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A Letter to My Study Abroad Experience

June 10, 2017

Thank you.

To the country that welcomed me with open arms: The country that was always peaceful when I felt like a raging storm. Your winter was frozen but your heart was always warm. You forced me to be strong in a way that nothing else would. You pushed me to my limits and allowed me to become a new and better person.

To the roommates who made me laugh: The people who helped me break out of my shell and who were patient with me. I was unsure of coming to Finland, and you made me sure this was the place for me. The love and kindness and support you gave to me made all the difference. I looked forward to coming home to you every day and that’s why it was heart-breaking for me to leave.

To my Finnish family who showed me warmth: Your love for each other did not go unnoticed. I am truly thankful to every one of you who welcomed me into your home and your hearts. I am humbled by your kindness and honored to have met you. You will forever be in my heart, no matter the distance.

To the school who challenged me: The classes taught me not only about their contents but about myself. You allowed for me to learn what I wouldn’t have learned else where. I came to Jyväskylä to study abroad and ended up studying abroad.

To the places I traveled: The cities and sights are forever burned in my memory. You forced me to rely on my own instincts, to navigate systems completely foreign to me. You made me stronger and while I did not call you home for very long, you will always be places I want to return to.

My study abroad experience has been one-of-a-kind. It has changed me as a person and it hurt to leave because I knew what it was to love. To my study abroad experience: kiitos.

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