"Challenge, Strive and Be Happy!"
Maria Yashinkina, a student of the Institute of Philology, told about the exchange program at the University of Turku (Finland).
"I spent the fall semester of 2020 as a student of the University of Turku, Finland.
I chose courses in teaching and psychology and all but one were in Finnish. The education process was organized remotely via Zoom. Certainly, studying in Finnish was not easy. The most difficult thing was to understand and accept that you were a priori at different levels: for all students Finnish was their native language whereas to me it was a foreign language. However, the level of the language improved rapidly, the knowledge of vocabulary increased and every day I spoke more confidently, feeling that I was finally starting to succeed in it. In addition, the teachers were very supportive of the students and ready to help anytime.
In addition to studying disciplines as a student, I also managed to train as a teacher of Russian as a foreign language. It was a great pleasure for me to talk about our rich culture, both classical and modern. I tried to teach grammar through songs, videos and other media resources. I talked to my student about everything and our classes resembled warm meetings. We chat in the What's App and exchange music and news to this day.
Besides the education process, I worked in the Finnish-Russian kindergarten Miska-talo (Bear's House). I passed an interview and got to practice. Work with children was very joyful and, despite the fatigue after eight-hour shifts, I always came back home happy. In my opinion, working in a kindergarten is not only the best way for developing language skills, but also a therapy for the heart. Children make us better and love us for being just there for them. Thanks to the children, I could play the role of Batman's wife, the hungry wolf and other heroes.
What short tips can I give?
· Study hard and challenge yourself with something new, education and new experiences shape us and give a deep understanding of ourselves.
· Buy / lend a bike: you can't go to Turku without it.
· Visit libraries, exhibitions, museums.
· Challenge, strive and be happy!
Thanks to the exchange programs of PetrSU!"