From Lapland to Bali

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Bali – that world-known holiday destination with a mystical twist to it; from beaches to rainforests to volcanoes, and from local warungs to nightclubs to Hindu ceremonies – there is a lot to experience.

We get several internship applications to Bali from all ends of the world, and those few who show enough skill and enthusiasm are the ones who get to practice their work-skills in the very international and inspiring surroundings. Our new social media / video production intern, Mikko-Pekka from the Northernmost city in Finland, landed to the island a few weeks ago, and is eager to start exploring the island with the exchange students who are getting ready for the starting fall-semester. Let’s find out who Mikko-Pekka is, and hear some of his first thoughts about interning in Bali with Asia Exchange.

Pekka is doing a video production / social media internship in Bali for Asia Exchange. He most likely will not be wearing a beanie hat as in this picture.

Welcome to Bali, Mikko-Pekka. We are grateful to have you interning for Asia Exchange. Could you tell our blog readers a bit more about yourself?

Thanks, happy to be here! Well, to keep it short: I am Mikko-Pekka, 23, from Rovaniemi, a major city in Northern Finland. I’m currently studying visual design at Oulu University of Applied Sciences, with a concentration on video production, photography, and post-production. Besides playing with cameras, on my pastime I like to play drums and be out in nature, hiking and exploring. I love nature photography, andwhere I live in Lapland, the landscapes are amazing!

How did you get the idea of doing an internship abroad?

I was actually on an exchange last winter, studying in Bratislava, Slovakia, and while there, I had the thought that maybe it wasn’t the time to go back to Finland quite yet. I spotted the internship opportunity with Asia Exchange on my student emails and didn’t hesitate a moment to apply.

And you made it all the way to Indonesia! You have just landed in Bali a few weeks ago, and have never been to Asia before. What are your first feelings and impressions?

Wow! There are a lot of people here! When measured by area, Bali is about the size of my hometown – but while there are 60,000 people living in Rovaniemi, Bali has some 4 million permanent residents! So for the first impression, I’d say it’s a bit chaotic, especially in the traffic. Oh yeah, and it’s super warm. I’m really liking it here though. I don’t feel like I’m going through a culture shock, at least yet, as there are many tourists around, and the tourist areas are quite ‘westernized’.

The traffic though… To me, it seems like there are not really many traffic rules and regulations here. At first it felt a bit overwhelming, but as soon as I started just going with the flow, the traffic started slowly making more and more sense. Riding your own motorbike makes everything so much easier here, and for example chasing the sunsets became a lot more convenient as soon as I got confident riding around the busy streets.

Besides video-work, Mikko-Pekka also takes amazing stills. Here’s one from this week of a local fisherman enjoying a sunny day in South-Bali.

We heard you got yourself a local driver’s license in Bali to be legally allowed to ride the bike, and save you from paying a fine when stopped by the police officers. How did that go, and what did it cost?

Yes, as I didn’t have a motorbike license at home, I thought it would be important to get one here before riding one! Also, your travel insurance may not cover the medical bills in case you have an accident while riding a bike, unless you have a permit to ride one. To get the local driver’s license for motorbikes, all I had to do really was to go to the police station, tell them I wanted a tourist driver’s license, get my phototakes, and then fill out a few application forms. The license cost me 350,000 IDR (less than 25 euros) and will be valid for a month. I’m not sure how much it will cost to renew the license after a month but I’ll find in a few weeks!

You will be releasing a video blog every two weeks through the fall semester. What will these videos portray, and who should follow it?

 Actually, I wouldn’t necessarily call it a video blog. I’m still working on the ideas on what the videos will be like, but I will concentrate on showing student life in the beautiful island of Bali, and also be informative by introducing the viewers to what Bali and Lombok have to offer. I think anyone who is interested in seeing how being abroad in an exotic destination as an exchange student is, or someone who is generally keen on traveling to Bali should find the videos entertaining. Whenever the students are doing something interesting, I will be there with my camera! You will really just have to wait until September and see what the first episode will be like.

Students: Make sure you’re having the best times and always smiling for the camera when Mikko-Pekka is around.

You are taking over our Snapchat. Why should everyone follow @asiaexchange on Snapchat.

Yep. I’m updating Snapchat with anything funny that happens during the day (or night) – yet I’m making sure to include some actually helpful tips for students on what to do and where to go in Bali. So the target with Snapchat is to be both funny and informative. Make sure to follow us @asiaexchange and also let your friends know! I promise that there will be funny and noteworthy posts there throughout the fall semester.

What are your personal goals for your internship, and what are you expecting from the coming months?

I am really looking forward to improving my skills in storytelling via video, and to take my video production to a new level too. These surroundings are so inspiring and beautiful that it is easier to create striking videos. I’m also waiting to get to meet all the exchange students, and having good times with them going on excursions and exploring the island after their lectures – and to get to document our adventures!

We thank Mikko-Pekka for the interview, and are excited to get to see the first video from Bali on the first week of September. Follow our social media account to make sure you’ll be among the first to see it!

Find out more about studying in Bali: