European class English Math (2de 7) at Turku (Finland) : April 2016

update Saturday 10 pm

The arrival on Monday (18/04/16) early in the morning.


Student A

Today, I woke up at 7.30 to be at school at 9.

First, I went to an art class. After we had a fifteen minutes’ break. During this break, we go outside with our partner. Then, the headmaster of the school welcomed us with a buffet !!

Afterwards, we visited the town center : it was very interesting because we saw the church, the market place, the oldest street of the city and the river…we learnt that in Turku there was a big fire which destroyed the city.

After lunch, we went downtown to go shopping and we did a laser game with lots of Finnish penfriends.

Student B

It’s our first day in Finland. The weather is not as cold as I thought and the school is big. We visited it and we saw some stuffed animals in a room - a fox, an eagle, an owl, etc.. I had never seen stuffed animals in a school !

There are cooking lessons too.We ate at 11 a.m. - the food was not exceptional .. We visited Turku - it’s the oldest city in Finland and it was the capital for a long time. There was a big fire in 1827 and people had to leave the city and go to Helsinki - the new capital.

Student C

Today, I woke up in my Finnish family. I ate breakfast and I tasted traditional Finnish cheese.

I was at school at 10 am and I went to the hall where the principal and the headmaster welcomed us with a speech. In the morning, we went to visit classes like architecture or cooking classes. We also saw a room where stuffed birds were standing in a showcase, and where a little chick was growing up in a cage. What a creepy room ! Finally, we visited the cafeteria where we took our lunch a few minutes after with our Finnish friends. It was a really small restaurant but there were seats for everybody. We ate cucumbers, carrots, potatoes and meat in sauce. It did not taste quite good. I also tried the Finnish brown bread but I didn’t like it, I found it too sweet. There wasn’t a lot of food to eat but it was enough.

After eating, our Finnish friends went to their classes and we went to visit Turku with a guide. We’ve been to the market square, to the library bridge, to the library and to Turku Cathedral, the most important church of Finland. She told us also how Turku was built, why was it called « Turku », how the Finland language was created, and how Helsinki became the capital of Finland instead of Turku. We also listened to stories about a certain queen who lies in a coffin in the church, and how navigators used to make a replica of their own ship to thank people at the church for praying for him.

After the tour, we went back to school to meet our friends and then, Petra, Kaisa, Ella, Juliette, Coraline and I went to Hesburger to eat some food. We also went to shops in a mall and ate an ice cream. Afterwards Ella took me too her cheerleading practice where I stayed to watch them. It was the first cheerleading show I had ever seen, I thought it was very impressive and beautiful !

When we got home at 8:30 pm, we had dinner and I ate salmon sandwiches, salad, potatoes and grilled lamb ribs, and for the dessert, I ate blueberries pie with vanilla ice cream.

Student D

A First Day in Turku .I am not alone in my family, I am with a friend. We woke up very early to leave the home of our correspondant at 8:15 am. At breakfast I discovered new types of very tasty bread.The trip in car to the highschool lasts 25 minutes.

Firstly I was in a class of sociology with four other french students for one hour. I was really surprised because the pupils can use their cellphones, an they can listen to music or other things in front of the teacher ; not like in France.

After we met the two headmasters of the school for a presentation to welcome us and thank us for the week in France. Some Finnish correspondents organised another little breakfast.

Then we had got a visit of the school in little groups. They have some very interesting classes like cooking.

We went to lunch and we discovered the « special food » of the self.

At the beginning of the afternoon we went in the center of Turku for a visit of the city with a guide. So we went in the tourist office. The guide took us to different places ; on a bridge to talk about the river and the story of Turku. We saw the big place of the city and the cathedral. She told us many times about the big fire of the city in 1827 and we saw the library.

After returning to school, we returned with the correspondent to do shopping a shopping center. At the end of the afternoon,we walked in the forest and in front of the sea near the home. 


Student E

During this day, we did a lot of things.

