Denis Chauvicourt and Adrien Eyraud are two French students spending one year in Oulu. Both of them were surprised by the city and the studies.
Text and photos: Niklas Wildhagen
We thought that the cold temperatures in the winter time would be our biggest challenge, Adrien smiles. He is sitting in front of the computer, while Denis is standing in the door. Adrien is very talkative, while Denis is more reluctant to speak.
- Actually, the biggest challenge we had was all the paperwork, and getting to a place where we didn’t know anybody, Adrien continues.
- Even that wasn’t too bad, Denis shoots in, we easily made contact with the people in our dormitory.
- Yeah, people really don’t care where you are from. We just have fun, Adrien continues.
-I wanted to come to Finland because I am a huge fan of melodic metal, Adrien says with a serious expression on his face. Afterwards he lists Sonata Archica, Statovarius, Nightwish and Children of Bodom as his favorite bands.
- I had a completely different reason, Denis smiles, I just wanted to experience a completely different culture then the French culture. I could have gone off and studied in Spain, but that would have been too similar to France.
When I asked what they think about Finnish people the boys smile.
- Well, people told us to be careful, Adrien laughs while Denis is nodding along, they said that Finnish people are cold, drink a lot at parties and head butt each other. That isn’t true.
- Most Finnish people are nice, Denis continues, but they are different from the French.
- People where we come from are much more communicative in the start, Adrien agrees, but it is easier to socialize with Finnish people once you get to know them.
When asked if they already have friends among the native Finns both of them nod and smile.
Both of the boys study computer sciences, telecommunication and networks, and both them know each other from their student days in the town of Amiens. They find student life to be different in Finland.
- We had to be at school from nine in the morning until five in the evening, when we studied in France, Adrien remarks, now we only have to go to school three days a week.
- In addition to those classes we do have a school project that has to be done in order to pass this semester, Denis shoots in.
Good and Bad
Both Adrien and Denis miss some of the things from their home country, even though they have a tremendous amount of fun.
- I miss red meat, Denis says, proper red meat is so expensive here. French bread is as well something that I miss.
- Alcohol is also too expensive, Adrien adds.
On the other side the boys also mention that some things just are better in Finland then in France.
- Rent is incredibly cheap, Adrien smiles, it would be so much more expensive to live in France.
-And Finnish girls are beautiful, Denis adds, but, they are not as charming as French girls. However, they are still very beautiful.