This is my first time travelling to a place so far away from home, my first time taking a flight, my first time living alone, my first time experiencing snow, and my first time working in a different environment from home.
It was a whole-new experience for me in terms of the lifestyle and culture in Finland. Through this internship at Finland, I’ve learnt a lot about the differences and similarities between the Finns and us. For example, the work culture, the food they eat, and the attitude towards daily happenings. And through this adventure, it had broaden my horizon and made me a better person in terms of personality and my working style.
Being away from home alone, this internship opportunity had made me a more independent person. I have never done any household chores at home and now, I need to learn to take good care of myself, clean the apartment, cook, wash the dishes and do the laundry here on my own. At first, I was worried that I may not be able to do so, but lucky for me, I get to learn everything from my attachment in Sokos Hotel Alexandra. From housekeeping to preparing of food in the kitchen, and to serving customers in the restaurant section, Sokos Alexandra had trained me from a girl whom everyone is always worried about, into someone who is both a team player as well as someone who is independent.
I am very thankful to the lecturers of JAMK, University of Applied Sciences, whom I’ve been in contact with, for guiding me all this while during my stay here. Because of their hospitable nature, I’ve managed to settle down and adapt to the lifestyle in Finland very quickly. Besides that, I’ve widened my social circle by making many friends other than Finnish, who are from different countries like Russia, Thailand, Vietnam and Nepal. It is really interesting as we get to learn more than just Finnish culture through sharing and exchanging of our ideas during the small gatherings we have once in awhile. I personally love the gatherings with people of different nationality. The mix of cultures allowed me to understand the different practices and lifestyles of different places.
Last but not least, I’m very grateful to my course, Diploma in Tourism and Resort Management, and my lecturers, for giving me this “once in a lifetime” opportunity to have my attachment in Finland. Through this internship program, I’ve enriched myself with the eye-opening experiences in Jyvkyl which gained me knowledge and allowed me to grow as a capable individual. Overall, it is like an exchange program because of the different cultures I came in contact with. This is definitely an experience of a lifetime!
Article by Tan Pei Yi, DTRM Year 2