All posts by Aleksandra Shakuta

International party and the last meeting FIN-RUS

Our last meeting with Selina in the framework of “EOTO course” was in the international party, as here were guys from China and Nederland all together we told a lot about differences:

  • we started with cuisine, because Menglin cooked the best chinese dumplings!!! oh, how I miss Chinese cuisine and want to repeat in now ūüėÄ and
  • we finished with the difference in education system in Finland-China-Nederland-Russia.

So, as a result of the course, I whole-heartedly want to thank teachers, who create this platform-course for exchanging knowledge, cultures and thoughts! It broadens all horizons: start with language and finish with cultural habits.

I was SO HAPPY that I was in the pair with Selina, she is SO INTERESTING person, she gave me a lot of unusual thoughts, and we always were on the same wave! We have a lot in common – point of views, both teachers, like learning languages and running! So coooool!

For now, with all my confidence I could say that we will contunue to meet till I should come back to Russia and we will keep in touch. Selina told me that she wants to go to Russia to Baikal, now we both have friend from that region and who knows, but I feel it in my bones that we will go hiking to Baikal together! (ok, that’s my small dream now :D)

Russian Biology lesson at Kalevan Lukio

During our first visit Kalevan Lukio, Selina introduced our “Russian gang” to Biology teacher, who was so kind to us! The Biology teacher was really curious in Russian nature, especially in Baikal area, and fortunately for everyone, one of us was from Irkutsk – the closest city to Baikal lake.

Unfortunately, I don’t have photos from the lesson, because Nikita (from Baikal lake) and I were talking about nature in Baikal and Urals and were so involved into discussion with students and the teachers. It was so pleasure for us to take part in such kind activity! And moreover, we were SO HAPPY to see how Finnish students were interested in our talks.

As Finland is one of the most cleanest places in THE WORLD, students were really in shock with the situation in Karabash-city… And we hope that our talk about the environment also broadened students’ horizons abour nature in different part of our planet.

After the lesson Selina, Nikita and I went for breakfast to the street market and we contunied to talk about difference in Finnish and Russian school systems.



Russian visit at Kalevan Lukio

As Selina is a wonderful teacher at Kalevan Lukio, she had a fantastic idea for exchanging thoughts with her students and people from different countries.

During the celebration of Russian maslenitsa Selina got to know my Russian friends, who are from different parts of Russia and as representers of Russia we were invited to Kalevan Lukio. It was really interesting for us to take part in such interesting activity, because Finnish and Russian schools have a lot of differences, that’s why during our meeting we discussed it a lot.

We (Russians) were really surprised HOW CONTEMPORARY, HOW CONVENIENT, HOW JUST FOR STUDENTS is the school! Here we totally understand how everything was created for developing students minds. We totally like how the attitude of teachers to kids, and to be honest, we were shocked how kind everyone was to us! Selina’s students shown us the school, during that time we totally felt how proud they are to study there and how they wanted to share with us their opinion and practice English!


After we had a fantastic opportunity to listen the rehearsal of school music band and they were happy to play song for us. and here we were also SO SURPRISED with the fact that the school has it own ORGAN!

After enjoying the small private performance we gave a pieces of advice that during studying at university all students should try to go to other countries for exchange and broaden their horizons. It was so nice meeting with so wise students at so contemporary school!

Spring came to Finland or Running in the forest

After really long time, when I was in travelling to Germany, Czech Republic,  and Iceland Selina and I finally met each other in the middle of April.

Weather FINALLY¬† was SO SUNNY,¬† both of us really like running, that’s why Selina and I decided to meet outside. We talked a lot about my travel time, what I found unusual from Russian point of view.

After Selina told that she need go to doctor and we started to discuss differences between insurance system, how the process of visiting doctors is going on, how much should we pay for treatment. Our common inside was that there is nothing ideal in both systems and it’s better to be healthy and run in the forest!

Terveys on tärkeää!


My diving into Finnish music!

