Missouri State University
Tomminesha Matchingtouch

Tomminesha Matchingtouch

  • Major: Criminology
  • Second Major: Psychology
  • Hometown: St. Louis, Mo.
  • Program: International Student Exchange Programs
  • Country: Finland

Time in Finland made student 'independent in every sense of the word'

Tomminesha Matchingtouch relied on herself to juggle school with fun activities and traveling around Europe. She even learned about Finland's unique take on Santa Claus!

Tomminesha is double-majoring in criminology and psychology. She studied abroad at Turku University in Finland in fall 2011. While there, Tomminesha commented on her experience.

What you like most about Finland?

Thus far, I find the people to be an experience like none other. Everyone I have encountered is kind and friendly. Turku is a very diverse city, rich in culture, and the cultural experiences are vast and varied. The people here want to ensure that I am experiencing Finland and learning all its wonderful history and beliefs. I have had the opportunity to visit many of their museums. They are an educational experience in themselves.

Is there anything about Finland that has surprised you?

I arrived here the end of August. To my delight, the weather was a plus. I was prepared for the frigid temperatures of Finland. Instead, it was nice and warm. I was reminded of home. No snow as of yet, but I’m sure I will see plenty before my time here is over. Oh, and I've come across more than a handful of people who seriously believe Santa Claus was born in, and still lives in, Finland!

How has studying abroad been a benefit to you?

Studying abroad has really tested my independence and study skills. I'm here without the comfort of home and family. I am independent in every sense of the word. I have really stepped up to the challenge of becoming completely secure in relying on myself to accomplish tasks.

In my opinion, student life in Finland is very active. There are many opportunities to travel throughout Europe and participate in various clubs and activities. In excess, these activities can be distracting from school work. Most of the courses I have taken are three to four weeks in length. Within that time period, I have textbooks and journal/research articles to read for the exams. There is no study guide or short cut to better prepare for the exam. I have to study everything and rely on the few lectures throughout the weeks to decipher what the instructors might ask on the exams. At first it was a bit overwhelming, because I wasn't use to having to do so much in a month’s time, but within the short period of time being here I have balanced being social and succeeding in my courses.