First impression:

Even if we didn’t arrive in Nakkila at the same time we had quite similar first impressions. We would not have expected such a widespread area. We knew the population before but we both thought of a bunch of buildings standing next to each other, how it would be in Germany or Switzerland. We also were surprised by the number of factory buildings.

Sights:

We got to know many places to visit in Nakkila. Unfortunately the biggest attraction – the 77-years old church – is closed due to renovation works. While searching information about the church we heard about the saying “around the Church of Nakkila”. In old times men on trading trips enjoyed an evening in the inn located next to the church. When they came back home they didn’t want their wives to know where they had spent their night. Pretending piety they told them they had been around the Church of Nakkila. Nowadays the church is situated in the centre of the village, as Nakkila has grown around it.

We read about museums but none of us has already visited one.
Jana: I have already visited the Villilä Film Studios and it was amazing to see how they work, how they are equipped and which films they already produced.
Salome: I would like to see all of the museums and Villilä mansion, which is known as the Hollywood of Finland.

There is one big river that crosses the village. It’s called Kokemäenjoki. We really enjoyed strolling along the riverside, watching fly fishers and birds. We like to be here now, when the leaves change their colour and one can find misty autumn ambience.

Impressions from our work places

Jana: In my first week in Nakkila I met Mr. Lauri Pörsti and my contact person Mr. Pekka Varheensalo. They gave me a little introduction in their work and information about the municipality Nakkila. I was very glad to get welcomed in such a friendly and sympathic way. Mr. Varheensalo told me everything about the education system in Finland, so I was well prepared for the following days in the schools. At Nakkilan Yhteiskoulu I really enjoyed it to visit the English and German lessons. When I first saw some of the classrooms I was really surprised how well equipped they are. I have never seen such a classroom in Germany equipped with all these great technical devices. In every classroom you can find at least one computer, a whiteboard (connected with the PC) and the students can use some tablets. All documents are saved in the cloud which has the advantage of less paperwork. To my mind, this great equipment has a very positive influence on the lessons and the pupils willing to learn. They are not forced to banish the modern techniques out of their everyday life. And I think this is the right way to motivate the students. We can’t deny that the growing generation is a “digital generation” which grows up with the modern technic, so why don’t we make use of it even in school life?! I really would like to ask this question the superintendent of education in Germany, especially in my school. Of course there are huge costs to create such a full-digitalized school life, but in my view the facilitation for the teachers and the high motivation of the pupils are worth it. I really hope that the superintendents of education in Germany also realize that and think a little bit more like the superintendents here, and consequently invest more in our education system as well. To my mind, what especially this school offers to its students is a great progress in teaching and I am glad that I learned some things about such a well-equipped school system.

Salome: I have a volunteer work place in Kirkonseutu koulu. Most of my tasks correspond to the ones of an assistant teacher. That means I help weaker students, do copying and break surveillance. And I have my own little projects with students. I really like my work place. I felt welcome and accepted from the first day. . The biggest difference from my own school time is the amount of technical equipment that is used here. In my school there wasn’t one whiteboard and only little rooms with a beamer.

Résumé

It’s difficult to draw a line now as our stays haven’t finished yet. And we both will for sure make more experiences in Finland. We had only positive encounters with Finnish people. Everyone was really friendly and open-minded. We always felt in good hands.

There were a few points which struck us. People told us their English was poor but when they started speaking it wasn’t. We like that modesty a lot. In Germany it used to be the other way round.

The food habits are quite different too. In Switzerland and Germany people don’t drink milk with every meal. Neither they eat that much (brown) bread. The amount of potatoes eaten is bigger too. Of course there are many more differences between our food cultures but these are the most striking ones.

Also the nature is different. First of all everything is so much flatter here. Buildings only have one or two floors and there are not more than small hills around Nakkila. The cliché of forest and lakes was approved, even if Nakkila itself doesn’t have a lake. We were amazed by the things that grow in forests here. Mushrooms, berries and moss aren’t seen in these amounts in Central Europe’s forests. There are other trees too. Less birches and firs.

One thing for sure: when we go home we will be full of unforgettable memories and positive encounters.