“Congratulations! We are happy to inform you that you have been selected as an Erasmus plus exchange student to the School of Pharmacy at the University of Eastern Finland for three months.”
That was the start of a stunning experience in Finland during autumn 2018. I am Dalia Yehia Abozahra, a PhD student and an assistant lecturer in the Faculty of pharmacy, Pharos University in Alexandria, Egypt.
Although I travelled before for short periods of time to many countries, that was the longest stay I have faced alone for the first time, which turned out to be a remarkable experience in my life. Autumn in Kuopio is full of beauty and colors everywhere. The breathtaking nature taught me to be more calm and grateful and inspired me to rediscover my passion and skills in photography. I also experienced snow for the first time, it was really nice when I felt something like cotton flakes falling from the sky.
Moving to Finland to live in a shared apartment seemed to be tough at the beginning but surprisingly, it was one of the most rewarding experiences I had ever. My roommates were more than helpful and supportive and we had so much fun together. We noticed differences and similarities in our different cultures. We faced struggles together, cooked together, and explored Kuopio together.
Being a student in an international setting where my colleagues are individuals from around the world means an eye-opening experience to differences in curriculum and teaching methods in a different study setting.
Also, UEF offers a unique sports service through Syketta. I was surprised to find variety of unique instructed classes like healthy back, physiotherapy, aerial yoga classes in addition to self-defense classes like aikido, I can find even relaxation class. I did not commit fully before to physical activities, but here in Kuopio if you want to participate, I doubt you might stop it, because they are fun, challenging and suits all.
Kiitos, for the nice, fabulous and educating experience!