As part of my continuing photographic education I have decided to undergo a study year in Rovaniemi, Finland. I will be studying Fine Art and Cultural studies at the University of Lapland, which I am so excited to do! 

The planning and preparation was very stressful as I didn't have much time from finding out I was accepted. Nevertheless, I raided Go Outdoors and Tresspass to buy appropriate clothing for the coming arctic winter (which was very expensive). From research into living in Finland I realised I would need to buy vitamin D tablets to help with the lack of light in December and January. I researched into the Finnish language which looks impossible to learn, to get some basic phrases under my belt as I had spent 10 weeks learning Swedish at Coventry University when I thought I was going to Karlstad in Sweden. 

The first day of moving here was very surreal; landing in an airport that stated in huge letters 'The Official Home of Santa Claus' was an interesting touch. The journey from the airport to my student accommodation was filled with green trees everywhere (so beautiful). I realised that I would be living in a very naturalistic area with not much city life compared to what I was used to.

My accommodation was very under-whelming to say the least, which instantly made me homesick, and left me with the terrifying thought of 'I am actually stuck here for a year'. But this quickly changed when I was aware of the Finnish second-hand shops (which are a really big deal here) and knew I could begin decorating soon.

My first couple of days here was exploring my area, which was trees, more trees, oh and a supermarket. I hiked with my friends who are on Erasmus with me; they are Lucy and Charlotte (I will introduce them now as they will be a big part of my life here).

I am very keen to start at the University, as the modules are very interesting. I also need to buy a bike, as the town and University are quite a long walking distance.