Meet the Team

Team Members

Tiina Matikainen Tiina Matikainen
Tiina is from Joensuu, Finland. She lived in Vermont in the United States for 8 years during her university and graduate studies. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and an M.A. and an Ed.D. in Teaching English as a Foreign Language/TESOL. She has been living in Japan for over 10 years now teaching English to Japanese university students. She enjoys living in Tokyo and loves to explore the city. She enjoys traveling, reading, Bikram yoga, studying languages, and hanging out with her French Bulldog Bono.
Reeta Laamanen Reeta Laamanen
Reeta was born and raised in Finland, but has lived for more than ten years outside her home country. She obtained Bachelor’s of Arts in French and Finnish as a Foreign Language at the University of Florence and a Master’s degree in Communication at IULM university in Milan, Italy. She has been living in Japan for three years, and enjoys learning the Japanese language and experiencing its culture. She is currently working as a freelance translator and language teacher and speaks Italian, English, French and Japanese.
Paula Merikallio Paula Merikallio
Paula is a native Finnish speaker who was born and raised in Helsinki, and also spent a part of her childhood living in Singapore. She studied Hospitality in Finland, and studied the Japanese language in Japan. She has always loved studying languages, and can speak some Swedish, French and Russian. Other than languages, she loves traveling, soccer and live music.
Nico Fager Nico Fager
Nico Fager was born in Lahti in Finland. He is a native Finnish speaker and fluent in Swedish, English, Spanish, and Japanese. He’s interested in learning and teaching languages and listening to music. He hopes to work in the music production industry in Japan. Nico has also taught English and Finnish abroad.
Päivi Merviö Päivi M.
Päivi was born in Vantaa, Finland, and spent her childhood in Vantaa and Hämeenlinna in southern Finland. Päivi has B.A. and M.A.degrees in fashion & collection design and clothing research, and has also studied Japanese aesthetics and Japanese & Korean business culture. Finnish is her native language and she is also fluent in English. She also speaks some Swedish and Japanese. Päivi enjoys arts, crafts and design, is passionate about good music and dancing, loves to indulge in nice food and wine, and is very fond of nature and animals.
Aarni Aarni
Aarni was born and raised in Finland. He is a native Finnish speaker and also fluent in English and Swedish. Aarni has technical, and IT education and he has worked several years as a technical teacher at a multinational IT company in Finland while working as a part-time English-Finnish translator. He periodically resides in the Philippines as well, which he calls his second home. Aarni likes swimming; you can find him improving his freestyle techniques at the pool almost every weekday. He is an enthusiastic motorcyclist and loves his motorbike Kawasaki which he takes out of the garage when he wants to have longer fun-rides on the weekends.
Aarni Aino
Aino was born and raised in Finland. She’s a native Finnish speaker and fluent in English and Japanese; she also knows some Russian, Swedish, and Latin. She would like to learn Arabic and Spanish. She’s been living in Japan since 2008 working as a language instructor. She enjoys reading and listening to music.
Nita Hyrkkänen Nita Hyrkkänen
Nita Hyrkkänen was born and raised in Finland but has lived most of her adult life in Scotland. She has studied zoology at the University of Edinburgh and creative writing at the Open University and the University of Strathclyde. She is a native Finnish speaker, fluent in English, and currently studying Spanish and Scottish Gaelic. Nita is a regular at her local library and is often found with her nose buried in a book. She also enjoys board games, video games, hiking, growing organic vegetables, and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen.