Are you an international student studying abroad for the first time? Are you curious about the culture of the country you are studying in? The best way to understand about it is to make friend with local people, and thanks for the Friends Family Activity, I had such a good time hanging out with my beloved Finnish friend and getting to know the beautiful Finnish culture.
My “partner” is Liisa, who is at the same age as me. She is a kind person who passionately loves horses and doing outdoor activities. We became friends in an awkward way because of pre-arranged relationship from Karelia UAS. BUT… guess what, we are close friends since then. She is the one who let me try to ride a horse for the first time, ski like a Finn, join with me in some crazy parties.
My first-time skiing was not difficult as I expected. We had lots of fun practicing in the “super slow” race, we fell and we laughed. What a lovely and warm memory in a cold winter day!
Another experience I cannot forget is riding a horse. She took me to her favorite place where she often goes for horse-riding few times a week. Honestly, this is one of the scariest things I have ever tried. Getting used to this horse was not easy, but Liisa was there and controlled the horse, made her walk around calmly so I could enjoy the moment. After 10 or 15 minutes, I gave up (how embarrassing haha) and decided to watch my friend rule the show. At that moment, I felt so proud of her and admired how Finnish children are brought up, to be strong and be a close friend with nature.
Party is a part of student’s life, of course, I cannot miss it. Liisa was officially my “party-mate” as we spent several times a month having fun in the club. How funny when we were always the last one leaving the parties. We share common crazy spirit for parties and that’s how we become even closer.
Not only me learning about Finnish culture, Liisa also had a chance to try Vietnamese things. She sometimes came to my place to taste Vietnamese dinners. It was so funny when I taught her to use chopsticks for the first time. Every time I cooked new dishes, she would show her “wow” face and laughed a lot because all of them were so strange to her.
Using chopsticks must be the most memorable moment.
I let her try Pho (noodles with chicken) with those chopsticks, roll spring rolls, make bubble tea and dumplings. Vietnamese cuisine is what I am really proud of, that’s why I absolutely appreciate her time and effort cooking and enjoying those food with me. However, time to say goodbye is coming soon as we both have plans to move to new places, but I will, for sure, keep in touch with her and looking forward to seeing her again in Finland.
Friend family program is one of the reasons making me miss Joensuu. Hope that other International Business students will have a chance to participate in order to get the spirit of Finnish life.