Hi, my name is Justine Semelle, I am a French law student being in Erasmus in Rovaniemi. I arrived in August 2020, and I am staying a year there. In France, I live in the suburbs of Paris.
The first thing I noticed was forest everywhere. Everything was green, and I expected it to be colder, but actually the temperature was ok for the time I arrived. I wanted to live a new experience and have a complete change of environment. I wanted to go for a life in quite extreme conditions, and my goal was also to be able to spend more time in Nature and calm. I experienced living in extreme conditions, and I got to connect with nature, even more than I thought.
I am a law student and I believe it is manageable. It really is a lot of reading. But whenever I get some motivation to actually work, it is good. The subjects are also quite interesting. The autonomy we have to learn and prepare for the exam. We must take responsibility and action for our learning process, while in France everything is guided.
Living in the arctic circle
It’s crazy, sometimes I don’t even realize. I consider it quite an achievement, and I am really glad I could have the opportunity to discover this part of the world for a daily life experience. I will never be tired of these landscapes, and this sensation to be on the top of Europe.
When the strict restrictions were not valid yet: I usually wake up and get prepared to go to university. I work a little bit there then I go for lunch at the cafeteria. Afterwards, I go to the city center to the shops, or the coffee house to work and grab a coffee with my friends. We most of the time have a nice dinner home all together. My daily life is also often interrupted by trips.
Once again, the Nature. Being surrounded by so much peace, and nature, by the trees, the animals, northern lights for instance, the lakes and so on, I feel really lucky to get to experience such an immersion into nature for my daily life. Also for the daily life, the stress level in Finland is so low, I got to know how to relax for the daily life, and trust the people. This is really a place where I feel safe.
Best experience in Lapland
I learnt a lot about myself first of all, and I think that I learnt how to be more relaxed and to appreciate more what surrounds me, this being landscapes or relationships. I think my best experience so far was the Northern lights that I could see from my bedroom window, this is crazy! For me Lapland is kind of a safe place, quiet and beautiful. I will always consider Rovaniemi as my Finnish home 🙂
Life during Corona time
It didn’t play too much of a role until now, expect for the online classes, but this also allowed me to travel a little bit more. However, from the 8th of March, the restriction were getting stronger and the life has changed for a while, us having less freedom that what we were used to. I would like to go more into nature once at home, and having more small adventures and trips, seeing what my country has to offer also!