Category Archives: living in China

With bittersweet regards

I am now back in Finland and I don`t know what to think about it. I have to admit that I am having a culture shock. Although I haven`t ever been really excited to meet foreign and strange people in Finland I see that I have changed my mind after this trip. I loved to live three months in a big strange place in where you never knew what is going to happen and who you will meet.  Of course in a big city you will meet not so nice people but I met also really nice and interesting people who I never would have met if I have staid studying only in Finland. I will definitely encourage all to go on exchange and be opening their minds on their trips. I realized that we Finns are really (or too) wary on meeting new people. Of course you have to have common sense in a both Finland and foreign countries. But I learned about myself that I am sometimes too on alert when I meet new people.

Although Shanghai felt sometimes too big and crowded, I noticed that it wasn`t necessary bad thing. If something bad would have happen, there was always someone to help you. Two days after I came back to Finland I went to my hometown`s city center by car and it felted like only two cars would have driven in the streets. When I was crossing the street by walk, I noticed that I was checking where the all people are. So it is definitely strange to be now in city of 100 000 people than city of 20 million people. It is funny that the change is stranger in this scale than before I went to Shanghai.

My exchange period definitely helped to improve my English and international skills. I learned much about China`s culture which you cannot experience only from books. I realized how big China`s economy is and how good valuable my trip is for my future career as a business women. I liked a lot of Shanghai so I will encourage going on exchange there! I am already waiting for getting back to Shanghai.

Here are some tips for people who are thinking of going Shanghai:

  • Dormitory is not the most fanciest accommodation, but you can survive with right motivation
  • Although many Chinese don`t speak English and communication feels difficult, you noticed that you will manage there well! Remember to have address on Chinese language (or call English helpline which is very easy to use and helpful)!
  • Chinese language is not difficult with right attitude!  Pronunciation is only difficult but practice, practice, practice
  • Travel in China! Shanghai is not the most Chinese place in China.
  • Be open minded and meet lots of interesting people
  • Visit many interesting restaurants and bars (there are thousands of them)

Starting to miss Finland…

Compared to previous text this is text is less happy and more about complaining. As you all know everything in China is not so good. I won`t start to write about politics, human rights and etc but I will write something (or complain about) what I have experienced on this first month living in China and something about Chinese people.

WHY the hell Internet won`t work probably? I really miss my mokkula so much (you cannot even image how much)! It`s so frustrating to not know when the Internet will work and when it doesn`t work. One reason can be that because I live in dormitory so all the other students use same net. But in some days all the Chinese WebPages work but no foreign pages. In other words reason is maybe in somewhere else.  Off course, it isn`t so big a deal if I cannot check my Facebook profile in every day or listen Spotify all the time but It would be nice to read blogs or news more when I have free (read boring) time.

I went last weekend to Zoo and started to think have I become old or WHY the Zoo was so depressing place. I almost started to cry when I went to `pet zoo` section on firstly I noticed this little dog in one meter  time one meter class box. I saw Pandas but they seemed very depressed inside their box also. There were also reindeers on the concrete section and very strange looking goldfishes (they looked like in some alien film). The nicest and biggest living conditions were in birds’ area (that wouldn’t be my first choose). I think that was my last visit to any Zoo in the world. I want to have my lovely childhood memories about Zoos like Korkeasaari.P4010010


Our Finnish drinking habits are well known even in here (although I have heard this from expats) and it was quite big surprise. I have to say as A FINN WOMEN that I can somehow drink booze nicely and I know my limits quite well but here some Chinese women are crazy drinkers and outlook is not nice. In clubs bathrooms I have seen these skinny, little dressed, high heeled and drunken Chinese women fighting, vomiting, crying and almost passing out. In the other hand I don`t doubt the outcome if these women drink REAL champagne as shots!

Last but not at least I complain about men expats who lives here in Shanghai. WHY THEY ARE SO GOOD LOOKING? Girls, you cannot even image this. I mean seriously good looking men. Off course most of them are also very gentlemen. Finnish boys, although you don’t have same charisma as a French vineyard`s heir, you can become gentlemen also and I will promise that is the right way to get girls’ attention!

Mum, I don`t fall in love with any foreigners I will promise that again! That`s all for now! I miss family and friends but luckily I feel little bit like I am at home because my STRONGBOW cider and some Snören candies from Ikea.