So , for me the Erasmus year is technically coming to a close , as I leave imminently , for good , out of Oulu and out of Finland!
Nah but of course Oulu hasn’t been a barren arctic wasteland, and I do feel bad for technically leaving Oulu earlier than I could, I’ve loved every day here , its been the most incredible experience , and I’d love more…but…just…Germany….beautiful German princess…cheap, fantastic beer….25 degrees…..I’m sure you understand. For all other Erasmusees , they leave a place where they speak a foreign language and go with relief back to speaking their mother tongue- for me , its the opposite way round.
Like a pirate visiting an island and then going on your way , its important to get the most out of every place you go- lap up experiences, opportunities and culture like you’re leaving tomorrow, throw away your television! Personally I’m pretty pleased with what I’ll take from Finland , as I’ll be leaving with a new girlfriend , language, new adopted homeland and a new future , with the summer now spent speaking German with my German girlfriend in Germany , and then at the end of the summer we’ll travel on to France , Spain , England and Scotland and then back to Leicester. For everyone else this is the end of something fantastic , and they’ll be going from speaking a foreign tongue back to their home turf- for me its the opposite- my foreign language escapades begin now! Erasmus was a fantastic cultural kaleidoscope, and I’ve tested out and learnt about many many countries , peoples and languages. My Family’s visit after 9 months apart had made me really value England , being English , and having a family and your own country and tea drinking culture that you love, even though its only now , being away from it for a longer time that i got to appreciate. As a kid , I always wanted to be foreign, only now I realized how- the only way to do this is to move to a different country- easy eh? In my Erasmus I’ve visited 6 countries , made ventures in learning french , Spanish , Italian , German , and got through 4 different bicycles.
Interestingly also, I’ve learn in six months basic German without ever actually studying it or being in the country that much! Wunderbar!
I’ve seen metres deep snow , experienced -24 degrees, seen moose, reindeer , otters , eagles, skiid, ice hole swam , spent 4 different currencies, traveled by train , car, reindeer sled, ferry, plane , bus ,coach and bicycle (oh GOD bicycle). I’ve eaten snails, moose, reindeer, pike and perch…and accidentally studied biology this year…whoops! I saw about a million lakes and a billion trees, I’ve taught English and been taught Spanish and German and Finnish.I saw the northern lights , rode a bicycle miles out onto the sea , and walked a kilometre across a frozen lake ,the same that I swam in a few months before.I’ve had my beard frozen into ice, and I saw amazing northern lights 4 times.I’ve ice skated, seen a day with about 3 hours of not darkness, and now theirs only a few hours with darkness, and in winter i didn’t see the sun or blue sky for perhaps…two months…I’ve visited basically every city in Finland , and most places in Finland , and gone to the most northern part of Europe. I’ve laughed ,cried and ridden a toboggan , perhaps at the same time.I met Santa Claus too , in Santa Village Rovaniemi, Lappland. I slept in a car , and incidentally in a sleeping bag for the last 5 months…
After Erasmus , life will never be the same again! Do I recommend going on Erasmus in Oulu…are there bears in Finnish woods? Erasmus anywhere is a mindblower, and I reckon in Finland you get a clientele of true madmen and adventurers. Plus , the cold and dark can test people a bit , so you get to see a pretty honest view of lots of people. And Finland itself , is the kind of place where you’d never go on holiday…rightly so. And that’s exactly why you should go on Erasmus here.Only a madman would go to Finland for Erasmus. So do something mad , and have an experience its impossible to have any other way. And its a great country, no crime , no one will bother you ever , lots of beer , high standard of living , incredible nature all around, about the same price as England , sometimes cheaper, a real adventure, EVERYONE speaks English, you can find every English product you want in the shops here (except for cherries and crunchy peanut butter, strangely) , its nice and flat so you don’t need to cycle up hills, there’s big wide pavements to cycle on, bicycles are cheap, everyone loves England and English people, nice and sunny in the summer , definitely get a white Christmas, WiFi everywhere, not too hot, no earthquakes or danger-whats not to love?
You’ll also get to see a natural phenomenon that will probably change you a tiny bit forever. a real loss of everything living from nature, including sunlight and warmth in the winter…and I mean everything. you won’t see a single bird , the sun , fish , animals or anything for maybe three or four months. and then in spring , it all comes back. I tell you , you never thought you’d appreciate seagulls and crows and just insects and sun until you’ve been robbed of them for the winter.
Come to Finland!