Well what can I say…Finland has so far been absolutely amazing! What a great place to spend the next two years! Studying my Masters of Architecture Degree at a technical university in Tampere has its advantages for sure…70% of the school is male. But with that in mind it makes me miss my sisters even more than ever! Thank god for technology, keeping in touch with them is so much easier! With weekly Skype dates to my little I am always in the know! I have had some visitors while I have been abroad, and have also done some travelling!
When I first arrived it was crazy, 24 hours, but I made it thanks to my tutor Annu! She picked me up at the bus stop and helped me carry about 100 pounds of luggage to my apartment!
Throughout the first week she toured all of us international architectural degree students around Tampere and helped us figure everything out!
Not only did we tour the city, but we partied hard and rocked all the dance floors. We tried some head banging to Finnish metal music and some booty poppin’ to some great dance tunes!
I met some great people during these first two weeks which made being away from home so much easier!
I have two flatmates, one from Iran and one from Germany, they are wonderful girls and I am so lucky to be living with both of them! We get along really well and its great to learn about other cultures and to be living with other foreigners! Trying each others food and exploring the area. It really has been wonderful!
While the weather was still nice we did some exploring, hiking around the lakes and we even rented a row boat! If you don’t know much about Finland, well most people think the weather is similar to Canada, which in a way it is, but the cooler weather settles in quite a bit faster and stays for longer.
Of course while I am here I had to jump into the lake before winter came…and OMG it was freezing cold! You can probably tell from the expression on my face that I did not stay in very long! As cold as I thought it was I still see many people, mainly older, every day going in for a quick swim! Crazy Fins!
The first big trip I took was to Tallinn, Estonia! What a beautiful city, and spent it with some great people! We are the three musketeers when it comes to travelling. Tallinn is an old medieval city and it is gorgeous!
Then I was so lucky, my parents and aunt and uncle came to visit me! I was beyond excited to see them…and the 3 suitcases they brought for me! Full of clothing and Canadian food! I had such an amazing time when they were here that I decided to meet up with them in Barcelona!
Not only did I get to hang out with them in Barcelona, but also got to meet up with a friend who was on exchange in Canada last year! What a great reunion!!! Especially considering the weather which was plus 30 in Barcelona and 0 in Tampere!
Now Canadians are not the only huge ice hockey fans around. The Fins go nuts when there’s a game! So of course we had to go and check it out! Such a wonderful time!
Now of course, Thanksgiving came and I had to host a true Canadian Thanksgiving dinner… Well unfortunately I was unable to find a turkey but I made shepherd's pie and apple crisp for 14 people!
I have done some more travelling, I went to Helsinki for a day trip, where I definitely saw all of the city! It was an action packed day and lots of fun!
I also have managed to get a job while in Finland, which is next to impossible if you don’t speak the language, but thankfully AussieBar is an Australian bar where we only serve the customers in English! So thankful for the job and for my co-workers. They are an absolute blast and it is so refreshing to hear proper English everyone once in a while, even though some of those European accents are adorable!
Balancing school, work and social events can be tough at times, but it is all about the experience and getting the most out of your time so I can definitely say I am never bored! From event to event, there have been so many great times. I have met so many wonderful people and look forward to the upcoming two years!
I will be heading home for a month at Christmas and cannot wait to see my family, friends and all of my beautiful sisters! I am so excited for this adventure and know it will be an experience I will never forget!
Eva (Gamma Class)