Moi, as the Finns would say,
I survived my first week in Jyväskylä!
My flight went well, when I arrived at the airport of Helsinki, I met seven other exchange students. The journey was now really starting. We took a taxi to our rooms where our tutors were waiting for us, with the keys of our rooms. Entering my room, the place where I will live for four months I realised: 'I have to start from scratch again'. There is a desk, kitchen, bathroom, closets and bed. But you have to arrange equipment and decoration yourself. I decided to make my room a little bit more cosy with the postcards and pictures I took with me. Since I arrived at 1:00 in the morning I was not able to orientate or buy things already. The day after my arrival I went to a free-store where I found some nice decoration for my room, to make it more home like and cosy.
I share my 'apartment' with a Chinese girl. I invested in our relationship, because I do not like the idea to share an apartment with someone without knowing who it is. I like to share dinners and have a nice chat now an then. It worked out because we shared a dinner already. I tried really tasty authentic Chinese food in Finland. It is cool to experience other cultures and share things. Since I like cooking and food I had a really nice evening.
Last week I had an orientation programme with a lot of informative sessions about how to survive in Jyväskylä and at the university (library, insurance, housing, cycling, sports, signing in for courses and ESN). But of course there was also space for parties and getting to know other people via the tutor group. The first day was overwhelming, new area, new people and a lot of new impressions. Luckily the day after was better, since I knew the way better and already met some nice people.
From the beginning of your stay you start comparing your own habits/country with your current location. What are the differences and what is familiar to you? In the beginning of your stay those comparisons are mainly based on general remarks. Later on, if you gather more information, you are better able to figure out the similarities and differences and maybe even able to explain them. I have seen already a lot of tattoos, piercings, sport shoes and haircuts over here which are different compared to the Netherlands. However, here you can buy Euroshopper too and there are a lot of bicycles, just like in Holland.
My first impression of Jyväskylä is that it is a really green area, with a lot of lakes and it is not crowded at all. Therefore it feels like you are in a big village. The first remark I made having seen the university campus was 'Such an honour that I am allowed to study here for one semester' also the campus is really green, spacious and the buildings are beautiful. There are a lot of good and cheap student restaurants at the campus as well as good sport facilities. The temperature is good and I have seen the sun already more than expected. It is nice chilly over here and the air is really clean. According to a friend, the language sounds like 'little children who are in a fight bickering with each other'. I will take a Finnish course to get the basics, but the language is known as hard to learn.
This is it for now, although Finland can be compared to the Netherlands, there are also a lot of differences which I like to explore more.
Looking forward to my first lectures which will start next week!