Day by day passed… All of them were the same. My life became like a broken radio where only one song was on repeat. They say when your life becomes a routine you should do something to change it and I did. My change was this Erasmus.
I decided very fast that I would like to go to some new place, where everything was unknown for me – streets, people, weather, culture… When I found out there was an open call for student exchange in Finland I knew it would be just the right choice for me. When I got a letter of acceptance for UEF I was asking myself if it was a mistake, because I was so happy and it still seemed too good to be real. In a couple of months I was already in airplane for the first time, travelling to Finland. I was not afraid, I felt like I am going home. Actually this was my home, for almost five months. I would say that decision to come here is the best in my life.
Continue reading Change that I needed
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 .
Continue reading Different weather, new perspective
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
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.
Continue reading Finland, my second home
I am Sherihan Salaheldin Abdelhamid an Assistant Lecturer of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Pharos University, Alexandria, Egypt. I came to Finland as an Erasmus exchange PhD student and this was the first time for me and my son who is 1 years old to visit Finland. I enjoyed everything here starting from my apartment, the beautiful nature surrounding us everywhere and the weather although it is sometime very cold.
I also liked the daycare so much as they really did great effort for taking care of my son so I would like to thank all of them.
Before coming to Finland, I’ve had a few conversations about what’s it like there in the far north. People’s opinion were different and I came to a conclusion that I’ll either hate it or love it. And I was right.
To be honest, for the first few weeks, the dark, wind, cold and the process of getting used to a new culture left me a bit depressed and thinking about home. For someone coming from much warmer regions it is a natural thing I suppose. As time went by I started to become more and more comfortable with the visuals and life pace here. Continue reading A land of hidden gems
If you happen to be in Joensuu during the spring term, and if it happens to be a year in which the IBU Worldcup takes place in Finland, experiencing the cheerful atmosphere of a Biathlon race in Kontiolahti is an entry on everyone’s bucket list you cannot miss. Even if you are not a big fan of sports, the happy atmosphere is a great event to attend and watching the race in the snowy, Finnish forest against the backdrop of beautiful Lake Höytiäinen is surely something I will not forget.
If you are familiar with the gripping sport you will know where this blog entry is heading. If not, let me back up.
Biathlon is a combination of fast-paced cross-country skiing and precise shooting. Depending on the discipline the athletes are racing along the 2-4km long rounds 3 or 5 times and in between stop to aim their small-bore rifles at targets with a diameter as small as 115-45 millimeters (standing or lying down while shooting) and in a distance of 50 meters. Being able to hold your hand as steady as it is necessary to successfully do this after the challenging tracks (including steep climbs like the famous Kontiolahti ‘wall climb’) is a true mystery to me and fuels the fascination for this extravagant sport. Continue reading Hyvää, Kaisa!
When I started my trainee position at UEF’s Development Services, I was asked to write some texts for this blog, too, and share my experiences. Happily, I agreed. “Yes,” I though, “this will be a great thing. I will write something soon, for sure!” Here I am, five weeks later, finally writing these lines and wondering: Where did the time go?!
It went to meeting many new people every day during the first weeks, to getting to know the work and tasks, to learning the Finish language, and to experiencing (and falling in love with) the beautiful Finnish nature and culture. I don’t mean to be repetitive, but the Finnish friendliness and the beauty of Finland’s nature really cannot be stressed enough.
My days at work at the office are filled with laughter and friendly faces in the corridors – and, of course, the very enjoyable, regular coffee breaks. I am given both: guidance with what I have to do and responsibility to do things by myself which makes me feel very welcome, valued, and supported at all times. Another thing I strongly feel is gratitude for this opportunity to spend the next four months here in this new and exciting working environment.
Well, only 3 more left.
Continue reading Where did the time go?
My story with losing things and finding them back only started in Finland. At first, I thought it was my luck, but then I figured out that it had nothing to do with my luck but it’s rather something about Finland itself. Let’s go back to the beginning of the story, January 7th, my airplane from Paris to Helsinki was late, so I had to run between the terminals in order to catch up the next flight to Joensuu , Fingers crossed , I made it to the airplane on time!! The Finnish sky welcomed me in the best possible way, I will never forget that night flight , especially that moment when I was trying to sleep and the pilot asked all the passengers to look at right sided windows. To my surprise, I saw those amazing green sky lights , it was the first and only time I saw the AURORA lights !! well, the flight was short , then I arrived to the smallest airport I have never seen, but I was expecting it, on the other hand the thing I was not expecting was to not find my suitcase, I felt terribly lost , and someone told me not to worry because my previous flight was late , so my suitcase will probably be sent with the next flight!! But how can I not worry about it!! How can I even sleep tonight with the idea that all I have may be lost in Paris , Helsinki or somewhere else!! Continue reading Nothing gets lost in Finland !
Not so long ago, on 1st of February I arrived in a friendly and snowy Joensuu. From the very begining of my Erasmus exchange mobility, I had complete understanding for coming a bit late. I missed student orientation program but, as soon as I arrived, I met Mrs. Kirsi. She was, and still is, so helpful and kind. She has even organized few meetings which we really enjoyed. Mrs. Kirsi has introduced us to Finnish culture, amenities and food. It is really nice to know that someone cares about how are you settling down and how is everything going for you. I especially enjoyed snow shoe hiking. It was such a nice afternoon walk which ended up with sitting around the fire and having dinner. Later, my friends and I continued gathering in the woods around the fire close to the lake making the food…
Altogether, all of the people working at the UEF were so helpful and I really did not have any problem with registering and finding the information. I was also amused with different teaching system, with very equipped classrooms and communicative teachers. That is the experience which students can only get if they go on an exchange.
Continue reading EXPANDING MY HORIZONS