My grand adventure officially came to an end just over a week ago and I am back home in Northern California reflecting on everything I just experienced. The more I think back on this trip, the more I realize how much I grew in just four weeks thanks to study abroad. Aside from being an amazing time to see more of the world, it was time to challenge myself and break down anxiety.
Looking back on four weeks in Finland, I can confidently say that studying abroad was one of the best decisions of not only my college career, but my life. I explored places I never expected to see, I took classes that just aren’t offered anywhere else, I met new friends from both SDSU and around the world, and I had the time of my life. So, why were there so many tears the last week?
Week 3 classes kicked off on Monday here in Finland. This week brings refugee resettlement and integration, a very interesting, but very emotionally heavy course. Within a couple days, I learned so much about the refugee crisis throughout Europe and how Finland handles the influx of refugees into this country. In sum, Finland focuses on seeing refugees as humans deserving of new chances and setting them up for future success.
My six-week trip through Scandinavia (finally) kicked off on May 17. I will spend the first four and a half weeks in Finland, touring Helsinki and taking courses in Jyväskylä. So far, about a week and a half in, I have thoroughly enjoyed every part of Finland: the beautiful scenery, the evident history, the unique teaching style, the list goes on. It is hard not to compare back to life in San Diego, but I am definitely finding things in Finland that are quite brilliant.
With Spring semester officially over and warmer months ahead, we’re excited to welcome a new crop of study abroad bloggers for Summer 2017! Before you start to follow them on their exciting adventures around the globe, let them tell you a little about themselves.
This last week I went to the Finnish Lapland with the international student group at my university. We left early Sunday morning and drove up to Stockholm where we took the ferry for a 10-plus hour drive to Helsinki, Finland.
My study abroad in Finland has concluded after four transformative weeks. As I begin the long and tedious journey back home, I compiled a short film in which snippets of my study abroad are shown.
If you would have told me five years ago that I would be studying abroad in Jyväskylä I would have replied with, “Jyvasky … what”. Through the hard work and loving support of my family, friends and San Diego State, I have embarked on quite a unique study abroad journey. For four weeks I will be in Finland studying various subjects under one of the best education systems of the world. As a commuter that has never dormed, a person with dietary restrictions due to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and knowing little to no Finnish, this ought to be an eventful journey. For now, I will share what Finland has offered in my first two weeks here.
I suppose I should have known that something was bound to go wrong over the course of this trip. “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.” It is common Murphy’s Law, really.
Currently, I write to you from the depths of the Stockholm airport food court, where I will be residing for the next ten hours. Yep: ten. Continue reading “Going, Going, Gone”