It’s dark. It’s cold, but inside the houses it is warm. There’s at least some snow. Yeap, no doubt! It’s home!
I just all went so fast! I mean it feels like I went to France just few weeks ago! However, all that is good must come to an end! I came home a bit earlier since I had all my exams on the first exam week. Lots of people still had two other weeks where they could have had their exams. However, lot of people who stayed and did not have exams or had a long break before the next one took upon the last travelling, especially the ones who came to Europe from overseas since this was a great opportunity for them to explore rest of the Europe. Maybe you can reserve some time for that in the end of your exchange if you wish to travel a bit on your holidays 😉
How did the leaving go? Perfect! All was in order when I had reserved the train and plane tickets right after knowing my exam dates. I luckily also had two days after the exam to clean and pack and then to visit the Strasbourg Christmas market on the weekend before leaving. So I had plenty of time to think what I will have to do before leaving and time to do it also. A reminder here: You might want to talk to people who stay for a next semester if they want some of the stuff that you might leave behind. I unfortunately forgot to do this so I had to throw away a lot of stuff expect some food supplies that my neighbor was happy to receive. This also makes it easier to clear the apartment for the “état des lieux” -check, also known as outgoing inventory of fixtures. Remember to safeguard this document after you hand in the keys and leave the apartment. Since you need it with the letter that you can be send to CAF housing subsidy, if you wish to inform them of your departure this way.
As I was leaving Lille I watched all the beautiful architecture, scenes and parks that I had just walk through during the semester. I started to feel really nostalgic and just wanted to stay for one last day! But I had to go… I felt mixed feeling of excitement of returning home and seeing my family and friends but also sad since the exchange felt just coming to a sudden stop. I will of course keep the memories and people that I have had the privilege of experiencing and meeting during the semester in Lille. If some of the great people have the chance to read this, I want to thank you for making the exchange what is was. Which was awesome! 😉 I hope to meet you later in life 😉
I feel like the courses I took were really specific to my interest in marketing, leadership and management so I was happy that IÉSEG had a lot to choose from topics. Even though the courses were aimed more for general business practices, I am sure that I will be able to utilize them at my future entertainment industry based career. I also feel more comfortable in international as well as French environment since I feel like this exchange boosted my French skills as well as getting to know how different cultures work and how should you work with them. We were also mentioned that future employees will appreciate the international experience that an employee has since the world is globalizing and you seldom work with only your native colleagues anymore. So thank you IÉSEG and International club for all that you gave me during this semester!
How does it feel to be back home? Great! All of a sudden I feel safer a taken care of even though I had really nothing to worry at Lille either. It great to meet my family and friends again, take a relaxing sauna, eat some delicious rye bread, throw snowballs around just for the fun of it and try to do as much Finnish things as possible 😀 I feel like I have accustomed to the life back here quite fast, although I have had some things that have shocked me a little; Are Finnish people really this silent all the time? Why do people think I talk too much? Was only -1 really this cold before? Does it really get this dark so fast? But all in all, I am happy to be home. I feel like the semester was quite successful and I am really happy that I took the chance to go there. While looking at all the 1500 pictures that I took, it feels like I will remember all those great moments forever. (Ps. remember to take a good camera with you and take a lot of pictures! It will be worth it in the end 😉 )
Since this is my last post as well, I want to thank you all who have paid even the slightest interest to my blog! I hope it has inspired you to take an exchange in France or even Lille, I hope it has answered to your questions of what it is like to be here and I hope it has given some clue of what the heck I was doing all that time in exchange 😀 It was my first try in writing a blog and I feel pretty good about expressing myself in blog form in the future as well. If you have anything to comment or ask afterwards about exchange in France, do not be afraid to contact me since I would be happy to help and answer your questions 🙂
Thank you for reading, thank you for listening and thank you for sharing the exchange experience with me 🙂 Au revoir tout mes amis! Á bientôt!
PS. Here some last pictures of the great Strasbourg Christmas market 🙂 And with that I wish you all happy holidays and a happy new year!