First we took the bus to go to the coast in the archipelago. Then we went to a museum about the archipelago and its ecosystem.. There are 40 000 islands in the archipelago but all of them are not protected by the government because it’s very too vast and so it is very hard to do that. So a limit was created to keep the natural aspects of the islands for some of them. In these islands we can see a lot of animals like eagles and seals. When you are in this area you have to be careful because it’s the territory of the animals.

After that we took the bus and the ferry to go to an another island. We ate on the boat because we had 30 min for that. The bus brought us to a Viking village in the forest. In this village a film explained the vikings’ legends and how Afterwards we played at five little games like axe throwing, archery, javelin throwing. There were two teams and the team called Foxes won the game.

Then we took another little ship to go to a very beautiful place where we had some cakes and drinks. It was a cafe called Farmors Café. After this we took the bus to leave this beautiful archipelago !

Student F

We left the school at 8.30am, so we had to wake up really early, like 6 a.m. Then a bus brought us to the Archipelago. We saw a film : « The Child of the Ice Age ». As the film shows, there is a rich flora and fauna protected in a natural park of islands. There is only one Finnish school in this Archipelago (Utö), and this year a few pupils study there , unlike last year where there was just one student in this little school.In the same building, there was a little museum.

Then, we continued our little expedition to a Viking village and after a brief introduction about the Vikings, their way of thinking and their religion we played traditional Viking games. We divided the group in two teams : Foxes and Hodor (Yes, Hodor. I proposed this name because it’s a funny character in a series and I imagine that Vikings looked like him.)So, we threw axes, did archery, walked with stilts (I was under pressure because it was the final match of the games,… we finally lost. But we won the tug-of-war so we can be proud of ourselves cause it was the toughest.

Next, we left the Viking’s island for a new island where we aye in a pretty coffee shop. I discovered a passion for the carrot cakes. They were really good like all the dishes in this little place.It was a great and sunny day, not as cold as I had thought.

Student G

So this is what happened on tuesday, 19th April to the 2nde7 : At the beginning of the day we took a bus to the archipelago of Turku. After one hour and a half we finally arrived in Rosala information center. There a woman explained to us how was the people and the animals lived in this place full of different islands. Then she invited us to visit the exhibition that was really about the different forms of life in this archipelago.

After this, we took the ferry (with the bus on it) we were brouht on an another island ! This island was in fact hiding a Viking village that we visited. The man who was working there talked about Viking mythology and then we were separated into two teams that were fighting in some Vikings games. Examples ? Well I don’t want to scare you but it was axe throwing, archery,spear throwing etc…

After that beautiful time we went to a place called Farmors cafe. There, surprisingly, a woman welcomed us very nicely and said « take whatever you want ». As you can guess your humble slave who is writing those lines obeyed obligingly. I have to admit that in my opinion it is one of the nicest thing I’ve ever eaten (I think I’m not the only one). Then we finally got home after this magnificent day.

Student H

Today, we visited the Archipelago . We left the school at 8.30 in a coach, we took the boat and we arrived at a documentation center dedicated to the archipelago, and the natural reserve. We saw a short movie and the guide told us a little presentation of her center , and some anecdotes : The Finlande comprise nearly 40 000 islands. Then we visited the center.

Thirty minutes later we left the center, we took the bus and the boat, we ate our picnic and we went to a viking village. We saw a little movie, played some vikings games. It was very funny ! 

Then the group went to a coffee shop. The food was very good and the shop was so cute ! It was a buffet. 

And we took a lot of pictures. After this great day,we returned to Turku in our families.

Student I


Student J

Today was the "Helsinki day . We went to the capital with the bus and walked around during the day.

What kept my attention the most was certainly this museum that we visited in the morning. All this was about Finnish culture and historical events that happened during all the different eras, the traditional way of life, Russian and Swedish invasion and control of the country, nothing was left behind.

The very good English-speaking guide who led the visit could easily manage to make us understand all the little details in the ancient ways of living in Finland. For example, the use of the squirrel skins as currency was very interesting. Those people were literally trading their items to live and being handy was a great quality at the time. Also, being able to move onto the ice and hunting was required to survive during the winter, therefore we could see people skiing, skating with one ski covered with fur and gliding with the other while using a spear as a pole.

