The Fervent Finland Expedition: Pre-Departure

Meredith Oldham, Features Editor

As many do when they’re feeling nervous, I’ll start by cracking a few jokes.


Q: What is the difference between an empty stomach and a Finnish person who wants to ask something from a stranger?

A: You can actually hear the empty stomach.


Q: How do you know a Finnish man is madly in love with his wife?

A: He almost tells her.


Q: How do you spot an extrovert Finn?

A: When talking to you, he stares at your feet instead of his own


There’s a common theme here: Finns are famously shy. Of all the places I could’ve spent my summer, I chose Finland– but why would I choose a place where people “show no emotion?” Why would I choose a place that speaks one of the most difficult languages for english speakers to learn? Why would I choose a place known for it’s meat products when I’m firmly vegetarian? Above all: Why Finland?

I can tell you I’ve been asked this question countless times over the past couple months. And I’m still not entirely sure how to answer the question, myself, but I hope to find the answer throughout this journey, which I’ll be fully documenting right here on the Polaris Press!


I’ve wanted to study abroad since I was little, and I’ve been waiting to go to Finland for what feels like so long, so I’m having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that I’m going to embark on this journey in less than a week! Packing is a bit of a nightmare at the moment, and my  weekend will likely be filled with last minute trips to Target to get any last things I’ll need for the trip. However, despite the packing, I am absolutely giddy with excitement about the Scandinavian adventure before me, and I hope some of you will stay along for the ride as I navigate through the Finnish woods, beaches, cities, culture, and general life!

One last note: I will be posting on Fridays! You won’t find one next Friday (because I will be on the plane to Finland!) but you can find one the following Friday as well as the five Fridays subsequent to that one. Hyvästi! (That’s Finnish for “farewell”)