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.
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.
exchange student from I.K. Akhunbaev Kyrgyz State Medical Academy,
Kyrgyz Republic, at UEF in spring 2019, under Erasmus+ Global Mobility
The global shortage of nursing has opened my eyes to understand the mechanisms behind it. Born from a developing country, I have seen a strong indication of inequality and inequity in the society. I have always been passionate in the clinical nursing field and the nursing science behind the rationale of each nursing intervention. As an immigrant, I find it fascinating to discuss the world of nursing politics in the European sector. I was very inquisitive on how would I combine to develop my knowledge about World Health Organisation and Nursing Science simultaneously until later I discovered Master’s Degree in Public Health major in Health Promotion in Nursing Science at the University of Eastern Finland.
After almost two years, I came back! After hard work, I managed to fulfill my desire and come here for the second time.
When I found out about the exchange program to Finland, I applied again without thinking. After nearly two years, coming back to Joensuu was interesting because the city changed in a physical way, some the streets became the Promenade, the University library was expanded, as well as many things. However, people remained the same, kind and always ready to help others.
My experience in Finland ended just over a month ago, but I still miss that Country, so different from mine but so magica and evocative. I’m a 24 years old Italian girl and I have been in Finland for two months, February and March. I came to Kuopio for work, thanks to a collaboration between the University of Pavia (where I studied and graduated in Pharmacy) and the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio. I left Italy full of curiosity and I returned with a bag
full of good memories and friendships, that I’ll try to maintain despite the distance.
Kiosk, sauna, Angry Birds, Nokia. This country is well known for these innovations that changed the global society of creativity and technology. It is also known as the Land of Thousand Lakes and Forests. And oh don’t forget the endearing and contagious laugh of the world’s most popular person during Christmas Season, Santa Claus. Welcome to Finland!
Like most migrants, there are always challenges facing upfront when you move to another country. From the tropical Land of the Pearl Orient to the Land of Midnight Summer, the move was ambiguous. Floro Cubelo gives you a gist of the Finnish culture.
Five years ago, I changed my perspective on migration. Most Filipinos move to English speaking countries as the latter language is considered as the second official language in the country, so it never is a problem to move overseas. Like any other foreigners living in the country, there are peaks of excitement and intermittent loss of desire to achieve one’s goals. But how did I survive for a half-decade living in the country with a contrast of culture? These recommendations might help you integrate with the Finnish culture.
Finland is a country that owns and maintains many traditions. Many of these traditions have been inherited, mixed, and adapted over time. The Easter tradition has a mixture of pagan and Christian customs, as well as a reference to the Spring time. It is common in this period that children dress up as witches, paint their faces and go for the houses of the neighbourhood, together with their magic wands, made of willow branches decorated with feathers, ribbons and flowers.
This powerful artefact can bring to your home a blessing that is said by them, but to be blessed there is a price to pay, sweet and easy price to negotiate. When they arrive in each house, the little witches push away the evil spirits reciting the enchantment “Virvon, varvon, tuoreeks terveeks, tulevaks vuodeks; vitsa sulle, palkka mulle!” (Translating: I have a magic branch for a new and healthy year, a branch for you and a candy for me!).
The lucky and now blessed inhabitant receives the magic wand that will now be his/her amulet that will bring luck and protect him, in exchange offers chocolates, candy and sweets to the benefactors. (Do not worry if you are visited by these lovely creatures and you are not prepared with sweets, you can pay in cash, sometimes the traditions also accept the modernity in case of need). This tradition was inherited from the ancient peoples, who used to bless cattle, plantations, and people in the early spring, and the healers received some reward.
Another old habit that still happens is the planting of grass in early spring, today children plant grass seeds in pots and observe their growth, symbolizing the renewal, when the grass is grown and green, is decorated with small chicks called “rairuoho”, which are used to decorate the table.
The houses are also usually adorned with garlands, flowers and symbols of fertility (pre-Christian), like rabbit and eggs. Among the religious celebrations is usual rituals and celebrations throughout the holy week, on Holy Thursday they have the “kiirastorstai” which is the celebration of the Lord’s Last Supper. Stages of the passion of Christ are also popular, in Helsinki happens procession of the Passion of the Way of the Cross. In some places, bonfires are lit on the Sabbath of hallelujah to ward off the evil spirits and ensure a quiet and happy Easter Sunday.
Easter brings the family together in the Sunday lunch time, usually the main course is lamb shank, and for dessert they have “pasha” which is a type of creamy pudding made from curds, eggs, butter, sour cream and candied fruit (sometimes decorated with religious themes) and “mämmi”, a soft brown-looking pudding of malt and rye flour that is eaten with milk. They say “mämmi” is a recipe for the 16th century, originally it was eaten during Lent. Its laxative properties were associated with purification. As the dish can be kept for several days, it was also a convenient food for the Holy Friday, while cooking was against religious customs.
Mämmi (Mämmi picture: http://www.wikiwand.com/en/M%C3%A4mmi )
Finally, the 4-day holiday is perfect for the transition from the cold and difficult period of the harsh winter to a mild and flowering spring period, celebrated with visits to family and outdoors tours, to welcome the new season that can change not only the landscapes but the state of mind of those who live here.
Matheus Soares Costa
First to say, it was not my first time in Egypt; however, it was my first visit to Alexandria. By the time we arrived (me and Szabi) we were welcomed with a clear sky and a warm weather which was a nice change after a very long winter in Finland. We started our day, though exhausted from lack of sleep and travel lag, the energy of people from PUA was contagious and very welcoming.
I was surprised by the size of the facility, and how well equipped it was when taking into consideration the large number of students in there. Staff members and teachers were very helpful throughout the visit, so nice and friendly and made us feel home. They arranged everything for our lectures from timetables to location and made sure that it would proceed as planned. You could feel the strong bond between them and the closeness which could explain how they are able run and maintain such the faculty successfully.
How exciting is it to finally receive that one email you have been longing for, with several attachments and one of them happens to be a letter attachment labeled as the “letter of acceptance” stating,” We have the pleasure to inform you that you have been accepted to the university of eastern Finland.”? After receiving this email, I clearly recall, asking myself how it would be like. I even had fictions of my imagination on how I was checking in at the airport, -this could me my second experience flying-, in the university corridors, in class and how I would have my first snow experience. I have to say; this email blew my mind. As Finland holds a very strong reputation internationally for the quality of its education overall, I surely did not want to miss my chances of being part of it-I mean who does not want to part of one the best education systems in the world?
The city is one of the headquarters of the University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu is the capital of North Karelia province, and has approximately 75.000 inhabitants. The city receives annually thousands of foreigners, attracted for the country reputation in education, they come in search of undergraduate, masters and PhD programs. It also receives numerous foreign students from high school, as well as trainees and professionals in various areas.
This fact diversifies the population and brings with this diversity the need and organization of the most different attractions and events. The city itself is already a call to leisure, it has stunning landscapes that are an invitation to enjoy them. I will mention some of the places that I like the most in the city.