The whole museum showed how Finnish people managed through generations, and how they felt the different invasions that they had to face.

We also learnt a little bit later during the day that invasions had not left only bad memories to the Finnish. Actually, and especially after the Russian invasion, people kept a very nice view of this period, as we could see statues of the tsar Alexander II in the Senate Square, right in front of the government’s headquaters. It shows also how open-minded these people are. They remember and pay tribute to the people who were controlling them in the past.

Afterwards during our free time we went into several shops, coffees before coming back to Turku in our family’s homes. This day was full and tiring but also surprising and exciting. Now I know Finland as a real Finnish guy (even though I surely can’t handle the cold as well). That was day three in Finland.

Student K

The day started at 8h15 . Elisa my penpal and I went to the school after breakfast . We have participated to a sewing class. It was very interesting . My penpal Melina was good in that subject. She made many clothes for her for example this morning. She made a beautiful piece of clothing with a white jacket !…

At 8h45 Élisa and I went to the meeting point to be with the class and go to Helsinki by bus. The trip took 2 hours from Turku to Helsinki and after arriving in Helsinki we went to a history museumwhich was built like a church. First we saw some rooms about the early history in Finland. We also saw also a typical house where people used to live in the middle ages. After this visit we went to a shopping center to have lunch.Then we saw a wonderful and modern church which is built under the rocky ground i love . I love monument because it so well lit and quiet. After we went to the center of Helsinki we saw a lot of luxury shops and the white cathedral (maybe the most important in Helsinki ) which is situated on the senate place. At the end of the day we had a a little time to do some shopping.

For me it was the best moment of the day and it was so cool !  We came back at 20 pm to Turku. We were very tired but it was a great day !

Student L

Today, we went to the capital city of Finland, Helsinki, by bus and it took about 2 hours. We finally arrived at 11am30. We noticed that the main means of transport was the tramway, yet the subway and buses were also used.

We walked to the National Museum of Finland, « Kansallismuseo », and an English guide told us about the history of Finland, the ancient lifestyle and so on. But it was already 1 pm and we were all hungry, so we had our picnic in a hall.

Then, we visited two main places, starting with « Temppeliaukion kirkko » an underground church built under the rock. It was as impressive the Helsinki Lutherian cathedral which we visited after. 

We had some free time from 3pm30 to 5pm30 where we could go shopping, eat and so on. Some people went to buy things in shops that we couldn’t find in Rennes such as Starbucks or Burger King.

At 6pm15, we returned to Turku ; we arrived at 8pm30. What a great journey it was ! 

Student M


Student N Today, we had to be at shool at 8, and to go to class with finnish students.

First, I had a cooking lesson ( some of them had music or art education ) it was very interesting because we don’t have this in France, it was absolutely new for us. We made mini pizzas and profiteroles. We also had to set a beautiful table with flowers, and to choose our plates etc.

Then, we all went in french lesson. I thought we would introduce ourselves and talk about French culture, but not at all. The Finnish students had prepared a quizz about Finland that was really great fun. Wim won this game. After that they played some Finnish pop songs and we had to give them marks from 1 to 3. The music which had the highest score was a Robin’s song, the singer who studies in Turku.

For the lunch we ate a kind of soup with chicken and curry in the cafeteria.

At 12h15 we went to the Aboa Vetus museum in Turku and we had the most interesting guide ever ! She told us more about the Middle-Ages in the City, about old houses, …it wasn’t boring at all.

Then, before 5 o’clock, we had some free time in our family. And after 5, it was sauna time, some fun (or not) in the Baltic sea which is actually 6°c… it was a great evening, all together, the French and the Finnish, for the first time of the week.

Student P

Today, I woke up at 6.30 a.m. and I started school at 8.15 a.m. Then, I went with Noemie, Marc, Augustin, Wim, Abir and Raphaël to a cooking class, and we made pizzas and profiteroles. I was surprised because we had to take off our shoes before the lesson. It was a good experience.

After that, we went to a french class and some Finnish studens had prepared a quizz and a music test for us. It was great fun !

