Loujaïn Guiga on a metro ride

I came here for an exchange year from Paris. Right after my arrival, I got lost on the one-line metro of Helsinki. Simple as that! Getting lost was fun though, because people around me were very helpful. They all advised me to take different directions.

Beforehand, my dad who is from Syria, was a little worried on how I would survive the Finnish winter. He advised me to eat a lot of fish…

أحطت بي الطائرة في مطار هلسينكي منذ أكثر من اسبوع. و عندها غمرني شعور غريب. كنت متحمسة و لكن في نفس الوقت متخوفة بعض الشيء من هذه التجربة الفريدة من نوعها. خلال هذا الأسبوع، تجولت في شوارع المدينة، درست في جامعتها، و حاولت قدر الإمكان أن أتواصل مع أهاليها، فبدأ التخوف يختفي تدريجياً ليحل الحماس مكانه. يبدو لي اليوم أن هذه السنة ستكون من بين تلك التي لا تنسى، ولذا  أقول مسبقاً: “كييتوس” هلسنكي

After one week’s experience on Helsinki, a very unnerving feeling overwhelmed me. It was some sort of excitement mixed with a little bit of apprehension regarding this peculiar experience. During this week, I took strolls in the streets of the city, attended some classes in the university and tried to connect as much as possible with the inhabitants. Little by little, apprehension started to vanish only to be replaced by enthusiasm. Today it seems to me that this year will be among the unforgettable ones, that’s why I’m saying in advance: kiitos, Helsinki!

Text: Loujaïn Guiga & Siiri Mäkelä
Picture: Riikka Lahdensuo