Finland and Turku

Before I came here there were some reasons why I wanted to come and they are.

I love travelling and Finland is the country I wanted to go and I think it is a great opportunity to learn about its culture. I chose Turku, because some colleagues who were there recommended me this place and due to I have already been in Helsinki so I wanted to know other important city.

I want to learn Finnish culture, but I want to live a multicultural experience, because I like to know people from different countries and with different cultures, so I think I will find it in Turku.

I would like to learn how is the nursing there and improve my knowledge about caring for foreigners, because I think I will work abroad.

Also I want to improve my English, and maybe learn some Finnish.

Now I have been in Turku for almost 3 month I think it was the best option, I have been sharing my time with amazing people and I also feel like I have a family here and I will have it around the world.

If I compare Finland with my place I can find several differences but it is not a problem for me because I also like Finland, especially Turku. I think it is due to the people I have met here but anyway I really love it and it is a good place to live.

Several Finnish people have been telling me that the best part of Finland is coming and it is the summer and I am really looking forward for that. But I also love snow and snow sports and that is why I decided to come to Finland because I was thinking there would be more snow and for longer, but anyway mi time here has been amazing.

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Text and photo: Antonio Daza Castillo

 

 

 

Get Finternational Course

Get Finternational course was a course which I did not choose, but where I learn so much about the differences between cultures and I had a really good time with people from different cultures.

At the beginning I didn’t think that the course could be a really good experience, but I was wrong. I thought that because I have already had some intercultural subjects at my home university and I was thinking it would be the same, but it was better due to I learnt some cultural behavior and then I saw theme in the real life and I could compare with my culture and observe the differences with real examples.

It helps me so much to understand different behavior and to realize how ordinary acts for me may be misunderstanding, so now I know I have to apt to the different cultures when I am with people from different cultures and how I can do it easier for both cultures.

I also enjoyed the time I have been in the Get Finternational course sharing it with more exchange students who made it better and funnier, because in spite of our cultural differences we are like a family, we are living all together, enjoying our exchange time in Turku and we are in the same situation and living the same experience.

Finally I have to say that this course has been a really good experience, where I have learnt so much, more than I thought, and it made me culturally richer. I got new skills to be able to treat properly different kind of people and I think I have understood why we had this course and which goals we needed to get. Furthermore to share that experience with exchange students made it richer and easier to understand everything.

Text: Antonio Daza Castillo

Traveling in Finland

One of the things I was most excited about before coming to Finland as an exchange student was traveling. I would visit places like Tallinn, Stockholm or Saint Petersburg, but there was one trip that I was really expecting: Lapland.

So when I arrived to Finland I booked the trip without any second thoughts, and the 3rd of March I took a bus from Helsinki with some friends that would take us to Vasatokka, north of Lapland. We knew that traveling 15 hours in a bus wouldn’t be easy, but we knew it would be worth it. And it was.

On our way we could see how the scenery became whiter, and we couldn’t wait to arrive to our destiny to enjoy the snow and the nature.

And finally we arrived to Vasatokka, a beautiful place surrounded by woods and a big frozen lake.

There we had snow fights, we made snowmen, some sledging… The coldness didn’t matter, we just wanted to enjoy ourselves the time we had there. Swimming in the hole of a frozen lake after sauna was mandatory, and surprisingly we liked it and did it more than once. I never thought I could be so brave!

We did some activities like going to a reindeer farm with Sami people, a husky safari or going to a lovely little village of Norway to swim in the Arctic Ocean, but the thing that everyone was waiting for the whole trip was the northen lights, and we couldn’t leave without seeing them.

The first night we were very sad because it was cloudy and we couldn’t see anything. However, the second night the sky was clear and they were there; we were watching the northen lights!

At first we couldn’t believe our eyes, we were so excited about it that some people even cried.

So I can say without any doubts that Lapland is the best trip I have ever made, and I will never forget it.

koirat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Text and photo: Ana Lanseros Tenllado

 

 

Curiosities of Finnish people & culture

Before coming to Finland, everyone would tell me: “Oh, it’s going to be so cold there, and you’re not used to it!” They were right, as I come from the south of Spain, but what they didn’t know is that the cold weather is not the only thing shocking from Finland…

On my second day in Turku I had a meeting with my coordinator at the university. By 11 a.m. the meeting was over, so she told me: “You can go to have lunch now”. I thought that it was a mistake. Maybe she meant a second breakfast, that moment of the day when you eat a piece of fruit or something small to help you wait for lunch. But then I went to the cafeteria and I realized that it was me the one who was wrong. They were having a big meal, the same I would have in Spain at 2 or 3 p.m.

But as I wasn’t in Spain anymore, I decided to join this “weird” Finnish people and have lunch their way. It probably took me longer than it should have choosing my salad, but I couldn’t find the olive oil or the salt anywhere, so I had to pour some sauce I hadn’t seen in my life before. And in the end, when I thought that nothing could surprise me anymore because all that I had to do was taking a glass of water, I saw how most of the people took two glasses instead of one, and one of them full of milk. Milk with lunch! I thought was for breakfast, coffee or tea, but apparently Finnish people have found another use for it.

Finally, I sat to have a relaxing meal. I guess that wasn’t a Finnish thing to do, because it only took Finnish people about 10 minutes to eat.

So, to sum up, on my second day by noon I had already felt the culture shock, and it was only food related. I couldn’t even imagine how many things I didn’t know about Finland yet!

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Text and photo: Ana Lanseros Tenllado

Get Finternational Course

I took this GetFinternationl course to get to know our exchange students and to get new points of view how to teach and learn about different cultures. Overall the course matched my needs, since all the activities engaged us to do team work in teams with people from all around. Team working in international teams wasn’t new to me, but it is always rewarding and fun.

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Different cultures have always been very present in my life and I have grown in a multicultural environment. I have always had neighbours from other nationalities, I have been interested in different cultures and points of view, and I have always loved to travel. I have done my Primary School in an international school and have always had friends and teachers from all over the world. When in High School, I spent an exchange year in Costa Rica, adapted myself in their culture and met some of the most amazing people in my life. All I have learned through these experiences have affected me in a way and have taught me multiple things about different cultures. This is why I don’t feel like I have learned any mind-blowing new features of different cultures during this course. Of course it reminded me once more how wonderfully diverse our world is and how differently people see things.

Pic 7And repetition is never a bad thing. I enjoyed myself on the course, even though the things we were talking about weren’t new to me. I think everyone should take some time for themselves every once in a while and think about their own culture and what it means to them. What is culture, how to define it, what does it mean to different people, how people see different things in life; it is always good to think about it and try putting it to words. Especially for a person like many of us with a multicultural background the topics are so clear that it is even hard to start defining them in words. This course helped me to remind how to do that, and I hope this blog text will now encourage You to do the same.

 

Text and photos: Jenni Laulajainen