At 11 a.m., we decided to go have lunch, and one hour later, we left to go to a museum in the city of Turku. It was interesting and very nice. First, we waited a little bit the guide in the souvenir store of the museum. It was a historical museum where, we saw old houses made of rocks.

After that, we returned to school and waited for our partner for the exchange. Then, I came back home whith Vilma, and we ate some fruit.

At 6 p.m. we arrived in the place where the sauna and the sea was. It was so cool ! I think this was my favorite day.

Student Q

This morning, we began our day with a good breakfast in the company of Meri (our correspondent) and her brother. We ate bread with ham and cheese, fruits and a yogurt. Meri have told us that we would eat a strange chicken and vegetable soup for lunch.

Then, we took the car and her mother drove us to school. Our first class was a cooking class. The students had to prepare mini-pizzas and profiteroles today. I was in a group of girls with Wim, and I had to cook the pizzas. We had to wore an apron, and we set the tables with flowers in order to eat our preparations. I thought that the students were quite good in this class, but they but pizza dough into the oven without any ingredients on them and they failed the profiteroles too.

Afterward, we went to the French class, where we did a multiple choice question game and listened to Finnish and French music. Then, we took our lunch, which was actually weird.

During the beginning of the afternoon, we visited the history part of the Turku’s museum. Our guide was very interesting and funny. With her, we learnt more about the old city and the custom of the local people. We learnt too that they discovered 800 kilos of bones there…

Our correspondent finished her class at 3 PM, so we played basketball. Once at Meri’s home, we ate a delicious cake. After that, her mother drove us to the beach, where the party took place. The landscape was beautiful. In the sauna next to the beach, it was 70°C whereas the Baltic sea was around 6°C… We ate reindeer ham, smoked salmon, cinnamon cakes and a lot of other food. Then I walked in the wood with friends and we took photos with the correspondents. It was a really nice day !

Student Q

Today was an awesome day because the weather was pretty good, without the cold wind that usually blows in Turku, and our busy schedule gave us a lot of fun.

First, in the morning, we went to school and practiced with the Finnish students (as for me I was in the cooking lesson).Then we attended a French class with the whole group during which we listened to Finnish bands and singers and participated to a quite difficult quizz about the country.

Afterwards we went to the Aboa Vetus museum in which were presented the ruins of the old Turku and the historic lifestyle of the citizens.Also the guide was very funny and made of this visit an unforgettable moment.

During the evening all the French students were invited to a sauna party and could enjoy a nice buffet. Some of us went then to swim in the Baltic and we could share this memorable experience with our friends. It lasted five hours but this period was so intense that we will keep it in our minds for a long long time.


Student R

Today is our last day in Turku, and we have a lot of things to do. Nobody actually wants to leave Finland today, we got attached to our family.

This morning I woke up at 6 a.m, ate my breakfast and then I went to school with my penfriend. We had an English class. Before the beginning of the class we had the morning assembly, which is something where someone is speaking in the microphone about many subjects such as religion, something that we will probably never see in France. This morning assembly is part of the many differences that French and finish people have. Their English classes are similar as ours, they do projects and presentations on computers. One of the big difference between France and Finland is that they can use their phone during their lesson and call their teacher by their first names.

The circus school was really fun today. We discovered that some people had some gymnastics or trapezist talents. It was really interesting. We learned how to overcome our fears by jumping in pools full of mattresses from a high place. Everyone was happy to go there.

We also had a Swedish class. Actually teachers trust their students a lot about doing things without them. The teacher told his students to go to this old mall and listen to some Swedish music which is really weird because in France something like this could NEVER happen !

After this, everyone had some free time with their pen friends, some of us went to the theatre, to the mall and others to the spa.

Tonight we will have to say goodbye to our finish families and thank them for this amazing week, and go back home.

Student S

Friday 22 april , the weather was good about 5°c. Today we started school at 8:15. After the moorning routine (it was like a litltle speech before working) we went to orientation class with Oceane’s penpal because Elli had a maths test. The Finnish were not really listening to their teacher. They revised their biology.

