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Text: Mira Torvinen-Määttä. Photos: Oskari Leinonen,

Portuguese Rui Ribeiro came to Ruukki on an Erasmus exchange

Rui has had the opportunity to see the Finnish countryside both in winter and in summer.

"It was white and dark," recalls 20-year-old Rui Ribeiro of his first visit to Finland in December 2022. He came for a week to Brahe's unit in Ruukki as a guest of the Erasmus+ funded Farmers for Future project.

He was interested in Finland. When his teacher at his Portuguese school, AEPBS (Agrupamento de Escolas de Padre Benjamin Salgado), asked if he wanted to go to Ruukki again for a longer exchange period, he said yes. 

Rui came to Ruukki for a long, over 3-month Erasmus+Pro exchange program at the beginning of April. He is Brahe's first Erasmus+Pro exchange student. During his exchange, he has had the opportunity to do various agricultural tasks. He will be in Finland until the second week of July.

"I've learned to work with tractors, how to drive them. I've done planting work," Rui says.

Rui Ribeiro at the main building
Rui Ribeiro is Brahe's first Erasmus+Pro exchange student.

Rui and Janne Salmela, a teacher at the Ruukki Nature and Equestrian Centre, say that different grains are often grown in Finland compared to Portugal. For example, we grow oats here, while in Portugal, fields might grow corn. Rui also mentions that there are many dairy and meat farms in his home country.

The best things about Finland, according to Rui, are the friendly people. He was most surprised that people are much more talkative than he imagined. He had an image of Finns being quiet.

He has learned some Finnish. "Kiitos (thank you), päivää (good afternoon), huomenta (good morning), koira (dog), kissa (cat), poika (boy), tyttö (girl), onnellinen (happy), väsynyt (tired)."

He has also found some funny aspects of the Finnish language. He recalls a company visit he went on. "I wondered why they kept repeating my name, but it turned out the word was 'ruis' (rye)."

On weekends, Rui has visited Oulu, and he has also been to Rovaniemi. He lives in the dormitory of the Ruukki Nature and Equestrian Centre during his exchange period, and in his free time, he goes to the gym.

After returning to Portugal, Rui will continue his studies. His future plan is to work on a farm or start his own farm.

Rui & tractor
Rui has been diligently doing agricultural work in Ruukki. The weather has been good. Only the mosquitoes bother him a bit.
Rui and tractor
Working with and driving tractors has become familiar during the exchange period.
Rui welding
Rui has also gotten to do some welding. Here he is welding a basketball stand.