Many exchange students from Schools of Wellbeing, Bioeconomy as well as Entrepreneurship and Business joined the fun, too, as did exchange students from Kauriala high school. So, on one early winter Sunday morning, thirty exchange students from seven different degree programmes arrived to Hakio Ice Sports Centre in Hämeenlinna. For the majority of the students, this would be the first time ever on ice. Equally exotic was to see ice inside a building.
It took a while to find right-sized woolen socks, skates and helmets for the first lot, and then it was time to test whether a hockey career would be an idea. There has probably never been so much excitement, liveliness and different languages spoken at Hakio as that morning.
Skating is fun! Skating is difficult! Skating is lovely! carried from the ice. And that's how it looked to the service team.
After two hours of intensive skating, even the most eager skaters were ready for lunch. It was time to head to nearby Lake Ahvenisto, where a Finnish outdoor lunch – grilled sausages, Carelian pies plus coffee with blueberry pie – was served by open fire at the grill hut. Nor smoke from the fire, nor a freezing breeze from the lake ruined the experience, they just made it even more Finnish in an exotic kind of a way. Besides, it was very cozy to make new friends and celebrate an idle Sunday in the warmth of the gentle flames.
The get-together was a part of the Finnish Language and Culture course, which is open for all exchange students at HAMK. It is organized each year by HAMK School of Technology.
Text, photo and video: Kaisa Puhakka