have no company from Finland(in fact,I just guess you come to China alone.)?just because you regard it as an adventure?Do you think more of it? Maybe stay in China for the rest of your life.Please forgive my this rude questions.These days,I just dount of my dream to go and live in Finland.Why and what should I do in Finland?I was confused.

    Sara Reply:

    Autumn, Yes I’m still in Guangzhou university. I used to study history in Finland and the next six months I will still be a exchange student so I don’t really have a major now. But I only study Chinese. Next Autumn I hope to start my Bachelor Degree in Sun Yat Sen University and then my major will be Chinese Language. I have no company from Finland because I’m a student. I have always wanted to come to China, it has been a dream for me since I was 12 yeard old or so. But just a year ago I decided that it is time to go and applied for student exchange. It was easy way to come to China and I love learning the language. Sure it is an adventure, but my goal is to do my BA and be fluent in Chinese (speaking, reading, writing, listening, all of it). Then when I graduate I will look for a job and then decide if I want to stay in Guangzhou or go back to Finland. I’m not sure yet. You are not rude at all, I like answering to your questions. Why you want to go to Finland? Are you a student now? Maybe you should try to apply to do your student exchange in Finnish university. Or after Bachelor Degree, do a Master Degree in Finland. Or first go there to travel and then see if you would like to search for a job in Finland. But you need to have some idea so you can have a visa.

  • Autumn

    Sara,yes,I am still a student and study in Guangzhou University now.Maybe I am so shy that I can’t speak English fluently especiately when I meet a foreigner.We had met once.My roommate,Jane,do you still remmember her?You had come to my dormitory,but I had no idea to say to you.I’m so sorry for that.
    I like Finland when I first met her on TV.I don’t know why.But I just had strong feelings that I should go to Finland,maybe live there for my rest of life.Can I ask you some impolite questions?Are you a college in Finland when you apply to be an exchange student? Do you study well in Finland or have some outstanding skills?I really want to be an exchange student,but,there are only a few positions.If you don’t have some outstanding scores or have good relationship with teachers,you won’t have chance to be an exchange student.I don’t think I can’t be lucky to be one of them.
    In fact,I want to travel Finland.But I can’t make up my mind.Because I don’t have much experience.And I’m the only child my parents can rely on.If I go to Finland and can’t find a good job to afford my family.I will be shame for my rude behavior.Could you tell me how much money(RMB) you cost for your ticket from Finland to China?And what about consumption level in Finland? I think I should get some plans for my journey to Finland now.So I can achieve my dream just like you.You’re indeed an independent girl.I admire you and your dream.
    At last,could you introduce some of your friends in Finland to me?I want to make some “pen pal” and know more about Finnish lives.And,I change my English name,Angela.But you can still call me Autumn.:)
    Have a noce day!

    Sara Reply:

    Autumn, I’m so sorry I didn’t first know it was you! But now I remember. And don’t be too shy, you can always talk to me if you see me on campus. I know that feeling, I had and have that same feeling about China. Yes I was (and am) an university student in Finland. I was a ok student, studied pretty well, but nothing outstanding. About studying in Finland you can read more here:

    The ticket to Finland costs about 5000RMB. Finland is very expensive country compared to China. For example city bus ticket 25RMB, tea in a coffee house 15-20RMB, cheapest hostel maybe 200RMB per night, cheap t-shirt 50-100RMB, really cheap jeans 200RMB, bottle of water 10RMB. I think you get the idea. So it might take some saving to get to Finland, but if you want something very much, you will find a way to make it true.

    I also understand your worry about spending money and going far away from your parents. It is very different for me, but I can understand it after living here in China. So maybe it’s good to plan first. If you want to work in Finland study well and improve your English as much as you can. When you get to Finland, start learning the language too. It will help you to find jobs. Maybe one step could be to try to get a job or internship from a Finnish company that is in Guangzhou/China?

    Have a nice day too Autumn/Angela!

  • Angela

    Sara,since this term began.I had never seen you again.I think it is because you move your dormitory to 榕轩.
    But if I see you,I will say hello to you.:)

    Sara Reply:

    Angela, Actually I don’t live in the campus anymore, but in a village nearby. But I do come to the campus often even now my winter holiday already begun. So maybe see you soon :)