(Posted July 2011)
Anyway, I’ve been here for a couple weeks now settling in, taking care of practical matters, paying bills, etc. I haven’t been overwhelmed nor bored. A nice balance. I couldn’t imagine what it might be like to do all this if I were to arrive right before the beginning of classes. Right now lines are short and the general atmosphere is relaxed.
Stopped by Kierratyskeskus this afternoon, the “Helsinki Metropolitan Area Reuse Centre.” To pick out and reserve some furniture. Most of the goods found here are in pretty decent condition. Apart from the reasonable prices, students get a 20% discount. Friday it should all be delivered so I can move into my new place. My flatmate was a big help with the cleanup; the apartment is looking quite nice.
From the university we have already received our first assignment. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much time to properly sit down and look at it. I did stop by the university about a week ago to turn in my registration paperwork. After what it took to get the papers in Chile, I didn’t trust the postal system to deliver these, had to do it myself. The campus is spectacular, all in a modern design.
One aspect I have often been disappointed with in Scandinavia, which still holds true, is the speed of public transportation. If you ever visit a Latin american country, you’ll see the difference. It does depend where you are heading, but biking is generally faster throughout the Helsinki area. I did pick up a city transport card, but until I get my address registered and student registration information ready, prices are still on the high side.
Next week my intensive Finnish language course begins, should be fluent by the end of the month ;]