An update from Finland. It is getting colder here, the weather forecast even said that last Friday there would be snow already. That forecast luckily did not became reality yet.
My courses are really well thought. The teachers are really good and the course outline and outline of the lectures are really structured. The teachers are informal but know how to teach and to make fun. One of my lecturers behaved in such a way, that it was almost like I was watching a comedian explaining how objectivists look at art, very enjoyable. The courses all have a different subject or focus (intercultural communication, communication theory or global virtual teams) but until now, all are very interesting. Two courses will start later this semester, I already started with four now. I even had my first test already. In my Finnish course I learned a little bit Finnish. But it is quite difficult. The grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation are totally different from Dutch or English. However, it is enjoyable, a way to meet new people and also to express some interest in the country and it's language.
Next to the study there were also a lot of other activities. For example, I was immersed in the Finnish culture by 'the ultimate sauna experience' organized by ESN Jyväskylä. Near a lake a sauna was rented, both smoke and regular sauna. Afterwards we could cool down in the lake. It was amazing and really relaxing. There was a BBQ afterwards with some sausages, corn, chips and beer of course.
I met my family from the friendship family program as well, we had a chat in the library cafeteria. Last Saturday, I met them again. We went for a walk around a lake nearby. We spend four hours outside during which we collected edible mushrooms. We talked about the houses, habits and politics of Finland and the Netherlands. It is really nice to have the opportunity to be part of a Finnish family to explore the culture. After the walk we went for a swim in the lake and had a really nice lunch afterwards. There was toast, salad, pasta out of the oven and of course homemade alcohol free beer. We watched some television, listened to music and talked about the way children are raised in the different parts of Finland. I spend the whole afternoon with them and I really enjoyed myself. We closed off with a sandwich with prepared self-gathered mushrooms, very tasty!
I also went canoeing on one of the lakes nearby, afterwards we spend some time on the beach with some snacks and drinks. We also had a BBQ at one of the public BBQ spots in Finland. We had to walk for 15 minutes through the forest before we arrived at a beautiful spot at the lake. We had a nice evening with around 15 people, who are all exchange students from all over Europe. I also met some Finnish people and until now they are really kind, honest and eager to help you!
I have a great time in Finland, lots of interesting experiences, both during lectures, as outside the school setting.