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Heading Off

Welcome to my blog! My name is Christina and I am a sophomore studying Sustainable Materials and Technology. This semester, I will be living and learning in Tampere, Finland and I invite you to join me electronically as I document my adventures here.

These past few weeks have been filled with packing, shopping for needed items, and repacking as I am trying to fit my entire life into only 1 suitcase. It has been crazy thinking about how much stuff I need for the semester. Every time I pack something, I keep thinking about whether I NEED or WANT to bring it along.

Finland is not a very common destination and you might be wondering why I chose to study there. Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) has multiple engineering majors that combined will make an excellent course selection for my Sustainable Materials and Technology degree.  I also wanted to choose a country that will be rich in culture and one that is not a typical American travel destination.

While everything is set to go for my adventures in Finland, it was not looking that way at the beginning of the summer. Weeks after applying for a passport renewal, I never received my passport. Many phone calls later and hours spent “holding” I discovered that my original passport and the renewal application were lost in the mail and were never received by the passport agency. I began panicking that I would never receive a passport in time and thought my dreams of studying abroad were about to be squashed. Thankfully, with the help of my parents and multiple others, I was able to send a new application and a couple weeks later my new passport came in the mail. Everything turned out fine, but the weirdest part is that my first application is still lost somewhere in the mail system.

Traveler’s Tip: 
The hardest part about packing was trying to fit all of my clothes into the suitcase. A family friend suggested using the zip-lock vacuum bags to compress my clothes. This was the best advice I could have received! Using a few of these bags made my clothes consume about half the space instead. This has allowed me to pack a couple more things that I was on the fence about!

Arrival Chaos – sometimes things don’t always go as planned, read more about Christina’s travels New

Adjustments, New Adventures – adjusting to Finland

Continuing My Adventures – more adventures and learning some Finnish

Traveling Tallinn (Sept 16-18) – Christina spends some time traveling with friends

International Cuisines –  Read about some of the food Christina encountered on her adventures

More Traveling – more on Christina’s experience