Different weather, new perspective

Finland the winter wonderland and magical sunset. It is really different from my country in weather and nature but actually it’s extremely  beautiful . I’m a 22 years old Egyptian girl from Pharos University in Alexandria, Egypt  and I have been in Finland for 4 months as pharmacy exchange student in University of Eastern Finland. It’s my first time to leave my city Alexandria for such a long period and I was so excited to see the snow for the first time.

I arrived to Kuopio in the first days of February, I was very surprised about how wonderful is the snow, it covered nearly everything. Then, I started to register my courses, so I had 4 courses and one lab work in the university . I remember my first day in university eating in Canthia with my helpful Russian tutee .

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My first day (night) in Finland

Even though this happened around five years ago, those memories are still fresh on my mind like they just happened yesterday. This is just one story of one girl making the biggest step outside her comfort zone in her life. Just a simple trip… simple day and night… for someone. Not for me – the girl living this story.

What does not kill you makes you stronger

I remember the moment I started to think about going to study abroad. I realized that there is an opportunity to study in a foreign country even without having savings for education or wealthy parents. It seemed that my teenage dream to visit Finland was reachable. Somehow. Even though I had a bad level of English and a difficult situation at home. But it was. I guess I needed the point to burn out in order to make radical decision, say to myself “well you are gonna do it now or never… with or without your approach to English” and take a chance.

Who would guess this would change my life entirely.

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Minä tulin takaisin Suomeen – I came back to Finland

For the second time, it is time to say goodbye to Finland. However, is it a real goodbye? Indeed, two years ago I thought that it was the case, but when I realized that I have the opportunity to do another Erasmus here, in Joensuu, I immediately knew that I will be back for another amazing semester in Finland.

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An unforgettable experience

This is an unforgettable, incomparable experience.

I heard stories, saw photos and read articles, but I never thought that I could see and feel Finland with my own eyes. I was lucky to get to the very cozy city of Kuopio, which immediately struck me with the abundance and beauty of nature, benevolent people.

Becoming part of the UEF and the whole atmosphere that is being created here is awesome. Here you feel like a part of a huge family, you want to grow and make the world a better place due to your capabilities. And UEF provides such opportunities in the form of knowledge and support. I am grateful for this experience, people and teachers with whom I met here.

Karina Shingareeva,
exchange student from I.K. Akhunbaev Kyrgyz State Medical Academy,
Kyrgyz Republic, at UEF in spring 2019, under Erasmus+ Global Mobility
Programme