Delaney Buckler

 Finland

Hometown: Fleming Island, Florida
School: Fleming Island
Sponsor District : District 6970
Sponsor Club: Fleming Island, Florida
Host District: 1390
Host Club: The Rotary Club of Tampere Pyynikki


My Bio


Hei! My name is Delaney and I am fifteen years old and a freshman at Fleming Island High school. I will be spending my sophomore year on exchange in Finland! I was born in Monterey, California and I have lived in many places around the country because growing up my dad was in the military but I have lived in Florida most my life. I'm very interested in tumbling and gymnastic/cheerleading. I take classes at local gym. I have always been interested in being an exchange student since I was very young because I have always loved traveling and experiencing different cultures. As my dad is an airline pilot so I get to travel often. In fact, last summer I was able to do a short exchange program to Germany. This exchange inspired me to take the initiative and apply for Rotary Youth Exchange. I cannot believe my dream has finally came true! Going to Finland is the perfect opportunity to learn a new language. i am especially happy that I am going to such a cold country like Finland because it will be very different from Florida. When I am not at school or tumbling I am usually with my friends. I am very lucky to have such amazing friends both at school and my neighborhood who I will miss very much next year. At school I am part of the Interact club with a few of my friends and out of school I go to a youth group at my church. I hope by the end of my exchange to be able to speak anew language and be a stronger person.I am so grateful for the opportunity given to my by Rotary and am looking forward to my exchange year in Finland.

My host parents picking me up from Karkku

My host parents picking me up from Karkku

Raspberries from my host families backyard!

Raspberries from my host families backyard!

Santa visited us at camp!

Santa visited us at camp!

The other two girls from Florida and me at Karkku

The other two girls from Florida and me at Karkku

This was the lake at camp

This was the lake at camp

This beautiful church is right next to my school

This beautiful church is right next to my school

My school TYK

My school TYK

  • Delaney, Outbound to Finland

    Click HERE to read more about Delaney and all her blogs

    I cannot believe that’s I’ve been in Finland for THREE MONTHS!! It’s insane how fast the time passes! The Rotex and inbounds were not lying at all about it, it feels like I just go off the plane yet I have a super weird feeling that my Exchange is ending and there’s nothing I can do about it. I get so anxious thinking about the time I’ve already been here and that indeed, one day I will have to leave which for me is the hardest part of exchange: accepting the fact that it actually isn’t permanent.

    Also exchange isn’t eventful at all. I haven’t done anything special since last time I wrote and at times I do get bored. A few weeks back we had our autumn break and it was probably the worst week of my exchange. I was bored out of my mind and most of my friends weren’t in town. It’s such an odd feeling because I don’t dread school anymore, I actually love going to school and I dread going back home. I absolutely love my school because it’s an arts/ theater school and everyone here is super open and accepting so it’s really nice to be surrounded by such great people. It’s really easy to make friends especially because in Finland we have six semesters so we change all of our classes very often. It helps because you make new friends every semester but you also still have your old friends to hangout with. Also I joined a cheer-leading team which definitely helps me to make friends and keep me busy!

    Since I’ve been here I’ve felt so at peace with everything. I feel like I have little to worry about since I don’t have to stress about school and it’s been great. It’s still early to say this, but since I’ve gotten to my city and everything I haven’t really missed home at all like I expected to. I rarely think about it and have no desire at all to be there. Although I have had other issues on exchange, luckily homesickness hasn’t been one.

    My language skills has improved so much, my grammar is still pretty rough because Finnish grammar is very complicated, but my vocabulary is good and I can speak, read and write very well but I have the most difficulties understanding Finnish but it is improving and I’m working very hard on it.

    It’s already winter here in Finland, the leaves are on the ground and it’s below freezing almost everyday. We’ve already had three snows and one of which was really large, which apparently doesn’t happen often. It was so beautiful here when it snowed it felt like Christmas! I’m not going to lie though, the aftermath of the snow was really gross and annoying, but it was worth it. I cannot express how much I love being here in Finland and Exchange in general, I have met so many amazing people and can’t wait to see what the rest of my year holds!

  • Delaney, Outbound to Finland

    Click HERE to read more about Delaney and all her blogs

    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!!!

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