Last modified 15.3.2011 at 13:25

Friendly people soften the culture shock

Text: Mio Masuda Photo: Anne Peltola

21 years old Mio Masuda came to Finland from Japan to study computer programming and graphical design.

Mio came to Finland during probably the bleakest time of the year but says that friendly people helped a lot.

Coming to Finland during probably the bleakest time of the year is a shock to anyone. For me, this was also true. My name is Mio Masuda. I am 21 years old, and I study computer programming and graphics design in my home town of Sapporo, Japan. Currently, I am learning to cope with the culture shock as an exchange student at the Oulu University of Applied Sciences.

I chose Finland for my destination because I had heard that the quality of education is very good here. Another reason was my interest in the design of Alvar Aalto. I also appreciate other Finnish designers, but Alvar Aalto is my absolute favourite. During my stay in Finland I wanted to see buildings designed by him with my very own eyes. Luckily, I was able to travel to Rovaniemi, and see also some of his designs there.

2nd time abroad

In Oulu, I have been studying video skills, making web pages as well as Finnish and English. For me, this is the 2nd time abroad. The first exchange period I spent in the United States. In the USA, I met mainly American students. While living in Otokylä student houses in Oulu I have met people from many different countries. Actually, I am not only learning about the Finnish culture, but also a lot from other cultures, as well. I have found this quite amazing and also precious. I feel I am constantly learning something I could not learn only by reading books.

A beautiful, but cold country

My first impression of Finland is that it is simply too cold here. My home is in northern Japan, so you would be right in assuming that I would have been used to the cold. However, I still feel very cold here. For me definitely the hardest thing in Finland is the coldness and the darkness. The dark sky makes me a little bit sad and also a bit annoyed. I think that the darkness is probably one reason why so many people in Finland like heavy metal music! However,when the sun shines, it’s awesome! Stunning nature and a lot of birds. This I like a lot.

Friendly people make the day

In my opinion, the people in Oulu are very kind. One day I lost my wallet and passport in the bus. I thought that that was the last time I would see them. However, my friends said that I should not worry and that my wallet and passport would be returned to me in a couple of days. And, they were right! I did get them back, and nothing has been stolen. You can only imagine my appreciation.

avain Keywords: Japan
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