Meet Skiing World silver medallist, Mirka, from Finland

I understand you have represented your country in ski-orienteering.  Can you tell us about this?
I love this sport; the first time I tried it was when I was 10.  When I was 16 I went to my first championships and I think I wanted to follow it more.  When I was 19 I went to the junior world championships and now I represent my country in the senior events.  This year, I won silver in the world champion relay in Krasnoyarsk, Russia.

So, what made you want to come to England to study English?
English is so difficult for me to learn so I thought it would be better to come here to learn.  My friends told me about this school about 5 years ago and I thought ‘this is good, maybe I want to go’, but I didn’t have time, but about a year ago I decided that I want to study more at university and most of the materials are in English, so I knew I had to improve my English first.

Was England as you expected?
I expected raining, but I hasn’t rained much yet.  I have visited quite a few European countries and I expected it to be a bit like them, which it is.  One difference is that people say ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ a lot and they are very friendly.

How was your experience of living with an English family?
I like to live with them; it is interesting how English people live their normal life.  It is interesting to see how parents communicate with their children, with lots of ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.  Also what they eat is interesting, in England people have bigger times between eating.  In Finland we eat 5 times a day and we eat more hot food.  As a sportswoman, I also think about protein, carbohydrates and things like that, which British people don’t think about as much.

What’s the most memorable moment of your time here in England?
We went to a Latino party in Bournemouth at a church – it as fun and it was good to spend time together.  I would like to have an event like that in our church in Finland.

Is there anything you’d like to warn other students who are thinking of coming to England about?
The weather changes a lot, so it can be very cold in the morning but then get hotter in the day.  Also, with English food, they don’t eat dark bread, so you won’t be able to eat this.