Exchange student life can be hard and stressful once in awhile, but for sure all of the stressing and hard times will pay off. Because the life as exchange student will bring along so much new experiences and new friends. Probably when it is time to go back to home, you are actually feeling like leaving your
second home behind.
So here I am, finally! Starting my own experience as a exchange student, via JAMK.
In fact, where am I?
When I am watching out from my bedroom window, I can see SMRT (metro) station, block of flats with over 13 floors and also White Sands shopping mall.
Unfortunately, I can also hear the metro to inside of the apartment. Probably I’ll get used to it eventually, and one day I don’t even remember it.
So this is how my 5 months’ study exchange have started in very tiny and modern Asian city; in Singapore. Population is approximately same as in Finland, but size of the Singapore is several hundred square kilometres smaller. So just imagine how much people here are, in the small country.
Just experienced the huge population mass in metro yesterday evening, when it was high-peak hours. Metro was so full of people that we were standing there almost like noses against each others.
Arrangements made before exchange
Arrangements of this exchange time was very irritating. At the time when I decided to go to study exchange, so actually almost like at the first day of the school… or more like even before I get in to school. I could not believe then that all these arrangements would’ve been so long and so slow.
Many times I was thinking what the hell am I doing, but I didn’t think at any time
at least not as serious thinking point, that I would just end all and give up.
I think I started my exchange arrangements already at February, and it lasted all the way to the day when I arrived to Singapore –
so meaning few days ago .
Let’s just say, that I did almost all searching by myself, and I am happy that there is another Finnish student from JAMK who is also here in Singapore as exchange student. So I didn’t have to stress alone, I had someone to talk to. Even that random girl, who I met first time today, but with who I have talked a lot last six months.
Just little help from JAMK
I didn’t get almost any help from my school, their way of thinking was like “oh just go from where the fence is lowest, or more like there is no fence.”
I really don’t know have other students had also same problems as I and the another student experienced.
–> But while I was processing all this thing, I learned not to be scared to call and answer to random phone calls. I really didn’t like to call or get phone calls from random people. I don’t know why, but I think there is many people like me in the world. Only way to get over that fear, is just starting to call and answer to phone.
It is not easy, but for me, since days passed and I still hadn’t for example insurance, I just had to take the phone and call to people to get things done.
Next Monday I’ll go to first time to study to Temasek Polytechnic. At the same time when I am happy and very excited, I’m also little bit nervous.
I’m sure I’ll get a lot of new experiences and new friends while my exchange time.
I also hope and believe, that my English skills will get better, and I’ll learn a lot of new things from my study field.
I have to say, that if I look back few years, I couldn’t imagine that me – the shy girl who was scared to speak even in phone with random people – would go to study to thousands kilometers away from home. But I am happy, that I am not anymore that shy girl. I still have some shyness left, but I am not that much shy as I once was.
Last few days
Many things have already happened here in Singapore just within two days. I have already had many new experiences and got some new friends also.
So I arrived on Tuesday afternoon. My landlord was there to pick me up. He showed me where to get a local prepaid number and how to use SMRT (metro/subway) lines to&from airport. We didn’t use the metro to leave from airport, but he bought me public transportation card because of I didn’t have cash with me… 😀 I have to say that Asians are way too nice people! I have not used to that someone who I have never met before, pick me up from airport, and take me to see where everything important is located. Such as; supermarket, food court, bank, nearest metro and bus station etc.
Yesterday was Wednesday… I went to explore my new home town by walking around without any final destination. I was actually pretty surprised what I found: In the middle of the city life, there was mangrove forest. Just few people walking there, and I could hear voice of nature! And see few snakes swimming in the river 😮
I was middle of rainforest, and immediately fell in love with this place!
Like for real, there was also beach, which I didn’t take a closer look, because it was starting to rain, so I was afraid that soon it is heavy raining and I’m there without umbrella.
I also went to pick up my student pass, and this time found out the real Asian people timetable.
My appointment was almost 1 hour late, even if they advised to come strictly at the time. I was getting so hungry just waiting for my appointment.
Again, I was stressing beforehand for nothing, because for the officer it was normal workday filling up some papers and give a student pass to a new student.
Today – Thursday
Today I had a very exciting start for the day, as I started my hammer throw training with a local throwers group. Coach is retired German discus thrower. So in theoretically she is not hammer throw coach, but for sure she knows something. And I am happy that there is also another girl who is throwing hammer, she wasn’t there now as she was in school, but I’ll do some training with her also, and maybe I can give her some technique help as she has just started throwing hammer:)
The training was not at ideal time for me, because I am not morning person, and I had to leave to training at 5.45 am. I actually woke up already before 4 am and then couldn’t get anymore sleep, thanks to jet lag.
When I finished the training session, I realized why we are starting that early. It was +26 degrees when the sun hadn’t even risen. Daylight came fast, I was in practice track around 6.15 and it was dark, there was no lights, and I was wondering how could we throw without lights on. Well just 10 minutes later it was bright outside.
At 9 am when we ended the training, it was already +34 degrees, according to my snapchat 😀 so it would actually be too hot for also locals to do training at middle day.
I actually liked the training group a lot, it was nice to see how everyone were so friendly for me. I am still little bit shy when meeting new people, but I’m sure I get along easily once I have done training with them few more times.
Until next time :*
Ps. Compared to Finnish time, it is five-six hours more here (depending is it winter time or summer time in Finland). So that’s why I am able to tell about my day already when Finnish people are just ending their work and school days – that time, it is already evening here 😉