Being an international student from Vietnam, my journey in Finland has been nothing short of transformative, especially in terms of my connection with nature. Growing up in a beautiful beach city in Vietnam, I always felt a deep connection for the natural world. However, it wasn’t until I arrived in Finland that I truly understood the healing power of the nature. Finland, often known as “the country of a thousand lakes”, lives up to its reputation. From Tampere to Helsinki, Lapland to Turku, every city I’ve explored is “built in nature”, whether located beside a serene lake or by the breathtaking sea.

In my opinion, the relationship between Finns and their natural surroundings contributes to their remarkable peacefulness and warmth. Much like the calming presence of a lake, Finnish people hold a sense of peace and hospitality that can be spread to other people around them. One memorable event stands out from my early days as a student. Struggling with the unfamiliar academic rigors, a Finnish friend took me on a stroll through a nearby forest and told me to hug a big tree by the lakeside. As I leaned onto its sturdy embrace, a wave of comfort and calmness ran all over me, easing the stresses and burdens of my mind and relaxing every fiber of my being.

That experience marked the beginning of my much appreciation for Finland nature’s healing embrace. Since then, I’ve even made it a priority to seek accommodation with a view of forests or lakes, as even a glimpse of their beauty can soothe my soul. Finland has become like a safe place for me and being here surrounded by their nature’s wonders makes me feel better when I’m stressed with student life and have more courage for my future plan. Looking back, I’m thankful for all the things I’ve learned while enjoying Finland’s beautiful scenery. I really hope others can get to experience this magical place too!

The blog post is written by Phuong Leng from Vietnam. Phuong is studying at TAMK.