Written by Antu Datta

1. Learning the local language to integrate within the community

My most important aim for this year is to learn Finnish language at a professional standard, so that I can integrate in the local culture and interact better with local people. This is important for day to day living but also very practical because even the road signs are written in Finnish in Finland. So to make the best of what my university town and country offer, I need to learn the local language. I will achieve my aim by taking language classes in the university and by interacting more in Finnish with local people.

2. Learning new dishes from home and abroad

This is my second most important target as learning something new is always fun. And the targeted dish number is at least 20. Not only for surviving on my own, but also because cooking can be a good medium for cultural exchanges. I will learn some home dishes from my mother and some Finnish dishes from my local Finnish family. International flatmates are also a good source for learning new dishes from their countries. Especially since we cook sometimes together different dishes and we arrange food parties quite often.

3. Visiting more places and exploring a new culture

Last but not the least, one of my resolutions is to travel to different places in the country of my studies, Finland. I want to meet more local people especially in rural areas and to explore the real Finnish lifestyle. My plan also includes to visit some other countries from my ‘to see’ list.

I will go to some countries with my friends and stay in their homes to experience their lifestyle. In some other places, my plan is to travel solo and to stay with new people via Couch Surfing – it will be a great opportunity to learn how to interact with unknown people from different places.