Julia, Outbound to Finland

So I arrived here a little over a month ago leaving my family and friends. But this experience so far has been the best time of my life. Even though Exchange is hard and challenging but it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. When I first signed up for Exchange I wasn’t sure what I was looking for or what I wanted out of Exchange. After finding out I will be spending a year in Finland out of all places I was ecstatic! Waiting for August 5th was hard thinking about thinking about all the new things I get to do. But when I got here everything got better. I got sent to Turku, Finland district 1410 on the southwest coast of Finland. I don’t think I have fallen in love with something as much as I love this place. Since being here I started school at Turun Klassillinen Lukio. At school, my lessons are Music, Art, Spanish, and English. Going to school in Finland is so odd but a good odd. I’ve made so many new friends who have helped me find my way through school and the teachers. My host family is amazing, I have two little host brothers (Eero and Eemeli), a dog ( Sissi ), and my host mom and dad (Katri and Teijo). They have taken me to do weird and new exciting things like explore Turku Castle, biking in the freezing rain, going to Cheek concert which made me a real Finn (Cheek is a very famous rapper and he ended his career, and everyone in Finland loves Cheek). when coming here I was thinking to my self its Europe how much different it can be from America. But Europe a big step up from America you get a different view and opinion about your country. There are also different cultural things as well as for example in Finland they have about 5 meals a day and for me, I find that very odd because back in the states I only eat about 3 meals a day. Also which I find is pretty strange is how they give their younger kids so much freedom. You see 7 and 8-year-old kids going on the bus by themselves and walking around the city by themselves. But people here give their kids a lot of trusts.

After here for this long, I really haven’t sat back and reflected on myself. So I went for coffee and took about an hour thinking about myself and I asked my host family if they saw any changes in myself. I realized that I have really have matured with certain things. It took me a while to really take it all in that I was on the other side of the world really on exchange. But after I after took it all in it has been amazing. I’ve really learned from my mistakes and I enjoy how I’ve seen myself change through them. I can’t wait to be able to experience more amazing this on this wonderful journey I’m on.

-Julia Cerreta

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