Monthly Archives: April 2018

A touch to Finnish culture – Part 2

As an international student studying and living in Finland, I have always been curious about the culture, the people and all the secrets about this country. There are things that we can learn from reading, however, making friends with local people is the best way to understand them, based on my own experience. For sure, socializing sounds so easy for extroverts but it doesn’t mean that introverts will forever be stuck in their room. Thanks to our school, I and many students have made such a great relationship with our Finnish friends/ families within the Friends Family Activity.

My “partner in crime” is Liisa, who is the same age as me. Liisa is a sweet and honest girl who

Skiing at a very low pace

loves horses and doing outdoor activities. We became friends in an… awkward way due to the pre-arranged match by Karelia UAS. BUT… guess what, we turned out to be a “real match” in many ways, sharing the same sense of humor, in love with clubbing and always making our stomach full when meeting up at a buffet restaurant. 😀 Liisa is also my very first skiing and horse riding tutor.

Another experience I couldn’t forget was riding a

I kinda look very calm and happy on the horse

horse at Liisa’s favorite place where she usually visits a few times a week. Honestly, this is one of the scariest experiences in my life. Getting used to this horse was not easy, but Liisa was there, made her walk around calmly so I could enjoy the moment.  After 10 or 15 minutes, I gave up (how embarrassing…haha) and let my friend rule the show.

Not so surprisingly, Liisa was also my “party-mate” as we spent several times a month having fun in the club. How funny it was when we were always the last one leaving the parties. We share the same crazy spirit for parties, and that’s how we become even closer.

Not only me learning about Finnish culture but Liisa also had the chance to try Vietnamese things. She sometimes visits my place to taste Vietnamese specialties. It was so funny when I taught her to use chopsticks for the first time.

Learn to be a Vietnamese

It was very challenging for her to try Pho (noodles with chicken) with those chopsticks and we laughed way too much. Non-stop fun moments kept going on when she tried to make spring rolls, bubble tea and dumplings. Honestly, I am really proud of Vietnamese cuisine, hence I absolutely appreciate her effort spending time and cooking with me. However, time to say goodbye is coming soon as we both have plans to move to new places, but I will, for sure, keep in touch with her and looking forward to seeing her again in Finland.

Friend family program is one of the reasons that makes me miss Joensuu so much. For new-comers, don’t miss out this wonderful opportunity, you never know an amazing person will come into your life when you least expect it 🙂

Chi Nguyen

A touch to Finnish culture

Friend- family program or “ystäväperhe” is a notable feature in International Business Program at Karelia University of Applied Sciences, which allows staff and international students to exchange cultures. It is a chance for international students to have first-hand experience of Finnish culture and life in Finnish family. Meanwhile, the families get an opportunity to learn about students’ home countries and cultures.

At the beginning of the first semester, I applied for this program through my student counselor. I was a bit worried because I was afraid of not getting a Finnish family this semester due to high number of international applicants. Fortunately, after a month, I got an email from my teacher with my Finnish family’s contact information. I couldn’t wait to meet them for the first time, which was also the first connection with local people during my study in Finland.

My Finnish family are lecturers in Tourism and Creative Industry at Karelia UAS. Both of them are passionate about cultures, cooking and travelling. We decide to meet at least once a month at the weekend and stay in touch via social media. I find myself lucky to have such a local family that I always feel happy and relaxed when spending time with them. I love visiting their cozy house and I can’t stop admiring their huge bookshelves with hundreds of books as in a library. Thanks to them, I have opportunities to try as many local cuisine as possible and foreign cuisine as well. Whenever we meet, she prepares different dishes from different countries and I also make Vietnamese food and cakes as I love baking. In addition, I also keep them updated and ask advice for my study, daily life and my future plan as well, which makes me feel more secure and less homesick.

We celebrated Suomi Finland 100 😛

(To be continued)

Quynh Phan