Exchange experience in a multicultural country: University of Turku, Finland

KWONG Ching Tin Justin

Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in History and Bachelor of Education (Hons) in Liberal Studies Teaching


Turku located in the South-Western border of the big, cold country. If you would like to watch northern light, it might be difficult to observe one in Turku, but you can take the train VR to Tampere, Oulu, Inari or Rovaniemi (The Santa Claus Village). The weather and sunlight diverse. The sun falls at 9pm at the first few weeks I have arrived in Finland but falls at around 3pm in Turku in December. You might want to bring some vitamin D or purchase one in a supermarket or a kioski to help you survived in the tiredness and depression in winter.


University of Turku provided me chances to experience the famous educational system in the world, with a chance for me to teach and experience in a secondary school (Turku International School). It is easily to find Finnish are inclusive to all newcomers to Finland and you will feel very safe in Finland. Everyone is helpful with your studies, teaching or even your daily life. I have also learnt about how to treat students with the best way according to our own learning culture and treat other or minorities fairly in our own place - do not talk English based on their skin color, but start with Chinese first in Hong Kong, this gives a big respect to them. At least I feel respect when the Finnish people tried to talk Finnish every time at the beginning, despite I’m still learning hardly.


I would strongly recommend you take an exchange semester or year in Turku if you would like to pursue your career as a teacher, or if you like to stay in a big city in Finland rather then villages.


At last, I would like to share you two basic word to survive in Finland. “Moi” (meaning of hi / bye) and “Kiitos” (meaning of thank you). It is important to say thank you in their culture, for example when you leave the restaurant. Hope you will find your exchange journey in Turku fruitful if you have grasped a chance to study there.