I am Daria Guskova from Ural Federal University and, thanks to the north2north program, my husband (Stanislav Korda) and I were able to study in the University of Turku for one semester.
I have been in Finland before and dreamed of living there some day. When I found out that my home university had partnerships with north2north exchange program I immediately applied. What is more, I told my husband about the program and he decided to apply too. And it turned out that both of us got scholarships and a wonderful opportunity to go to Finland together! We were so happy, it just felt surreal.
Now as we already came back to Russia, we realized that the time spent in Turku has changed us a lot.
First, the courses in the University of Turku were super practically oriented and we gained a lot of hard skills which are crucial for Computer Science students. Some of the courses were remote and some of them were held in university buildings. But all of the professors were passionate about their subjects and ready to help and give an advice whenever necessary, online and offline. What is more, as an exchange student of University of Turku I also had an opportunity to take courses from Abo Akademi University. Having experienced being a student of two Finnish universities at the same time, I realized that the quality of education is on the highest level, not dependent of the university.
Second, during this exchange I felt the closeness between Finnish and Russian people and our cultures. People in Finland are friendly and kind, they speak a very good English. We met some great friends and we learned a lot about each other. I felt that we have more things in common than I could ever think of. We enjoyed saunas, Fazer chocolate and delicious ice-creams. Cold weather didn’t stop us from exploring the surroundings of Turku and Helsinki. We also visited the beautiful city of Rauma.
During this semester I worked as a Russian language tutor.
I was happy to help Finnish students to learn the language. Moreover, students showed a sincere interest in Russian culture as well, so I shared everything I knew about my country. It was such a pleasant time for me. I have learned a lot about Finland and its academic and everyday life traditions. I miss these lessons a lot.
This semester has made me realize what my true academic and professional interests are. I have expanded my network with wonderful professors and new friends. Finland was so welcoming, I can’t remember any negative experiences. My husband and I loved being in Turku and we hope to come back sometime.
I want to thank north2north program for this life-changing opportunity.