Good day to all!
My exchange studies at Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore are slowly approaching. It will not be long before I find myself sitting in a plane, which will take me almost 10000 km from where I am. Reflecting on the incredible journey that awaits me, I cannot refrain from saying: How huge and versatile the Earth is! It is a home for all of us. Despite the fact that we share one and the same home, we are so different and unlike each other. The world appears to be so multifaceted and diverse, that the realization of it takes my breath away.
We live in a world full of contrasts, which at times seem unconceivable. There haven’t been many of such contrasts in my life, but there is a simply one which never ceases to amaze me over the years I recall it. I am originally from a small town in Russia near the Russian-Finnish border. The town is called Sortavala. It is just 65 km from the border with our neighbor. The nearest and more or less populated Finnish town, Joensuu, is in approximately 150 km. The distance is relatively small to our measures, so Russians have always been very frequent visitors to the city of Joensuu, and so have I. These childhood trips of mine have always brought me some food for thought, and at these very trips I captured the contrasts, in which Russian and Finnish lives are so rich. What amazed me most during my trips to Finland is how multinational and multicultural their populations is, as compared to the one in my home town. I hardly ever got to see a foreigner in Sortavala, whereas Joensuu must have had all countries represented in its local population. It would not have been so astonishing to me, if the distance was not just 150 km! Just think about it – 150 km, and you are like in different world. For a ten-year-old me it was a real discovery. I think that it did change my perception of the world from something immense and boundless to a more interrelated, united and somewhat more close to me. If those people dared to move from one country to another and became more international and cosmopolitan, why could not I? Without an exaggeration, it was a true mind-opening. As I was gradually realizing that the world is one whole, I started to think of studying abroad, and Finland was the first and the only country on my list.
As the years were passing by, and my high-school final year was approaching, I was more and more inclined to apply for studying at a Finnish University. So it happened. The final decision itself, as I remember now, was made on one of September evenings in the start of my high-school final year. Looking back, I feel that it was the right decision to take.
Now that I am a student of Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, international environment is no longer a wonder or a novelty. It is the ordinary course of life here, and it is still truly amazing to me. Lappeenranta is a very international city, as Saimaa UAS and LUT are strongly internationally-oriented. Whatever period you come here for – full degree, one study year, or just an exchange semester – you will definitely appreciate the lively international and multicultural atmosphere here. You will most probably get to study and work with people from all over the world, who can later become good friends of yours, as it is the true in my case. As soon as you made a friend in some other part of the world, you can go there for a study exchange or a practical training as a part of a degree program! Isn’t it a fantastic opportunity? You have all of it and much more.
It might sound pathetic, but it’s true: the more I study in Finland, the more I get convinced that the whole world is open for us. You can be whatever you want to be and do whatever you want to do, and you should not necessarily be bound to some geographic location. We are the people of the world, and we have every opportunity to arrange our lives the way we want them to be.
I would like to finalize today’s blog with a quote:
This is all for today.
Have a nice day and see you soon J