We left Vienna early in the morning and travelled to Finland for 12 hours. As we arrived, we immediately got welcomed by our host families. On Monday, we got to know the school, and most of us were amazed by the fact that the students didn’t wear any shoes inside the building, because this is not the norm in Austria. Tuesday was very exciting, we attended lessons with the Finnish students and then spent some time with a few first and second graders. Even though there was a language barrier, we still made it work. After lunch, we went to Rautio by bus, and there we were able to go to the sauna or take a warm bath in a palju. We were also able to grill sausages and eat tasty pancakes. On Wednesday, we visited Kokkola where we did some shopping and then visited the local museums. It was also very interesting to try their different types of candy, which were very… special. On Thursday, we got to try out their VR headsets and after lunch, we participated in multiple outdoor activities such as sledding, ice skating and snow shoeing. We then had a sledding competition where the Austrians got second place -yay! On Friday, we made videos to recap what we did that week and then attended some lessons again. In the afternoon, we had a party where there was a lot of food and dancing. On Saturday morning, one of our Taxis broke so we had to get driven to the train station by our host families – we are very thankful to them! During the whole week it had -30° to -10° degrees, but nobody lost any fingers or toes to the cold, so everything turned out just fine.
“By living with the locals and participating in their daily activities, one can get a much deeper understanding of the culture and the people there, which would not be possible on a normal trip.”
(Tarik Dulic, 6a)
“The culture, the people, the atmosphere, their daily lives and even the smallest of things we did there and maybe already forgot about them, we’ve gathered so many new experiences and most importantly memories. And memories turn into stories that we are excited to share, this trip was something really rare.”
(Dorothea Sefora Chris, 5gh)
“Sometimes you simply don’t realise how different lives in other countries can be but the opportunity to go on a trip like this helps you understand this a lot better. Having to dress extremely warm so you don’t freeze, being confronted with a language that you don’t understand and eating cheese with jam is just not something we are used to. But now we can say we experienced it and are going back with many new memories and friends that probably won’t ever be forgotten.”
(Iva Sisic, 5gh)
“I can´t think of a better way to get to know more about another country than projects like these. Living in Europe, it only takes one short trip to arrive in an entirely different environment with people who live completely different lifestyles. Can you imagine living in a country where there’s only one month of summer every year, where the temperature goes as low as -30°C, or from where you could technically walk all the way to another country over the ocean due to the frozen water? No? Well, before this trip I couldn’t either.”
(Stella Auinger, 5gh)
This project was funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.