”I wanted to see something new, where not many people from my home country have been before”

Sinna, Erasmus Exchange Student, English

Exoticism is what attracted Sinna Kamionka, an English major from Germany, to study in Finland. “I didn’t have any impressions of the country before I came here.” She was interested in experiencing a country that wasn’t a common travel destination for Germans, and she chose Finland since she was in no way familiar with it beforehand.

Finnish culture did not disappoint; it appealed to Sinna, and she embraced all the new experiences the country has to offer. Despite the common wariness foreigners usually have for such activities as ice swimming and going to the Sauna, Sinna was eager to try it all. “I did lots of Finnish things, it was awesome to experience them!” Her exchange experience in Finland was filled with cultural encounters; in addition to the Finnish one, she experienced cultures from all over the world by making friends with other exchange students.

Her studies were challenging but interesting. “While I had to work hard, I really enjoyed my studies.” All the grades received in Finland affected her degree requirements, so her exchange experience was very much centered on studying. She was impressed by the high standard of education and by the degree to which teachers included students in the teaching. “A lot of the classes included seminar group meetings, which were an intensive method of learning.”

Despite having a full study schedule, she found time for leisure activities as well. “The highlight of my stay was Lapland. It was crazy to be in the dark almost 24/7!” Sinna’s only complaints were the high cost of living and the difficulty of the Finnish language. “I tried to learn Finnish, but I quit! This language is too hard for me.”