Saturday August 6, 2011
I have begun this blog as part of a school project, a way to educate people about Finland. Of course, it will be a record of my own personal experiences as well, but its main purpose is to be educational.
My main goals will be:
~ To learn how to blog (this is my first blog)
~ To learn to compare and contrast other exchange student’s blogs with my own
~ To learn to keep a record of my Finnish exchange and the experiences I receive from it
~ To learn to be an effective user of the Finnish language
~ To learn to develop my organizational skills
~ To learn to become a social ambassador for the USA
Within all my blog entries, all of these should be included (with the exception of comparing and contrasting other’s blogs, due to the fact that there just aren’t that many blogs to work with) and if you notice I’m forgetting these, please tell me, e-mail me, whatnot.
Now that I’ve clarified that, please read on!
Today is my last day in the US. I leave for Finland this afternoon. Super nerve-wracking/ exciting/ scary/ wow! feelings going on. I’ve said my goodbyes to everyone except my family now, and I’m still a bit nervous about that.
Last night my parents’ good friends Lisa and Russ Sherlock hosted a wonderful going-away party for me, which I’m very grateful for. Seeing all my friends and extended family there to wish me a good trip was really encouraging. It’s a bit funny seeing as how not a single one of the friends I invited is going to the same school, but got along very well together, and found lots of connections regardless! And on the cake was written (in Finnish) Näkemiin Monica, or Farewell Monica. All in all it was a wonderful goodbye party!
On another topic, my flight to Finland leaves at 6 in the evening from DIA (Denver International Airport) tonight, and then 14 hours to Frankfurt. In Frankfurt, I’ll have a 3-4 hour layover, then another 3-4 hours to the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. Funny fact: not counting the time discrepancies between Finland and Colorado, I leave at 6 in the evening and arrive at 6 in the evening. Luckily, I won’t be traveling alone, but with fellow Finland exchange student Christina Montgomery. You can find her blog here: http://christinatofinland.blogspot.com/ . (I encourage you to read it, as she’s already been writing constantly, unlike me.)
Once I arrive in Finland, I won’t immediately go to stay with my host family. For the first week I’ll be in Karkku, Finland, at a week-long Rotary Youth Exchange orientation program with about 100 or so other teens from around the world who will study in Finland for the year. We’ll be taking intensive language courses in Finnish and Swedish (both are official languages in Finland) as well as getting over our jet-lag, and learning some of the cultures and traditions of Finland. Also, Finnish food; I still haven’t figured out exactly what I’ll be eating in Finland…
Anyways, I’ve been told to have as much fun as possible, and that’s what I plan to do!