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Study Abroad and Domestic Study Away

Notes from Abroad: Ralph in Finland

Ralph Taylor ’19 is a double major in Business and Political Science studying in Tampere, Finland.

Hi, my name is Ralph Taylor. I am a 3rd year at Lake Forest College. I am also a first generation student and this is my first trip leaving the country to travel to Europe! I am a double major in business and politics. I am studying abroad in Tampere, Finland this fall and taking a variety of business and political science course at the University of Tampere faculty of management department. The moment I lifted off on the plane to travel to Finland, was the moment I realized that for the first time in my life, I was going to be on my own with no one to help guide me.

Upon arriving in Tampere, I was very nervous. I knew nothing about Finnish culture. As soon as I was greeted by a couple of students, I felt like I instantly fit in. A lot of us started going to museums, relaxing in saunas and having game nights in the main kitchen. Most of all, I got to learn to speak Finnish. I repeat, learn, because it was a difficult language to comprehend, but I tell you, it was so much fun for me learning it. My abroad experience has been so amazing and I’m lucky I still have so much time to enjoy it. I really appreciate the friendships and memories I have made here. Most importantly, I have gotten to see the Northern Lights, which was one of my main goals I can cross off my bucket list.

I have so many people to thank for helping me achieve a once in a lifetime opportunity. None of this would have been possible for me to experience if it wasn’t for the Ingrid and George Speros Scholarship. Their generosity made it possible for me to travel to such an amazing part of the country.