Get Finternational course

The Finternational course helped me improve my interpersonal skills as well as increased my awareness of other cultures, specifically, the Finnish culture. I learned a great deal about the Finns which helped me build realistic expectations about how my interactions with others can be interpreted. That helped me feel comfortable going out in the community. Because of the information I learned during the workshops I understood that Finns may not initiate interaction but they are willing to help if asked. I, prior to the course and also being from Toronto Ontario, Canada, felt I already knew a great deal about other cultures and shared a respect for how others choose to live their lives. I never thought, prior to this course, how different Canadians would be to the Finns even though we share the same passion for hockey and the great outdoors.

Getting involved in the different events that ESN and the Finternational course put together was a very exciting and enlightening endeavor, because I am a fairly reserved person and the different activities forced me to connect with other which I greatly appreciated. The course was very beneficial to me because when I become a manager or hold any position working with people with diverse backgrounds I will take the time to learn the perspectives they may see things. I think it is very important to get involved in activities that will help each other gain a mutual respect and understanding which this finternational course provides. I will always look back on this course with fond memories.

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Exploring Barcelona Spain during the Break

Text and photo: Melissa Airall

Student life in TUAS and Finland

As an exchange student, and coming from Centennial College in Toronto, Canada. I was excited for the opportunity to study in Finland. When I arrived for the fall semester, I was surprised to see the number of ways that students are able to get involved in both the school community and the local community. I participated in several ESN events, “shout to doctor pleasure,” for making sure us exchange students had a blast in St Petersburg one of the many planned trips that ESN has to offer. Great times!!! I made a lot of new friends and had a great time learning and exploring.

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Bottom left is me…. ESN river cruise St. Petersburg RUSSIA

Exploring Finland

I recently took a short trip to Famous Lapland, in Northern Finland. That is where I met Finland´s most famous resident Santa Claus. I never thought I would go to Elf School never mind getting a diploma. Northern Finland was fun, and even though it was MINUS 14 degrees, the people were warm. I had the opportunity to go dog sledding, if you ever get the chance I highly recommend it. I also enjoyed a Reindeer ride, although it didn´t fly…. Lappish food was a very satisfying end to my trip to the North. If you´re up for an adventure, don´t forget to take a trip to Lapland!

blog_airall_melissa2Me  in Santa Village.

Text and photo by: Mellissa Airal