Theresia, North Karelia and Joensuun Latu

Theresia was one of the new members of Joensuun Latu last year. She participated in a hike at the darkest time of the year, also a snowshoeing trip and then went on her own on kayak trips in the North Karelian waters. This is her story of her year.

Theresia oli viime lukuvuonna Joensuun Ladun uusi jäsen. Tässä hänen kertomuksensa. Kuvat ovat hänen melontaretkistään. Theresia oli mukana myös rospuuttoretkellä, lumikenkäretkellä, taisi olla umpihankihiihdossakin. 

"Coldness, darkness, forests – these are the first impressions every person had when I told them that I will go to Finland for one year. Including me. I can tell them now…it’s true. BUT…there is much more than that!

I am Theresia and I study Environmental Science and Forestry. The University of North Karelia is a partner university of my school. And that’s why I came to Joensuu - the heart of North Karelia.

The plan was to stay a whole year to have enough time to finish my studies, experience all seasons and the culture. In a country with so many forests and only a few inhabitants must be a good possibility to see and learn a lot.

During my stay in Joensuu I visited courses at the university, I wrote my Bachelor Thesis, I made some internships and all in all I could finish my studies. Apart from that I had a lot of freetime and I played football at FC Hertta in a team with such nice teammates.

And of course I travelled through the country. I went two times to Lapland to see the beautiful winter landscape. I visited Oulu, Tampere and Helsinki. Apart from that Finland is a nice spot to start some trips to St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Riga and Stockholm.

And then I spent many days in the Koli National Park. It is such a very nice place to visit and you can have a great view of the national landscape in every single season.

Then I heard through new friends and the University of Joensuun Latu. I autumn I participated in a very nice hiking weekend in the Patvinsuo National Park. That’s why I decided to become a member to get the great possibility for activities to enjoy the nature and the beauty of Finland.

This summer, as soon as some friends came to visit me, the weather got warm and sunny in August and the wind came from the right direction - the best conditions for a kayak trip. Through the membership I got good kayaks for a cheap price, a good tent and many tips and recommendations for a tour. Me and my friends could do two trips well prepared. The first one led us with a double kayak over the lake Pyhäselkä for three days. During the second one we followed the river Pielisjoki upstream until the lock Kaltimo and we returned after five days. Everything was very uncomplicated and we could enjoy the scenery of water, forests, animals and silence.

In general Joensuu is a small but nice place to spend time there. Either in winter or summer. Skiing tracks, beaches, nice people and even Northern lights make it a nice place for a visit.

I do not regret my decision to spend one year in Joensuu and I can tell everybody now that Finland has a lot to offer, experience and enjoy. I would recommend Finland and Joensuu for nice holiday of adventure and relaxation for anyone."