I was sharing an apartment with 2 other international exchange students that are also studying in Aalto University, an Austrian-Egyptian architect and a Mexican engineer. We got close really quickly and learnt alot about our cultures, interests, experiences, etc.
Group photo with roomies
Sauna culture in Finland is an integral part of the lives of the majority of the Finnish population, allowing them to relax their mind in a modern society that never stops moving. We wanted to try it out as our apartment building had two saunas that we could make use of.
Sauna in my apartment building
After our first session, we immediately fell in love with the sauna culture and went back at least once every week. These were also the times when we bonded the most and had numerous heart-to-heart talks. An unforgettable experience and something that further enhanced my time there.
Not long after arriving in Finland, we soon realized that eating out often was not a viable option as it was too expensive. As a result, we decided to have regular cooking sessions. It was fun heading down to the supermarket for grocery shopping every week and prepping our meals together. (My roommate also taught me how to make the best tiramisu in the whole world).
That was also when I picked up moi/moikka (hello) and kiitos (thank you) really quickly. (Highly recommend knowing these 2 phrases if you ever come to Finland!)
Not to forget, Finnish coffee culture. The Finns consume an amazing 12 kilograms of coffee per capita annually and without a doubt I had to try their coffee as well. I frequently visited Espresso House with my friends and we tried out many different kinds of coffee. I was not a coffee person before coming to Finland, but I ended up drinking many cups of coffee during my exchange.