I didn’t know what should I write about my year in Finland as an Exchange student, so I decided to talk a couple of some of my experiences during that wonderful year.
When I first arrive in Finland, I had no idea about anything, how would be people there, what do they eat/drink, how do they behave and so on. So when I was in Tampere, I decided to take a bus to the city center and explore the “new” city, but during this process, a “small” problem happened, the bus didn’t stop here I was standing, which left me confused. Later on I found out that I need to raise my hand, so the bus would stop for me, even when only one bus passes on that bus stop. Finally I got to the center city, where I just started to walk around, looking around all those funny/strange names for me. During that walk, I realized that Tampere center had many coffee shops, more than I have ever seen in any other place, so there came my first thought about Finns, “They love coffee”, and I was right, they do love it. Learning one of the firsts words I’ve learnt in Finnish, kahvi.
One of the experiences that I was waiting for was the winter, the truly winter of Finland, and why on Earth would someone be enthusiastic waiting for the winter? Well, for one simple reason, I’ve never seen snow before. At first I thought, “ok, I’ll probably freeze to death, but it’s worth trying.” Since I’m from Brazil, anything less than 10 degrees is cold, so how about -20 degrees?
After some months of waiting, the snow finally came, and it was unbelievable how beautiful it was, and it wasn’t as cold I thought it would be, probably I got a little bit more used to the cold after those months in Finland (or it was just the hot cup of coffee that keep me warm).
With the snow there I could finally play with the snow and try some winter sports. The one that I’ve liked the most was skiing, even though I didn’t had a good start (as you can see in the next picture). But after some tries I was able to downhill skiing without much damage, haha.
Finland, where you become a coffee addict and try things you thought you were never able to do.
Mateus Engels Henke, 21, Brazilian.
Text: Mateus Engels Henke
Pictures: Mateus Engels Henke