Winter – it’s finally here. Yesterday morning I took out the trash running, found out that my bike has no working gear or brakes anymore, and had to keep my eyes half shut while cycling because my eyelashes froze and were glued together. So yes, the winter has arrived. My heart goes out to those who haven’t experienced the Finnish winter before. It can be tough, but at least after the -23 degrees we had yesterday today’s -11 feels like a gentle summer breeze.
I’ve been away from Finland for few winters and I seem to have regained my ability to enjoy the exotic aspect of it. Also working with international students has made me more aware of my environment. Every now and then I find myself looking around in Rotuaari or the market place, wondering how it all looks to someone who comes from the other side of the world. I’ve also got annoyingly nostalgic about the times I’ve spent abroad.
Besides winter, also the application period for student exchange is soon here. If you didn’t make it to OSAKO’s Going Abroad evening last week, go and have a cup of coffee with someone who has been on exchange or done his/her practical training abroad. Ask how it was. Or go and see the international coordinator of your school. Ask about the options. Give it a thought. After graduation nobody’s going to pay you for going abroad.
Going away for a little while is not only about the new places; you learn a great deal about home, too. But I do warn you: you might end up standing puzzled in the middle of Rotuaari just like me, wondering if the streets were always that empty or if you just forgot the way it is.
Tanja Vallo, Secretary of Cultural Affairs
There are places where
the sun shines in December
No need for pullovers