Our first day started at 8.30. Finnish students were waiting for us outside and we went with them to the town hall. After a short introduction of the mayoress and the headmistress we went to our international groups where we talked about ourselves and presented our coat of arms, so that we got to know each other better. After that we learned a Finnish folk dance which we then had to perform in front of the others. Later we did an outdoor orienteering with our international groups.
On Tuesday we went by ship to an island called Tankar. We went with a guide around the island and he showed us many things about Finnish history and life in former times. There was a small museum about seal hunting tools. After we had arrived at the school again, we did an indoor orienteering where we had to answer different questions about Finland.
On Wednesday we went by bus to a nearby forest called Villa Elba. There we had an orienteering workshop and were left in the forest with a map and marked points on the map which we had to find. At the beginning, we got lost in the forest and didn`t know where we were, but then we managed to orientate again. The weather was cold and rainy, so it was not perfect for orienteering in the forest. However, after this we went to a sauna. It was our first time to go to the sauna. It was fun and an interesting experience.
Thursday morning, we went to the school again and watched a video about geocaching. We had to take a map and the Finnish students had an app on their phones which helped us finding the items we were searching for. Because it was raining and cold, the geocaching didn’t last long. After we had had lunch, each international group had to prepare a presentation for the Finnish students in the school. There were four kinds of presentations, a PowerPoint-, a video-, a comic- and a Prezi- presentation.
At the last day we did the presentations in the Finnish classes and taught other Finnish students what we had learned throughout the week. After the presentations we baked various kinds of desserts. We had to go together in international groups and organize our work. Some were doing a blueberry cake, some were baking cookies, and other were making swiss rolls. And then we ate together and had our farewell ceremony.
We think it was a pleasant experience and we learned a lot about the Finnish culture, traditions and a lot about their school system.