Interview with a foreign exchange student
Did he experience any culture shocks in Finland? What does he think about the languages spoken in Finland? What's it like living with a host family? Why did he choose Finland? Why going as an exchange student? Did he learn Finnish or Swedish? Does he recommend going to Finland as an exchange student? Listen to find out! Interviewers: Wilma Johansson and Daniel Jansson
Student Unions in Finland
Student unions such as the Student Union of Åbo Akademi University and the Student Union of the University of Helsinki organize leisure activities for students. Each student union has its own representative council and board elected by the members of the union.
What do they offer?
Student unions carry a broad variety of clubs; everything from choirs to sports and from whisky clubs to drama clubs. And if this wasn't enough, each faculty has its own club that organizes parties and field trips for its students, ensuring you an adventurous and memorable time studying in Finland.
For more information about the Student Union of Åbo Akademi University:
For more information about the Student Union of the University of Helsinki:
Lucia is a christian tradition amongst the Swedish speaking Finns. The day of Saint Lucia is celebrated 13.12. Lucia lived in Syracuse, Sicily in the 3rd century. The legend says that she was burned at the stake but the flames did not hurt her. The red ribbon Lucia wears around her waist is said to symbolize her being stabbed in the stomach. Today she is a symbol of light and every year a Lucia is chosen in almost every Swedish speaking town in Finland.
Midsummer is celebrated in Finland on the lightest day of the year - the sun almost never sets at night. This usually happens in late June. On this very day Finns tend to eat different kind of fish, such as herrings and salmon, drink schnapps and sing songs while doing that. A midsummer bonfire is lit in almost every town and a midsummer pole is raised. Legend says, if you lay seven different sorts of flowers under your pillow and sleep on it throughout midsummer night, you will meet your future husband or wife in your dreams.
Finns love their saunas! Many go there every day to relax after a long day of work. Sauna, which is a Finnish invention, is often enjoyed together with friends and family while throwing water onto the sauna stove to create steam. At summer cottages a sauna is often built close to the water so you can run back and forth between the cold water and the warm sauna. It is estimated that there are more saunas than cars in Finland.
The Finnish independence day is on the 6th of December since 1917, when Finland became independent from Russia. This day is mostly celebrated in a calm manner by Finns, usually by watching the independence ball at the presidential castle in Helsinki on TV. Another common thing to do on this day is to light blue and white candles representing the Finnish flag.
- Mämmi is a rye pudding often eaten with cream and sugar. In Finland we eat mämmi on easter.
- Lingonberry porridge
- Salmiakki is a type of candy similar to liquorice but with a stronger taste. Most foreigners don’t like salmiakki when they first try it but Finns love it! There is even liquor with salmiakki flavour.