It’s over, I’m home.
I was supposed to update this blog more often, but it seemed that every time I was about to do so, something else came up.
I’ve been back in Finland for one week now and the last half year now feels like a strange dream. I believe that it takes some time to my mind set in being back.
But now that I start to think about the last half year, we really did a lot of stuff. Road trips, visits to other cities, school projects, lots of fun nights with dear friends, picnics, bike trips, days on the beach… Now it feels that there was things we did each day!
Netherlands as an exchange place proved out to be a safe, a bit familiar but still exotic. The culture had similarities to a Finn so that there weren’t any major cultural shocks on arrival, but as time went by, the diversities became more clear. The Dutch people are relaxed, welcoming and very internationally oriented. Everyone talks good English, even the smallest kids, and aren’t afraid to use it. Also, when compared to Finns, the Dutch are more open minded when it comes to communication with people from different cultures. It is easy to go talk to them and they seem to welcome you as you are.
I would recommend the exchange experience to everyone. Even though things might not be easy in the beginning, you learn a lot of yourself, your capabilities and start to believe in yourself more. Once you have lived abroad, you know you can do it and you get more self-confidence. This happened to me and now traveling seems like one of the best ways to develop personal leadership. I think that I also appreciate my own culture more and see it in a different light. It’s a cliché, yes, but that is what has happened. More perspectives, more good friends, more cultural knowledge and more knowledge of yourself. Seems like a good experience in paper, doesn’t it?
Now I think I’ll raise a toast for the Finnish summer, my family and friends. And what makes things easier, is to know that I will also see many of my exchange friends in one month.
Thank you for following this blog, I hope it is able to give something back. And I would to end this by saying: live, experience, learn and just go for it. It only matters if you tried and you appreciate it after you’ve done so.