Meet Enochs Finnish foreign exchange student: Aada Kenovaara

Meet Enochs Finnish foreign exchange student: Aada Kenovaara

Sophie Zehner, Managing Editor

As we know, going to a new school can be scary, but we’ve never had to worry about going to school in a different country. Aada comes from Finland and is a senior here at Enochs.

Compared to American high schools, the school system is different and there are many cultural things here that differ from Finland. According to Aada, the weather is a big one, in Finland, it’s somewhere around negative eight degrees at its coldest and here she has to get used to the heat, but she’s not complaining.

Here at Enochs, Kenovaara tries to get used to the life of an American high school student. “I wouldn’t say it’s weird but it takes some getting used to. I’m really excited about getting to know a whole new culture and am always open to getting to know new people.”

Schools in Finland are different from the school in the U.S. In Finland, students can make their schedules themselves so they can choose what they study, but also with some requirements. They can also choose to do classes independently, with the basic idea being that they are in charge of their learning. Finland students aren’t required to do homework but it’s up to them to learn the things they need to learn. Like American high schools, they have school five days a week and the number of hours depends on the schedule they make for themselves. Usually, it’s between six and eight hours a day but Aada had a few months last year where she had five hours of school some days, and after school she took some classes independently.

In Finland, students have the same classes every week but they differ each day, and their schedule changes every six to seven weeks when they have test weeks. Aada finds school pretty easy here compared to Finland. However, U.S. schools are more strict than Finland high schools. In Finland, students can walk freely on and off campus and sometimes go to a restaurant to have lunch or even shopping between classes. “I love sushi so sometimes I’d go to a sushi restaurant with my friends between classes.” There are many places to hang out in Aada’s school in Finland and she likes playing pool with her friends during breaks.

According to Aada, “I like Enochs a lot. It’s different but seems like a nice school and I’ve met some great people there already! The campus is way bigger than the ones in Finland and nice, I like it a lot.”

When she first learned about the exchange student program, Aada had ideas based on American movies and tv shows and things she’s heard. “So far some of them have turned out to be right while some have not. I try to have as few expectations as possible and go into everything with an open mind and things have turned out great so far!”

Aada’s most looking forward to all the school events, sports, and the famous high school spirit but most of all getting to know new people and making long-lasting memories.

When first learning that she was coming to an American high school, “I was a little nervous but mostly excited. Doing an exchange year has been my dream since I was little and I want to make this year the best possible one!”