It was random Monday at our Sales course when suddenly, Mikael came in the class with a picture of a dropped soap in a shower and asked who wants to spend two nights in a prison and get 4 ECTS. No more information, places are rare so we have to answer immediately. I thought: sounds strange, stupid and funny. I’m in! About two weeks later we got the information: bring everything by yourself except food, be punctual. The time schedule told us a lot of work and just a few hours of sleep. We were about 8 exchange and 70 regular students.
Before the group work started, we had some time to explore the prison and get a feeling for it. It is amazing to have the opportunity to see such a big and impressive building, especially the location in the centre of the town makes it even more impressive. Our task was to brainstorm about a topic and then switch the room after about 20min. Lunch and dinner was a potato soup with bread, typical prison food. At the dinner there was a guy with a camera and they made some interviews with professors and the new owner. Furthermore they want to interview some exchange students so guess what? I was chosen. So I also did my first interview in a prison, WOW. The task brainstorming doesn’t sound so difficult, but after brainstorming for about nearly 8 hours you’re definitely tiered. At about 1am we started with some Finns to explore the prison at night that was really funny and scary, well, for some of your group only. The night was short about 2 hours for me because the brainstorming started again at 5am. Finally we did the first night ready to come again in some weeks for the second night.
All in all the project was a great experience it shows that things are handled completely different, I cannot imagen that this is possible in Germany. Everybody who has the possibility to do a project in Turku, go for it.
Text & photo: Julius Neu
On a fresh Saturday my friend Pablo (who took all the pictures) and I decided to go the Kurjenrahka National Park by our own because the student union trips are always full. Due the fact that we have to make 6km from the bus station to the National park, we took our bikes. Some people told us it’s not possible to take the bike to the bus so we wanted to try it. The bus driver was so friendly and told us “yes, of course, no problem” and we were so happy and hopped in. The national park is amazing, very beautiful and everybody is so friendly. We saw lots of Finns picking berries and also tried some of them. Really nice is the idea of using timber planks for the way instead of dirt tracks. After about two hours of hiking around the National Park Lake, we returned quickly and exhausted to the bus station to catch the bus that runs only every hour.
We arrived with five minutes before departure at the bus station. The bus arrives, the woman which drove the bus hopped out, didn’t even look at us and just left for 5 minutes. As if we were not there. She returned (still without looking or saying anything), open the door, started the engine and then started to speak with us.
We ask friendly:
“Can we take the bikes inside the bus?”
“But we already came with the bikes by bus.”
“I do not carry bikes.”
She closed the door and drove away. So we decided to start driving slowly back to Turku with the bikes. About 40 minutes later and half the way back to the city the next bus came. Same situation:
“Can we take the bikes into the bus?”
“The bikes, into the bus?”
So finally we made about 50km with the bicycle (mine is a little girl’s bike) and about 10km by walking around in the national park. Enough exercise for one day.
The National Park is unbelievable beautiful, I recommend it to everybody. But never rely to take the bikes in the public bus.
Text: Julius Neu
Photos: Pablo de Andrés