Go Back

Taru Salminen

Taru Ulla-Riikka Salminen
Born October 29, 1977, Elimäki.

Bachelor of Arts (East Asian Studies), University of Helsinki, 2006
Bachelor of Business Administration, Helia University of Applied Sciences, 2006

Translator and restaurateur
Assistant, Finnish Embassy of Finland, Republic of Korea, Seoul, 2007-
Intern, Finnish Embassy of Finland, Republic of Korea, Seoul, 2005–2006

Written by Tero Juutilainen
Translated by John Calton

A Farewell to Korea?

At present Taru Salminen is doing her teacher training at the Open University in Turku. She’s aiming to become a qualified teacher of Korean and indeed teach the language. She doesn’t rule out the possibility of completing her studies at the University of Helsinki.

“I left off my studies in Helsinki after doing the Bachelor’s degree because in Korea you can do just about anything with a bachelor’s.”

After any trips between Korea and Finland Salminen has noticed one interesting fact.

“When I take a Finnair flight to Helsinki, and get to the airport, I’m just about the only passenger to follow the exit signs. By which I mean Koreans use Helsinki as a transit point to other places, such as Spain.”

Salminen saw this as a challenge: to write a Finnish travel guide for Koreans. Koreans’ enthusiasm for Finland has generally been dampened by the idea that it’s a remote, expensive and, yes, cold place. Taru Salminen is keen to tackle this myth head on and show that Suomi has all the ingredients for a good holiday.

Salminen has also been approached by Korean firms, but hasn’t taken any of them up on their offers.

“Korean work culture is more intensive and as such would limit my chances of keeping up with my family here in Finland. And one source of concern is losing my grip on the Finnish. Working in the embassy however, the working language has been just as much Finnish and English as Korean, and the working conditions follow a Finnish rather than Korean model.”

Salminen is hoping that she can find something to replace her involvement and lecturing in various events, with a view to doing more of the same going forward.

Salminen aims to work increasingly as a cultural go-between.​
Salminen aims to work increasingly as a cultural go-between.​


Go Back