Tina Turku Presents the City from a Greek Point of View
​The clips of the video blog are from Turku, Athanasopoulou has not returned to Kuopio, where she first lived in Finland. The reason behind it is the will to keep intact the memory of Kuopio as a snowy paradise. – I love snow. I’m like a child when I see the first flakes, says Christina.
​Christina Athanasopoulou’s office is in the basement of Sanitas. The visitor is first greeted by the Greek word Meraki (Μεράκι) and its definition: to do something with soul, creativity or love when you put something of yourself into your work.
The definition describes perfectly the Doctoral Candidate’s attitude towards her doctoral studies, life and Finland. Christina believes that whatever you chose to do in life you should do it with your soul, with passion, the whole you, not simply for completing the task. Already as a child, the girl from Athens dreamt about visiting the distant North, the land of snow. In 2005, Erasmus exchange made the dream a reality – Christina travelled to Kuopio in October 2005. The three-month exchange in dark Finland enchanted her indefinitely.
– Finland is my wonderland, says Athanasopoulou

Data for the Dissertation from Finland and Greece

Christina graduated as an occupational therapist in her home country and then returned to Finland, this time to Turku to study education. During her Master studies she spotted a Greek name in a social networking site (named Evanthia Sakellari) and contacted her. They became friends and, when Athanasopoulou’s Master’s degree was completed, Evanthia – now a PhD from the department of Nursing Science – her friend asked that “have you ever thought about writing a doctoral dissertation? There are some great professors in my department”.
– I contacted Professor Maritta Välimäki. She’s not only an exceptional teacher and mentor, but above all a caring person. She has supported me in so many ways, thanks Athanasopoulou.
She started as a doctoral candidate in August 2011. Athanasopoulou had worked people with autism, learning disabilities or schizophrenia in Athens and the topic of her dissertation is if and in what way Finnish and Greek adults with schizophrenia use the internet for health-related purposes..
– When you go online and google ‘schizophrenia’, it is important what you find in the first search results as they might impact health-related decisions among people with the disorder and also affect how others perceive mental illness, says Athanasopoulou.
She conducts her research both in Finland and Greece. The comparison is an interesting one, as Finnish citizens’ computer skills, Internet use, and online health information seeking behavior vary greatly in comparison with those of Greek citizens.
The pilot has already been carried out, the gathering of the final data starts in the spring.

Even the Finns Are Amazed by the Beauty in the Videos

Athanasopoulou wants to share her experiences in Finland and Turku. Her way to achieve this is a video blog.
– I want to show everyone how I see this remarkable country, she says.
As her favourite place, she mentions the Turku Cathedral, the banks of Aura River in the summertime, and almost any place where you can observe and listen to people, birds and sounds. Also the Student Village where she lives receives thanks from Athanasopoulou for its beauty and closeness to nature.
Also Finns are eager to follow Christina’s video blog and the comments have had an air of surprise. Are there really such beautiful streets, buildings and art in Turku?
– I notice the surroundings that are too familiar to the Finns. I remember my first internship in a Finnish hospital in Kuopio, especially the smell. It was coffee and biscuits. And how well the hospital was organised, says Athanasopoulou.
She has a long list about things she loves in Finland:
– Being so close to nature and experiencing every season. From warm, bright and never-ending summer days, to freezing cold, snowy nights. Cycling in a beautiful, clean city next to the river, walking around both during bright summer nights and meet unexpected ‘friends’ like rabbits and dark winter nights and see unexpected phenomena, the northern lights, she says.
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