Camille Stanbury

 Finland

Hometown: Lighthouse Point, Florida
School: Pompano Beach
Sponsor District : District 6990
Sponsor Club: Lighthouse Point, Florida
Host District: 1410
Host Club: The Rotary Club of Pori Teljä


My Bio


Hei! Minun nimeni on Camille Stanbury (Hello! My name is Camille Stanbury), and let me just start by saying I am so unbelievably excited for this this amazing year to come. So a little bit about me, I live in Lighthouse Point Florida with my mom and twin brother Mason. I’m 15 years old and attend school at Pompano Beach High, where I’m in the tenth grade. At school I take all honors classes, not counting electives, and I do very well. My favorite class is probably team sports, mostly because I’m very athletic and it’s just nice to have time to unwind during the stressful day. In my free time I like to play water polo, swim, or go to the beach, anything involving water you’ll find my there. I’ve always loved traveling so much and my dream of going abroad just seemed very unlikely until I got this opportunity, I never thought this would actually be a reality for me. During my exchange year I’m wishing to accomplish a number of things. I want to become more aware of the world around me, I want to become so engulfed in a culture I forget my own. I want to gain independence and confidence, and I believe that stepping out of my comfort zone and doing this will allow me to do so, and have such an amazing impact on my life.

The beautiful lake at Karkku

The beautiful lake at Karkku

Exploring the archipelago island Vepsä

Exploring the archipelago island Vepsä

Yyteri beach "The most beautiful beach in Scandinavia"

Yyteri beach "The most beautiful beach in Scandinavia"

A walk to a nearby church

A walk to a nearby church

My Frenchie and I

My Frenchie and I

Olivia, Delaney, and I saying bye after Karkku

Olivia, Delaney, and I saying bye after Karkku

Views from Tampere

Views from Tampere

Gorgeous Finland

Gorgeous Finland

Downtown Pori

Downtown Pori

A family friend's daughter and I after the JVG concert

A family friend's daughter and I after the JVG concert

I visited Helsinki for the weekend

I visited Helsinki for the weekend

I got to go to a JVG concert in Helsinki

I got to go to a JVG concert in Helsinki

Finns love rowing, and I got to try it at my friend's summer cottage!

Finns love rowing, and I got to try it at my friend's summer cottage!

A little exchange student meetup in Tampere

A little exchange student meetup in Tampere

The other RYE Florida girls and I met up in Tampere for the day

The other RYE Florida girls and I met up in Tampere for the day

Downtown Helsinki is so beautiful!!!

Downtown Helsinki is so beautiful!!!

Journals: Camille-Finland Blog 2017-18

  • Camille, Outbound to Finland

    Click HERE to read more about Camille and all her blogs

    Two months in Finland? That sounds so crazy to say, my time here is moving so fast! The last couple weeks I’ve been getting busier and busier, and it’s really helped me to fall in love with my exchange. As I’ve been getting closer with my host family, new friends, and other exchange students I’ve been noticing the homesickness really starting to fade, which has been such a breath of fresh air.

    I’ve been traveling a lot lately, Finland has such an amazing multidistrict, I can pretty much go anywhere in the country anytime I want with only the permission of my host family and counselor. So far I’ve been to Turku for a D.1410 meetup, and Tampere with the two other RYE florida girls. I also spent a weekend in Helsinki with some family friends which was absolutely amazing, and I’m going back to spend my fall break with one of my oldies! Riding in the buses from place to place has also helped me to really appreciate Finland for all of its beauty, watching the countryside roll by is really a sight to see.

    I also just wanted to say that when I first found out that I was going to Finland I was really nervous, because I feel that no one really talks about or goes to Finland ever and it’s was almost scary knowing I was going to this country that really no one could give me any sort of input on. So I wanted to write about some of the reasons that have made me fall in love with my new home. First off as I’ve stated above is Finland’s multidistrict, It’s amazing you can go practically anywhere you want anytime you want, and it’s so easy! Second is the school system, school here is so relaxed and the kids who are there want to be there, and if you’re lucky like I was you’ll get to pick out exactly what classes you want when you want them. Third is the nature, Finland has open land and green fields covered in wild flowers and trees for as far as you can see and wherever you end up there is probably a lake somewhere near by. And Lastly for this list is the language. Yes Finnish is a terribly hard language to learn, but once you really put in the effort and show other Finns that you really want to learn everything starts coming so much easier. Almost all Finns speak fluent English but are so shy to to speak to native English speakers, but when you even just try to speak even a little Finnish they are always so impressed and excited that someone is trying to learn their language. Finns are also so motivating with the language, they will always be so happy with anything you say and will always try to teach you more once you show interest.

    I wanted to close this journal with acknowledging the fact that it really is almost a complete turnaround from my last entry, Finnish culture is SOOO different than in South Florida and I in no way was expecting the culture shock to hit me as hard as it did. Finland like a lot of things in life is something that gets better with time, and I think I just didn’t allow myself the time to take the country in for what it really is. I am so in love with my life here, and am enjoying my time to the fullest which I think is what exchange is really about.

  • Camille, Outbound to Finland

    Click HERE to read about Camille and all her blogs

    Yksi kuukausi, en månad, one month. I’ve been in Finland, or should i saw Funland, for one month now and it’s honestly so weird to think time can move as fast as it has been lately. My time here so far has for a lack of better words been a dream. I left home on Aug. 5 with some really hard goodbyes, and hopped on a plane to Chicago where I met up with about 10 other exchange students and flew 9 straight hours to Helsinki. All 110 RYE students from all over the world going to Finland and Estonia went to a camp called Karkku, where we all got to meet and really get to know the Finnish language and culture. Karkku was really a soft landing for me which was nice, being able to calm down and in such a friendly and supportive environment. I met up with the other three exchange students from Florida, having familiar faces around me was amazing and we’ve all grown so close. Karkku was so much fun!!! We did all the stereotypical fi nnish things, from going to sauna then jumping into the freezing lake, to cooking Finnish markkara over a campfire. In the middle of the week we took a trip to the nearby city of Tampere, where we were set loose by the rotex with one goal: make some Finns uncomfortable. The last day of camp came with mixed emotions, as I was leaving my friends and the feeling of being comfortable, I was really jumping into my exchange head first… which was terrifying. When the host families came to pick up their kids, it was like a puppy adoption. People coming up and asking “are you my kid?” “do you know where I can find so and so?” but finally after everything I ended up in my beautiful home and city, Pori. My first day in my new home was great, everything was relaxed and I just unpacked, took a deep breath, and took everything in. My family surprised me and had a welcome dinner, since my host siblings are all older and live away from home I got to meet them all, and really get to know everyone. The two days I had before school started were spent with my host sister, who is now on exchange in the US, and exploring my new city. I’d just like to give my family some props for being so patient and understanding with me while I’ve adjusted, they’ve truly been amazing. School started the next week, and I’d like to tell you all I had the most amazing time and I felt so welcomed and happy… but the truth is, I didn’t. Finns are for being shy and unwelcoming, and let me tell you they really lived up to their stereotype. I found myself sitting alone everywhere I went for the first week, and just to sum the week up into one word it was awful. But then after some persistence, and trying my best to blend in with the culture people started talking to me. I’d also like to say there are five other exchange students with me at school, 2 of which are rotary and the other 3 afs, and they’ve all been such an amazing support system. Now that I am a month into my life here though, I’ve formed a routine and am really starting to feel at home here in MY country. I’m really happy with my life right now, and as I’m learning so many new things, and meeting so many new people, I’m falling more in love with Finland everyday! Kiitos to everyone who helped me through the shortest month of my life!!

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