2 minute read

At 8 am on Monday morning, I opened my e-mail to find a message from my advisor who was at a conference in Hungary. The e-mail read “I assume you received the good news from several sources, but I wanted also to congratulate you.” This was, however, the first I heard of it. The first I heard that my application had been reviewed and accepted. The first I heard that I was going to Finland for four months!

I will be studying at Åbo Akademi in Turku, Finland with some of the best professors in my field (solid contact ion-selective electrodes). For over a year, my advisor and I had talked about the possibility of me studying at this university but very little actually happened. I continued my research here and defended my Master’s at the end of April. Soon after, we heard from a professor at this university that they were beginning to accept applications for the scholarship. After reading a lot of scholarly articles published by this group and many others and multiple research proposal drafts later, I was ready to hand in my application.

It just so happened that two days after I handed in my application, both my advisors would be at the same conference in Hungary as the professor from Åbo Akademi who would have a lot of say in the possible acceptance of my application. To my surprise, the application was quickly reviewed because a short 4 days after I submitted the materials, I received the good news!

So now what?! There are a million and a half things running through my head right now. I’m so thrilled to be going but it seems strange - after a whole year of talking about the possibility of me studying abroad, it’s now true. I am officially going. I have to buy a plane ticket, find a place to live, find a storage unit for my things here (and my car), set up a new phone plan, make sure all is well with my credit card company and insurance, ahhhhh!! Not to mention that I struggle packing when I visit my parents at Christmas for two weeks…will it even be possible for me to pack for four whole months?! (I literally can’t)

So much to do but what a great experience and opportunity that I have so much to panic over. I really believe that it will be an amazing experience and I hope that I make the most of every possible minute. I’m extremely lucky that almost everyone in Turku speaks English. I will, however, try to learn some Finnish because why not?! As of now, I know one word - Kippis - it means “cheers”. I think that’s a pretty good start.

My brother (sjarvis - my co-blogger) had mentioned that I should start blogging a while back. I can now appreciate how that will help me to share my experiences while in Finland. All those that read my blog (hi Steve) can follow me on this new journey.

Stay tuned.

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