Getting to know the country
PeoplePeople in Finland are reserved but they are very kind. It has been my experience in my job and with people I have met that they are smiley and kind with me. They are open to listening to my ideas and integrating me in the projects and it is nice to feel that people are interested in listening to you.
Usually people wonīt go to you in the street if you seem to be lost or in need of help, but if you go to them, they will never say “I donīt knowī and leave you. People will give you the answer or take you to a person who might be able to help you; thatīs so nice.
One of the things that impress me the most about this country is honesty. Itīs so nice to arrive at the university, leave your jacket at the coat rack, come back 10 hours later and find it. The first day I was shocked when my friend told me to hang my jacket in the middle of university. I remember my facial expression was “what???ī, and he was laughing but he is also foreigner and told me: “relax Nelly, this is Finland.ī
Sometimes in Latin-America, when we are far away and without real knowledge of the culture, we can judge Scandinavian countries as a “cold“ culture, where sometimes it seems like people donīt care about you. Although, I have realized how honesty shows you the opposite of this stereotype, because people respect each other, respect others belongings and that proves how people care about each other. Itīs just a different way to show it, and sometimes actions are much more important than words.
Finland is a self-service country, you take care of your things, bring your dishes to the cleaning place and when everyone does his or her part making things work better. An eco-way of thinking is everywhere; small responsible actions increase quality of life and make things easier.
In this country most things are well organized. Student accommodation in Oulu is one of them. There is one company that manages student housing and offers really nice service, and itīs very effective in my opinion. In general, apartments are in good condition, including services and when you get your apartment you only need to fix with the bank on when to make payments and you can forget about the rest. Prices are reasonable and I think it is worth it due to the services offered and the customer service they have. Itīs much easier than make an agreement with one landlord and try to negotiate every time something happens. Also, itīs nice that you can meet nice people in your building cause many students live in the complex and all reservations are on-line, laundry, sauna. That makes life easier.
It took me time to learn that I need extra time every time I go out, because at home it usually takes me just a few minutes to take my bag and leave home running to school. Here, even when I think Iīm ready I still need some more time to dress up completely … jacket, boats, scarf, gloves, keys and so on… now I have gotten used to it, but there are things I never considered before and here it is part of the daily life. You donīt turn on your car and leave it running. First you clean the snow, warm it and drive carefully, that takes time. So, you learn here to be organized and leave on time cause rushing is not good under snow conditions.
Winter in Finland
I like snow; the city is completely white and has many nice views. On the way to downtown there is one bridge with a gorgeous view. The lake is not frozen as the others, and the trees are white as well. Itīs nice to see the kids playing outside in the snow and dressing like little penguins. Every time I try to complain about snow, I just need to see them smiling and enjoying it … as usual children always show us that itīs up to us to see the good side in life.
One of the most beautiful things I have experienced was seeing the northern lights!! The colors in the night sky were brilliant; I was completely stunned to see this amazing spectacle of Nature! Itīs hard to describe how special it is and how it feels, cause for me it was a gift, since just a few places on earth are able to appreciate them. I feel so lucky to have it in my “done“ list. Most of the foreigners were waiting for hours to catch a glimpse of them in the cold weather,but it was definitely worth doing it …
Oulu Business School
P.O. BOX 4600
90014 University of Oulu