I am an EU student, some would say I’m international. However, I’m studying abroad and I’m a lot further from home than my fellow Finns back home. Every time I meet new people and they find out that I’m foreign, they ask me why England? and why Newcastle? Where do I start?? I was 12 when I first started to dream about moving abroad or being an exchange student. I Googled things in England and I started to be really worried about the heating, because in UK it was gas and back home it’s wood. Not probably the first thing you’d expect a 12-year-old to worry about…
Anyways, time passed and it was time to send uni applications to different institutes. I applied to Newcastle, Anglia Ruskin in London, and Oulu and Turku which are in Finland. I never actually believed that I could get in because I didn’t get too much support from my student counselor, and he constantly kept telling me that no, you can’t do it, you won’t get in. Okay. Thank god there were other teachers who supported me from the beginning 🙂
I applied anyway, received a conditional acceptance, and in the summer 2013 I got a bunch of booklets and a letter that welcomed me to study Geography in Newcastle University. It was an amazing moment. Me, a farmer’s girl from the tiniest town ever, is going to England. Not as an exchange student but on full-time undergraduate course!!! Take that, counselor.. 😉 I also got into Finland as a plan B, but I never needed one. Still, it is good to have one.
Moral of the story- wherever you are, whoever you are, and wherever you’re from, do what you have always dreamed of! Don’t care about others’ opinions, they’re just jealous. And when you get in to your university of choice it’ll make them even more mad 😉 Of course I had, and still have, a massive bunch of family, friends, and other supporters that are helping me go through all this. But if anything, studying abroad will teach you independence. And language. I did speak English quite well before I arrived, but you can’t imagine how much it has improved while I’ve been here! I was a shy speaker, I still am, but when you have no other option but to communicate AND to be understood, you really have no choice. And in the end, it’ll totally be worth it.
Love, Mira xxx