The most important treasure the North gave - Faith
Mon, Jul 30, 2012
Former Arctic Studies Program (ASP) student Sintija Dzelme tells about her studies in Finland, how they affected her then and later on in her life.
“I came to Finland after my studies in Iceland. In the beginning I had a very small impression about Finland as a country. Maybe it sounds weird and a bit funny, but in the same time I did not know so much about the land, which belongs to the group of the Nordic countries. But after few days I understood how amazing this country is.
The Arctic studies were a good opportunity for getting an overview about the nature, culture and in general about all aspects of life, which exist in the North. During the study process I developed and encouraged myself to express my ideas not only for classmates but also for bigger group of people. In my opinion, The ASP is well structured. Courses cover various topics, but in the same time students have a chance to express and research their individual interests. As students are coming from different backgrounds, during the classes and afterwards we had always interesting brainstorming. Definitely, the Arctic studies are unique, useful and good opportunity to discover different topics. It is something special, at least for me.
I am very happy that after finishing studies, I am able to analyse various processes in the World with more critical view. Even today I keep myself updated with information about the Arctic. It is interesting to see and compare how the things are changing. The studies gave an opportunity to learn about many different cultures and appreciate the heritage of the North.
During my studies in Lapland I took also Finnish language courses. If in the beginning it seemed as mission impossible, then now I am proud that I can understand some Finnish. Hard way of learning the language taught me a lot about myself. First of all, that I can learn Finnish, I can do that no matter how hard it is. And secondly, even the language can become as special element of personality.
In general, my personality has changed a lot during my stay in Finland. Life in the North gives you a resistance, not only against the cold but also in the relationship with people. I appreciate this experience. On that time it was the right moment to come to Finland and discover new things about myself and in general about society.
The fact that I am coming back to Helsinki is related with my future plans. My Master studies brought me to Norway, which is also fantastic country, but in the same time I decided to return to my previous research – related to Finland. I know that lifestyle in Helsinki differs from lifestyle in the North, but I am not afraid from changes. I am very proud that I have been living in the North of Finland and, definitely, I can’t wait the moment when I will have a chance to go back.
No matter, where I will go or stay the knowledge what I got in the Arctic studies will follow me. The North gave me the most important treasure – faith, that everything is possible, just have to follow your aim, dream and work on it as much as possible to reach it.”