Student Blogs/Spencer in Finland

I’ve been back at Carleton now for almost a month and I figured it was time to create a concluding post.

Everyone always speaks about what an amazing time that they had on their semester abroad, but people always seems to forget to mention what it was like to finish up your exchange and return home.

Spencer and her friends in front of the Oslo Norway Opera House

Oslo Norway Opera House

In Finland, as I’ve mentioned, there is 2 periods within a single semester. For me, and many others, that left an opportunity to only have two classes towards the end of exchange. After I finished my classes, that left almost 2 weeks for me to reflect on my time in Finland and say goodbye to the people and place I had fallen in love with.

The Aalto University sign in front of the building

Aalto University

Within my last month in Finland, I did more school work, travelled to more places, eaten more food than I have ever had in my life. Everyone is trying to soak up the last drops of experiences before heading home because that’s how important the exchange is.

You learn from professors who are well known all over the country, you take courses that are only available at your host school, and most importantly you make friends from all around the world. However, at some point you have to come back to Canada but that doesn’t mean your exchange ends.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been looking at photos, seeing what my new friends are up to for Christmas, and hosting at least 1 FaceTime per day with the people I met in Finland. Even though it might feel sad, or like the end of an era when you return home from exchange, that will pass. You can’t end memories you have, or the experiences you went through, you just keep building on them.

a view of the back of the dogs from sitting on the dogsled.

Laplands (Northern Finland) Dog Sled Ride

About 14 second after I got home from the airport, I was searching flights for my next experience. As cheesy as it sounds, going on exchange is inspiring, it motivates you to be adventurous and dream about what you are going to do in the future.

Spencer and a friend on skates

Skating in Helsinki

Carleton provides the opportunity for students to learn and interact in a new environment, and you would be doing a big disservice to yourself, if you didn’t seize the opportunity. At the bare minimum, you will leave with 5 credits (and pants about 2 sizes larger) but if you are fortunate like I was, you will leave with the best friends you have ever made and so many aspirations for the future.

Thursday, February 1, 2018 in , ,
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