Silvia Tschiggerl

My semester at the Turku University of Applied Sciences.


Before I started my semester abroad in Finland, I received lots of ‘useful’ tips from my friends and relatives. Many of them said I should try to make friends with the other exchange students because Finnish people are very shy and don’t talk much. It’s lucky I didn’t listen to them because that turned out not to be the case at all! The Turku University of Applied Sciences, where I studied for four months, was very international and the students were open to other cultures. There were no problems with communication, probably because they all spoke perfect English! I was very happy about this because no matter how much Finnish I tried to learn, after four months I could only count to 10 and introduce myself in two sentences!

Finland is a fantastic country and its neighbouring countries of Sweden, Estonia and Russia are very easy to reach on one of the many ferries. Although Finland’s cities are less exciting, the nature has plenty to offer. The elks, huskies, the Northern Lights and breath-taking winter landscapes made this a truly unforgettable stay. One thing I will never forget is the Finnish passion for saunas! A real highlight of my stay were my sauna sessions followed by a cool-down in the Arctic Ocean at temperatures below zero!

The only thing I didn’t like so much about Finland was the darkness. In November and December in particular, the sun had already set when many of us exchange students were only just getting up after a long night of partying! Fortunately my university was in the south of the country which meant that we at least had a few hours of light during the day.