Finland was even better than we thought it would be
DBUD – Finland
Having the opportunity to go to Finland is probably one of the best things I had got to experience in my life. That one week, while the journey lasted has made me extremely happy and balanced. I didn’t think about school, and exams, I was enteriely in the moment, and that is something I really, really needed.
We had our flight to Finland on a Friday morning. It was a bit more than two hours, and after we landed, we went to Kerava by train. We stayed at a youth center, where we met with the other participants who were from Latvia, Lithuania, and of course, Finland. I remember, we were the first ones there, and I was quite nervous, wether the other nations will be nice or not. Half an hour passed, and I was already talking to some Finnish guys about pancakes, and Nutella.
Unfortunately, we were still far from our destination. That night we started on a train and we travelled all night and then for four hours by bus the next day, and then finally arrived to the place we stayed for five other nights. We stayed in cute little cotteges, with house mates from other countries.
Not a day passed, when I would find myself bored, we were always doing something. I learned nordic skiing, first aid, made pancakes over a bonfire, helped dig a snow cave, and when I had free time, I just enjoyed that there were snow all around me. I just couldn’t get enough of it.
My favourite things from this Erasmus is probably the sauna, and the cultural nights. I think the sauna is obvious why, but the cultural nights suprised me too. It was interesting to get a glimpse of how is the everyday life in other countries, and of course, eat their food.
I made some friends, that I look forward to see again in Hungary. There are a few people I still talk to everyday, thanks to social media.
Overall, going to Finland is one of my favourite memories, it was just the exact thing I needed: to ignore any kind of distractions, and connect with the people and with my surroundings. I think it says enough, that I barely touched my phone while I was there.
I loved the trip to Lapland, Finland. The plane ride was smooth, and taken care of quickly, so we didn’t have any confusions or any issues with the check-in bags. From the traveling part, I’d say the best part was the train trip, 11 hours on that train made me think a lot, and on the way there we even made Finnish friends, I had the opportunity to talk a lot with them.
The minute we got there our first task was to dig paths to the cottages that we lived in. I found this funny when I was there.
We had a lot of fun with the saunas, I tried snow swimming for the first time in my life, I can assure you, it’s a lot more exciting than it sounds. I even got locked out of the house once, in the -15 degrees, in swimming shorts.
I tried Nordic skiing, it’s very different from normal skiing, (even though I haven’t tried normal skiing either) it’s very difficult to learn, and can be hard uphill. I went Nordic as much as I could, I won’t have this opportunity a lot in my life. Me and my friend Siso went on a little hike with snowshoes on we saw beautiful things, like animals’ footprints in the snow, and a gorgeous view with a river and the sun in the background.
Overall our time in Finland was the better I could’ve ever imagined. All the snow, and the cold made it even better than it already was. The people, the teachers, and the food was exceptional. I can’t wait to go back, even for a little amount of time.
Above the artic circle near to city, Saariselkä. The project topic was winter health and the participant countries were: Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Hungary. This was my fourth Erasmus traveling and I can claim that it never will be enough, this journey has joined to the list of my best experiences as well.
The most amazing thing was in this trip the snow obviously, I hadn’t seen as much snow as I saw there. It felt like a white freedom, I could sink until my hip in the snow. I did a ton of stuff for first time in my life there such as meet with a reindeer, admire the Nordic light, wear skis on my leg, do Nordic skiing, sleep in a tent in minus 20 degrees and I could say a lot more…
To go there was so long, first we flew for two and half hour, than we spent the afternoon in a youth center in Kereva where we met with the others. In Kereva we had the first energizers, name games and after the dinner at night we got onto the train which by we traveled eleven hours than we changed to a bus for another 3 hours long trip, after that we arrived to our accommodation so to the middle of nowhere. Our first task was to dig roads to the cottages where we lived. We had programs like snow cave building, Nordic skiing, building skies, create questionnaire, first aid lesson. Moreover, we visited the real Santa Claus and his village, it was so amazing however every shop closed at five pm.
