My neighbourhood

When you find your home, you’ll know it – Andrea from Barcelona settled in Jyväskylä

Moving from one city to another, let alone from a metropolis to Jyväskylä, is a giant leap for anyone. Andrea Guermas from Barcelona fell in love with the peace and quiet of Jyväskylä while studying there as an exchange student and decided to move to the city permanently.


Sometimes, home can be found in an unexpected place – even thousands of kilometres away. This is something Andrea Guermas, 24, from Barcelona, knows well.

“The way I feel in Finland is a mixture of a sense of security and lightness, that feeling of not having a weight on your shoulders. That’s how it felt here from the very first moment,” Guermas says.

Guermas became fond of Finland during his exchange student year.

Guermas studies tourism management at the JAMK University of Applied Sciences in Jyväskylä. She first came to Finland as an exchange student in 2018 but soon realised she had found her home: where she wanted to move permanently. She returned to Spain, made the necessary arrangements, and moved back a few years later.

Although she had spent six months in Jyväskylä as an exchange student, moving to the city was different. She had to find a permanent flat and organise her entire life in Finland. Her former exchange student friends had already returned to their home countries, and Guermas didn’t have many Finnish friends.

“The first evening, everything felt quite tough. I had an apartment, but it was completely unfurnished. For example, I was all alone and didn’t have my parents to help,” Guermas reminisces.

The greenery and closeness to nature made an impression on Guermas.

In the following days, however, everything started to come together: She got the necessary furniture and asked for help whenever possible. Once lectures and routines began, life gradually settled down. Although there have been difficult times, Guermas has always felt she is in the right place — at home.

Independent life in the middle of forests and lakes

In Jyväskylä, Guermas was impressed by nature, which extends right into the city centre. The lakes, Harju, and wooded areas make Jyväskylä unique.

“Barcelona is a really hectic city, with noise, tourists, and a sense of rush everywhere. People are around on a Saturday evening in Jyväskylä’s centre, but it’s still wonderfully quiet.”

Even during busy times, the streets of Jyväskylä are wonderfully quiet compared to Barcelona.

Independence also attracted her to Finland: studying and living in Barcelona is expensive, and most young people live with their parents for a long time, sometimes until they’re thirty. Guermas always knew she wanted to move out early, maybe far away, and she had told her mother this since childhood.

In Jyväskylä, everything fell into place. Guermas feels the atmosphere is just right: Jyväskylä is a calm, small city, but about a third of its population are students, so there’s a rich student culture, and there’s always something going on.

“Especially at first, I eagerly attended all the events. I wanted to get to know as many locals as possible because I knew it was the best way to integrate into a new place. I decided to just show up to every opportunity.”

Finding friends took time

Moving to a new city, especially a new country, is usually challenging. Guermas has had her own challenges, such as bureaucracy.

“Everything works very well here in English, too, but in the beginning, I wasn’t as fluent in English as I am now. I was always afraid I wouldn’t fill out the right forms or make some other mistake.”

Getting to know locals and finding friends also took time. Guermas has made good friends, but forming these relationships took several years.

Guermas has been actively involved in student activities.

She found friends, for example, by first serving as the vice chair of her university’s tourism students’ organisation, MatkaRaTa, and later as the vice chair of the student union JAMKO. In that role, she has also been able to advocate for the rights of other international students. Additionally, she has served as the tutor coordinator for exchange and degree students.

Guermas has about six months left until graduation and doesn’t know what will happen afterwards. She has been learning Finnish, and although it feels quite tricky, she hopes to get a job in her field in Finland, maybe in Jyväskylä. She has visited many other Finnish cities, but none has struck her like Jyväskylä.

“For example, Helsinki feels too small for a big city. In Jyväskylä, I don’t have the expectations of a big city, so it feels just right.”

Rental housing is a flexible and convenient choice in changing life circumstances, such as moving to a new city to study. Lumo homes can be found in the best places of the cities and along excellent transport connections, making them perfectly suited for students and shared living.

Rent a Lumo home and make it your own!Rent a Lumo home and make it your own!

Home is more than just the square footage we live in. It's also the significant corners around it. Find a Lumo home that best suits your lifestyle in our webstore or let us help find a home for you.

Home is more than just the square footage we live in. It's also the significant corners around it. Find a Lumo home that best suits your lifestyle in our webstore or let us help find a home for you.

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