Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Why Greece?

Many people have asked me why I wanted to go to Greece for my Erasmus exchange, and honestly I don't have any good answer to this question. Others say, they applied here because of the climate or because of the city being famous for its nightlife. I don't have those reasons for why I'm here, which may sound strange. I love all seasons, and am not that fond of temperature over 25 Celsius degrees. I don't like partying/clubbing either, so this screams me being in a wrong place for the exchange.

To start the story from the beginning, I have always been interested in traveling. This may be because of my dad traveling so much due to his job, tho it doesn't explain my interest in different cultures. I'd say that is my mom talking, as she's one of the reasons why I started correspondence first with Finns and then with foreigners. While writing letters I became more and more interested in different cultures and countries, which boosted my interest in traveling. Then it started, me wanting to experience how it would feel like to live in a foreign country.

Already back in upper secondary school I thought of an exchange year abroad, however, it was impossible due to the high costs of such exchange program. After upper secondary school, I ended up studying international business, majoring in marketing (though, I'm thinking of changing it to management) in English. The fact that I'm conducting my studies in English, opened many new possibilities. All the exchange options felt more possible at this point, as I knew my English was strong enough for conducting my studies in English already in Finland, so I knew it would also be possible abroad.

The timing was easy to decide, as I knew I preferred the fall semester. Why? This is an easy question to answer, because I love snow and winter, so I want to be in Finland that time! Especially because previous winter wasn't very snowy, so I wasn't able to cross-country ski that much - hoping for the up-coming winter to be long and snowy.

What comes to the destination, Greece wasn't my first choice. When I was thinking about the country, my interest was in Canada and Malaysia, but ended up thinking it would be better for me to stay in Europe because I'm a family-person - I like being close to the people I care about. The next idea was to look for universities having the fall semester at the same time that it would be in Finland. That wasn't so easy because most of the European countries have their semester starting later than Finland. I ended up applying to Czech Republic because I found the timing of the semester and the courses most suitable for myself. Unfortunately, my application was denied due to the universities renewing their co-operation contract. I got that information at a time, when Greece was the only place, where it was still possible to apply to.

I was mentally prepared of not being in Finland this fall, so I still wanted to conduct the exchange somewhere. So, that's why I'm here, in Greece. Now I need to deal with some problems that I was trying to avoid, like having overlapping studies for the whole January. I try not to worry too much about it, as January is nowhere close yet. My current goal is to try to enjoy this exchange experience as much as I can!

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