I love Turku!

I became the happiest girl in the world when I got to visit my old university town of Turku, Finland!

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Turku is a beautiful city located on the coast in Western Finland. Turku is the previous capital of Finland so you can bet it’s filled with history, culture, and classic architecture.

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Before studying medicine, I was just like every other college kid and spent a nice portion of my 20s in a physics lab in Turku University college of Math and Science. I truly loved studying in Turku. The University was academically profound (everyone is well aware of Finlands degree of excellence in the sciences, right? Ok good, just making sure 😉 ) The state of the art facilities and quiet studious libraries made studying enjoyable. The professors were kind and easily approachable, offering help well after office hours. I liked that as soon as we entered the university, we were set up with an orientation group. Each group had a mentor from the same program from whom you could ask questions. I never felt ‘lost’ or confused starting my studies there because there was always such an incredible support system.

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Future physicists making the world proud 😉 The above photo was taken in 2009 from a math and sciences winter cruise. Trust me, it wasn’t as dorky as it sounds (ok it maybe it was) but it was a lot of fun! 🙂

Turku is the perfect place for a budget conscious student as everything is in biking or walking distance. I lived in the student village so I was always surrounded by other students. Best case scenario: my best friend lived right beneath me! 🙂

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Unarguably my time in Turku was made enjoyable by one of my favorite forms of art: choir music.

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Before I moved to Turku I lived one year in Helsinki where I was deprived and void of all my dancing and singing hobbies. So you can bet I searched for a choir the day I got to Turku! Luckily, I found one immediately: Turku Univeristy Choir . I signed up for auditions immediately and couldn’t wait for my audition. I counted the days until my audition and donated earplugs to my neighbors while I rehearsed in my apartment. Waiting for the final list of new choir members on the door of the music hall was a nerve-wracking two days. I ran down between each class and lab practice to see if I’d made the cut. I remember seeing my name under ‘First Soprano’ and being so elated I could barely focus in my next class.

I was in!

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Thanks to this choir I have made some of my proudest performances, happiest memories, and lifelong friendships. I just remember laughing a lot with these people, and being so happy and proud to be able to sing with such talented musicians.

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We’ve traveled the world

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Represented Finland in competitions

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…with albeit broken flags…  not important…

Entertained at events and holidays

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Broke out in song on the street

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And created acapella rock quartets!

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And had entertaining “singing camps” on boats and at cabins!

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One of the most treasured friendships I’ve made was with my mentor, my idol, my big sister, Heidi. That’s Dr. Heidi to all of you 😉

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She had a beautiful baby girl Spring 2012 and I was thrilled to be asked to be her godmother! She’s a pretty smart and cute little peanut.

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Also in Turku resides my best friend, Katrin. Whom I can call my twin (do we really look that alike?), sister, soul mate! Seeing Katrin is like a burst of fresh, humorous air that reminds me how friendship keeps the earth spinning.

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Turku is a gastronomical paradise, filled with interesting restaurants for every budget. Katrin recently graduated medical school, so I quietly reminded her I’m damn broke, I mean, poor, so we headed to a Fontana Café.

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And what a treat that was! I got a chicken ceaser panini while Kat2 got a goat cheese salad. Both were phenomenal! We sat outside in the sun and the atmosphere was top notch. What a treat!

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Naturally, dinner is followed by dessert, which in the case of Finnish summer is ice-cream. Some of us have better luck with that than others.

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Since Turku is famous for it’s riverside (‘Jokiranta’), Katrin and I sat on the grass enjoying our ice-cream and talking about life, love and everything in between.

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One of the hardest parts of studying abroad is being separated from your closest friends and family. But one thing is for sure, I will treasure these friends and memories forever! Love your family. 

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Thanks to the lovely Anna for graciously taking and sharing some of these photos for the blog! 🙂

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