Interview with Siljia Holtta, 18,  from Jousta, Western Finland


Siljia Holta, 18, is a foreign exchange from Finland who attends Citrus Valley High School.
What are the differences between Finland and America?
A: “I think the biggest differences between the daily life is that school and church are a really big character in your daily life. Usually in high school, we go to school for a couple hours and we go home and do our hobbies. They aren’t connected with the school, and nobody in Finland goes to church unless they are really religious, and that’s probably the biggest differences because here it’s pretty normal to go to church every Sunday and have church activities after school. We probably only go to church before Christmas, if we want.”  

What is your favorite thing about America and why?
A: “I think my favorite thing are the people. The people are very kind here and really open minded and they talk a lot; I like that. The food is my favorite thing, too!”

What is your favorite thing about Citrus Valley?
A: “Citrus Valley is really good. I like it. The school spirit here is really big and I like that. I like the campus. It’s really big, that’s why I would get lost the first couple of weeks really bad. I love being here. The people are really nice here.”

What are things you enjoy doing outside of school?
A: “I like hanging out with my friends. The football games are awesome. Going to eat somewhere new is fun. I just like chilling out. In Finland, I would usually do a lot of training after school like the gym and running or I would hang out with my friends in the evening, because the homework doesn’t take that long in Finland.”

What are the differences between the schools in FInland and in America?
A: “Like I said the homework takes a lot more time here and in Finland the studying is more by yourself. Like if you show up late it’s okay you’re late, you just missed something from class. They aren’t going to call home or anything, that’s your own fault and if you ditch school that’s your fault, because then you are left behind from the class so you have to catch up at home and the teachers usually don’t give us homework because if we learn something in class it’s our choice if we want to study it or not. We have exams every 6 weeks and then the course changes. We have to be more independent and figure out if we want good grades or not. The school is not as strict like it is here.”

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