Hi! This week we have been at work three days, Monday, Tuesday and Friday. Wednesday was reformation day (religious holiday selebrated on 31.10 along side halloween’s Eve). And also Thursday was work free day because it was day of remembrance of the dead. on Tuesday we had a evaluation and that went very well. On Tuesday we saw our contact person Irena for the last time here and we talked about our time here and we gave her a votive, desinged by Alvar Aalto. On Wednesday we went to the Italian side to Gorizia. We visited Castello Di Gorizia, it’s old castle of Gorizia. It was really beautiful. We walked to the castle trough a nature trail. On Thursday we didn’t do nothing. The day was really rainy and all the shops were closed. Friday was our last day at work. We said goodbyes to our co-workers and they gave both of us one 1kg chocolate. On Wednesday weather was really good and sunny, but other days has been really rainy and windy. On Saturday we packed and we made check-in for our flights. We cleaned the room. On Sunday we packed the rest of our things and we left our room clean. We left to dormitory at 12:30 and that was the start of our trip back to finland. First we went by car to Venice airport. We flew from Venice to Germany. In Germany we waited for the next flight for about four hours. After that we flight to Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.
My second last week here was pretty awesome. I had so much fun with Henna, finnish boys and new friends from here. I had chance to be broud of being Finnish, good opportunity to spend awesome days with lovely people and to see the world on my own eyes. This week was full of smiling and laughing, sometimes just because I was too tired. In a good way.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were really warm, 20°c. And so sunny, felt like summer. Work days were mostly the same. We did some decorations for winter, because Christmas is coming and lot of gift boxes and christmas edition chocolate came to store.
The weather forecast promised bad weather during the weekend, so I changed my working day Wednesday to Saturday. And on Wednesday I went to Venice, once more. From Gorizia to Venice took 2 hours by train. That day was so beautiful and I loved it, I enjoyed good food and just walked around the old city and of course did some shopping.
At Thursday we went to the Economy school of Nova Gorica. We had the chance to get to know the educationsystem and go to couple of lessons. In first lesson one of the students kept a presentation about Slovenia and after that we showed some videos about Finland and talked the differences of our countries. They were really curious about Finnish language and they even wanted us to introduce ourselves in finnish. They also wanted to learn some finnish words. We had so much fun on that lesson. Also made some new friends. One of the students asked me that what is the biggest difference I’ve noticed here and the answer was pretty clear. People, they are so open minded, kind and curious persons and it shows where ever you go here. Second class was English. We talked also about Finland and Slovenia and watched videos. Third class was about business and they kept presentations about Slovenian deserts, music, companies, places to visit etc. It was interesting to listen. In that class I would’ve wanted to talk more, because students were so nice but time run out unfortunately.
Later in that day I went to Ljubljana with my friend Neža. Ljubljana was so amazing city to visit that I’m for sure coming back sometime! My other friend Mat is studying there so he joined us when we got there. It was nice to have my own mentors with me to tell and show me the city. We went to see Ljubljana castle, The Dragon bridge, Tivoli park and all the must see in the city. It was perfect time of the year, because there were no that much of tourist anymore and the weather was colder but not cold. Here in Slovenia the weather changes so quickly. Nova gorica to Ljubljana is one hour by car and in that time the weather gets more than 5°c colder, because of the mountains, hills and the sea side.
Rest of the week was more of chilling and resting, because the weather wasn’t that nice at the end of the week. Saturday I was at work and I noticed that it was so much more hectic at the weekends. But that’s about it. These two months were really excited, every day was different. I did lot of things I thought I would never do and I exceeded myself in so many ways that I can say that I’m broud of myself. Next week is our last week here and I have to say that I’m really going to miss this place and hopefully someday I see this city and my friends here again, but till then it’s goodbye.
Loves, Julia ❤️✨
I’m not sure am I excited or more stressed about going home after 3 weeks, already. It’s been nice here, I’ve really liked this country and also the weather, it’s been all week close to 25°c. Time flies by so fast and I know it’s going every day even faster. Work has been mostly same as earlier and I think that just now we’re starting to remember where in the store everything is and how it’s done. We’ve also seen and getting to know lot of different foods what there isn’t in Finland. One day we get to try traditional Slovenian desert called Potica. I liked the taste but Henna wasn’t that satisfied. One co-worker who had baby just while ago baked those to us when she stayed on maternity leave. It’s been really nice to have chat with Slovene people, about our cultures and everything. People here are so sweet. This week we are mostly chilled at our dorm and done other school work. But the walking paths here are so pretty, especially if you go to Italian side of the border.
