I’m still months away from the beginning of my Erasmus student exchange in Finland, but for the past weeks I’ve been reading about the country like crazy. I literally ate every piece of information there is. Information about Finnish lifestyle, customs, eating habits, everything.
And from what I’m getting from reading those blogs (especially those coming from my nationals), is the fact that before arriving to Finland I should get rid of every habits that are typical for my nationality.
Coming from a country like Poland, where people are rather nice, but for a loner and introvert like myself generally just annoying I find Finland to be more or less a paradise for me. But still I will have to be patient. For over 20 years I’ve been trying first to change myself and then — when I realized it’s not me who needs changing — to become immune to stupidity, rabble and the lack of good manners.
And now I’m reading about how Finns as a nation are honest, righteous, polite, punctual and they never ever break any rules… well, this just makes me more eager to get on that plane and fly away from Poland. Reading about the Finnish way of life is somewhat like reading about myself. In every way. Like them I respect my privacy, I don’t like to be in a large group of people, I like to wander around just by myself, I hate small talks and I’m so fair and square that it almost makes me naive.
I cannot possibly imagine what it’s like to be around so many people who follow the same rules in life as I do. And I find myself hoping there won’t be so many Erasmus students, as I would like to be around Finns only. It’s probably impossible, but one can hope, right?
If you’re interested in some student experience stories, I would reccommend Helsinki Times’ Columns section. A bunch of foreingers shared their views about what it’s like to live in Finland for them. Very entertaining read.
Also I found this video very amusing (it has Polish subtitles, but she speaks in English):