So in this post I shall tell you all about my first few days in Lapland. I have to say, I have really enjoyed myself so far and have been kept very busy with uni life and what not.
Here is a run down of what I've been up to!
Sunday 31st August: My first full day!
So, in my last blog I ended by telling you that I enjoyed some Swedish meatballs for my breakfast at the hotel, but so much more happened after this! I took a taxi to my new flat and met my tutor who helped has helped me so much since I have been here.
First, she gave me my keys and helped me up to my room with my VERY heavy luggage. She took me through some of the basic stuff and then we headed into town to purchase some necessities. I got myself a duvet and pillows as well as sheets and then some kitchen things. Everything is very expensive here, so many people shop in second hand shops. I realise it doesn't sound as good as it is but these places are nothing like the charity shops we have back home. There is literally nothing that you cannot get here. It was here that I got myself some plates, cutlery and even a handbag! I also got my Internet connection (not from the second hand shop) which was surprisingly rather straight forward.
When shopping became too much we stopped for a coffee before I got on a bus and headed back to my new home.
In the evening, my tutor came back to my flat with another student and together we went to the supermarket to buy some food.
I really enjoyed sorting out my room and making what was once a very basic and boring room, into something cosy that I could call my own.
Monday 1st September: First day of uni!
I was so excited for my first day of uni that I got up super early to have a shower and make myself look pretty (you need to make a good first impression!) I walked to the university with the same girl I met the day before I enjoyed so many beautiful and stunning views on the way.
This first week is orientation week and so naturally my first lecture was a 'welcome to the university' style class where we all stood up and said our name, our home country and what we were studying. It was here that I discovered how truly small the world really is as I did not expect to travel 1500 miles and find another Scottish person... But I did!
We then had a tour of the university before lunch and registration. You have to register to become a member of the student union which costs 93 euros! It is worth it though because you get so many discounts including cheap lunch. It is only 2.60 for a huge meal with a union membership, which is pretty good if you ask me.
The way you get your food at uni reminds me of being at school. You help yourself to as much salad and bread as you can fit on your plate and then fill your larger plate with whatever meal you prefer. You also have to put your dishes away yourself so that they can be washed but the Finnish sense of humour makes this chore very easy.
Outside of uni I saw graffiti of what I believed to be a giraffe on roller blades. Apparently it's an alpaca/llama...
On Monday evening there was a welcome party at the local pub/cafe where we got a free glass of something (it tasted and looked like sangria) as well as free food. However it was very crowded and i queued longer than I would have liked for an okay tasting hot dog so I didn't stay too long.
Tuesday 2nd September: Day 2 of uni!
On Tuesday morning I went with my friend to purchase myself a bicycle! I didn't think this was something I wanted to do but it really is the only convenient way to get from A-B. I have been very nervous cycling everywhere, particularly because I had not cycled in ten years, but luckily riding a bike is a skill you never forget!
On Tuesday night I had the absolute privilege of seeing the Aurora Borialis. I was in complete awe of what I saw. The pictures do not nearly do this gorgeous, natural wonder justice, but believe me, it was almost magical!
I cannot take credit for this specific photo as another student also living in the same place as me took this, but this was probably the best one I could find. I can only imagine how truly beautiful this would have looked without the street lights getting in the way.
Wednesday 4th September: Day 3 of uni!
Once again, another busy day at uni but I also did a spot of shopping. I was shocked to see that as much as I thought I had escaped Boots for a second time, I had not. It follows me.
This was taken in a shop called Antella, which is a department store selling literally EVERYTHING. In this same shop I bought my duvet and pillows but they also sell books and magazines.
I also went to McDonalds and had a baby McFlurry!
Thursday 4th September: Today!
Today I got to take a trip to Lapland University of Applied Sciences. I found out a lot about tourism in Rovaniemi as well as info about the police and sports stuff.
This evening I experienced my first Finnish sauna and it really was an experience. Most Finnish people go in naked! It was really good though and it made me feel very relaxed. I think I shall definitely go again.
So that's you up to date. I have had an amazing few days so far and I have enjoyed all the new experiences and people along the way.
Thanks for reading! Now enjoy some more random photos from my time so far :)