Let’s talk about people’s behavior in Finland you are not used to seeing. Finns have a different way of communication.
I have friends among some of the newly arrived students this year. Everything is new for them, and the first two things they’ve noticed for the first five days after landing in Finland have been the Finnish communication style and the student welcome packages that they’ve got. It’s amazing what the welcome package contains.
There is so much of information printed in colorful booklets. One of the students told me it seem Finns who work here don’t really limit their paper consumption and so they print a lot. “We didn’t get that much in our university, we get just one paper of acceptance and everything is written there,” he said.
Freshman: how did I get my welcome package?
– A guy came to me and said, “Hi, here is your welcome package!” he gave me a black bag and added, “If you have any questions just ask! Bye!” then he left immediately. People here don’t really explain to you anything. What if I don’t know many things? Even how to open a university door?
– Exactly, they don’t explain the things – I said. We know any student can open the main university building door with a magnetic key, and each student has 24/7 access to the university building. But I didn’t know it until I was faced with it, no one told me in advance.
Content of the welcome package
Everybody gets two bus tickets for free (and last year when I came here we didn’t have such a great offer, otherwise it could save me so much money spent on bus ride, and at that time a one way ticket in one bus costed 3,6 euro. This year Matkahuolto, a bus service company, changed its prices to 3 euro per one hour trip with any bus, and two euro/trip in the evening and weekends).
- A prepaid SIM-card with about 7 euro on it.
- A study guide which has all information about all courses (may be even too much), also general schedules and language studies.
- Plenty of booklets. They are very informative, so don’t skip this information. There is advertised, for example, a program of meeting a local family (and in some cases you can even live in a hosting Finnish family), or a bicycle map of the city.
- The very first badge for student overalls.
QUESTIONS >>>QUESTIONS??? QUESTIONS!!!
Hint: Always be first to ask questions! I only can guess that guys who welcome you don’t explain things because they think you will better read them in the leaflets. Well, seems that Finns don’t like to initiate any kind of speaking but they are always nice to respond. One friend of mind said “I guess how do they get to know each other and make friends??” Perhaps, by writing…