We had a pleasure to have a Belgian student Janice doing her internship here at SAMIedu. She came here from Robert-Schuman-Institut, Eupen. During her three-week internship she was working at our marketing and communication department. Now she is telling about her journey to Savonlinna.
My travel to Finland
Hello, before starting, I would like to introduce myself: my name is Janice and I am 18 years old. I am an exchange student from Eupen, Belgium. This is my first time that I stepped into scandinavian ground and I am really happy about it.
Everything started on 17th of March 2018. I was really excited and nervous to travel because everyone told me that the people here are very shy and distant, which is not true.
The truth is that the people here are even friendlier as in much other countries. When I first arrived with my two classmates it was a little bit cold, but when we arrived the first day to our hotel in Helsinki everything was nice. We’ve spent a few days there and went then to Savonlinna.
My first thought was that Savonlinna is a really little village with nothing, except of a little castle nowhere, because it was the only thing Google showed about the region here. I was quite happy when I concluded that no of my thoughts became true. I arrived and saw this little sweet town named Savonlinna.
The first week went very fast and was very cold – like -17 degrees, but I’ve met a lot of nice people like Judith, Antti and Anne-Mari. The second week was like an explorer week. My two mates, Manuel, Belmina and I decided to see a bit more of Savonlinna and went to an island behind our flat, which was one of our best ideas it was so beautiful, that we made a livestream on Instagram. The weather was very nice and not so cold as I thought (I’ve must say that 3 degrees just feel here like midsummer). We also decided to go out and to see if all finnish people are so shy like everybody told us. I’ve must say no. Maybe they’re calm but not shy. This was my very first time where I went out at night and I’ve never seen such dance moves before. It was quite funny to see how the world changes at night.
The third week was the funniest but also the shortest. We went during the easter Monday to Kerimäki, which is also a very little and beautiful city with a wonderful church. On Wednesday we had the Outdoor day, which was one of my coolest experience. I saw for the first time snow hiking shoes and I was a little bit terrified to fall. At the end I was really happy to have them and didn’t fall at all.
When I thought that it couldn’t get better, tourism activities teacher Mika arrived with a snowmobile and I was screaming with joy. In short: I’ve learned many new things and especially to be always happy no matter in which situation. This was one of the first habits I’ve learned from them, one which I don’t want to forget.
These three weeks were one of my best times. I’ve seen so many beautiful things that it is impossible to count any of these things. I want to say that it has been one experience which I will never forget. I am really grateful for having this opportunity. But also to be honest Finnish people aren’t this shy and cold as everybody is telling us. On the contrary I really enjoyed the time with them and that they’re really warm-hearted people. And if you like beautiful high snow, nature, beautiful landscapes, a lot of frozen water and one of the friendliest people I’ve met, you should absolutely come to Finland and visit Savonlinna.
Thank you, Savonlinna.