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August 8, 2020
 

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15 minutes with Anni from Finland

"My primary goal is to finish my education, and then I hope I’ll find something to my heart that makes me happy"

Pardon our recent distracation. The Icon has a couple  15-minute interviews with ONU international students that we've not had a chance to post. Our intern, Liza Dyachuk, from Russia, conducted these in early March. We hope these students are able to continue to communicate with their family and we hope everyone is well.

Interview by Liza Dyachuk

Anni Miettinen
Finnish student
Senior at ONU,business major  

Icon: How did you hear about ONU?
Anni: My home university and ONU are partners, so I got to know about ONU from my university back home. 

Icon: What city did you grow up in? What is its population?
Anni:
Joensuu, 76 905 people.

Icon: Tell us about your family. 
Anni:
My mother is a teacher, and my father is an engineer. My parents are very supportive and were glad for me when I told them about the opportunity to study in the USA. But of course, their first reaction was a shock. 

Icon: How do you communicate with your family while in the U.S.?
Anni
: I use WhatsApp. I talk to my mom every single day, using this app. 

Icon: What do you hope to do with your degree?
Anni:
I’ve never known what I want to be when I grow up, even when I was a child. But I think that my degree gives me a lot of options to choose from. My primary goal is to finish my education, and then I hope I’ll find something to my heart that makes me happy.

Icon: Do you intend to continue your education with a master’s and beyond?
Anni:
I want to get the master’s degree. In Finland, we get our bachelor’s degree in three years and automatically continue the education with the master’s. 

Icon: How many languages do you speak?
Anni:
Finnish, English and a little Swedish. It’s mandatory for us to learn Swedish in Finland. 

Icon: What other countries in the world have you visited?
Anni:
Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Turkey.

Icon: What is the biggest culture shock you experienced when arriving at ONU?
Anni:
Probably, the small talk culture. We don’t have it Finland, I just can’t get used to it. People are actually so nice, so friendly and good, but they small talk a lot.

Also it’s been weird for me to see that students get around everywhere using cars, even to the Community Market, which is a mile away from campus. One time I was going to the market and three people, whom I know, stopped to ask whether I need a ride. And I love to see their surprised faces again and again, kinda “Why? It’s so far away!”

Icon: What’s the biggest surprise you’ve discovered about the United States?
Anni:
Actually, health care system. I was really surprised with the amount of money people pay even having insurances. Back home, our health care system is free, and we get a great treatment in spite of that, so I’m really proud of my country.  

Icon: Do you homesick? What do you miss the most from home?  
Anni:
I’m not that type of person, but I definitely miss my friends and family sometimes. I love to travel and see the world so I’m enjoying myself here, having this opportunity. 

Icon: Is there somewhere in the United States that you hope to visit?
Anni:
New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Las Vegas which I hope to get to visit while I’m in the states. 

Icon: What food do you miss from home? 
Anni:
Salmiakki-salty liquorice, it’s a traditional Finnish candy. I absolutely love it! Other than that, I usually cook all types of food like Asian or Italian. 

Icon: How do you like the weather in Ohio?
Anni:
Well, it’s very unpredictable! The weather changes so quickly, and you never know what to expect. Maybe, because I’m from Finland, I’m not so shocked with the cold. However, despite my origin, I’m not a huge winter-lover. 

Icon: What has been your favorite experience so far?
Anni:
It’s really hard to pick only one thing, but I remember when we just got here, on the first week one of our orientation leaders, Jeff, invited us to his home. It was a great experience to have a dinner and spend evening with all his family. Jeff’s wife is such a good cook, they gave us a very warm and welcoming feeling, fully immersing us in American culture. 

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