Here is an exchange diary written by high school student Vinski Pyykönen.
Sunday 4th of March
On Sunday 4th of March Erasmus students arrived here to Finland. I was hosting two Bulgarian students. On the day when they arrived we didn’t have anything Erasmus related, but me and my mom decided to take the Bulgarians to Porvoo. There we walked around the old part of Porvoo. The Porvoo river was also frozen so we went to walk on the ice. After that we went to my grandparents’ place. There we spent a few hours eating and discussing. After that we went back to home.
Monday 5th of March
On monday we had to wake up early and go to school. Our program began at 9:30. First we introduced our guests and after that all the students introduced their own countries. After that our school cafeteria had prepared us some coffee and pastries. After that we went to eat lunch at our schools cafeteria. Next item on the schedule was the Helsinki walk. We took our guests and left to Helsinki. In Helsinki we showed them all the quintessential buildings and statues. After walking around Helsinki we were supposed to meet at the dock. From there we took a ferry boat to Suomenlinna. There we had a guided tour from 15:00 to 16:00. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t that nice. We all were freezing because of the wind. After suomenlinna our official program ended, but we students stayed as a one group and went to get something to eat. After we had eaten we decided to go to Helsinki City Museum. Unfortunately the museum was closed soon so we couldn’t stay there for too long. Because of the weather and the lack of free activities we decided to head home.
Tuesday 6th of March
Tuesday morning we met in front of the main building of University of Helsinki. We went to the university museum and there we had a guided tour about the history of University of Helsinki. We also walked around the main building. After that we headed to Caverna, which is a buffet near the University of Helsinki. After eating we went to Kamppi. There we had a presentation about clean energy. After that we went to Helsinki Art Museum. There we looked at an installation made out of stuff that people had thrown away. Luckily there was also real art. Our program ended at 16:00. Me and my Bulgarian guests decided to leave Helsinki and go back to home. When we arrived home we ate a little and after that I took them for a walk in nature.
Wednesday 7th of March
On wednesday our program began at 9:00. We met with the other students in school and there we were divided into two groups. The other group went to the Inno class, which is a classroom full of cool cameras, big screens and comfortable chairs. The other group went to the home economics classroom. There we were supposed to prepare food from leftovers. The food turned out pretty good. After preparing the food we went to the Inno classroom. There we filmed a short interview about the Erasmus program. When we had finished filming the interview we went back to the home economics classroom and there we ate the food that our group and the other group had prepared. After eating the students went to walk in the Central park of Helsinki, but I can’t talk about that because I had to take my physics exam. After my physics exam the other students had already arrived back to school. From there I left back to home with my guests because my uncle came to our home and prepared traditional Finnish food for us. After that we just stayed in home for the rest of the day.
Thursday 8th of March
On thursday we met the other students at Maunula center. Before the program started we told our congrats for all the women who participated the program because it was the International Women’s day. After that we walked around the Maunula center. Then we were given a task to think about how to save the world through education. We were divided into smaller groups and the we seperated. Our group went to the Inno classroom and there we wrote down our ideas. After a few hours we then had to present our ideas to the other students. They also did the same to us. After the official program we went to Helsinki. There we went to the Allas sea Pool. That was awesome. I think that all the students who participated enjoyed that really much. It was a really cool experience for many. After that we went back to home.
Friday 9th of March
On friday morning we went to the Vantaa Energy waste incinerator. There we had a short presentation about the whole facility. After that we had a guided tour inside the facility. We got to see the “Finland’s largest arcade crane”. After the tour we headed back to school. There we ate. Then we had a final meeting where we discussed about the past week and the whole project. We also had a Helsinki kahoot. After that we planted a tree (well not really, but close enough...). Then everyone had some free time before the final party, which began at 18:00. Most of the guests and hosts went to Helsinki, because the guests wanted to buy souvenirs. The party began at 18:00. At the beginning we had a little speech about the program. Aftert hat we started to eat. Our school’s cafeteria had prepared a delicious meal for us. After eating the Finnish students showed to the guest few of the senior prom dances. The party ended when we asked the guests and their teachers to join our dance. Then ended the official program. After the official program ended we still went to a restaurant with our guests and there we ate, drank and had a great time! Then we said goodbyes and left back to home!
There isn’t that much to say about the Saturday because that was the day when my guests left. We pretty much just took them to airport, said goodbyes and then left back to home.