I love music so much! I suppose during all our life people listen music and it’s like soundtracks of their life, that’s why I think that music could say a lot about person, because it shows what the person has in his mind, so tell me what you listen, and I could tell you who you are ūüėÄ

Selina knows how I’m in passion with music, that’s why one spring evening she invited me to the concert. So, it was a concert of¬†Ville Leinonen, unfortunately, before, i have never heard about him, but I really fall in love with his music and guitar! Unfortunately, I don’t have any foto, and videos don’t want to upload(

But here a lot of good stuff:
Selina also invited 4 her friends, and one of th learned Russian at school and university, that’s why we have a really good plenty of material for juicy discussion. We used the simplest words and Selina said that she understood a bit, after I tried to listen their conversation, but I was not successful¬†😅
But! What I did?
I introduced myself and asked about names of musical instruments (kitara, rummut, saksofoni, mikrofoni)!
Fantastic evening with pleasant music and friendly people!

Finns hospitality and Russian maslenitsa (Russian pancake festival)

Some people told me that Finns do not like to invite other people to their home, explaination is easy – it’s the most private place of every person and Finns as I know now like to have private space. But different people – different points of view.

Selina kindly invited me to her home and moreover, allowed me to invite 4 my friends!
It was time of maslenitsa (Russian pancake festival), that’s why Russians come together and cook blini, Selina invited us to celebrate this event with her.

10 March was like celebration Maslenitsa at home: we were cooking and talking, talking and cooking, we learnt with each other how to say sugar -sokeri – —Ā–į—Ö–į—Ä, salt – suola – —Ā–ĺ–Ľ—Ć, milk –¬†maito – –ľ–ĺ–Ľ–ĺ–ļ–ĺ, and all words which we normally use during cooking process.

We spent a really cozy evening together with soulful discussion about cultures, learning a list of new words, full stomachs and a really happy mood!

Exploring Tampere from unusual side or Vintage is always in fashion

It was 7/03, winter is still here but show is slowly melting into rain, that’s why my teacher Selina invited me to explore Vintage clothing shops.¬† I’m really in small, cosy, rich for historical moments things and the idea of “doing Vintage shops hooping” was really for me.

We visited 4 different shops, enjoyed talking with sellers, tryied some clothers and.. what else do girls need?) After we decided to go a cute “Kaffila” for driking a hot coffee with traditional laskiaispulla and learn Russian and Finnish.

Speaking about Russian: we started with an alphabet and pronunciation of difficult sounds.

Speaking about Finnish: Selina told me about the difference between speaking and literary Finnish, for ex. in real life it’s better to say “m√§ on Sasha” instead “mina olen Sasha”, that’s why now I knew more useful for real life phrases¬† =)



3 hours flew so fast as a Flash or “Our first meeting”

Friday evening on¬†22 Feb 2019 wasn’t¬† just as an ordinary Friday. It was the day of my first meeting with my partner Selina. I asked her to show me one of her favourite place, and now I’m with 100% can say that this place is my favourite too. Arthouse cinema and cafe “Niagara” was the best place for the meeting.

During first meeting we decided to focus on:

  • our stories (why Russian, why Finnish)
  • differences between cultures
  • what we have already learnt
  • share teaching experience

The part about dicussing differences between cultures took the most of time. As Russian, unfortunately, I HAD a lot of stereotypes that we are the same with Finnish people, because we are located too close, the weather conditions are the similar,¬† but when I came here, I realized how I was wrong! Now I everyday break through the shell of my lack of knowledge, and understand how everything, just every peace of our countires effect on people’s mind.

So, we were speaking at least 3 hours and to be honest, I’m so happy that Selina is my language partner: we are from different countries and different ages, but nevertheless, from my point of view, we are really on the same wave and it’s the main point, because if people feel uncomfortable with each other it will not have any sense, that’s why I could say for sure that I’m lucky one, because not with everyone you could speak 3 hours about everything.

We decided to start our deep dive into learning process from next meeting, which will be on 7.03: Selina will show me her favourite places in Tampere (City tour) and after we will start our lesson in the cozy caffeteria.