Home Away with Isabela
“My first encounter with Finland was in June 2000. It was my first visit abroad and everything was new and wonderful (Finland in June-July is lovely). I arrived in Finland in a sunny Johannes day, around midnight. My luggage were lost by the airline and I spoke very little English, but people around me were nice and helpful .I traveled by bus from Helsinki to Oulu, so I had the privilege of admiring the Finnish landscape, to wonder at the midnight sun and to see the quiet and clean towns when we were passing by . An amazingly clean and well maintained towns … and at the end of the road my love were waiting for me.”
Above was a very trilling experience of a 40-year Isabela Ion, who hails from Romania, when I asked her to know when she arrived Finland and how she felt on that day. She is currently studying International Business at the Oulu UAS. Her experience actually reminded me of mine when I arrive here too. The fact still remains that there is always a first time in everything and hers wouldn’t have been an exception.
Having spent quite a number of years already here in Oulu, I wanted her to tell us some of her experiences since she came and how she feels, for example, about the cold weather, the dark weather and also the snow. She actually took her time to share her experiences as quoted below:
“I am one of the lucky foreigners who managed to get a job right after arriving in Finland (I came back to Finland next year, in January, to live with my boyfriend/actual husband) and this fact helped me a lot to adjust. My colleagues were patient and friendly and gave me enough time to get used with the new working environment.
Of course, every beginning is difficult: I had had to adapt my working style and methods to the new place, to learn a lot, I was missing family, friends and sunlight. I recall that I cried several times. Now I realize how patient my boyfriend and work colleagues were with me at that time.
I like snow. In addition, you can’t have snow without cold weather. I’ll say that I like more mild-cold (-7 -15 C) sunny days than dark& extremely cold ones, but even then the Finnish nature is beautiful: in cold nights the sky is dark blue with shinny stars, the snow is sparkling around you – I feel like living in a fairy-tale.”
Also, when I ask to know whether or not she has been having fun since she came to Oulu and to also know the places that she has visited having fun. She responded thus:
“During my first visit here, my boy friend and I were biking a lot in and around Oulu. We went to Naalikari to play beach volleyball, to Ainola Park, to the nice swimming place in Tuira on the Oulu River, to Koitelin koski- a cosy hiking spot just 20km from downtown of Oulu …
In the winter we usually go to Ski. Auranmaja is one of our favorite destinations, since is only 7 km ski-path distance from our house and downhill – Ruka or Iso-Syote. “
Wow, there is no doubt that Isabela has really been having fun since she came to Oulu, despite her few challenges when she arrived. Also when I asked of her general opinion about the Finnish people, as an International student studying here in Oulu, she confirm to me that so far, she has had most positive experience with them. She could not also hide the fact that the Finnish people (that she has met so far) have been so helpful whenever there was any need to. “It is not easy to have a Finnish friend, but when you get one, is for life.” She concluded.
Finally, I wanted to know her general opinion about her school-Oulu University of Applied Sciences, as an international student, and she concluded thus:
“Oulu University of Applied Sciences offers a comprehensive and friendly learning environment. Teachers are very competent and always willing to help. Of course, each teacher has different style, but what is common to all is their effort of helping each student to achieve his/her goal. I noticed that teachers themselves make the effort to adapt their teaching method to every group, especially when they notice some problems in the group’s learning path.”
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