As a Canadian from Québec, diving into the northern vibes of Finland was like discovering a second home, but with a twist of Finnish magic. Despite the cultural gap between Quebec and Finland, I found more similarities than differences. Bonding with Finland over the amazing huge nature and the love for hockey made me proud of northern regions. Finland still brought me a new perspective with their differences. 

The Finnish education system is renowned worldwide for its excellence, and Tampere didn't disappoint. I’ve discovered that excellence is not only about the courses and the lectures. Outside studying, there’s a whole student-life culture and awareness that makes Finland the best country in education in my opinion. In addition to amazing campus facilities, less than 3 euros lunches and completely free services, Tampere University is making international students feel included in the student culture. With tutors guiding me through the maze of university life, and with overalls and patches (they're like badges, each telling a story of its own), I've never felt more like part of a community. The icing on the cake was Wappu, the ultimate Finnish student festival where you celebrate the arrival of spring with all sorts of festivities. With all of these activities, Tampere University made me feel like a local.

This feeling of inclusiveness helped me a lot with one of my goal when going to Finland, going out of my comfort zone. Yeah, it's scary at first. But trust me, it's worth it. Embracing a new culture and making friends from all corners of the world, it changes you. And here's the thing, despite the cultural differences, you'll find people who look like you more than you think. This is the long-term impact of this exchange, it changed me. Sure, I gained knowledge and experiences, but it goes beyond that. It's about personal growth, about becoming a better version of yourself. Adapting to new things? It's like a crash course in resilience. And let me tell you, the friendships you make and the memories you create, they stick with you forever.

If you’re still thinking about a North2North exchange, just do it. It’s a great experience, you won’t regret it.