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
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
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.
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 🙂