Finland: My Rewarding European Cultural Life Experience Past Review

By (Child Development and Learning with teacher licensure, Maryville College) for

Abo Akademi University: Abo - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I have definitely broadened my horizons and grown as an individual. It gives me hope for traveling lots more in the future.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The workload was a lot less in my courses abroad than at my home university. I learned a lot through experience, especially in Teaching Practice, in the English department of a Swedish primary school. Grades are very similar to the American grading system.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I felt very supported during my study abroad experience. The program size allowed me to make several friends, since there were only 27 exchange students. I learned a lot about Finnish and Swedish-speaking Finnish culture. My expectations definitely were met!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We received starting packages in the beginning of the program with all the essentials to get settled in. The beds were absolutely awful though! My apartment was close to my university and the city center (about 10 minute walk).

* Food:

Good bread!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Field trip to the Replot Bridge and city tour was a great experience during orientation week! Also, another orientation experience, called Gulis, was good to get to know other exchange students and university students and have fun together.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The water and the living conditions were generally very safe and healthy. I also felt comfortable walking around town at any time and stealing was only an issue with bikes.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

Most people spoke English very well, but I practiced Swedish with my friends within the language course.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Meeting and having courses in English with other exchange students
  • Group experiences in the city
* What could be improved?
  • More group travel opportunities for cheaper
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Students that want to experience another culture and don't have the opportunity to go abroad for a whole year should at least do exchange for a semester. Depending on where you go, exchange doesn't have to be extremely expensive.