The Finnish Youth Exchange Multidistrict Organization organizes an orientation camp at Karkku for inbound exchange students immediately after their arrival in Finland. The camp has proven year after year to be a positive experience for the students. It has long traditions, and was organized for the first time in 1979.
Orientation camps take place twice a year. Once in August, when the large majority of inbound students arrive, and again in January, when the arriving students are mostly from Australia.
The inbound exchange students arrive in Finland on Sunday. Rotarians receive the students at the Helsinki-Vantaa airport and transport them directly to Karkku. The camp lasts for a week and on Saturday of the following week the exchange students are collected by their host families.
The program at the camp includes Finnish or Swedish classes, lectures on Finnish culture and customs, as well as small excursions. The camp is also an opportunity to get over jet-lag and meet other exchange students. Besides teachers, the camp’s staff also includes tutors who are able to communicate with the inbound students in their mother tongues.
At the camp the students also meet their Rotary correspondent as well as the Chairperson of the District that is hosting them, and learn about the events of the upcoming exchange year.