Greetings from Hanoi!

Greetings from Hanoi!

 Vietnamese people believe that they are the children of a mountain fairy and a water dragon. The fairy and her dragon fell in love and the fairy moved to the sea shore. They got lots of children but the fairy could not be happy without her mountains. She took half of the children with her and moved back to where she came from. The water dragon took care of the other half. The story is easy to believe because Vietnam is a land of great mountains and the sea.

I am doing my 7 weeks internship in Hanoi Medical University Hospital. The first four weeks of my internship consists of mornings at the surgical department and of participating lessons with local students in the afternoons. There is also another Finnish girl participating the same courses. The next 3 weeks we’re going to spend at the emergency department and as a future emergency nurse I look forward to it! The local students are our tutors during our internship. The doctors don’t have time to teach us and many of them lack English speaking skills so that’s why it is easier for everybody to have the students to guide us. Most of the patients don’t speak any English so the communication with them is difficult. But we smile a lot with each other and they are very interested in Western nurse students.

Hanoi is a city of great contrasts. In the city centre you can find expensive restaurants and shops, and you almost forget that Vietnam is not a rich country. The majority of Hanoi consists of shabby buildings and narrow streets where the local merchants buy fruits and vegetables, meat and fish. Forget the cold chain, it is okay to keep the meat products laying on the table whole day. There are chickens walking freely in the city streets and once I saw a man skinning the chicken next to the pavement. It is very dirty everywhere and air pollutants are a big problem. Vietnamese people are friendly and helpful. I have been travelling around Asia when I was younger and I always hated the way many people try to take advantage of me when talking about money. It happens here also, but not so much. People stare at me because I am a western girl with almost blond hair, but mostly they let me be alone.

My favourite Vietnamese food is bun cha. It is a local soup made of pork and noodle. It costs approximately 25000 Vietnamese dongs, about 90 cents in euros. As a coffee lover I tasted the famous Vietnamese coffee. It is a bit strong and sweet for Finnish taste, but still very good!

During my free time I have been exploring the city. I went to see the botanical garden and the famous water puppet show. The show was interesting and crazy in a good way, I recommend it to anyone who travels to Hanoi. I’ve been travelling outside of Hanoi also, to see the famous Halong bay and the valley of Mai chau. I love travelling and the countryside, so it is very difficult to me to stay in Hanoi for a long time. Especially because the population of the capital is 7,5 million.

Vietnamese nursing culture is very different compared to Finnish one. The hospital where I am working is one of the best hospitals in Hanoi but still I can see the differences. Protection against infections is not so strict as it is in Finland and for example gloves are not used very often. It has been difficult for me to do all the things in Vietnamese way and not how I learned to do them in Finland. The treatment of ulcers is made with iodine only and some treatment practices differ a lot from Finnish ways. Sometimes it is difficult to keep myself from questioning the practices, but still I can see that local nurses and doctors are very professional and I learned a lot here. Privacy is not a big deal, there are approximately ten patients living in the same room and sometimes nurses need to make extra beds to the floor or have two patients in the same bed. There are no curtains around the beds and all the nursing operations are done in front of other people. Including catheterizing. The nursing work here consists mostly of medical treatment. Families take care of feeding and washing the patients.

I have been enjoying my life in Vietnam and fortunately I still have 5 weeks left.


Greetings from Paris

I’m doing my 6 weeks internship at Cochi’s Hospital. Hospital lies very close the beautiful garden of Luxembourg. People are very friendly at the hospital and my tutor speaks good English. Some of the patients don’t speak or understand at all English, so sometimes it’s a bit difficult to give some physiotherapy. I don’t speak french at all, except few sentences and words. Some patients have asked me why did I come to France if I can’t speak french? Well yeah… That’s a question. I have spent a lot of time at the rheumatology and ortopedic sections where people suffer a lot of low back pain. Postoperative physiotherapy is also given at the both sections. I have also had  a couple of french lessons at the Ecole d’Assas. Just trying to learn some sentences and phrases what I can use with patients who don’t speak English.

This is how they recommend patients to eat

After 6 weeks internship at the hospital, there’s an international week at the school. There are going to be lots of presentations about different areas of physiotherapy. After the international week, I have 4 weeks internship at Cardiology and respiratory center in the north side of Paris.

Jardin de Tuileries

I’m spending my free time at the local gym called ”Fitness price”. I try to workout 2 to 4 times a week. It gives me good feeling and improves my endurance condition. I have also seen many sights, for example Eiffel tower, Triumphal arch, Champs Èlysée, Sainte-Chapelle, Church of Notre Dame, Sacré-Coeur, Luxemourg garden, Tuileries Garden, The Pont Alexandre, Pére Lachaise Cemetery… Paris is a historical town and there are lots of old buildings and much to see. Maybe 3 months is not enough to see everything that the town offers?



French pastries are incredibly good and tasty! I spend my free time… eating. I have already tasted opera cake, macaron, mille feuille, croissant, baguette, chocolate tart (twice…), eclair, nutella crepe, madeleines… This is the city of gourmet. If you go to café and order one cup of coffee, it’s going to be a really small cup. I’m serious. I think they don’t understand that I’m a finnish girl and I need a bucket of coffee!

