Florentin “Flo” Kunz said people in Finland act differently in cold weather than people here.
“In Finland they’re all outside,” he said. He said while there he went whitewater rafting and swimming in temperatures far colder than people here would typically tolerate for those activities.
“A chilling experience,” he said, describing coming out of a 200-degree sauna to jump into 5-degree water.
Kunz, a Webb School senior, was part of Rotary Club’s Youth Ex-change program. He re-cently re-turned to the United States from a trip to Finland and spoke about his trip to Rotary Club of Farragut members Wednesday, July 23.
While in Finland he stayed with various host families and attended school there. In Finland the top 10 percent of every class could become teachers, he said. Teachers there make $70,000 to $80,000 per year and are very respected. Another difference he said existed between Finland’s schools and ones in the United States were breaks every 45 minutes.
“I really made good friends,” he said.
He said he helped a local Ro-tary Club with service projects including cleaning a beach and a fundraiser selling fish at a fish market.
He went moose hunting and ate moose while in Finland, but the diet was mostly meat and potatoes. He took three trips with Rotary during his time in Europe. One trip was to Lapland, where he rode dog sleds and reindeer sleighs, and was to St. Petersburg, Russia.
“You would see Cyrillic, … and the people, they acted so differently. It was really eye opening,” he said.
He also went on a Euro-tour, a 20-day trip throughout Europe with nine countries and 14 cities, including Paris and Copenhagen.
“It was the perfect trip,” he said.
While Kunz has joint citizenship of Liechtenstein and Austria, he said Finland was different from other places in Europe because of the language.
Bill Nichols, a Rotary member involved in Ohio Eerie Youth Ex-change Program Inc., said participants in Rotary’s Youth Exchange program must be between 15 and 18 1/2 years old. Each participant gets a $24,000 scholarship, which pays for room, board, tuition and a $100-per-month allowance.
All of them leave for their destinations in August and can be no more than eighteen and a half years old by March 1.
For more information about Rotary Youth exchange, Nichols said to contact him. He can be reached at 865-567-1119, 865-531-5615 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other weather related differences Kunz cited included shoveling snow three times a day.