It’s my turn to introduce myself and tell about my experiences in Jyväskylä. Originally I am from a small town which is about 4 hours away from Jyväskylä. This summer I had many butterflies in my stomach before coming to study here. Even though I am Finnish I have only been in Jyväskylä twice, to play football. In addition, I moved back to Finland after 5 years abroad. I was really sceptic about coming back and how things were going to be. During my holidays in Sweden I had heard that I was the most talkative Finn. I was wondering how I am going to fit in if other Finns are not so social. I did not know any people in the city and was really worried whether I am going to make any friends because we were only 14 people in our program. My worries were of course completely stupid. Since the first hours of the Orientation week I made great friends. My “mama” (tutor) made sure we knew how everything (school lunch etc.) works and that we all were having a good time . I had studied last years in very international environment and had doubts about how international it could be. Well, so far I have made friends with people from every continent except Australia haha, so University of Jyväskylä is really international.
While all the international students were having their “honeymoon” phase, I realized I was going through the reverse cultural shock, which occurs when person returns to the home country and is forced to re-adjust the own culture. This is not often something you are prepared as you think things are the same as before. It really hit me, I found doing groceries difficult because everything just seemed expensive and I was missing the brands I was used to abroad. Many people also somehow thought I was not Finnish (even teacher at our class was shocked when I told my nationality) and I found it hard to fit in. Furthermore, I felt I was stuck in Jyväskylä and not able to travel anymore within few hours by train to Amsterdam, Brussels or Paris.
After few weeks I started to notice the amazing things Jyväskylä and Finland have to offer! I decided to play “foreigner” as well and discover things from mushroom picking to hiking in national park. This autumn the Northern lights appeared several times in Jyväskylä, unfortunately I was away every time from Jyväskylä, but I trust they will show up later this winter again! Even though it is not so easy to travel from here to many places like in central Europe, there are still some opportunities. Finland has few nice cities like Turku and Helsinki. It is also really easy to take a ferry trip to Tallinn or Stockholm, or train to Russia.
Studying in University in Finland has many benefits,for example you don’t need to pay tuition fees (only a membership of student union, approx. 110e), you can get discount in trains & busses and you can have a lunch(or dinner) at the university only for 2,60 (including drinks, bread, salad and the meal)!
This weekend we finally got some snow and I am really looking forward winter. I will start cross country skiing again, which I have been missing abroad. My plans for winter are to try “avantouinti” (swimming in a hole made to frozen lake) and learn to snowboard. Yesterday I went with few friends spontaneously to Laajavuori (skiing center in Jyväskylän) and played in snow. In few weeks we will have our Liikunta ball and Moose cup- floorball tournament, I am really looking forward to both of these activities! Due to all amazing friends I have made here, I feel I am at “home” and I enjoy the life.
Hope you all will enjoy the winter! Do not forget to apply to study here!!
– Kreetta 🙂