To start off my blog articles, I am a student from Canada; I have a twin brother and love to travel. I came here with my twin brother and a friend. Therefore getting used to a new social network was easier for me because if ever I feel lonely, there’s always someone to hang out with.
We got here the first of January. Getting set up and making your new place feel like home is definitely a challenge. What is great about the exchange program here in Turku, is the tutors, we had amazing tutors who showed us around and really help us get settled in. They took us out our very first night in this new town. They even took us to the bank and to the shopping center to help with the basics. I can’t stress enough how much a tutor helps; it’s like knowing someone from here before you get here.
Obviously once we got here it was cold and dark, it didn’t stop us from having fun! People in the student village or whatever residence you live in, are amazing. As long as you try, they will make you feel welcome. The other students and the teachers are also really friendly, I have class with a lot of other exchange students so it makes it easier to fit in and feel like you belong. There also is a lot of clubs and organizations that help you cope with the culture shock. ESN is an example; they help you along the way by planning trips and events to help you meet new people. You really get to meet a lot of people here in Turku, the stereotype is that Finns are shy and don’t want to talk to you,but from my experience, I think that’s false, I enjoyed meeting lots of new people and a lot of them we’re Finns and they’re not shy!
Text and photo: Mathieu Richard