I have a love of other cultures. I’ve always enjoyed travelling abroad and this is a unique opportunity for me to explore another country which I’ve never had a connection with. The programme for me starts with making new friends from across the globe and then across a country I have yet to explore.
I would also love to say how much I can’t wait to practice my Finnish, but as I struggle with the Danish and Swedish pronunciation of thank you (it literally sounds like ‘tack’, but I can’t say it, my pronunciations of other languages is appalling), I think I could have my work cut out.
I’m very interested to see how Finland is affected by being a member of the European Union and also how they view it. In the UK we are currently at a crossroads, we have a referendum on our EU membership coming up in 2017. Most analysts, and I agree with them, say that we will vote to stay, but I think the percentage who vote to remain in will be the most intriguing part of the vote. If I had to guess, I’d say about 70% will vote to remain in.
But why are we so annoyed at the EU? Why are our Finnish counterparts in the Union not complaining about the same issues which affect us all? This is one thing I’m really keen to find out.
Besides that, I’m a huge computer ‘nerd’ and I’m very interested to see how the Finnish technology landscape has changed since Nokia sold a huge part of it’s business to Microsoft. In the UK, we attempt to foster technological creativity, but with seemingly few results.
As a side note, I also want to see if it’s true that you really do get phone reception all the way in the subway in Helsinki, according to the British government it’s ‘impossible’ to have this in London, but we clearly don’t know what we are doing if this is true.
And finally I want to know more about the main Finnish broadcaster, YLE. As a company set up modelling our BBC, how does it report news and what kind of programming does it broadcast?
These are the things that I want to find out, but of course I am perhaps just as excited (if not more) to learn about the culture, food and weather which makes up this country I know nothing about (yes, it is true, the British are obsessed by the weather, all over the globe in fact).
I can’t wait to learn about all of these things with 21 other people from all over the world. August can’t come soon enough!