Camille, Outbound to Finland

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.

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