Experience as an alien pioneer
It has been almost three months since I started new life in Pori as an international student. I remember that my trusting Finnish friend said to me when I was totally lost in the very beginning that “Just wait for three months, after that, everything will be alright” Finally “the three months” have passed and now surprisingly I can say, quite enough confidently, that my current life is much better than three months before.
Unfortunately, the word I can describe for my life as an international student in Pori is “unexpected frustration.” In the early semester, having a hard time to find English courses and student information in English is just only the beginning. In class, anyone is not fully ready to make a change for international academic climate. At that time, physically we are together in the same classroom, but we are totally isolated each other. The feeling of “together alone” is the most painful emotion I had never experienced before.
Well, there are not always dark sides when we confront the unexpected hardship. Sometimes, it turned out to be unexpected opportunities I can take advantage of not perfect situation. There is a proper expression from my friend who have observed and helped me here. “You are a Pioneer in Pori University!”
Instead of passively taking the course provided, I went visit professors and offices and gently but strongly appeal to them for better study climate for international student. By repeatedly restated my concerns as a foreign student, I could see the faculties are more sharply aware of importance of being international and the change is coming out step by step from our collaborative efforts.
Not only that, luckily I could meet such a caring and energetic people. Most of them are from UCPori and they share the same goal to make the university better place for students. A series of continuous inspiring conversations with them gave me the meaningful reason to stay here. Building trusting connections with great people is an amazing experience of the crisis turned out to be opportunity.
As you can see imperfect situation opened the new door to me which lead my life more exciting and multi-colored. Let’s say that if I go somewhere perfectly organized for international students, my life would be predictable, just boring and monotonous student life. However, here, I have faced new problems every moment, even right after fixing the old problems. My life is like a roller-costar, deep up and down, but, it is undoubtedly worthwhile and fun.
People might wonder how my life is going now. Truly it is incredibly getting better, I fully appreciate the slow pace and relaxing life style here, which is I am able to perfectly focus on my own work, study. Compare to my previous life in Seoul, more than fifteen million population city, I could concentrate on true important things such as being close to nature and being in spiritual peace. No temptation from night life, no pressure to show instant outcome, no fear to be failed. What am I going to do from now? I will just do my job and keep myself happy as fully as I can like I always have been.
Story and photos: Yereum Kim