Turkey. That’s where I was supposed to go for my Erasmus exchange. I got accepted, applied for dorms, chose courses, did my research on Turkey – the whole shabang. The spring semester comes to an end, I say my goodbyes to all my friends in Glasgow, knowing I won’t see them for over a year and head home to Finland. I live in my blissful bubble, living and working in this wee village called Dalsbruk, enjoying my summer in Finland.
Mid July the political situation in Turkey starts developing fast. The opposition and the army (it is claimed) stage a coup and try to overthrow the government. The government responds and takes back the power in fights that cost many lives. A few days later, I get sent an email by the University of Glasgow, saying that the foreign office is monitoring the situation in Turkey together with the FOC. The email is hopeful and states that things seem to be settling down, so I stay calm and positive. A few weeks later I receive an email saying that in the wake of recent events in Turkey, my exchange there has been cancelled.
I won’t lie – I was really upset by this news. Here I’d been planning and mentally preparing for going to Turkey. I had researched, joined Facebook groups, received emails from my university there and just generally really looked forward to going.
Thereafter followed the limbo stage. The UofG started contacting other partner universities, in hopes of allocating us elsewhere for the year, or at least the spring semester. As they waited for answers, so did we. And what in reality was a week, felt like an eternity. Then we got an email, where the following options were presented to us:
University of Amsterdam Semester 2 only
University of Stockholm Semester 2 only
University of Helsinki Semester 2 only
University of Stockholm Full Year
University of Stockholm Semester 1 then Amsterdam or Helsinki for Semester 2
So here I am now, writing to you from Sweden, where I’ll be spending this semester before going to Amsterdam in January. Going to Helsinki, which is a 30min drive from my childhood home, really wasn’t even an option hahha!
Things change. Surely neither Stockholm nor Amsterdam is as exotic a destination as Ankra. Nevertheless, neither one is worse of an exchange destination than Ankara – just different. PLUS I get to experience two different cities, universities, cultures and countries, something not everyone gets to do.
Next time I’ll tell you more about myself and life in Sweden, my preparations before coming here and I’ll try to give you some helpful tips and advice :)!
In the meantime, if there’s anything you want to know or wonder about, just pop me an email or send me a message on Facebook! I shall leave you with a few pictures (apologies for the poor snapchat quality).
Till next time 🙂