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Maxime Pernal, exchange student in Sociology, France

I had finished my Bachelor’s degree at my home university before coming to Finland. I wanted to go to an exotic country where I could speak English but also learn another language at the same time. It’s been nice to learn Finnish – even though it’s hard. After the EILC course I attended Finnish for Foreigners 2, now I’m on course 3, and in the next semester I will attend Finnish for Foreigners 4.

"I like it here more than the bigger universities where people are always busy and running everywhere."

I like the University of Lapland. It’s very comfortable: it’s not too big but there’s enough space. It’s relaxing to study here. I like it here more than the bigger universities where people are always busy and running everywhere.

I would say that I study more here than in my home university because I’m more interested in what I’m studying. I like the fact that professors think that you are human – and not just a number. Professors are also flexible and it’s usually possible to write essays instead of book exams.

"I have a Finnish friend family that I wouldn’t have met without the Friend-Family Programme."

In my opinion Finnish people are always willing to help. Riding a bike in Rovaniemi is easy. It’s highly unlikely that someone would steal your bike even though you forget to lock it.

I have a Finnish friend family that I wouldn’t have met without the Friend-Family Programme. My family has a big house in the countryside and 12 horses. I’m happy I get a chance to spend a Finnish-style Christmas with them.