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It has only been two weeks since I landed in Finland, but there is already so much to talk about! First was traveling. Travelling was not at all what I hoped it would be like. Before I left I was not sad whatsoever about leaving my friends and family but that changed immediately as soon as I got to the airport. I was unable to fully appreciate the fact that I was actually going to Finland the same way I had days before I left. But things got much better when I got there. At the airport in Helsinki I was greeted by rotarians and then they sent us on a bus to language camp in Karkku, which happens to be about 30 minutes from my city Tampere, which is the third largest in Finland. My first impression of Finland was how incredibly green it is here compared to Florida. Also Finnish people eat so much bread and cheese which might sound weird, but I really appreciate it because the bread here is amazing!
Camp, to say the least, was absolutely amazing. It was filled with so many memories and a lot of fun. They gave us language lessons and lectures which were actually incredibly interesting. That Thursday the whole camp took a bus to my city Tampere. We had a tour for a little bit, but then we had time on our own to explore. while in Tampere, I was able to meet with two of my host sisters from my third family which was super exciting because they were so nice. At camp we did many traditional Finnish things like going in the sauna then jumping in the freezing lake, Which I totally recommend it was really fun. The sauna was so much hotter than I expected, and the lake was so much colder than I expected.
On Saturday my host family picked me up and I moved into my new home in the lovely city of Tampere. The first day we went blueberry picking in the middle of the forest which was fun, but it was so much work and I was exhausted. My host mom does not speak English anymore than I do Finnish so it is really nice because I get to speak mostly Finnish with her rather than English. On Monday I started school. School is okay, I like it alright but I was very disappointed because my school offers so many interesting courses but I'm not allowed to choose any of my classes and they are in English when I really wanted to be in Finnish classes. But on the bright side I have made some friends in school, the other day I went and got coffee with some friends I made after school which was really fun because my school is in the city centre and they were able to show me around a little. While in Finland, I decided to continue cheerleading, I have been to about four practices now and it's real ly fun. I have already learned many new skills and everyone on my team is super nice.
I would like to thank all the amazing Rotarians and my host family and my parents for making my exchange possible. I'm already so in love with Finland and all the amazing people here! I'm already thinking about how Finland is truly the best country ever and I could totally see myself living here forever. I didn't choose to go to Finland, but I'm absolutely grateful that I was chose to go to this beautiful country.
All I have to say is if you're considering doing an exchange definitely go for it! It's such a beautiful opportunity and there is nothing else like it.
Ja tule Suomelle koska se on paras maa!!!