Week 2 • First Impressions

I had been here for a few nights an I already feel quite comfortable with my host family. I have a host mother named Satu and host father named Janne. I also have three host brothers, Niilo (14), Patrick (13), and Aleksi (20). They all seem quite sweet, like regular brothers, still gross of course (they’re still boys). Satu and Janne helped with anything I needed and it had a lot of fun figuring out cultural differences, and there was a lot of laughter.

The room I’m staying in is my host sister’s because she is on exchange in Edmonton, Alberta. It is actually a very beautiful room and I know I will be very sad to be leaving it. The walls are white, as is the rest of the house, and it is decorated in a simple and modern way, with whites and blacks. Most of Milja’s furniture was from IKEA, and the whole house resembled what I imagined a Finnish home would look like.

Milja is a very sweet girl, and I could tell she wasn’t going to struggle with meeting friends in Canada. She was staying only for the week, which was helpful because she helped me become more comfortable with her family much quicker. She also introduced me to a few of her friends and told some of the students at the school I was attending that they should try and find me so we could become friends.

Their house is located in a small town called Rahola, which was in between two larger cities Tampere and Nokia. Rahola was about a 15-20 minute bus ride to the school, and Milja’s school was only about 200m from mine. She took me around town and showed me where I could get on and off the bus before and after school.

The first dinner with my host family was almost the exact same things I had eaten at camp, which was nice since I already was able to recognize the food. After dinner, my host brothers disappeared to their rooms, but Janne and Satu and I had a great conversation for about another hour before I had gone to bed. My first family is quieter than my family back in Canada, but for a Finnish family, they will probably be the noisest I will meet.

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