Hi, my name is Deborah and this year I got the opportunity to participate in the STEP program, a Short Time Exchange Program of Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University and Centria University in Kokkola, Finland. It was a great chance to gain international experience already at the beginning of my studies.
After an intercultural training and some online meetings, eight German students set off for a week in wintry Finland at the end of March. There we lived together with eight Finnish students, who introduced us to the Finnish culture, their way of living and the Finnish cuisine. On various excursions we were able to pet reindeers, go snowshoeing, and walk on the frozen sea. Centria University also organized various company presentations for us, such as an exciting presentation by the largest transportation company in Finland. Another important part of the exchange was ending the day together in the sauna.
At the beginning of September, the Finnish students visited us in Bad Mergentheim. We made many excursions with them, for example to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, to the Mercedes Benz Museum in Stuttgart or to the Herbsthäuser Brewery. In this way, we were also able to show the Finish students something of German culture and our region as part of this cultural exchange. The Finns were particularly enthusiastic about German beer and traditional southern German cuisine such as Käsespätzle and Maultaschen.