What is it like to be an exchange student in Turku?

Vieraskynä / Visiting author | 7.5.2020

Hey there! 

I am Ambre. I am a 23-years-old French student who studies marketing and business development. I was an exchange student at Turku University of Applied Sciences where I studied Entrepreneurship and Sales. 

In this article I will tell you a bit more about what is was like to be an exchange student in Turku. I will also give you some tips to survive there (but do not worry it is not as difficult as it seems)!

Ambre in the wintertime in Finland.
When I finally saw the snow (in Lapland). © Ambre

But first of all, why did I choose Finland? 

I already did a semester in the Philippines last year. This semester abroad was a part of my studies. Every student in my class had to go somewhere. The destinations were chosen by our university. 

But this year I decided to go somewhere on my own!  

I have always been attracted to Europe that is why my selection was made among European countries. First, I was thinking about going to the Netherlands but then I started thinking about Nordic countries. I was a bit afraid of the snow, the lack of sun, but I told myself "Why not? Just get out of your comfort zone!" and here I am! By the way it is quite funny because did not see the snow in Turku until the end of February.

I spent my first night in a guesthouse near my school and then I moved to the Student Village. The Student Village is made of 18 different housing location both for Finnish and international students. My building was only for exchange students. It had 3 floors and there were 12 people per floor. There was also a sauna and laundry commodities. I was living in a single flat with a bathroom and a shared kitchen.

Apartment buildings in the Student Village of Turku.
A sunny day in the Student Village. © Ambre

I really enjoyed living in the Student Village since everything was really convenient. 

First, it is not far from my school, just a 25 minutes walk (but there is also a bus station if you are not into walking). Then, there is a little K-market next to the village. However, products sell in this supermarket are quite expensive (I prefer going to Lidl) but I can admit it is convenient to have such a store close to your apartment just in case you really really need some coffee before an exam! Finally, the village is really close to the city centre.

Talking about the city centre I can say that Turku is a really pleasant city. The atmosphere is quiet and people are really nice and respectful. As the city is not big you can do pretty much everything walking or riding your bike. You can find several cafés and restaurants. There is also a mall which is open every day. 

Turku is a pleasant city with many lovely cafes and restaurants. © Ambre

As Turku is next to the river you can always enjoy a bit of nature there. There are also some touristic spots where you go such as Turku Castle, museums, parks... For party people, there are several clubs and bars such as Vegas Club or the Marilyn where you can enjoy good music. It is just up to you to find which one suits you the most! Lastly, for people who like to travel Turku has an airport and different bus lines. Bus tickets cost 3e, but you can buy a bus card.

Speaking of trips, I was able to do a few during my stay. I went to Helsinki, Ruissalo, Krakow in Poland and also to Lapland. I think it was this last trip that impressed me the most. It is a must for exchange students. Indeed, Lapland did not disappoint me. I had a wonderful trip with my boyfriend. We went sleddog riding, snowshoeing...

A flowing river in snowy Lapland.
Superb weather during my stay in Lapland. © Ambre

In April, I should have continued my trip and gone to Estonia, to Tallinn, but you know what started to show its teeth during this month... Because of the coronavirus, everything was turned upside down. The Student Village emptied out. The exchange students are gone, and me too... But I have no regrets. Even if the pill was difficult to digest at the beginning, the experience I lived in Finland will remain unforgettable and I intend to go back there in the near future (because no, I didn't see any aurora borealis satiating enough for my taste!).

Thank you Turku, hope to be back soon! © Ambre

Bye Finland, you have been amazing!


P.S. You can read more about Student Village in the neighborhood page. Or if you are looking for the most suitable neighborhood, let us help and try our search engine for neighborhoods!


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Thank you Ambre for sharing your story! Hopefully you can come back soon 🙂

7.5.2020 13:26Vastaa
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