Tuesday, August 23, 2011

School Supplies!

Why am I writing a post? Because I just wrote several long emails and I am in a writy mood. Yes I just created the word writy. And because I should go over what I bring to school everyday,  just because.

Today I bought my books! Yay! I won't sit in class with an empty desk in front of me not understanding what is going on! I mean... I still won't understand anything but at least I can look like I am doing something.

In Finland, the books are what the classes basically revolve around. Kind of. I have mentioned that Finland has these "periods" or terms that last six weeks and they have about 5 or 6 a year. These all have different classes. And for every class you have one book. So you have to buy about 7 books every 6 weeks for your new classes. The books cost about 30 euros each. So, I didn't have that many classes this "period" and I spent 200 euros on books. Thank god the Rotary pays for it because that will be 200 euros 5 times a year and that is around 1000 euros a year. So basically school is free but book money is about $1500. Not the average cost of school supplies in the US. Usually I just use my old school supplies and buy maybe a folder and some colored pencils. So usually my school supplies cost about $3.50. There is a small difference this year.

But before I tell you about my books I will discuss other things that I bring. On the first day I wore my backpack to school. I have not worn my backpack since. One thing that I noticed, because I was paying attention to the small things, is that backpacks are not very common in school. Only a few people wear them, and those few people are all guys. Of course there are no lockers in finnish high school, so what do people carry books in, you ask? Well most people have a book bag type bag that they carry everything in. And some people (girls) have purses. Nice and big purses. So, on the second day I ditched my backpack and had my big purse with me to carry all my stuff. I must say that it is easier because it is smaller and has no pointless straps that go out into the aisle and trip people as they walk by, like my backpack. But that was of course before I had really any supplies, so I may pick up my backpack again for some of the days that I have a lot of classes, and therefore a lot of books. Today I just had one book with me and it was really heavy. I have no idea what is going to happen, but I just thought that I should note that nobody wears backpacks in finnish school. Unlike the US. I can work with this as long as I always wear something that is either pink, white or blue because those are the colors of the big purses that I brought with me to Finland and the only ones that are big enough to fit anything in them. I never had to worry about color coding my outfit when I had my backpack! Gah! I hate how fashionable finnish people are!

So, enough about bags and how I can never get enough of them! Here is a list of mostly everything that I NEED everyday.

  • Keys.....I have to be able to get into my house when I come home because I am always the first home) 
  • Phone
  • Bus Card
  • Tissues :( (I am still a little sick!) 
  • Camera 
  • Wallet 
  • Umbrella! 
  • Water Bottle (They have no drinking fountains in school! If I am thirsty I must buy something which isn't what I want to spend my money on, plus one of the first days I did not have my wallet and that was bad) 
  • Lukiokalentari (High school planner) 
  • Finnish-English Dictionary 
All of these are very important! Not one of them can be left at home! Otherwise I may not be able to survive! And if I die, my mother would not be happy because she always says "take care of yourself" and if I don't have one of these, I am technically not taking care of myself. 

Another thing! People here don't really have notebooks. They have like small notebook like things. They are much smaller (so they fit in your average purse) and they are all graph paper. Which is what people use over here instead of line paper. We had to look pretty hard to find the line paper notebooks. I am going to try and use the small graph paper notebooks, but we will see how it goes. But it is definatly nicer how little space they take up compared to the Big notebooks that they have in the US. Also they have a lot less paper, probably because you have one per class, and a class only lasts 6 weeks, so it is saving a lot of paper if you just take a smaller notebook. 
Small notebook 

So, onto books! 

I have a book for every class. I think that they are very interesting to look at. The english text books may be helpful with learning finnish because they have a lot of finnish-english glossaries and excercises. And I have two books for my english classes. The spanish book may not be of as much help, but still may help some, for learning spanish, not so much, but learning finnish! It is always funny in that class I understand everything that the teacher says to us in spanish, but then suddenly I don't understand what she is saying, and that is when I realize that she switched to finnish.


An english book

My students planner. Lots of ads for...H&M

All my books 



Spanish....to finnish 

But the thing about school is that it is still school. It is school in another country, in another language, with different people. But still school. I still have that dreaded feeling on Sunday night, I still have to get up at godforsaken times of the morning, and I still watch the clock in every class, hoping time will go faster so I can get to the next class. School may have disgusted itself with new looks, sounds smells and so on, but it is the same deep down. Not that I don't enjoy it, just that it is the same. 

In another subject, I went to my first legit soccer game! Or as they say here...football......

It was quite interesting. First thing, it was kinda boring. The game was zero-zero the entire time. Nobody scored at all, and they didn't even Go into over time until somebody did score. So that made it kinda boring. It was the two teams of Turku against eachother, so there was a fair amount of people cheering on both teams. There was 7,000 people there, but not many of them were many much noise. They said that a mexican exchange student once said that it was one of the quietest football games he has ever been to. And he was right. There was probably 50 fans from each team making a ton of noise, and all the rest of the stadium was quiet. Of course there was the big Oh! Whenever there was a penalty, or if someone almost made a goal. But Other than that, not much noise. The first half was kinda boring, but the second half was was more keeping you on the edge of your seat because both teams wanted to have a goal. Of course both teams were playing their best on defense too, so nobody scored. At the end when everybody stood up, I was like "What's happening?" and my host mom said "It's over" I was kinda shocked, because I am not used to people who would be anywhere near satisfied with the final score being zero zero, but that is part of going to another culture. But overall the game was fun. 

I enjoyed getting action shots of the players 

And finally I will end this blog on a happy note. I have discovered a new finnish chocolate! It is so delicious! I have already eaten a huge bar of it and I plan on buying more tomorrow during my free period, or after school. Whichever works, but I need more of it. Because it is good! 


  1. Hey Christina! My names Emily and I absolutely love your blog posts! I actually found you through youtube lol. I'm actually going to Finland next summer as an exchange student and I would love if you checked out my blog I just started. :) here's the link: http://emilyseuropeadventure.blogspot.com/

    Thank you! Or should I say Kittos! lol. Hope you're having fun there I know I can't wait until I go!

  2. Hey Emily! That is so cool that you are going to Finland next summer! I will probably still be here when you get here so maybe we could meet next summer! Haha, I kinda stopped the you tube blog....it was really awkward talking into a camera like that. I can give you a really long list of other finland exchange student blogs if you want. Find me on facebook and I can give you the links on there!

  3. So... I thought I would compare a couple things about my school here in Finland.
    At my school, everyone has a back pack; but some people don't want to carry it around all day, so we have a huge coat/bag/helmet rack in the entrance room that everyone uses.
    And regarding books, you use the same history and grammar books as my classes (but I [well, really Rotary] didn't buy them because my teachers told me not to). The only book I bought was my math book, which is super easy except for word problems.
    Glad to here school is going well.

  4. Oh my gosh that would be great of you gave me that list! I will for sure add you on facebook so if any random emily adds you its probably me lol! I will definitely tell you where i'm going to be living in finland as soon as I find out so maybe we could meet up! Thanks again! :)