I am Gesine and in the autumn semester I was joining Florakören – one of the best experience during my exchange in Finland!
I come from the beautiful city Dresden in Germany and I am studying to become a primary school teacher. Although I never visited a Nordic Country before, I was always interested in the nature, architecture and culture. So I was more than happy about the opportunity to study at Åbo Akademi for one semester!
My exchange in Finland was great! I never experienced such a quite and calm nature, I ate tons of Kanelbullar (thanks to Heini for the recipe!), went to the sauna, took many ferries and met amazing people. We were so lucky to experience the beginning of the winter in December!
Since I was seven years old I have sung in different choirs and always loved the atmosphere, so I was looking for a choir in Åbo too. I was so happy to be able to join, also because my Swedish is not the best.
The choir life was wonderful. I got to know amazing and welcoming people. At the Nybörjahelgen I learned many new songs and experienced my first choir sitz. The songs of the songbook are still in my spotify playlist when I walk to university and I am continuously humming ”Helan går”.
The weekly rehearsals were great! It was the first time for me singing in a not-mixed choir but I liked it really much. In November I was able to join the TV production for the Svenska Dagen and I still know the words by heart! It took Johanna, the other German girl and me a long time to learn the modersmålets sång.
And then Christmas time started with our trip to Åland. The concert in the small stone church was so wonderful and since we were so close to the public, we could really see their emotions. The two concerts in the cathedral of Turku were my special highlights. I still remember the feeling walking and singing with the candle in my hand into the dark church. That was my Christmas moment of the year. After that, I experienced the wonderful Christmas party and had Finnish Christmas food for the first time in my life.
Unfortunately the Tomtefest was already my last choir event. It was so funny to dance around the Christmas tree in front of the cathedral. The traditions of the choir is one thing I really gonna miss back home!
Singing in the Florakören made my exchange in Finland amazing and I am so thankful for this experience! I hope I can see everyone again some day!