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Tuomas Hyypia comes to FHN from Finland

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Francis Howell North student, junior Tuomos Hyypiä, decided he would spend the 2016-17 school year in the United States as a foreign exchange student.

Hyypiä came to the United States from Tampere Finland. He has been in the United States for four months and will be here until the end of the school year.

“The flight was ten hours long,” Hyypiä said. “We flew to New York then here. It was pretty easy to adapt, there is an eight hour time change.”

At home, Hyypiä’s family consists of his mom who is a doctor, his dad who is an IT worker and his 19 year old sister. While Hyypiä is in the U.S., he tries to talk to his family as much as he can, but unfortunately sometimes he can only talk to them about once or twice a month.

“He is part of my family now,” temporary brother Hunter Tabor said.

While here, he is staying with current FHN student Hunter Tabor. Tabor and his family pay for normal household food but anything that Hyypia wants, he pays for.

“We get along really well,” Tabor said. “He’s like a brother now so it’s different.”

His transition here got a lot easier the moment he found out that hockey could be a part of his life. He has been a hockey goalie for ten years. He is on the FHN hockey team while he is in the US and really enjoys it and the team. Hyypiä said his days consist of eating, sleeping, going to school, and playing hockey. Hyypiä even said that when it gets really cold outside, he will even play outside.

“He is literally one of the boys now,” hockey manager Bria Smith said. “The players think he is really cool.”

Tuomas said there are some differences between the United States and Finland. He said that in Finland, you have to be 18 to drive or legally drink alcohol. He also said that there are only three years of highschool because there elementary school goes to sixth grade.

“School is a lot harder in Finland,” Hyypiä said. “But we can pick what we want to study and also leave during the day.”