Since you’ve already heard about the hockey culture in my home country, I’m going to tell you something about why I came to Finland, also about my life as an exchange student here, as well as how I came to ice hockey and how IFK and the awesome IFK family (you) changed my normal life to a totally new, exciting direction.
So, as you already know I’m an exchange student from Germany but you might ask: “Why did she choose from almost 200 countries in the world exactly Finland?”. Well, let me explain. I’m really interested in the Nordic countries and since so many people are going to Norway and Sweden nowadays, I thought it would be a bigger adventure to go to a county no one knows and talks about that much, just to explore the culture on my own. Also the language is totally different, which is a great challenge. Anyway, in the three times I`ve been here before my exchange, I realized that the country has something magical which makes me feel home immediately. The people might be reserved but still super friendly and all I’ve seen from the landscape was fascinating. Through all these facts and my weakness for Finnish music (which is a different story) the destination for my year abroad was set. Finland.
As soon as I came here I was searching for a hobby to get to know to more people. I didn’t want to continue with football since I’ve played that my whole life. Instead I thought more and more about ice hockey because it’s probably the most common sport in Finland. Sincerely, I’ve never been really interested in it. I knew the team in my city, I’ve heard about IFK because of Samu Haber and I watched some games of the Finnish under 20 national team when they played the championship but I didn’t pay that much attention to it.
As an openminded exchange student I went to some IFK games and it took about two games until I was into it. I wanted to start playing on my own immediately and I’m so thankful my host mom found “Gimmat Skulaa” for me, where I got the chance to practice in Nordis once a week. First I was pretty afraid of going there because I wasn’t even able to skate that well. But I still went there and I saw how I got better every training session. I posted some pictures on my Instagram blog (@noa_meets_finland) about my practice and my experiences with IFK and through this some of my meanwhile best friends here texted me. We met at the games, they teached me the fan songs, introduced me to more and more people and everything got just so much more exciting. The home games are the highlights of every week and it feels like my whole exchange year is only about ice hockey and IFK (which is absolutely NOT a bad thing 😉 )
I hope I could give you a little insight to my life here. You can always ask me on my blog if you have any questions or just direct at the games.
Thank you for letting me being part of the amazing IFK family