Finland: City hands out 'survival box' to new students
A Finnish city is handing out "survival packs" to new students, taking inspiration from the country's famous baby starter boxes.
The city of Lahti has packaged up a selection of essentials for new arrivals to its universities and colleges, helped by contributions from local businesses, national broadcaster Yle reports. More than 1,000 students have received one of the kits so far. And just like the parcels given to expectant mothers across the country, Lahti's offering comes in a modest cardboard box.
Among the items new students will find inside is a bus pass for trips around the city, some locally produced sheets and socks, and a pack of porridge, Yle says. Students can also tuck into the popular Nordic snack salmiakki - a sour, salty liquorice. The survival pack is meant to introduce students to the delights of Lahti while also serving as a marketing opportunity for businesses in the city.
"There has been some swapping going on," says Mari Rosberg from Lahti University of Applied Sciences, adding that someone was willing to swap their porridge for some ice hockey tickets. Ms Rosberg adds that other cities have also been in touch to enquire about the kits.
While Yle reports that students have been giving the box "rave reviews", local newspaper Etela-Suomen Sanomat has a few ideas for some useful additions. After 900 reports of bicycle thefts in Lahti last year, the paper thinks a bike lock would be pretty handy. And given many students' fondness for a drink, they suggest a bottle of fizzy orange pop is included as a guaranteed hangover cure.
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