On Sunday, April 15, 2018, we made our way from Germany to Finland. In the morning at 06.30 our journey started by taxi to the airport Berlin Tegel. From there we flew to the Finnish capital Helsinki, where we arrived punctually at 12.00. At the airport, we were warmly welcomed by our gas families and drove home with them once. In the afternoon, we met with the rest of the students and spent some time in downtown Helsinki.
Monday was the first working day on which the week and workshops officially started. To get to know better, we started with some Acquaintance Games and the transfer of individual gifts. Afterwards we had an interesting talk about the European Lux. Afterwards there was a self-cooked lunch in the school cafeteria. We introduced the afternoon with lectures about zoos from different countries. Then followed a little sightseeing tour through Helsinki. In the evening, as on the previous day, the guest students met for further exploration of the city.
On Tuesday, like every day, the workshops started at 08.30. All German exchange students presented their lectures, which had already been elaborated at home. It was followed by a short discussion round in which everyone could reveal his own opinion. After lunch we went to the zoo "Korkeasaari" in which various animals from all over the world could be considered.
Wednesday was solely a poster competition. All students were divided into two groups. Group number one designed their own poster, group number 2 edited an already published one. A concert followed, which was prepared by students as well as teachers of the Finnish school. After lunch, the next highlight followed. We explored a national park, not very far away. At a certain place we stopped and set fire to a small campfire in which we roasted our strengthening. Of course, a singing competition was also part of the program and so each country performed a typical song. Shortly thereafter, we started our way home and ended the day with our host families.
On Thursday we were allowed, the foreign students, the first hour to our guest students in the class. We were greeted very warmly by the instructors and students and were able to participate well in the classroom. At 9.50, together with the school's English and biology students and some teachers, we started our great biodiversity research in a nearby recreation area. On this voyage of discovery, we completed an evaluation form from the environmental and environmental organization WWF. Meanwhile, the remaining teachers met for another cooperation conference. After lunch, we continued Workshop 4, which we started in the morning in the fresh air, on the computer. Afterwards the visit, the exhibition "Finnish nature" in the Natural History Museum Helsinki, was on the agenda. After the tour was over, we drove back to school and could sing there, in fun games, singing karaoke or even just nice talks, relax a little.
On Friday, the last actual working day, we drove in the morning together with the ferry to a small historic island. On it lies the UNESCO heritage "Suomenlinna". There, among other things, we looked at a nicely decorated museum and were astonished at a multimedia show about the history of Finland, the fortress we were on the island we were in, and much more. Arrived on the mainland again we formed a farewell circle where everyone was allowed to tell what he liked in the week or what maybe not. A very emotional moment in which some had to resist a tear or two. But farewell should not even be thought, because in the evening was followed by the big farewell party. An event organized from student to student, without a teacher. And with this one could the whole week, again in peace and still in a very good mood, review.
On our last day, on Saturday, it was so slow to say goodbye to our host families and guest students. While some of us were still packing our bags or staying in the city for a while, Philipp was in Finland for the last time to train. He and his exchange student happen to be both active in Taekwondo. One last shared lunch in the family and then it was already off to the airport. There we met our three traveling teachers and classmates. And then it was time to say goodbye, which was extremely difficult for us. After some initial problems on the plane we landed safely on German soil after about two hours. It did not take much longer, so we arrived at the meeting point in Köthen some time later. There, our parents were already waiting for us and received us very well with small, self-made presents. A wonderful time was over for us and at the latest now is the time to thank all teachers and parents sincerely, because without them all these Week would not have been possible for us.