I attended a few ESN events since I became more comfortable with my campus and surroundings, including an international food evening, speed friending, club parties and the most unforgettable trip to Lapland, Finland.
I had only heard about Lapland from reading stories by other tourists that had visited. ‘Number one place to see the northern lights,’ one said. The pictures attached to these stories were even more unbelievable. Living in a big city back home, I can only dream of such places. I had to go.
Me and a friend of mine from my home college agreed that we would attend the trip. In our preparations beforehand I never pictured just how great this trip would be and how deeply it would impact my life.
I decided to go on the husky safari, and the snowshoeing adventure (I had already been skiing back home, but if you haven’t it’s a must when you go to Lapland!)
So on the first few days there, while everyone went out skiing, I went for walks with some of my cabin mates and just enjoyed the beauty of the place.
We had many parties, where I got to meet new faces that I had seen before in classes but never spoken to. Everyone became friends by the end of the journey. Spending the week together had a bonding effect on the gang.
But back to the husky trip… when I went it was scary at first. Scary and exhilarating all at the same time! I loved being out in the snow and being able to play with the dogs and puppies afterwards. Also, the snowshoeing, I had been partying hard the night before and we had to make it to the top of a mountain… what did I get myself into? I pushed myself upwards and a friend asked me if I had done this before… I was just determined to reach the top. While others backed out half-way through, I did not give up. When we made it I cheered. It was only a small mountain it Lapland but it felt like Mt.Everest.
My advice to any exchange student that comes to Turku in the future is go to Lapland, they have more than one trip a year and it will be one of the top experiences of your life.
Text: Valerie McDermott