About Finland

This blog also contains posts written while I was studying abroad in Finland at Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, School of Agriculture and Forestry (SeAMK).  Myself and four other Cal Poly students lived on the farm in the town of Ilmajoki next to the campus of SeMaK that focuses on Agriculture and Forestry August through November of 2012.

The five Cal Poly study abroad students in front of the Runeberg statue in Helsinki.

Many Finnish people immigrated to Northern California and Oregon because the climate and job opportunities were similar to Finland. Many Finnish people started working at canneries, mills and logging camps.  While I am from Northern California and from a long time logging family I am not Finnish, my ancestors were German immigrants who eventually chose Northern California for the same reasons.

Why Finland?

Before traveling to Finland I was asked many times “Why Finland?”

That answer is easy once arriving and finding that this absolutely beautiful country is filled with kind, hospitable people. Perhaps the fact that Finland is not a metropolis for tourists adds a pristine aspect to this tip for me.  The small town farm aspect gets us into the real grit of finish culture, agri-culture.

Ships in the Helsinki harbor

This study abroad program was created because of a link between Cal Poly and SeAMK. The Department Head for Cal Poly’s Natural Resource Management and Environmental Science has ancestors who were critical in the war effort for Finish Independence. The family of the Dean Forestry and Agriculture Studies at SeAMK has farmed in the town called Kouvola, in Southern Finland for thirteen generations.

This farm has been worked by his family for thirteen generations

Thirteen generations seems like a very long time compared to my family that has been working on the same Humboldt County, California forests for 4 generations. Living in Finland really puts in perspective the aspect of a homeland. An important aspect of Finnish culture is that the People in Finland have fought for many years for the independence from Russia.  That was one of the first lessons I have learned while in Finland.

Barley growing in the Dean’s field

I am appreciative of this opportunity to see a different culture and way of life. Read the Finland posts on this blog or follow this link http://loggersdaughterfinland.wordpress.com/.

Thank you for reading.

xoxo

Val

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