Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Interview of Albert

I have not been writing as regularly as I used to but I have now prepared few longer posts than my usual posts. This is an interview of good friend of mine Albert. He was an exchange student one year in Joensuu and actually is still in Finland. He is from the Catalan part of Spain. I wanted to make the interview to see how Spanish see Finland. BTW Albert does not have hairy arms like the most of the Spanish.

1. What were your expectations for the Erasmus year? How did you meet the expectations?
First of all to meet people from different countries and try to learn/improve my English. Also I wanted to go in a very different place, as it can be Finland compared to Spain, to see how the culture differs. Another thing, but also important, finish my superior degree! I think I met all the expectations!

2. How did your image about Finland change?
Actually I hadn't any specific image of Finland, a part from cold place and cold people. The image didn't really change much, but it's true there is also really nice and very friendly people. I think that weather and history makes Finnish people like they are. One thing that really surprised me was that Finnish people practice lots of sport, from young to old people, during winter or during summer. they never stop!

3. How did you survive the cold winter? It was easier or harder to survive than you expected?
I was expecting something worse, much colder. In my case (and I know more people) most of the winter used same clothes that we used to wear in Spain. Maybe having cold hands and feet was the worst.

4. What do you think how would speaking Finnish change your Erasmus experience? Did you miss something because you didn't speak much Finnish?
Well I don't think the knowledge of Finnish language had changed our Erasmus experience because in Finland almost everybody speaks English, but it's true that if you want to live abroad you should learn their own language because it is part of the culture even if it is a hard language, citizens will appreciate it a lot.

5. How Finnish people differ from Spanish people?
I think Finnish people is very shy or simply that they don't like to talk so much, they have a very cold temper. Spanish people are more open to everybody and they show more theirs feelings and are much more expressive/communicative with their hands!

6. What are the best things and what are the worst things in Finland?
I guess one of the best things is the nature and the landscapes, and the big contrast between winter and summer that makes Finland very different compared to other countries. Also the cities are not very crowded as they can be in Spain, so you can be more relaxed. Otherwise, the worst thing was the food (somehow I missed Spanish food) and the darkness during the winter, at least somedays it makes you feel tired and a bit “depressed”.

7. Did exchange year change you? How?
I don’t think it really changed me or I still don’t realize it (because I'm in Erasmus still) but I’m sure I will notice when I’ll be back in Spain.

8. Any advice for somebody who is going to do Erasmus in Finland?
Not just for Finland but for all the Erasmus, try to be an open person even if you are shy, make friends and travel everywhere you are able to go! Don’t worry if the winter is very cold or dark just enjoy all the moments because there is just one Erasmus and you will not forget it ever!

9. Any last comment what you want to share?
Just that it’s been a pleasure to be in Finland as Erasmus and meet all those great people that I will never forget!

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