It’s been about a month since I came back from exchange, and although I am happy to be back in tropical Singapore, I have been feeling quite nostalgic. Hence I thought for my final blog post, I would share some of my favourite moments throughout the entire exchange.
For me, the main purpose of the exchange was to experience living in a different country and meeting people from different cultures. So of course some of my most cherished memories would be spending time with my friends, both new and old alike. In December, I got to visit Helsinki’s Christmas market, as well as go ice skating on actual ice!
While in Finland, I stayed in a 3-room apartment, and one of my roommates was from France. Many of my core memories of exchange consists of the both of us having late-night talks sharing our vastly different lives in both France and Singapore. I am very thankful we got very close and even made plans to visit each other’s countries in the near future! During one of the nights, we made French Gratin, which is essentially baked pasta and tomato sauce. As I am not much of a cook, it was overall an enriching experience and the dish came out quite well.
As I am an animal lover, another one of my favourite moments was when I visited a husky park in Lapland. Not only was I able to pet all the huskies, but there was also even an area where they allowed the husky puppies to roam free and we could play with them. Despite my hands nearly freezing in the 6-degree weather, I was overjoyed to be able to pet the dogs and even carry one of the puppies.
I could go on and on about my memories from exchange. Up till today, the previous 4 months do not seem real at all. Of course, I learnt a lot academically from Aalto University, but I also gained knowledge that I would never have had if I had stayed in Singapore.
Learning how to live by myself in a country that does not primarily speak English, with strangers that I knew nothing of, was initially really hard and I won’t deny I felt homesick. But after persevering through the first few weeks, and even surviving Covid overseas, I began to truly enjoy the whole experience and wouldn’t trade it for the world.