Last modified 15.3.2011 at 13:14
Potatoes, warm boots and shy people
Text and photo: Jussi Kotila
It took a 26-hour flight to get in Oulu for the Brazilian exchange student Artur Teixeira, but it seems to be worth it. Even though it is more than 20 degrees colder outside.
A year ago Artur Teixeira, a business engineering student from Curitiba Brazil, didn’t know much about Finland. Just some Formula 1 drivers and the fact it’s cold there. But when he was choosing a place to go for student exchange, Finland and Oulu UAS caught his eye.
- The main reason for coming here was the fact that here I can study in English, which isn’t self-evident when going to exchange. Also the courses seemed to be very interesting, Artur remembers.
When Artur found out that he was accepted to Oulu UAS, he started to discover what it’s like in Finland. Luckily, Artur’s uncle had a Finnish colleague, who lived in Brazil. She gave some good tips to Artur.
- Buy yourself warm boots, prepare to eat a lot of potatoes and notice that the Finns are shyer than the Brazilians, Artur quotes her.
Party like the Brazilians
Even though Artur had been given good advices, there were still some surprises.
- Little things, like drinking milk on lunch were totally surprising for me. And, when it comes to alcohol, the Finnish drinking culture is something insane. It seems like they have no limits at all, Artur laughs.
Artur also loves the way the Finns party like the Brazilians.
- I’m especially going to remember the Air Guitar World Championship contest, which was held in Oulu. It was absolutely crazy!
Artur thinks that studying in Oulu UAS is quite the same as in his school in Brazil. The major difference is the infrastructure. When Artur started his studies in Brazil, there was only one classroom with computers in the whole university. In Oulu UAS it’s a totally different thing.
The other big difference is tuition fees.
- In Finland, it’s free to study in universities, which is awesome. In Brazil, there are free federal universities and expensive private universities. For example, the infrastructure is much better in private ones, which makes universities easily unequal.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a hot sauna
On his free time Artur likes to party, hang out with his buddies and visit the Oulu city centre. He also trains Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at a local martial arts club, Oulun Kamppailuklubi.
- I have been training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since I was 11 years old. I was in touch with Oulun Kamppailuklubi before coming here, and the guys there have been very hospitable towards me. And besides being a great help, they have also become very good friends of mine, tells Artur, who has a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Artur still got couple of months of his student exchange left. Before heading back to Brazil in the end of February he wants to go snowboarding to the mountains and try some ice fishing.
In this cold winter weather, he has also adapted a new passion: a hot Finnish sauna.
- I feel like home there, Artur laughs.