Well, this has been quite the time of my life until now. Actually, it was so fun that I decided to stay here during the spring semester too. Originally, during the applying process back at home I wanted to make my exchange a full one year in length, but the University of Helsinki allowed me to apply only for a semester as an exchange student. I felt that one semester, about 4 months, was not enough for me to start speaking. Apparently, I hit the nail with that thought since I only started to have flowing conversations during the spring break.
So, the process to continue studies as a fee-paying student are very simple compared to applying for the first time: you just take a short interview, write an essay stating your reasons and print some bank account details to show that you have enough money to pay for the fees and living. The messy part was this time back at Finland, since Kela needs all papers again, Hoas needs even more, notifications to the magistrate, post, foreign ministry embassy, bank etc. took quite some time to complete. If you are doing the same thing, start as early as possible!
Now I’m getting used to my new class, new courses and the rising temperatures of Kyoto. Summer is still far away but the weather is already like that in June in Finland. Sakuras stopped blooming and is time for the crickets to start singing. I’m waiting eagerly for summer matsuris, foods and happenings. And since I have a work, I can make my travelling plans into reality. All in all, the previous semester was quite a hassle and now I can finally concentrate on important stuff instead of paper work and enjoy life here in Kyoto.