Living in the student village

I’m living in the student village for a little bit more than three months now. For me it is a really nice place to live. I have an 18m² apartment with my own bathroom (and shower) and a shared kitchen. The buildings, corridors and rooms of the exchange student part are not the best looking, but there’s always something happening here. And that is just awesome.

All the students who are living in the exchange student part are here with the same reason: having a good time. Because of the work we have to do for our study now (and maybe the cold- and darkness), it’s getting a little bit more quite. The first month we had parties or other event about three times a week, now there are parties about 1-2 times a week.

We’re not cooking together often, because everyone has different schedules and dinnertime habits but I often meet students from floor in the kitchen and then we eat together. There’s almost always someone in the kitchen to talk with and this is nice!

The rooms a pretty isolated. The first two weeks here, I thought I was the only one on our floor yet, because I didn’t hear anything. After three weeks I met some students who had the same thoughts, but apparently we were living with each other for a couple of weeks already. This also means that you can hang around with people and play music without bothering anyone.

To experience the exchange student live, the student village is definitely one of the best places to live in Turku. Great people, parties and other events. Absolutely no regrets that I moved to the student village for my four-month exchange!

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ESN Pirates of the Baltic Sea – Stockholm trip

In the morning of 31 October 2013 me and my friends went to Helsinki by bus with a lot of exchange students. When we arrived in the harbor of Helsinki we got our tickets to get on the cruise. And this cruise was awesome, it really was the most beautiful and entertaining cruise I have ever been on. There were several clubs and bars, a lot of stores, a gaming room and the walls of the elevator were made of glass, which provided a view over the whole cruise.

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The first night we had a really good party in both clubs. At first we went to a kind of concert club, where a band was playing covers. After that we went to the real night club above the sundeck to dance and have fun. The best part was that there were a lot of exchange students on the cruise we haven’t met yet.

When we arrived in Stockholm we got out of the cruise and bought a day ticket for the metro. This is my first tip when you go to Stockholm for only one day, buy a metro ticket for the whole day. It was like € 12,-, but with this ticket you are able to travel through Stockholm really fast.

At first we went to the old center to have a lunch, which is pretty expensive, even compared to the prices in Finland. After that we did a lot of sightseeing there. We visited different churches, old little shops and went to the harbor. Afterwards we took the metro to the newer part of Stockholm to shop and to grab a dinner. In the newer part there was a kind of a watchtower and from there you had a view over whole Stockholm.

At the end of the day we went back to the cruise and took it back to Helsinki.

Text and photo: Ruben van Bloemendaal

ESN trip to Russia – St. Petersburg

The trip from Turku to St. Petersburg began on 25 October 2013 from the bus station of Turku. We took the bus from there to Helsinki with all the exchange students who signed up for this trip. When we arrived in Helsinki we took a night cruise to St. Petersburg. It was a pretty nice cruise with enough entertainment (some bars and one club) for the night.

After arriving in St. Petersburg the next morning we directly had a bus tour through the city. I was shocked by the beauty of all the buildings, churches and cathedrals. I had the tendency to make photos of any building I saw, just because they look so nice and so different than what we are used to in West-Europe.

In the afternoon we went to the Hermitage, which is one of the biggest and most comprehensive art and culture museums in the world, and located in the center of St. Petersburg. It was really awesome to be here. They have so many different kinds of historical items there, from mosaic tables to paintings and coffins of mummies. The most impressive piece of art I have seen there was “The Return of the Prodigal Son”, painted by Rembrandt van Rijn from my home country.

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The days after that we did a lot of sightseeing by limo, boat, bus and foot. Every night there were really nice parties organized by ESN, which gave us a good impression of the nightlife in St. Petersburg. I liked the fact we did this trip with students not only from Turku, but also from Helsinki. This gave everyone the opportunity to meet new people. In the evening of 28 October we took the night cruise back to Helsinki. Never made some much photos in such a short time!

Text and photo: Ruben van Bloemendaal