Hi, I am Tyla, and I am on a one-year exchange in Kuopio. This year, I have had a blast! I got here in early August and will leave this July. I have made many friends and have tried many new foods (mostly candies). It has been really nice coming to school and seeing how different people here interact with each other and the world. I was born and raised in Oregon, in the US, and the way that people think about things there is very different. Our cultures are different. We value different things, and we see different things in our daily lives. This is shown through what the news shows us, but also what we choose to look at in our free time. Because of this, the year has been a bit challenging but has been so much fun all the same.

Our schools are kinda different, but also pretty similar. I don’t know if I have ever used a computer this much in my entire life, for one. Also, your school food is much better. I also like how I was able to pick my classes. But otherwise, everything was pretty similar. My favorite classes were probably art and psychology.

I think one of my favorite things this year was the seasons. It was really nice to see so many distinct seasons, from a warm summer to a beautifully orange fall, to an extremely cold winter that the sun decided was too cold to even try to visit. It was nice to enjoy winter sports such as sledding and skiing and seeing the frozen lakes. That being said, I am also very happy that it is warming up so that I don’t have to put on so many layers to go outside. My year here was so much fun, and I hope that I can come back sometime. 🙂

Tyla Garfas-Knowles