Face to face with Joensuu

It’s been three weeks since we got off that train in Joensuu and felt the ‘’welcoming’’ touch of -30°C on our skins. Looking at the notice board in Finnish language we wondered how on earth we are supposed to survive in this land of ice and strange words. We all shared the same fear: Are we going to be able to do this? Fortunately, it didn’t take us long to leave our doubts and suspicions behind and put ourselves out there. Unlike the temperature, every place we visited and every person we met seem warm and pleasant.  We fell in love with the magical white city and everything about it.

The University, which is why we came here in the first place, was a story for itself: modern and big, yet cozy and warm, full of so many colleague students with the same expectations. We looked at each other and thought: This is going to be so much fun! From that moment on, it has been just more and more interesting. We have met a lot of people with different backgrounds, and heard their stories. Our courses started, and we got so enthusiastic for learning in a new environment, and improving ourselves! Finding out all the possibilities that we have, gave us the will to get up every morning, put on three pair of socks, and go into new victories!

All the people we have met, all the things we have tried, all the stories we have heard, promise this is going to be an exciting five months. Now when we have seen all the smiles on people faces, when we have felt the good energy of this city and its citizens, we are ready to face the challenges and enjoy every day possible. Each of us hope to have lifetime-lasting memories of this time, so one day the story which will begin with: “I remember my first thought when I went out of the train..” will be full of beautiful landscapes, wonderful people and friendships, challenging assignments and exams, awesome parties, laughter and sincere emotions, love, fear, compassion and happiness which filled every single day. We hope to tell it over and over again, each time living through it and remembering more details and people that made our lives so bright and exciting for those five months.

You know how people say – time flies! We are ready now to fly with it, and on our magical carpet made out of enthusiasm and curiosity see all that there is to see, learn all that there is to learn, and enjoy all that there is to enjoy. Our ride has started, we are not going to stop. Kiitos Joensuu, Kiitos UEF, Kiitos ERASMUS! This is going to be so much fun!

Anja Vujačić, Aleksandar Stanojković, Jelena Gnjatović, Lana Domuz, Milan Bojić, Milica Aleksić and Tihomir Simin.