My name is Hjördis, I‘m 17 years old and I’m an exchange student from Germany. I came to Lahti in August and my first day in Kannas Upper Secondary School was right in the beginning of September.
First of all, school in Germany and school in Finland is indeed very different. Starting with the schedule that changes 5 times a year, which was quite a change for me because I am used to having one schedule for 1 year and being in the same class always. On my first day in this High School I could never have imagined what would happen in the future. In the first week I thought I would spend this school year alone because: Yes, Finnish people are shy… And for some reason, I was scared too about doing the first step which is weird because there is actually nothing to be afraid of.
My second week already looked completely different. I started talking to people and people started talking to me. Suddenly I had friends. Over the time friendships vanished and friendships developed. I am left with a small circle of about 5 people where I get an inner connection to every time we meet. To be honest I already get sad if I think about leaving them in a few months but then I think about how great it is to have friends in a completely different country. For me friends are the most important thing in school because they make the whole experience just better basically with just being there. It is as simple as it sounds.
Something we talk about a lot is food. In my German school food costs 3,50e per meal and it usually tastes bad. Here I get super delicious meals for FREE everyday and it just still blows my mind. I appreciate it very much and its definitely something I am going to miss when I go back. Another thing I find funny are the food differences for example I love eating a nice bread with butter and jam and its usual to eat that in Germany too, but Finnish people seem to find it quite weird but at least we don’t eat something called “Mämmi”
Let us continue with the relationships to the teachers at Kannas Upper Secondary School because I want to praise their work in advance. Directly on my first math lesson my seat neighbor started a long conversation with the teacher and she complained about the unfair terms of acceptance for the IB classes and what happened was they talked about that for 30 min straight. What impressed me was that the teacher had no problem with an interruption of her lesson because she was interested in what the student had to say so she actually listened, and she took seriously what my neighbor had to say. That amazed me. My second example happened after my first sport course when my friend just went to the teacher and hugged him to say thank you for the nice course. I have never seen a student hugging their teacher, so I was very confused because I thought something bad happened, obviously not. Finally I love how open minded the teachers are. If you are absent for certain reasons or must postpone a fee then that’s okay and it doesn’t make a big issue of it, usually you don’t even need an apology. I think that is probably even the best part of this school because you never know what a person goes through and I feel like that is respectfully accepted in this school at least what I saw.
I think the Kannas Upper Secondary School is not perfect, but the staff does a lot of important things right and that is remarkable. When I go back to my school in Hamburg I really want to adapt as many things as possible and maybe, if I am lucky, I can change something in my surroundings because it’s totally worth the try. Thank you very much for reading this text and I hope I could wake up some curiosity.
Hyvää päivää ja nähdään!