The busy life of an exchange student


I am waiting for the snow to come.

Again a message from Finland. It is getting really cold here and darker too. Gloves and a hat are not a luxury any more. Although we did not have really bad weather until now. We had rain for only one day. I enjoyed the colours of autumn although it was short here in Finland. That is really strange: the leaves change colour and fall in about 2/3 weeks.

I spend my time during the day mainly studying and having lunch with friends at the university. In the evening I go to the centre for a beer, tea or game with friends. Other evenings I stay at my place and spend the evening with my roommate or I watch a movie/make dinner together with friends living here at the campus. Last two weeks were a little bit less busy, with less lectures. But there is a lot of group work and some essays which I should finish. I do not have exams for most courses. The way they examine the courses is mainly based on writing essays, doing group work and giving presentations. Last week was a holiday week, called the September holiday (in October). But some lectures were not cancelled so it did not really felt like a holiday.

The life of an exchange student is busy. You have friends in your home country, at your host country and then you have to study too, sometimes that is a nice puzzle. Although it is definitely worth the experience. To be and to live in another country, to feel alone sometimes, to meet new people, to explore new places and parts of yourself is not always nice. It is nice to be challenged and improvise with the tools you have, to find a solution and feel at home in another country.

I figured out that skype is a really nice technology. I can talk with my friends and family at home and I even had a skype conversation with people above their 80's! That was a nice experience not only for them but also for me. It is nice to be able to stay in touch with your loved ones at home.

For one of my courses I had to observe the family habits. We were supposed to go to a McDonalds to do the observations. It is quite funny to see how people react on you if you are in the McDonalds with a cup of tea making notes. Due to the fact that you do not know where the people are talking about you focus on different things while observing. It was kind a cool that I now was supposed to observe people for a course, normally I also really enjoy observing people just for fun, but this was a really nice experience too.   

Looking forward to coming weeks, there are a lot of nice things ahead. Time is flying here but that is a sign that I'm having fun, although I regret it sometimes!