I’m more or less one month away from the beginning of my Erasmus experience. All is starting to become more and more real as I finish the paperwork. Earlier this month (or maybe it was in October, I don’t remember) I got my letter of admission along with some brochures, map of the city and JYU campus and all the info I need. I was quite shocked when I learned, that it only took two days to deliver this “package” from Finland to my doorstep. Not that I don’t believe in the power of post offices, but usually when my Polish university sends me something via post it takes at least two weeks for it to be delivered, so… you know, two days is quite an accomplishment. I love Finland already! ;]

Anyways, I read everything from that package and there were a lot of interesting and very useful info about living expenses, Finnish customs, basically everything I need to know and do when I’m there (and there’s also a checklist of all that, so I wouldn’t forget anything). I’m definitely going to take those brochures with me as they have all the addresses and even a small dictionary containing useful phrases and expressions.

Today I also received an e-mail with the accomodation offer. Finally, because I was starting to get nervous. One thing I really need to learn is that Finns are very strict and when they write me that, for example, they’re going to send me the offer after mid-November, they are really going to do that. It’s so different from what I know about my university, that it’s difficult to get used to. Seriously: last year I applied for a dorm at my home university in Lodz. At the same time I was looking for a flat, but I really hoped I could save some money living in a student dorm. Of course I didn’t get it, so I was forced to find something on my own. About a month later, when I have been already living in a rented apartment, my friends from dorms told me they saw my name on a list of students who got a place in the dorms (it was second or third round of admissions). Imagine that: board of admissions didn’t even bother to contact me just to say that I got a place! Did they expect me to live under a bridge during all that time they were thinking about giving me the place? Pathetic.

Well, I have already realised people from the University of Jyvaskyla are really there to help me and they always answer fast and on time, so there’s nothing to worry about. Having said that, I’m going to accept the offer, since it’s really good (although I’m still having hard time comparing the Finnish prices to the Polish ones). After I pay the deposit (250 Euro) the room in Ristonmaa will be mine from January to May. This is the building:

I’m starting to feel very anxious about the whole packing thing. I really don’t know what I should bring with me. Also the airlines’ luggage limits really don’t help. Although my room at Ristonmaa will be furnished (bed, mattress, chair, desk — stunning equipment, really XD) I will have to arrange some sheets, pillow etc. I’ve been reading a lot about this survival kit you can rent from the housing office. It costs about 60 Euro and contains everything you need. Lots of Erasmus students say that it’s better to buy those things at a second-hand store, since it’s cheaper. But, you know, I can’t do anything on the day of my arrival (I’ll probably arrive to Jyvaskyla in the afternoon 2nd January, so the offices will surely be closed by then). I’m thinking about taking a sleeping bag with me. That way I could save money and I would have something to sleep in from day one ;]. But, it’ll be difficult to pack the sleeping bag, because it’ll take a lot of place and I really have to bring some warm clothes. I’m already thinking about taking only my netbook with me (I was planning to take the laptop as well), just to save some place and weight. Well, after all I can always ask my family to send me things via post if I can’t take it all with me.

It’s really a lot of things I have to get in order before I leave. I’m having a hard time just thinking about it, because there’s a lot going on right now and I have to pass all my classes by the mid-December, so that I could leave with a clean conscience. I think I’m going to start making lists of things I have to bring and then, somewhere around Christmas, I’ll do a “dress rehearsal” and try to pack all this into my two suitcases. It’s going to be fun as hell ;]

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*In case you’re wondering what the title of this post means, here’s a translation from Finnish: Can you help me? I guess I’ll be using this question a lot XD