This week here have been a few rainy days. Two boys from jyväskylä arrived here on tuesday, they also live in a dormitory and work in the same building as we do. At work we met nice customers. One old genteman also speak little finnish. We went to a grocery store on a friday night and came across a finnish family. We talked with them and they shared their own experiences in Slovenia. The told that they lived in Italy in Gorizia, which is just off the Slovenian-Italian border. They have moved to Gorizia in 2015 and in between they lived in Finland one year when their child was born, and then they went back to Gorizia.
This week was pretty good, finally got back to work and become feeling a lot better. Last week was indeed nothing special. My week started at Monday, 1pm by going to work. The reason why I get there later than normally was because me, my boss and other stuff went to another city, Tolmin. Henna couldn’t come because she was still sick unfortunately. We went to Tolmin do inventory to another Mercator. (Mercator is a Slovenian retail corporation. a.k.a our working place here in Nova Gorica) Tolmin was really small but beautiful place to visit. On our way there I saw Alps and the Soča river! Here in Nova Gorica Soča river is more green than it was in Tolmin. There it was more clear and blue, almost like crystal! There is no rivers like that in Finland.
Wensday Finnish teacher AP came to Slovenia and he came to meet us to our workplace. After we got back from work we decided to visit Sveta Gora with AP and Irena. In English Sveta Gora means Holy Mountain. At top of the hill there is a beautiful church and amazing view. You can see the Alps there as well as the Italian side all the way to the sea!
In the church there is a wall where people leave their crosses symboling their worries.
Driving down from the hill we had great view of the Nova Gorica.
Week at work went past really quickly and I learned couple of new things about their work system and I also learned to use scanner!
I’ve also helped out some customers. (who knows some English words) Customers are really curious when I told them that i don’t speak Slovenian. They usually ask where I’m from and what I’m going here and surprisingly many knows Finland or have even visited there!
Friday we went to Italian side of the border to Gorizia. This weekend there was a big international street food festival, which was amazing opportunity to get to know not just local food but food from other side of the world too! And the atmosphere there was amazing! We loved it so much that we went there also on Saturday night!
Saturday we went to Solkan, to see the Soča closer and to walk along the river.
As you can see the river here is more green.
Hope you had great week, I did!
Loves, Julia ❤️✨
The week has been sunny and warm. We have not done anything special in this week. Julia became sick at tuesday, so she was in dormitory until thursday and continue to work on friday. I got sick at thursday night and i’m still sick. On saturday was the first chilly day there. Now there is 12-20 degree celsius and it’s raining sometimes.
Fist week in Slovenia, Nova Gorica is been really nice and of course pretty new too. We arrived here last Saturday – Sunday night, 9th of September. First we flight from Helsinki to Frankfurt and there we switched to another plane to Venice. When we arrived to Venice our driver Tomaž picked us up from the airport and drove us to Slovenia, to our dorm.
When we arrived to the dorm, it was past might night and we were so tired. But unfortunately we didn’t get our own room then, because only person at the time in the dorm was security guard who didn’t know that we were coming, so she gave us a random room and said that we should come switch the rooms first thing in the morning. So we got up at 7am and went to reservation but we ended up switching to our own room way later that day. In Sunday we discovered the town and find out that everything is so close to our dorm. And of course let’s not forget that you can walk to the Italian border from our dorm, that close we are.
First week at work was nice, people here are so nice even if they don’t speak good english! Mostly we were just learning how things are done here. Monday we made inventory and later on that week we worked on lot of departments and learned lot of things and got to know people were working with. On Thursday was my 18th birthday and I was so surprised when we were called to come to the break room and all staffs started singing to me and they even had birthday cake with candles on it. The cake was by the way so good. Our work days starts at 7.30 and usually we’re walking there cause its close and in mornings weather it’s nice and cool.
The weather is been super hot here, everyday it’s been close to +30 degrees. I also had opportunity to go to Duino, Italy. It’s nearest place to go to see sea and of course to swim! It was so beautiful and the water was so clean, I loved it. The car ride to there lasted just about 30 minutes, so it wasn’t that far away.
Because the week was after all pretty hectic and everything was new, this weekend we are just chilling and resting for the next week.
