F.E.Sillanpää Upper Secondary School in Hämeenkyrö!

Welcome to read about life in F.E.Sillanpää Upper Secondary School!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Interviewing exchange students

This year our school has two lovely exchange students: Audrée-Anne Germain from Canada and Enrique Penagos Moreno from Mexico. Both of them are going to stay here in Finland for a year. Audrée-Anne and Enrique have already learned many phrases and expressions in Finnish even though Finnish is known as a very difficult language to learn. Here are some questions I asked them.

                                            Enrique, Katri and Audrée-Anne

1.       What did you know about Finland before you came here?

Audrée-Anne: -I had read many books about Finland, so I knew some things about Finnish culture, climate etc. For example, I had heard some stereotypes of the Finns; everyone has always a poker face here and people are reserved and cold. But I’ve noticed that it’s not true! What I didn’t know is what kind of clothes people wear here. Neither did I know any traditional Finnish dishes.

Enrique: -I knew it’s very cold in Finland! I’d heard that Finnish people are quite silent and that Finnish is a very difficult language.

     2.       Why did you decide to spend your exchange year in Finland?

 Audrée-Anne: -Well, I love challenges! Finland is quite similar to my own country so I decided to come here.

Enrique: -I like Finland! I got to choose from Thailand, Finland and Brazil, so I chose Finland!

3.       What are the best things here in Finland?

Audrée-Anne: -I think the best thing is that you get to choose which subjects you want to study the most and later on you can still change them if you want to! We don’t have that opportunity in Canada.

Enrique: -I love makkara (=sausage)! And I love our football team, Apassit! I also like to go to our school’s gym and play floorball with my friends.

4.       What do you think about sauna?

Audrée-Anne: -It’s so hot in sauna! But it’s a lot of fun. You can talk, relax and just chill out. I almost fell asleep the last time I was in sauna!

 Enrique: -It’s very hot in sauna! It’s quite difficult to breathe there but it’s also very relaxing.

5.       What are the main differences between Finland and your own country?

Audrée-Anne: -There are lots of differences. For example the school system is different in Canada. We have only three school periods but here in Finland we have five. In my own country we study the same subjects all year long and you cannot change your schedule. In Canada we have a school bus but here in Finland you can come to school by a public bus. And well, almost everyone in Finland has a blond hair!

Enrique: -It’s hot in Mexico but here in Finland it’s very cold! Finland is much more expensive than Mexico. And here I can come to school by bike but in Mexico I always go to school by car.

6.       Do you like Finnish food? What’s your favourite one?

Audrée-Anne: -I have to admit that I hate mustamakkara (=Finnish black sausage), hernekeitto (=Finnish pea soup) and salmiakki (=salty liquorice)! But I love meatballs, porridge and Finnish rye bread. All kinds of breads taste good here. And leipäjuusto (=Finnish squeaky cheese) is also very tasty!

Enrique: -I only like makkara (=sausage). Finnish pea soup both smells and tastes awful!

7.       What do you think about our school (lessons, pupils, teachers etc.)?

Audrée-Anne: -Lessons are very different here. In Canada lessons are only 45 minutes long and you have to be quiet the whole time. Here you can talk and discuss much more. All the pupils and teachers are friendly and funny!

Enrique: -Lessons are very difficult, because I don’t really understand the language. Teachers and pupils are very kind and friendly here. The school system is completely different in Mexico. The school starts at 7 o’clock and the lessons are 50 minutes long. In Mexico we have also siesta in the middle of the day.

8.       What do you think is the weirdest thing in Finland (or in Hämeenkyrö)?

Audrée-Anne: -Baseball! Everything is so different comparing to Canada and people are taller here.

Enrique: Sports like baseball, floorball and ice hockey. People also look different here. Almost everyone has blond hair, blue eyes and a light skin colour, but in Mexico everyone has a black hair, brown eyes and a tanned skin! People are also shy and very tall here!

9.       What does Finnish sound to you?

Audrée-Anne: -Finnish sounds like Japanese or Chinese! The language is completely different because you have these weird letters Ä and Ö.

Enrique: -It sounds quite weird! The pronunciation is very different comparing to English and Spanish.

Written by Katri 1B

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