If I need to compare between Nepal and Finland then I must say there is a vast difference between these two countries. The very first thing that strikes my mind while thinking of differences is that; Nepal is an Asian country while Finland is a European country. Nepal is a landlocked country but Finland is surrounded by sea. This has been one of the great disadvantages for my country because it affects in trading.
The economy level of these two countries is impossible to compare. Nepal is a poor country which ranks 31st among the world’s poorest countries while Finland ranks 22nd among the world’s richest countries. So we can easily figure out the differences between these two countries. However, the living standard of Nepal is rapidly increasing these recent years.
The education system in Nepal is theoretical. Students need to read book in order to pass the exam. But in Finland the education system is totally practical which I really appreciate. Every student gets the fair grading here in Finland.
Well how can I forget the food? Well in Nepal, daily food for the people is daal (lentils), bhaat (rice), tarkari (vegetables with or without meat) and achaar (pickle) whereas in Finland breads, pies, potatoes and some fish items are considered to be daily food. We Nepali love spicy and hot food but Finns love sweet dish.
Talking about the climate, Nepal has almost all climates in itself. If you want to experience extreme hot climate, be in Terai region of Nepal. If you want to feel extreme cold climate, be somewhere in the mountain part and if you want to have a moderate climate then be in a hilly region. But in Finland I’m pretty sure wherever you go, the climate will be similar.
Finally, I would like to say something about the people living on these two different countries. People in Nepal, they are socially bounded. They are so dependent to each other. Here in Finland I haven’t seen people so attached with the society since they live for their individual development. Nevertheless, wherever you are, one thing is common, we all have similar heart, emotions and feelings; the difference is only on interpreting.
Text and photo: Sabnam Shrestha
What I felt was the coolest thing here in Turku, was the amount of exchange students that study here! It’s amazing to see how fast you make friends, I live in the student village, so obviously I can only speak for the student village, but really if you want to meet new people, then get involved, leave your door open and don’t be afraid to talk to the others in your building.
My first month here, I wasn’t talking to anybody, because I was so busy, but after a few months I got to know the people directly on my floor, the same people I shared a kitchen with, and since then it’s been great. We have had nights where we just hang out in the common kitchen, days where we decorate it; we have gone for walks and even had an Easter supper. We find ways to keep busy and without noticing it, we’re all becoming really good friends. They are your roommates, and become your friends and even some become your travelling partners! I know most of them are Erasmus students, and live the “Erasmus life style”, but I’m Canadian and they without a hesitation will invite you to a party the first week you get here.
I have been having so much fun here as an exchange student in Turku. There are a few things I needed to get used to, the weather being one and obviously the food is different, the people are different and the language is different, but to be fair, the food is good, the people are nice and they can almost all speak English, Swedish and Finnish, some even know a few more languages! So life here in Turku is safe and fun! It’s easy to get adjusted. I’m sure once I go back to my home country, I’ll want to come back.
Text and photo: Mathieu Richard
When it comes to free time activities, Turku is a really great city. The whole city is filled with awesome places to visit and lots of opportunities to do hobbies. One of the good choices is jogging or walking as Turku has many kilometers of jogging trails (40km+) and in addition to that many more as nature trails for people who are looking forward to spend some time in Finnish nature. Other notable physical activity choices are for example going to one of the many swimming halls that are located around Turku.
For people that are looking for other kind of experience in Turku, I would recommend the Forum Marinum. The Forum Marinum Maritime Centre is a lively and versatile centre for maritime activities, comprising a national special maritime museum, and the Finnish Navy Museum. Other great place to visit is Aboa Vetus and Ars Nova. The museum of history and contemporary art is an unique cultural attraction in Turku, Finland. Aboa Vetus is an underground area of ruins, where the genuine constructions tell the history of the oldest city in Finland.
Other place that shouldn’t go without mentioning is, of course, the Turku Castle. Turku Castle is located about 3 km from the city center easily accessible by public transportation. The Main Castle has treasures from the collections on display: ceramics, jewelry, costumes, demotic textiles, furniture and toys. In addition to the places that I have mentioned I should list: various gyms, Turku Cathedral, Ruissalo island, Hirvensalo ski centre, Turku indoor climbing “palace”, Kupittaa park and the Föri city ferry.
Text and photo: Iiro Järvenpää
I first decided to come to Finland for the experience and I think Finland is a great country to visit. Then once I knew that I was coming, I looked into visiting Europe. Europe is a great place to visit and is fairly easy to travel, especially for students like me that come from North-America or other places than Europe. There are also many reasons for Europeans to come visit Finland, because it has a lot to see and it’s a great way to take this opportunity and visit a place that you might not get the chance to see again.
I took advantage of the travelling and have been to France, Italy, United Kingdom, Russia, Sweden, Poland, Dublin, Croatia and Netherlands. I have seen a lot of different places and a lot of great sights. This experience is an awesome experience and I am having a lot of fun. So whether you want to visit Europe, Finland or Turku, it’s a great way to do so and also complete your studies.
From Turku there are many different places that are cheap and easy to travel to like Helsinki, Stockholm, Tampere, Gdansk, St-Petersburg, etc. When I first got here I got myself a train card, which cost 8 Euros but you can get deals on many different travels with that card at a student price. For example, I can get to Tampere for around fifteen Euros or Helsinki for about sixteen Euros. Finland is a great place to travel and has great places to see and so is Europe. My experience here was amazing and I highly recommend taking this great opportunity to travel around Europe or the North of Europe and see some amazing historical places. Europe has a lot of history and it’s just amazing to see it all.
Text and photo: Joel Richard