Loves, Julia ❤️✨
I left 2 months ago to take upon a new journey which life had put in front of me, and I can still remember the excitement and the sadness I was feeling. I remember how I cried leaving my husband behind, but I also remember the feeling of strength I had for going towards the unknown all by myself. And here I am, feeling those same feelings yet again, feeling sadness that this journey has come to its end but so, so excited to go back home to the arms of my husband and the warmth of my furry children. I must say that in overall I have enjoyed my time here, people have been good to me.
What was it that I came here to do, well, I worked in Chichester College in the Business department and I was working closely with the Admin Assistant and I got the chance to see what her job entitled. First weeks I was walking on eggshells just to get my bearings on things, didn’t really know people, didn’t really know what was happening and how this office here worked, what was it’s purpose etc. Day by day, everything just started to clear, at least a bit. I got my own desk where to work and just that made me feel more like I belonged here, having a desk where to come every morning. Little by little, I got to know the people I was working with and I started to remember people’s faces and their names. There are still people on the department that I don’t know, we have 4 office rooms here where people are working so I’ve grown custom of the office that I’m in. My office is filled with crazy people (meaning it as a good thing) and one Irish who is the whole office’s sweets guy. People would literally come to this office and ask if he would have something to eat and if he weren’t at his desk people would help themselves to his drawers. This person is sitting right behind me so he is always offering snacks to me. Their sense of humour is just fantastic and I must say that I have had fun in this office, but it’s home time for me. (A little private joke we used whenever we felt tired).
I have done a lot of archiving, photocopying, scanning, sending emails, and learned how to post mail here. I have also done of my share of answering phone calls and did a bit of research via phone. I have mastered skills on spreadsheets, updating, creating, making formulas etc. I have sold books to students, I have been typing letters and mailing them, using word mail merge. I have done a bit of inventory, splitting PDF files. I also helped a student in her mock exam, by reading it to her out loud. Therefore, I think I have learned a lot and many different things. I have had proper professional training and have gotten the support of my colleagues, and learned the office life in the UK. I must say that I have not really worked in an office before, so I do not know how it is in Finland, but I am pretty sure it would be similar to this; hard working people with good sense of humour and coffee (well, mostly tea here). I just think in overall this school cares for it’s students and want them to succeed as well as in their studies as in life in general.
I have been in the workforce for many, many years so I think I really have not changed in that regard; I know how the world works in working life, and I still consider myself a trustworthy, diligent and conscientious worker. If I had done this work experience in Finland, it would have been easier, but only because we would have shared the same language, but besides that, I believe I have managed well. I am sure my English skills have improved while being here, and I am writing English better than before, because I’m writing the blog every week in English, plus of course I have to write at work also. My listening comprehension skills have improved; I understand the conversations around me but I could very easily just phase it out and then it would just be a noise in the background. Speaking of my verbal skills, I’m still very harsh on myself and I think I could do better, it isn’t as natural as I would wish it to be and I believe that would correct itself if I would stay here.
However, how could I stay? If my husband would pack our dogs and fly here with me! We would get a nice little cottage of our own and we would name it the Lynx Cottage. Many people here have named their houses and you could see the sign outside their homes, the house where I’m staying is called the Clayton Cottage. You don’t have to name your house, it’s not mandatory, but many people do. We would have a nice home, with fence that would go all around it, so that the dogs could run freely in the yard and we would have garden there and a palm tree! We would take nice strolls outside on the public footpaths that go through the fields and our dogs could run freely there as well. We would have different coloured door, something bright, inviting, and black frames on an otherwise white layout. We would have a fireplace because it gets so damn cold in here sometimes and we would have hot water bottles at night. We would have a gas stove and a washing machine in the kitchen. We would have to get a car and learn how to drive on the other side of the road so that we could pick up our friends at the airport who would come and visit us. We would enjoy the very interesting and incalculable British weather and we would not miss the snow in Finland, if we would, we could always visit. We would learn to be more polite and we would get drinks in the pub with the locals and share stories. The airport would be a short train ride away and we would have better options to fly elsewhere for holidays. Yes, I could see the life I would have here…
I do miss home though, I miss my car, I miss driving my car and singing to a country song out loud. I miss my home, I miss my hobbies, and I miss my sisters, my mum and dad, my friends. I miss sauna, (I’m going straight there when I come home), I miss salmiakki and Finnish candy in general and not just the candy itself, the opportunity that I would be able to get it whenever I wanted. I miss the familiarity of my surroundings back home. I even miss those crazy sounds our neighbours make. I miss my husband’s cooking and his jokes. I miss the constant attention of my dogs, when they are all around my feet and following me everywhere, I miss the smell of their paws.
