Exploring Helsinki and an Exchange update – two months in Finland!

Law LLB Student , Olivia, brings us another blog from her year abroad as an international exchange student in Finland.

Hei Readers,

Olivia here back with another blog, documenting my time studying abroad in Finland. A month has passed since my last blog and this time from where I am writing- in the Aurum building on campus- I have a view of a murky, cloudy sky covering Turku. One thing that I feel I will have to learn to appreciate, as the autumn season gets well under way and winter rolls around is the overcast appearance of the city and the cold, cold weather (this coming from a Brit). Nevertheless, there has been no shortage of activities and means to explore this beautiful city and the surrounding areas.


  • Since my last blog I have developed a regular routine, which is something I had been struggling to achieve since moving here.
  • I passed my Survival Finnish Language Course exam. A strong start to the beginning of my Finnish language journey.
  • I now have a Tandem language partner who I am helping to further their English-speaking skills, whilst they help me with my Finnish language studies (we also spend a lot of time talking about our respective cultures).


Me and six friends spent an October weekend in Helsinki, embarking on some serious sightseeing- we visited Helsinki’s Lutheran Cathedral (Helsingin tuomiokirkko), the National Library of Finland (kansalliskirjasto), the Design Museum Helsinki (Design museo), the Finnish National Opera and Ballet (kansallisooppera), several restaurants with tasty food, Suomenlinna the Finnish island + A LOT of walking.


  • Watching Spartacus performed by the Finnish National Ballet. Having always had a passion for performing and watching ballet, this was an experience I will not forget. Especially since many theatres were closed back home in the UK for over 12 months. ☹
  • Before travelling across the water on the ferry, to Suomenlinna, I did not know what to expect. I was under the impression that there would not be much to see, however the reality was so different. Home to a fortress originally constructed during the time when Finland was part of the Kingdom of Sweden, the construction of the fortress dates back to 1748. In the picture below I am sitting on the steps of the Suomenlinna’s Lutheran Church, previously a Russian Orthodox church, that was built in 1854.

The beautiful views that could be seen from the highest ground on the island were spectacular (we were fortunate to visit on a clear day although it was still so windy and cold).

  • Finally, I really enjoyed those moments when travelling with friends where the funniest things happen and random, spontaneous conversations surface.

A reoccurring theme through the trip was spilling of drinks (I started that one off on the train to Helsinki by spilling my tea down my pink trousers) and ordering excessively spicy food. One friend picked a bowls worth of chillies out of her dish! *See below*


Its safe to say that I am having a really great time in Finland (this is pretty much my standard response to anyone who has asked me) but it’s a completely honest one. As I move into the second period at university, I am looking forward to beginning my new courses- Law and Artificial Intelligence, Contract Management and Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility.

In my next blog I will be speaking about all things applying to go on an exchange semester or year, as well as sharing more of my own experiences!

Until next time, Liv x