First Steps


An early morning sunrise over a lake surrounded by trees.

Anticipation, anxiety, and excitement coursed through our blood as we parsed through idyllic nature to arrive at Humak’s Nurmijärvi campus. 

Being from foreign lands without any taste of Finland, fingers were crossed that we made the right decision. Once settled and immersed into Humak’s housing, it was clear to both of us, the right decision had been made.

Samuel Shwarz & Zen Prins

A Taste of Kiljava Life 

On the inside of Kiljava, we found welcoming smiles from returning students eager to unload ample advice and to extend social invites. The combination of sauna, gym, pool, and social space for games & gatherings sated all our indoor activity desires for summer at least.  Our expectations of school-offered lunches were abysmally low, so it was a welcome surprise to sample delicious traditional Finnish food over the first two weeks.  Perhaps those foods will grow stale with repetition, but for now they are most satisfactory. The weeks weren’t without struggles as deciding between S- or K-mart or whether to take a scenic walk through the woods or a bike ride to get there proved difficult.   

Greetings & Games 

Walking into a classroom without knowing anyone is always an odd experience, but luckily for us, we already met some of our classmates the night before while playing some card games.  After hearing and immediately forgetting most of their names, we quickly got into what AdEd is about and a little of what to expect. 

It actually was the second day where we really got to meet everyone through ‘Plays and Games’, which not only helped with remembering names but also was a lot of fun. After a warming-up, we went into practicing all the names, which was followed by a trust exercise and an assignment in which we had to work together to solve some problems. It was at this point that we started to realize how much these games can help with breaking the ice while teaching you something in the process. Our games ended with an assignment where everyone had to work together, both physically but also through communication, and collectively boil an egg. Though the end result was not as perfect as we all hoped, I would definitely say that after the ‘Plays and Games’ we got a lot closer as classmates. 

Two students of many holding strings connecting to an egg, which they are collectively trying to boil. One student operates the machine boiling the water.
Extreme egg challenge, 0 casualties. (Photo: Sanni Hyden)

Looking Ahead 

After being here for two weeks, we can wholeheartedly share our excitement for the future. Our days here are filled with nice people, fun activities and beautiful nature. With the Ylläs expedition right around the corner and the preparations for said trip almost completed, it is quite hard to realize that this is only the first of many more expeditions to come. It is through these trips we hope to improve all the skills needed to eventually go out on our own and find the place where we will put these teachings to work. But for now, we’re just happy to be able to share the future experiences with the class of AdEd 2021. 

Last modified: October 14, 2021