The people were nice, kind in the project and not as closed minded as I had thought about the northern people. Furthermore, our Hungarian team was also awesome, we spent a lot of time with each other, we got well so much but of course I made international friends too.
I am just thankful that I could go to Lapland, do many things in a real winter weather, make a lot of real friends. In one word I am glad that I was part of this fantastic week. I am looking forward to the other part of the project here in Hungary.
We had a really long trip to Lapland. First we had to fly to Helsinki which took about 2,5 hours. Then we went to Kerava to meet the other participants. The meeting took place at a scout community house. We had a few ice breaker games to get to know each other and our first warm meal of the day provided by two of the Finnish scout leaders.
We continued to North by train. That was a really tiring journey. We left at midnight and arrived at 12 pm. Some took the opportunity to talk to others and get to know them, some tried to sleep with less rather than more success. We finished our trip to Saariselkä with an easy
3,5-4-hour-bus drive. Needless to say, we didn’t have any programs for that day except for cleaning the snow out of our way to the cottages.
The next day we made four international groups, that lasted for the entire project. We learnt how to build a snow cave and some of the Lithuanian guys got so enthusiastic that they built an other cave as well. We also set up a tent (later, in a military museum in Helsinki, we figured out that soldiers use the same type of tent), so we could spend one night there in smaller groups. We had a quick first-aid course, so we could help in case we come across someone who is near to freeze to their death. We baked pancakes over a camp fire we made. It was my first time using a hatchet and I think by the end I figured out how to chop wood properly. We used our new fire making skills during the night in the tent. Someone always had to look after the fire, so we all had to keep an eye ont he fire in groups of two for 1,5 hours.
All the groups had to come up with 10 questions about Winter health and these were merged together to a forms quiz. Later our job was to ask these questions from strangers in Helsinki and in Santa Village, so at the end we could have a statistics.
The Finnish participants who had skis brought them, so we were able to try out cross country skiing and for me it was hands down the best experience in the project. We tried to make our own pairs of skies but sadly all of our attempts have failed.
Throughout the project we were able to learn about each others’ culture. Every country had a night to show a little about their home, food, music etc. All these nights were fun. We tried all food they brought with them, we were singing and dancing together and talking a lot.
On the way back we stopped in Santa Village and made all of our childhood dream real: we met Santa Claus, and took a picture with him. This picture can be found now on the Erasmus wall of our school. We continued our way to Helsinki with an (again) 12-hour-train trip. There we slept in a Holstel and explored the city. I think, I can speak for many of us when I say, the Oodi Library was our favorite thing in the capital city. In the evenig we had our last gathering (for now) with the other countries and the next day we flew back home.
It was an incredible experience and I’m very grateful for having been a part of it. I’m looking forward to continueing the project here in Hungary.
The Erasmus+ project tought us a lot of helpfull, and real life applicable skills. First of all, we learnt, how to work and collaborate in international teams, even in emergency situations (first aid training). At cultural nights we learnt about the culture of the present countries (Finnland, Latvia, Lithuania and Hungary).
Furthermore our mathematical and engineering skills has developed a lot by creating cross-country skis on our own. We had lot of fun during the process.
In my opinion, our geographical knowledge has also developed a lot, by experiencing the nordic conditions, such as northern lights, extremly low temperatures, and the forests of the area (it was amazing to see the charming nature of Lapland).
Last but not least, we gained knowledge in linguistic, by discovering similarities in the Finnish and Hungarian language.
Experience report: Lappland 2023.02.17-25
We left Hungary early in the morning and we flew to Helsinki, we went to Kerava and we could discover the town a bit, after that we met with the other nations. We had dinner there and some ice breaking games. I really enjoyed this time.
We had a 11 hours long journey by train, and a 4 hours by bus and we arrived to our final accommodation.
The environment was incredible, I have never seen so much snow as there. There was one main building and 3 smaller one and a sauna house.
We got a lot of food every day, we had 6 meals every day. The meal was really awesom, respect to our shefs.
On the second day we started to make a snow cave and build a tent. The Hungarian team could try the situacion, sleeping in the tent in minus 30 degrees. It was incredible.
