I am using this blog to tell everyone what I'm thinking and doing beforehand, during and after my exchange year in Finland for 2011.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

District Orientation!

On Saturday it was the orientation for district 9520 and district 9500. It was up at a conference centre in Belair and it was freezing! There was 21 outbounds for 9520(my district) and another 8 from 9500. All the inbounds were there too and there must have been about 25 of them. I was the only outbound to Finland from both the districts but there was two inbounds form Finland and also a Rebound who did a presentation and it was really good to be able to hear all the amazing things she got to see in Finland. I talked to lots of the outbounds and the rebounds too. We didn’t really get much of an opportunity to talk to the inbounds because a lot of them left after lunch and most of them had only been in Australia for a couple of weeks so some of them were still learning English anyway. We had our blazers and rugby tops measured and we also had our photos for a business cards taken, given that it was raining and I’d just tried on 40 different tops beforehand, I am absolutely ecstatic about getting my business cards :/

After we’d had all the formalities and I’d met all the other outbounds and knew what countries they were off to we heard from two Rotarians about Rotary and youth exchange. After that we had a talk from Tim who was representing Terra Australis (our travel agents), he told us all about the visa process and gave us lots of tips on how to make getting to our countries as smooth as possible. Then we had a very formal lunch and we were all presented to everyone and we got a big applause, I almost tripped walking up the steps and almost died of embarrassment. Then we had a long talk from a psychologist who talked about dealing with homesickness and other emotions and problems that sometimes arise. I’d heard most of what she’d said from various CS people already! You guys are the best :D. After that we talked about safety and about the sort of precautions we need to take to ensure we’re not taken advantage of because being a foreigner can make you very vulnerable, especially if you aren’t fluent at the language.

After that, everything wrapped up and I think the main things I took from the day were:
-        Exchange students are awesome.
-        Learn as much language as possible.
       Ask heaps of questions and if in doubt SMILE!
       Plan, plan, plan and plan.
       Homesickness is a bundle of laughs.
       I need to get fitter :/

It was quite an enjoyable day despite the rotten weather! I didn’t end up going to the bonfire with my counsellors because dad was very sick and I didn’t feel that great either. I’m glad I didn’t because I woke up with a terrible headache and a sore throat the next day. I’m feeling better now and I’ve been doing lots of research on better language programs because the one I’ve been using is not working for me.

I have also been facebook stalking all the new inbounds who have just left Karkku and they’re all starting to put up pictures of Tampere and their home towns. Its fun until it’s over and I realise I still have 6 months left. I’m also friends with a lot of this years Aussie inbounds and mum’s always asking me to look at their pictures to see what they’re wearing so that I know what to buy :P

Anyway thanks for reading my blog! I know I post insanely long posts!
I have quite a few little flags on my counter now and it still makes me excited to see a new one! I think the most recent is Turkey!

My new word: terveydeksi which basically means “to your health” so it’s the equivalent of bless you but I wouldn’t have a clue if they actually say it when people sneeze! I know this seems like a strange word to learn but someone CS brought it up so we were all looking up bless you in our host languages.


  1. Hey, Id first off like to say thakyou for subscribing and viewing my blog,I love culture shock forum(ive been a mamber for few months(january) :D

    cool, I like your blog

    I want to go to any south east asian countries

  2. Hey Julia!

    I just had to come and say, yes, we actually say "terveydeksi" when someone sneezes. :D Not always, but still. And I said it today!


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