by: Liau Chi Wei

It’s been almost 2 months since I left my comfort zone and started my exchange year in one of the northernmost countries in Europe, Finland. It is still like a dream to me. I can’t believe that I’ve travelled 8875km from Malaysia to Finland and going to stay here for 10 months without my family. However, I’m in love with my new life journey already.

Finland is a beautiful and peaceful country. Everything here is so different from Malaysia. The people here are lovely and kind but the majority of them are really shy. Therefore, I found it a bit hard to make friends here. However, it is a really good opportunity for me to achieve one of my personal goals for this exchange year, which is to be brave to start a conversation with people. Besides that, I also have so many chances to experience things that we usually don’t do in Malaysian high schools such as doing ceramics, playing ice hockey and playing chess during free periods.

I have a wonderful host family. My host dad is humorous and he likes playing the guitar. As for my host mother, she enjoys knitting and singing in a choir. Not to mention, I’m having a double placement so my host family is hosting a girl from Hong Kong too! She is like a younger sister to me because we have a common language to communicate which is Cantonese and we go everywhere together. Due to her appearance, I rarely feel homesick. I consider myself the lucky one because I have a wonderful family to be part of my exchange journey. We enjoy cooking meals, watching movies at home and visiting museums together.

I’m really in love with my new life journey and I can’t wait to create more valuable memories in this exchange year to be filled into my life experience!

Me having fun with downhill sledding
My vase made in ceramic class
Picture with the Helsinki Cathedral
sight-seeing around Helsinki