My First Impression

“Finland? Why Finland?” – That is the question numerous people asked me before my arrival here. Never in a million years did I ever think I would end up here, yet here I am. And I guess, in a way, that’s why I chose it. Will I ever get the chance to spend a year of my life in Lapland again? Unlikely. So I think I should start with a short introduction of who I am. My name is Farah Mahmood and I’m from Halifax, West Yorkshire, England. I have to admit I am not the conventional English girl; my parents are from Pakistan, which explains the confused expressions on people’s faces here when I say “Minä olen englantilainen”. I arrived in Rovaniemi at the beginning of August 2010 and will stay here until at least the end of May 2011. I am currently studying Law at my home university, which is the University of Nottingham, and I’ll be studying at the law faculty here too, hoping to graduate with Law with European Law.

I feel as though this first blog should be dedicated to the first amazing month I experienced here in Rovaniemi during the Erasmus Intensive Language Course (EILC), “intensive” being a slight understatement. Over the period of 4 weeks, I participated in almost everything Finnish, from studying the language in the morning to taking part in the cultural events during the evening which ranged from Finnish baseball, dance and cooking (I have to say I cooked some pretty impressive Karelian pies) to much more academic areas such as lectures named “Finns and their features” – an interesting perspective on the Finns. But how can I forget the excursion to Inari, with the gold-panning (possible future occupation?), visit to the reindeer farm and a wilderness church, eating some great slow-cooked salmon and much more. And I feel obliged to mention the moment when Andrew (a 45-year old grown man, might I add) decided to take a boat out all by himself, only to have to get rescued, and he still insists till this day that he “knew exactly what he was doing”. But all jokes aside, Inari was definitely one of the highlights of the month and I would really recommend it to anyone interested in a taste of the Sami culture.

There were 48 people on this course from all across Europe, but I’m sure each and every one of us can say we made friends that we’d like to stay in touch with forever. There really are too many memories to post and too many people to mention but I honestly advise anyone who has the possibility to take part in the EILC, you won’t regret it, and to Päivi, the teachers and the tutors, thank you for all the effort you put in which made this month possible. Hopefully there’ll be a lot more times to come!



Suositut tekstit