Culture

Limerick Voices from Abroad: Bernadette Quinn

Every Saturday, Limerick Voice reporter, Siobhan Comyns, speaks to Limerick natives who have emigrated.

Who? Bernadette Quinn.

From? I’m originally from Clare but I lived in Limerick for five years before moving abroad.

Now living in? Espoo, Finland.

Bernadette and her daughter Sofie taking a walk by the seashore when the sea is frozen.

When did you leave Ireland and why?

In 1995, when I was in the second year of studying for a Masters in Chemistry at UL, I went on an exchange programme with Helsinki University of Technology.  While I was there, I was offered a PhD place which I took up in 1996.  I have been living abroad since then.

What did you study?

I did my degree in Industrial Chemistry and my Masters in Chemistry at the University of Limerick.

I then studied for a PhD in Physical Chemistry at Helsinki University of Technology.

Describe your job.

Having spent 10 years working at the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), I now work as a Regulatory Specialist at a consultancy firm which helps companies to fulfil their regulatory requirements under the REACH regulations.  (REACH is the regulation for industrial chemicals).  We have clients from all over the world including one client from Ireland!

What is living in Finland like?

I live in Espoo which is a satellite city next to Helsinki. It’s the second largest city in Finland with a population of 281,000.  We are surrounded by nature and there are lots of places to hike and bike.  One of the great things about Finland generally is that it’s family friendly in terms of daycare and schools.

Do you have any advice for someone interested in working abroad?

It’s a great opportunity in that you meet lots of interesting people and make friends from all over the world.  It changes your perspective.

What do you miss most about Limerick?

People immediately understanding what you are saying!

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