A New Start For Karoliina Eskelinen


Ellie Mitchell, First Year Journalism Student

This year, YCHS has gotten an influx of foreign exchange students from different countries in the world. One of them, Karoliina Eskelinen, is from Finland. YC has welcomed her with open arms and we couldn’t be more excited for her to join us.

Karolina Eskelinen enjoying a cake outside (Provided by Karoliina)

Eskelinen loves America so far. She says that she likes how friendly the people are here, and how outgoing everyone can be. 

“I like, almost like, everything. All the new things that I try and see… and then how friendly people are here, because in Finland we don’t do small talk, but here you do it so I like it.”

Eskelinen said that her high school is notably different from ours. The classes are much longer and the schedules change a lot in the year. “In Finland, like, well I think our high school is more like your college… Our classes are much longer than here, and our schedules change like five times in a year in high school.”

Eskelinen also said that sports in Finland aren’t like extracurricular activities here during the school year. “You have sports in school, but we don’t have that. Our sports is like, in clubs.”

When asked about holidays in Finland, Eskelinen had talked about how they celebrate the midsummer. They light bonfires and party for the whole day of June 25th. Christmas is also celebrated in Finland, but there aren’t as many decorations as in America, and it is celebrated on the 24th instead of the 25th.

Eskelinen loves to travel with her family. She has been to numerous places in Europe and loves experiencing new things. “We have been in Norway, Sweden, And Estonia, and then France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Greece.” She says it’s easier to travel in Europe because the flights are far shorter than the one to America she took. 

Eskelinen took a plane from Finland to Germany which took a little over two hours. Her next flight was from Germany to San Francisco which took twelve hours. Then from San Francisco to Portland. 

She talked about how she got signed up to be an exchange student, and about how it was a lot of paperwork. She was initially nervous, but she is glad to have done it because she enjoys staying in Oregon. 

“Yeah, but I’m glad that I did it because I like it here.”