So young but so determined. Luana Komatsu, a first year law student from the University of Sao Paolo, made an original choice and decided to head for summer school in Helsinki. At that point, Finland was but a small and rather unfamiliar spot on her map next to Russia.
- My idea was to find a completely different place, and the course seemed good.
Towards European Federation was like a tailor-made course for Komatsu, since this young woman dreams of a job where to make use of her familiarity with the European Union and its legal system.
- If I worked at an international bank in Brazil, for instance, I would definitely need to know about different legal systems in different countries.
In practice, the course was divided into two groups: students could choose whether to concentrate on different legal practices in the European Union or the political aspects of its legislation. Komatsu chose the political approach to the matter, since it was nearer to her own interests. All the same, the fact that the two teachers were so different was appealing to her. There was the Finnish professor, very easy-going, whereas the German lecturer on the political aspects of legal practices approached his students quite formally and matter-of-factly.
Especially rewarding, in Komatsu’s opinion, was the presentation done in groups of two.
- In our assignment we had to use all we had learned about the European Union. It was really creative.
The course gave our budding lawyer a whole lot of new friends, but one thing was a little vexing: there was little contact with actual Finns. There was only one or two at the course.
- Your city is beautiful and nice, but unfortunately we had little contacts to locals on the street as well.
Yet the Nordic beauty of Finland seemed appealing enough to this hot-blooded Latino, and she might consider returning here or the neighbouring countries one day.
- Even if I wish to live in Brazil, I intend to spend a year or two abroad. Let’s see once the subject of my thesis is settled and I decide what my specialty will be.
- That much is certain, that I am the practical type. Practicing law seems much more likely than research, for instance.
And this she says with determination in her even voice.
Text by Kai Maksimainen
Photo by Annika Rauhala