Lorna suggested that I blog about my year in Finland. Since it happens that it was 20 years ago that I was in Finland (actually 21, oops) it seems like a good idea.
First, why did I go? I decided to be an exchange student in the Fall of my Junior year of High School. I didn't know where I would go, I just wanted to go somewhere. My motives, as most are, were mixed. There was the fact that I had lived in the same place all my life, the same town my parents had lived in all their lives, and so it seemed time for someone to get out of Dodge and see the world. That's the more noble of my two reasons. The other was that I was so pissed off at my soccer coach that I couldn't imagine playing for her another year, and I couldn't not play if I was in town. It was a kind of "see how you do without me" thing. They ended up doing fine.
I applied to AFS, which had a strong supporter in a Spanish teacher at my school. I didn't know where I would end up going. I just said I had a lot of sweaters and wouldn't mind going somewhere cold. :) Typical high school depth, huh? I found out in the Spring that I would go to Finland. I certainly got cold.