We could try the cross-country skiing, it was better than I expected. We made a pair of ski sole. We baked pancakes on fire.
The best memori maybe when we saw the northen lights and after that we went to the sauna and juped into the snow, like a tipical finnis night.
Every evening we had a culture night, where all county presented their own county. It was really exciting to get now the countries foods and habits. We also talked about our school.
On the way home we visited the santa’s village where we finally met with the santa. It was unbeliable, the santa is exists.
We had a hole day in Helsinki which is beautiful, and we could enjoy the vibe of the capital of Finnland.
Shortly, I learnt a lot, and met a lot of important and awesom people. I cannot wait and looking forward to the meeting in Hungary.
This week was the best week of my life.
I wouldn’t lie if i said this was the best erasmus of my life so far. Not only were the programs great and interesting, but the team was perfect.
About the programs: we learnt how to use tools, how to survive in the cold, how to treat a pesron with hipotermia in the middle of a forest, and how to live a nomad life in the snow. we used mathematics on many levels, including exchanging Hungarian Forint into Euro, counting how many degrees it might be outside, and figuring out how to sit on the train so that everyone fits but it’s still comfortable (every second person slept on the ground…) And my english became far better during the trip, and i feel way more comfortable speaking now. we tried all sorts of winter sports including cross county skiing, which is the funniest thing ever. it’s just like walking, but you slide on the snow at the same time. we saw reindeer, the aurora borealis, and Santa Claus!!!!
We had to create surveys of people’s helathy livestiyles. We asked randome strangers in Saairsleka, Rovaniemi and Helsinki about it. It was strange at first to just ask random people. Then, I realized my English is good enough. They understand what I am asking. It was really cool to see that I can do it.
And the team: the team was great. We had a great time together. we met their cultures, we danced together, learnt their languages. We were put into international groups, and we had to work in that same group every day, but we had time to get to know everyone else as well. But in my opinion, the Hungarian team was the best. I’ve never had such great friends. It was a completely randomly put together group, and we became friends almost right away. On the first day, we were the first ones to arrive at the site. That’s where we first started talking to eachother, and we’ve been friends ever since. We slept togerther in the tent, when everyone else was too afraid to do it yet. We stood up every night talking. Since we came home we meet almost every day now, and i haven’t been this happy for a long long time. i’m really looking forward to the Szigetköz part of this project.
I felt very lucky to have been given the opportunity to travel to Finland. We left ont he 17th of February, our journey took almost 2 days to reach the location but it was adventurous and we could see beautiful landscapes. The first thing we came across was a reindeer when we arrived. At least one meter of snow covered everything, it was beautiful. In the scout camp, we were divided into small wooden houses. In addition to this, there was also a common house where we ate and hung out and a sauna house. In the beginning we did some ice breaking games, it wasa nice to meet people from different cultures. We started every day with energizing games by another country each day, to get fresh energy. We spent most of the days with building, we built a snow cave, in which unfortunately I didn’t sleep in at the end, but instead we slept outside in the tent that we built. Even if I was freezing all night, I really liked it, I would do it again anytime. We heated the tent whole evening with a stove , which had a very good atmosphere. We had the opportunity to try nordic- skiing every day. We also went a couple of times in the evening which was wonderful. There was complete silence, we only heard the sound of the skis and it was very cozy in the light of the lamps. We also had the chance to try to make the skis by ourselves. We were hounting ont he northrn light in the first few nights, but then finally one night the sky was clear enogh to see it. I was so happy, probably that was one of the most amazing things i’ve ever seen. We spent a lot of time in the sauna as well, then jumped into the snow. One day we went on a trip to Saariselka, we went up on a hill, where there was a beautiful view and white as far as the eye could see. After that we sledded on a very long track. In the evenings, there were presentations for each country, where we learned more about the cultures and countries, we could also taste some flavors, or learn some dance. Sometimes it ended up with a big dance party. It was sad to pack and leave Lapland, but on our way back we still went to visit Santa Claus village, which was very funny. Then after a long train way again, we spent two days in Helsinki as well, and spent a very nice time there too. I think i spent one of my most amazing weeks in Lapland.