Coming to Joensuu was one of the best changes I had in my life. As a nature lover, I found here what I had been missing for a long time; the lakes, the river, the trees everywhere. Joensuu was such a contrast with our busy Moroccan cities where concrete left no space for green that the only thing I could do was to admire and enjoy. For a human being used to warmth and hot weather, seeing -13 degrees on a weather board was scary yet refreshing; however, on windy days, I wished I had another layer of skin. Nevertheless, on other days and despite the cold, walks through the forest in sunny days were enough to take my breath away; the whiteness of snow embracing the roots of each tree and reflecting sunlight onto my eyes was enough to clear my thoughts.
In Joensuu, the simplicity and peacefulness of nature only complements the goodness of the people. People with whom I have shared some of the most amazing events in my life; I went fire camping in the wilderness with Juri Pesonen (thank you Juri) and snowshoeing with other international students through the forest and on the frozen lake thanks to Kirsi Karjalainen, who also thought of bringing Moroccan sausages for us to enjoy over fire!
The opportunity of coming to UEF as an exchange student was not only a chance to meet people from all over the world, but also to enjoy other activities such as the International Dinner and the International Music Evening with ESN Joensuu, and most importantly, to experience and profit from a different educational system. In the end, I can only say that I wish I can come back another time and have the chance to go through this experience all over again.