“One more month.” That was all I could think about before we start our European Forestry Field Course for the whole month of May 2019. It was mixed emotions. Excitement. Stress. Happiness. Worry. Sadness. I couldn’t even decide which one made it to the top. I just remember feeling those things.

Almost one month has passed and it’s still hard for me to write our experiences during our field course. It is not because I hated it. It’s just that feeling of going back to it again. Which is nice but also sad. Because May 2019 is I think the last time that the whole group of MSc European Forestry 2019 would be complete. I know this should be a post about our time during the field course but I have decided that I want to write what MSc European Forestry meant for me and maybe to consider this as my letter to my friends who were with me during my whole study at the University of Eastern Finland.

During our MSc European Forestry programme, most of my classmates and I spent time together every day. We walked, hiked, biked, studied, ate together, had barbecue, we got tired, we learned, encouraged each other to keep going even if the tasks were hard. We were there for each other. It was fun and I’ve had an amazing nine months of my life despite some struggles along the way. I have never thought that studying in a foreign country would be easy. I experienced different cultures and learned how to appreciate and respect them. I think I can say that I became a better person because of this opportunity that was given me. I always say that being a student ambassador is a privilege, not a job or something that I was tasked to do. And I can also say that too as being part of our programme. It really is a privilege especially meeting these people who now I call friends.

Field course in Spain, May 2019.


Barbeque dinner in Joensuu in April 2019.


Matching oak leaf bracelets from the University of Lleida, Spain. 

I learned this word in Portuguese: saudade. It has no direct translation in English language. I think when you search about its meaning, it will probably show you that it’s about longing for someone or something. But having friends from Brazil taught me that the word has deeper meaning. It’s not just about longing. It’s more than that. I can’t even explain it but that is what I’m feeling right now. I have a lot of saudade. Because the truth is, I miss my friends. I miss our time at UEF. I miss our dinners. I miss us being crazy funny most of the times especially when the days were stressful. I might have rarely shown but that’s the truth. Most of us parted ways at the end of May 2019 because we have to do our internship in the different partner countries of the university. Romania, Austria, France, Germany, Spain, and even Finland. After that, we will do our second year of studies in the said countries too. We are everywhere trying to start conquering the world of forestry. And as early as now, I am already proud of all of them.
Side tour in Austria during the European Forestry Field Course in May 2019.
During filed work in Austria.
Field course in Germany in May 2019.
With the visiting lecturers from Brazil and Canada during the Global Virtual Seminar of the European Forestry Programme, Joensuu, in April 2019.
I know that we will see each other again. I know that we will make it happen. I mean, I hope. And I am looking forward to that every day.
Karen Mae Dacug Magtibay