Jolanda Varis reporting:
INTRODUCING Paola Méndez Contreras, Iroha Nagamine, Wadi Abimeri, Cameron Butler and Kota Iijima, this year’s exchange students in Klassikka. Paola and Wadi both came to Finland from Mexico, Cameron from Canada whereas Iroha and Kota are from Japan. They all are staying in Finland for about a year. In Finland, they are staying in Siilinjärvi, Kuopio, and Maaninka.
- Why exchange student program? And also – why Finland?
Wadi: Going to another country as an exchange student sounded interesting.
Iroha: I want to learn as many new languages as possible.
Cameron: I wanted to experience a new culture. I was told that Finland has one of the best education systems in the world. I was also basically told that either I go to Finland for an exchange or I don’t go. So… But, I mean, I loved to come to Finland.
Paola: Why not Finland?
- What did you know about Finland before you came here?
Cameron: I was told they eat a lot of fish. And that it gets really dark in the winter. And, of course, that it gets really cold.
Paola and Iroha: Too cold, a lot of saunas, Moomin, Santa Claus lives here… Something like that.
Kota: I knew about saunas and Moomin. And that there are many different kinds of winter sports.
- What are you looking forward to do during your stay here?
Cameron: Trying new things, in common.
Wadi: I think it would be great to try ice swimming.
- What do you think of Finland now that you have been here for some time?
Iroha: I don’t really like the food
Cameron: Salmiakki is gross. But the nature is very beautiful. And Finnish people are quite friendly – once you get to know them…
Cameron and Wadi: You definitely have the best chocolate!
Paola: The lakes are beautiful
Paola and Iroha: The supermarkets are cold. You have to wear a coat there.
- What do you usually do on your free time?
Paola: I often study Finnish on my free time. And I eat.
Wadi: I like to go and run in the forest.
Cameron: In Canada, I play rugby.