My Firsts in Finland

When was the last time you experienced something for the first time?
The end of this blog awaits with some special info 🙂

Hi! My name is Daisy and I’m a high school student in Finland. Over a year ago, my life was well, just my life I guess. I don’t know if that makes any sense at all, but I wasn’t experiencing many major changes, despite the fact that I’m starting to grow older and pursuing higher education. 

Well, that was the case until Finest Future came along!

The rest is history, as you might have guessed. I took Finest Future’s Finnish language classes and attended many, many webinars until I finally arrived here, in this winter wonderland. What I didn’t expect however, is how life-changing this was gonna be.

Life-changing in the best way possible! 😆

The first picture I have ever taken of Finland, the city of Tampere! (13.08.2022)

New school! New me!

First time interacting with Finnish students, first time making a Finnish friend, first time studying in a Finnish class face-to-face! Oh, so many firsts! (also that’s a lot of “Finnish”s)

All these firsts combined would become the first time I experienced Finland’s education system, and it was and still is amazing!

PE class in the beautiful outdoors where we hiked up a mountain!

I remembered the first time I met my school’s principal. She had the friendliest smile as she held a laptop in her arms. The first question she asked me after our introductions was: “What subjects would you like to take?” (in Finnish of course)

Although I was pretty clueless about how my schedules work at the time, it felt so cool to be able to pick whatever subject I want, with a variety of short and advanced courses. Because I know for a fact, that I would have been stuck with the same subjects for the rest of high school if I were still in Vietnam. Little did I know, this freedom in studying is only going to carry on and bring with it invaluable experiences.

Let’s just wing it!

I was awfully scared to step out of my comfort zone back in Vietnam, but Finland’s “air” is different! 

Finland’s approach to student-centered learning has helped me become way more proactive at taking literally every possible opportunity I could get. That led me to become braver and sign up to be a delegate at an event by the European Youth Parliament (EYP). It’s a youth political event where young people get together to discuss global topics and find solutions together! This is where I met new friends from all over Europe and learned numerous soft skills like public speaking and debating.

Me and my committee members discussing at the 2023 National Session of EYP in Turku

This was the foundation that would end up building my confidence to gain further amazing experiences. For example, being a tutor in the Finest Future 2023 summer camp in Salla! Or literally right now, being a part of the Student Ambassador program that promotes studying abroad in Finland!

Another aspect that I have become more proactive at is definitely my hobbies. Considering how much free time I have with barely any homework at school and so many holidays, I ended up doing things like writing an entire novel, helping my friend write a song, drawing daily, learning the bass by myself etc. I would never have time for all this if I was studying in my home country.

Nice to meet you, soon-to-be besties!

Easily one of the biggest reasons why I’m forever grateful to be in Finland right now, because I met my BESTs of best friends.

You might be thinking: “Wait, having best friends isn’t a first time thing?” Well, you’re right, but the friends I made here are so special that I would consider them my firsts!

Grilling sausages on a campfire in a recent PE lesson with friends!

Sure, we met just like any ordinary friends. One friend from my first English class in Finland on a summer afternoon. Another from a random dinner at my classmate’s apartment near mine and so on. Regardless, we lean on each other like family, since we’re thousands of miles away from home.

They gave me so much knowledge from their different backgrounds, as well as memories I would cherish for the rest of my life. Like the first time I had a snowball fight! Watching snow falling at night, the snowy road dimly lit by yellow street lamps and throwing snowballs at my friends as we laughed together.

Writing this is lowkey making me reliving the moments 😭!

There’s only so many stories I could tell until this gets too long though. To sum it all up, deciding to be a part of Finest Future’s program and going to Finland are easily the best decisions I have made in my life yet. It feels like I learn new things about the world, people around me and myself every day with each new experience. 

That’s why I’m able to write this blog now, to share my experience with you guys and hopefully, motivate you to join me on the ride to this winter wonderland that is Finland!

Thank you for reading!

Doan Phuong Anh (Daisy)

If you’re interested in studying abroad in Finland for free like I did, reach out to us at Finest Future https://finestfuture.org/contact/

Don’t forget to type in my special code “ANHDOANMAN2224” in the contact form to receive an exclusive voucher and other special offers to start your journey!