Then we go to a circus school. We did trampoline, juggling, monobike, trapeze and diabolo.

We came back to school to eat. We ate potatoes and carrot.

During the afternoon we had a sewing lesson.We made a Brazilian bracelet and we went to a shop center to do some shopping. In the evening we packed our luggage.

Student T

After lunch, some of us had the opportunity to visit an elementary school. Ella (Elisa’s pen-friend) guided us to a very small and modern school located about 20 minutes away.

As we arrived in one of the classrooms, we had to take off our shoes. A very kind teacher welcomed us. On the interactive board of her class, we could see a page of a French mathematics book !

First we introduced ourselves to the second graders. We were each responsible for two children. Our goal was to teach them some basic French expressions and talk to them about colours and geometric figures in English. We also got to learn about their way of working : using the new technologies (tablets…), ringing a bell to get the kids attention… It was a great experience from both sides. Also we were pleasantly surprise to see that the teacher spoke in a very low tone to keep a calm atmosphere in the classroom. This methodology clearly works for her class.

Afterward we visited the school. We saw a class for foreign students who were learning Finnish using games, the cafeteria and a class of pre-schoolers who were taking a nap. This ended our tour and we walked back to meet with rest of the class.

Student U

6h20, time to wake up even if we were very tired about yesterday evening and the accumulation of all the days before.

For breakfast, Noora and I ate carrot bread, with ham and cheese. When we were in the bus for the school, we talked about travelling,countries where she and I would like to go. She told me that this summer she would like to work to earn some money to visit some countries. Then it was the time of the morning speech. Before this started, we talked about our different presidents. The Finns have had a woman president 2 times.

Then we went to the circus school. It was really funny but I couldn’t try so much things because my arms and legs hurt so much.

Then, we ate all together at school. During the walk back to school, I talked to one of Emilia’s friend who would like to learn French. She had lived before in Helsinki.Noora, Emilia and I went to a big shopping center to buy some souvenirs. We joined Vilma and Clarence and we went to Marimekko and to the supermarket too. We ate after at HesBurger and it was good, but I think it was because we were hungry ! We spent time talking about a lot of different things. They were asking me to read a word and it was « Epäjärjestelmällistyttämättömyydellänsäkään ». It’s one of the longest Finish word, there are 43 letters, it’s 24 letters more than our longest word. It was a sad moment because it was the last time that I saw Emilia, her sister. It was weird for us to know that we would never meet each other again..Well, it was the time to come back home and we said goodbye like French people with a kiss on the cheecks.At home, we ate cold salmon on bread with butter, and then Popcorn in front of TV.

Then it was time to go to sleep because tomorrow we had to wake up so early for the journey back home.

Our favorite numbers

1 is my number because we’ve got 1 hour more than France.

1 : There is only one Finnish school in the Archipelago we visited.

1827 is the year when 3/4 of Turku has been reduced to ashes in a great fire. It had been a hot and dry summer when the fire happened, and there was a storm that brought the fire to the entire city. It is also because of this fire that Turku is not the capital of Finland anymore.

25000 : It’s the number of islands that exists in this archipel and this is really one of the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen

1150 : The number that I chose is about the 1150’s. This date is really important in Finland because it relates to the moment when prehistory became history. Actually, this is the apparition of the written finnish (that Agricola built) in the Bible and more generally in the books. Therefore Finland became a living country that everyone could consider seriously, and not only a spoken language.

1150 This number refers to the date when Finland was under Swedish rule. It finished in 1808.

75 : The number I chose is 75 because it was the highest temperature we had in the sauna.

The students : European class English Math (2de 7)

The Teachers : M. Gaston, Mme Halbert

Dernière minute ! A la fin du séjour, une journaliste locale est venue interwiever 4 des élèves sur leur séjour. Un article est paru quelques jours après.

article turku

Cet échange entre notre lycée et un établissement de Turku en Finlande est soutenu et aidé financièrement par

La région Bretagne par le biais du dispositif régional KARTA (charte en breton) Bretagne
La MIR Maison Internationale de Rennes