Arriving in Turku

Hanna3On the 4th of January 2016 the big journey began.

The evening and night before I had a „Goodbye“-party with all my family and friends and the next day we started early in the morning to the airport. The first time that I flew alone with the plane, the first time that I went alone so far in the north and the first time that I will stay 5 months without all the people which I was sharing my life for 20 years now.

Luckily my finnish buddy picked me up at the airport and brought me to my new flat.

This day seemed to me like an eternity. But the time after was running so fast.

The first two days I felt like a tourist in Turku with the only difference that this place was supposed to be my home for the next months. My tutor was showing me around and she showed me the most important things: How does this bus system work? Which places I have to visit the next days, etc. which was really helpful.

The first days in university I got to know a lot of new people from all over Europe about whom I would say today that they got probably friends for life.

During this time we joined together a lot of parties and get togethers which definitely helped us to get to know each other better. It made things a way more easier that you knew that there are a lot of other exchange students which struggle with exactly the same issues than you do. The language barrier became smaller and after a while it wasn’t a problem at all anymore. Also about the cultural aspect you got to learn to  be more tolerant about other opinions, attitudes and way of livings. And afterwards I would say it was a great chance in my life, I’m happy that I used the chance and I had a lot of possibilities to see my personality growing.

Text & photo: Hanna Beck

Travelling

Hanna2Really good about Finland is that Finland has a really good passenger transport system and you can reach a lot of countries around Finland easily and cheap.

I travelled to Lapland, Estoina – Talinn, Russia – St. Petersburg and Sweden – Stockholm, Uppsala, Malmö.
All of the trips were amazing and I couldn’t tell which one was the best.

In Lapland I saw as much snow and experienced cold I didn’t experience my whole life before.
There I build a snow house, went cross-country skiing, went to a reindeer farm, did a husky safari and of course we saw the nothern lights. All of those activities were really highlights I will never forget.

Talinn is a beautiful old city with charme and a lot to see there. We went there with a group with eight people which makes this trip even more special. In sunshine and snow we did a lot of sightseeing, went to beautiful little restaurants and coffee shops to get warm again and on the way back with the ferry we had a great party.

In St. Petersburg we learned probably the most about how to organize trips, it was a lot of organization beforehand which was definitely worth it. We spend five great days doing a lot of sightseeing in this beautiful city. We saw a lot of cathedrals and colourful churches and learned something about the history there. Went to the hermitage, saw how they open the main bridges in the night, did a river cruise in the night, etc. In total it was one of the best city tours I have ever done.

And with the last trip during my semester abroad I fulfilled myself a dream. I travelled through Sweden as backpacker with a friend of mine.

As a resumee I would stay I made experiences in the other countries I could never imagine and I will keep forever in my mind.

Text & photo: Hanna Beck

Student life

The student life in Turku has a lot to do with culture.

First of all because you got the unique chance to do a lot sightseeing in different cities, getting to know the habitants in those cities.
Secondly because of all the people you meet. It is called Erasmus which means an exchange in Europe but also from other countries all over the world there are people at the TUAS.

On the one hand we figured out a lot of cultural differences but on the other hand as much similiarities from cultures you never expect before.
For me personally it was always a pleasure to find out how different things work in different countries and cultures.

But this is not all: I had 5 months of my life I only spoke english which improves my english a lot. As Business student I formed a perfect basis for my job later on.
Additionally I got a lot of visitors from home during my semester abroad, which makes the time even more amazing.

Hanna1For example the picture which is attached to this blog entry is made with two friends of mine in front of the Evangelical Lutheran Cathedral of Helsinki. I enjoyed the time with those visitors from home to show them around and to get a little part of home to Finland for not becoming homesick.

Besides this time TUAS, ESN and other student organizations organized a lot of events for guaranteeing us exchange students the time of our lifes and they definitely succeeded.
From a hiking trip in Ruissalo, to cottage weekends, several trips in Finland and countless parties and cultural events.

In total I could say that I didn’t have one single boring day the last five month and that I would like to express the time in Finland in words here in this blog but it is an impossible task.
Let’s just say: IT WAS FANTASTIC! 🙂

Text & photo: Hanna Beck