When I first arrived in Tampere, I found that Kiitos (thank you) is the word people always say. Whether you take a bus, go shopping in a supermarket, or eat in a restaurant. There is always full of understanding and gratitude. I love the saying which my Finnish teachers once said: Finns don’t like to laugh, but they like people who love to laugh.
I think diversity is the best interpretation for Tampere. Diverse weather, diverse people and diverse activities. This is a quiet city but full of energy. Here you can see the very beautiful sightseeing, the lake, the building and the people. And it is great to have a over look of the city on the top of the observation tower.
Probably the most culinary food is in the school restaurant. The campus is small, but the menu changes every day. You can enjoy the student price with your student ID, so it is very cost-effective compared to eating in an off-campus restaurant.
Although I came here two weeks, I was still in a deep culture shock. Everything in Tampere is in order here and it took a while for me to finally start feeling comfortable. Punctuality is one of the biggest characteristics of Finns. Banks, buses, trains, companies and schools work in strict accordance with schedules.
I tried my best to learn the basic language, learned about the Finnish and their culture, and was able to survive. But I have to say, when I learned more I realized I love this city.
The experience has just begun, who knows what will happen?
Text and photos: Yongxian Zhao, Exchange Studies for Construction Architecture, TAMK