Moving to Finland and trying to understand a whole new culture and bizarre language is a challenge, for sure. We all know that when settling in a new place, nothing beats a local friend. Our international tutors have a very responsible task; they are the first people foreign students meet when arriving in Oulu. However, there is only so much the busy tutors can do.
In order to help our international students to meet locals and make new friends also outside the study circles, OSAKO and Oulu UAS have joined forces and launched Friend Family Programme. Aim of the programme is to offer the first-year international degree students a chance to get to know local families and dive deeper into the local life and Finnish culture.
Friend families come in all sizes and shapes. Yet they all have one thing in common; a wish to make new international friends. They are prepared to introduce the student to their lifestyle and hope to learn more about the student’s culture and life, as well. And what is expected from the students? Basically the same. The most important quality the student can have is an open mind and a genuine interest towards the friend family.
Application period for families and students ends on 18.11.2013. If you feel like this is something you’d like to take part in, take a closer look at the programme in oiva.oamk.fi/friendfamilies (for students) or in oamk.fi/english/friendfamilies (for families and students).
And as usual, a little (slightly applied) haiku – this time about becoming Finnish:
In sauna for hours,
ten cups of coffee per day,
milk with every meal.
Nearly a Finn now.
The only thing missing is
Tanja Vallo, Secretary of Cultural Affairs and an excited coordinator of the Friend Family Programme