I must say being here for those two months, I have seen a lot. Not just Chichester, but I also saw Brighton, Arundel, Portsmouth, Isle of Wight and London on my journey here. I have seen a castle, I have seen beautiful sceneries, and I have seen old buildings and ruins. Actually, where I’m staying, right across from it is this 2000 year old ruin, called Fishbourne Roman Palace and it’s the largest Roman ruins in UK and on my last Sunday here, I finally went to see it. I must say even though it was nothing more than old mosaic floors I can imagined how it once stood there. In addition, if I would be living here I would be rather proud of those old historic ruins because that is something I’ll never get to have in Finland.
Today’s my last day in the office and I spent last evening baking Finnish Pulla, and I think I did alright with the ingredients I had, I couldn’t find ground cardamom, so that’s what they are lacking. I also had a wee problem with the baking sheets, because the Pullas got stuck on it which is weird, because I bought the paper just to prevent that from happening. People seem to enjoy them and that’s what matters.
I just want to thank everyone involved in my exchange journey, in here in Chichester and in my school in Jämsä. I want to thank the patience of my teachers who answered calmly in every of my constant questions, before, during and after this trip. I’m also so grateful for the people in here who were patience as well and so, so nice and I will cherish each and every one of them for the rest of my life. I just can’t believe that I got the chance to have this opportunity at all. I have always considered myself someone who was born in the wrong country but I think I might be true Finn after all.
But now it has come the time to go where my heart is. Home.
Had a heat stroke on last weekend, yep, not that awesome. I did a little walk to the nearest town which was about 5 km away from me and I knew they had this craft’s store that I wanted to see and also it was on the coast. Weather was nice, sun was shining and I walked listening to the soundtrack of the Greatest Showman and life was good. I popped in the Bosham walk which was a shop that was selling all the local crafts goods and I just walked there a bit. Then I walked in their “marina”, sat down to eat my lunch enjoying the view and people watching. well it was more dog watching really, there are lot of labradoodles here and I’m alert for corgis (which I haven’t seen yet?!? Royal Corgis as they are) and any bulldogs. They have quite few French bulldogs here as well as Staffordshire Bull Terriers, if I have recognized the breed properly. After my lunch I popped into a pub and on the way there I saw these 2 kids trying to get a dog into this little stream because the dog was very muddy for running down the low tide. Well let me tell you, the dog wasn’t really that into going to bathe so I offered them my help and dragged the dog into the water. It was fun and again made me homesick. I had some ice-cream on my way back and I also popped into this other pub where I met a lovely old lady who was a widower. I had a nice talk with her and even though being homesick and ready to go home I was happy and glad that I got to know her. Isn’t this what all this I about, to meet new people, learn their cultures and everyday life even though you might never see them again. She invited me to see her again next Saturday and I might even go if I have time. After that I walked back home, I had plenty of water but only thing I was lacking was a hat. I usually have a hat or a scarf on my head on my holidays where I know it’s hot and sunny, I just really think to pack a hat with me. When I got home I was feeling ok, but then at some point I got an awful headache and I could feel my skin burning hot. Whenever I would get up I felt dizzy and I couldn’t see properly and was feeling very sick. So not fun at all, I had plans to go to the beach on Sunday but I decided to skip it. People remember to wear a hat when the sun is up!! No kidding, it was horrible experience.
Started my last whole week in the office with light spirit and I’m planning my upcoming summer holiday, I have to say I still haven’t been to Kingley Vale and it might be that I won’t go at all. I know I really wanted to go there and I still do, but all the times we were discussing to go with my host lady the weather wasn’t on our side and then we just didn’t have the time and so on, because you would have to drive there and buses really don’t go there or it’s rather difficult and I must say I’m running out of time. I know I could just decide and go, but I’m kind of getting the feeling that I would like to leave it and do it when I would come back and have a reason to come back and do it. Does that sound stupid? I have done this before with my husband, we left a couple of things in Vegas undone just so that we would have a reason to go back.
This is my second last blog that I’m writing and I have a feeling the last one will be long one, so be prepared for that one. Until next time.