Trainee’s Diary Vol. 1

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Hi! I’m Lauri Selonen and I’ll be blogging from Tokyo, where I’m the intern for Finnish Institute in Japan.

I’m a masters program student at the Centre for East Asian Studies at University of Turku. This internship through EDUFI, while not strictly required for my studies was something that I had wanted to do for quite some time! This is a diary related to my work and/or the extraordinary circumstances we are in. I’ll be posting every other week starting now with stuff that happened before – well, all this happened.

I was absolutely delighted to be picked for this internship since I’ve been looking for ways to spend more time in Japan and especially Tokyo which is probably my favourite city in the world (Osaka is pretty cool too so maybe it’s a tie). Chance to do a 10-month internship here was then really a dream come true! Another thing was that I had never been in an Olympic city before, so that would also be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, right? This would also really cement my Japanese skill, which for me at least has been difficult to keep up without immersion.

Arriving late January, I was really quite excited for setting up my life here. Work seemed interesting if a bit intimidating at first. The institute had organized for the previous intern to stay behind for my training, which was a great way of getting me started. Staff seemed nice and everyone pitched in on making my orientation as comfortable as possible. The work would include communication and organizing of events, as well as planning and executing some events of my own. The institute had various events, seminars and exhibitions planned and it seemed that things would get quite busy!

Moving in and immigration process both went smoothly. I live in Kita district of northern Tokyo. This was a bit far from my place of work at the Embassy compound in the Minato district, but commuting would surely pose no issues and if it did, I figured moving closer would be easy enough. Also living an hour away, I could afford an apartment instead of just a room. Having a kitchen and a bath of my own is nice, not that I intended to spend that much time indoors anyway. (LOL)

Tokyo is such a swirling mass of light and energy. A city of such size that I could live here my whole life without knowing every corner of it. Coming from the middle of nowhere in Finland this prospect was very appealing to me. Whatever I wanted to do I could probably find it here. This idea was actually also a bit intimidating since I had to figure how to make the most of my time here, as if this was some sort of competition. I guess that’s FOMO for you. Luckily ten months is such a long time that I did not get too stuck on the idea.

A bit less than two months of working, I had started to really get my routine down. Scratch that!