Physiotherapy studies last here 4 years ( in Finland 3 ½ years) and they have specialized studied in their education. Physiotherapy is similar in the hospital than it’s in Finland. Here they invest a lot of time and resources to intensive rehabilitation. They rehabilitate their patients 5 hours a day! That’s something Finland should learn from example! Here also multi-professional collaboration comes out very clearly. Doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, personal trainers, podiatrists and orthotists work as a team.

You alright, mate?


I spent three months in the surprisingly warm and sunny Portsmouth in the south coast of England. Who knew there are palm trees in the English seaside? Portsmouth is a coastal city, slightly smaller than Tampere, and the main part of the city is actually located on an island, although I only realised this about halfway through my stay there. People always say that the English weather is horrible but I was actually surprised by how warm it was. Even though Portsmouth is on the south coast, I didn’t expect to have 14 degree temperatures in November. Maybe the weather is horrible in everyone else’s mind, but for a Finn it actually feels very nice?

I study International Business and I specialise in marketing. Unfortunately, there weren’t many marketing courses, or units, as the English call them, on offer at Portsmouth. Since most of the units last a full year there were only a few options for those spending only half a year. Most of the units offered to exchange students are actually shortened versions of the whole year units, so almost all of the other students are exchange students as well, which was nice in a way, because at the beginning of the year everyone was in the same situation. Still, it would have been nice to get to know some of the local students as well. Despite that, I enjoyed most of my studies, and found them in someway relevant or interesting. I also enjoyed working with the other exchange students, and since everyone was foreign, the classes were quite diverse.

In England, or at least in Portsmouth, there are only a few classes every week. I had 5 units, and most of them only had two hours of class every week. One hour lecture for everyone in the unit, and then one hour seminar in smaller groups. I found this to be a quite good way of learning, although it meant that my timetable was quite scattered. Attendance was mandatory for all classes, although no one checked for attendance in the lectures. In the seminars, however, if you miss 3 consecutive lessons, you’d essentially fail the class.

In my free time, I’d hang out in the city. There are three main “city” areas to Portsmouth. There’s Commercial Street, which is right by the University and is the actual city centre, with all the shops and things like that. Then there’s Gunwharf Quays, which is a more fancy, touristy, high end shopping and restaurant area, right by the sea and the harbor. The third one, which I liked best, is Southsea, which is where all the good bars and restaurants are. It’s on the southern side of the city, although almost everything in is within walking distance. Southsea is, in my opinion, the most beautiful area of Portsmouth, and it is the area of Portsmouth that looks the most like a stereotypical English coast city.

Southsea might be my favorite area in the city, but what I really loved doing in Portsmouth, was walking on the seaside. Being a Finn, I’m used to there being water around me all the time, and I’m not going to lie, the sea was a big reason for me when choosing Portsmouth as my exchange destination.

Since Portsmouth isn’t a very big city, I also visited the bigger cities around it, like Brighton, Southampton, and Bornmouth, as well as the absolutely beautiful Isle of Wight. Portsmouth is also only a 90 minute train drive away from London, when the trains are running that is, so I visited London quite a few times. On the last week of my stay, my boyfriend and I flew to Scotland, which was absolutely amazing and quite possibly my favorite part of my stay. We rented a car and drove around the Scottish highlands for a day, and I’m not lying when I say I’ve never seen anything so beautiful. Coming back to Portsmouth was almost a disappointment, since it was so close to Christmas and there was no snow in England, unlike in Scotland.

Compared to Finland, studying in England was quite different. There were fewer classes every week, but that meant you were expected to do more reading at home. Based on some of the teachers’ comments, I was slightly intimidated of the workload, but after receiving my grades, I can happily say that I managed just as well as at TAMK, with pretty much the same amount of work.

The grading of the units was based on an essay, a presentation, or an exam. The exchange students, however, didn’t have any exams, since those take place in January, and the autumn semester ended on the 15th of December. Most of my units were graded based on an essay, which I had never written in TAMK, only reports, so I found this quite challenging, and had to spend a lot of time in the library. This was another difference to TAMK. Students actually hang out in the library a lot, and the library is open 24/7. I liked it though. When doing groupworks, or writing essays, the library was a good place to gather in, since most of the exchange students lived in student housing, so there wasn’t enough room in anyone’s apartment to hang out it. All in all, student life is much more inclusive compared to Finland. There are different clubs for students, for different sports, different ethnicities, different diets, different political orientations etc. There’s even a Quidditch club, which is quite possibly the awesomest and most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of. Every week is a student night in the city, with different events in different venues. Basically, if you’re a student, your whole life revolves around the university.

Portsmouth to me was quite an ideal destination. I love the city, I had great flatmates and I met amazing people from all around the world. I love the seaside, and the short distance to London. I don’t just miss the people I met there, I also miss the city itself and I’m very happy I chose to go there. It’s one of my favorite places in the world, like a home away from home, and I’m definitely going back there.

Salutacions de Manresa!

Greetings from Manresa! I am doing my training here in South Europe. I am nurse student, and my training place is quite nice and small health center where children and adults are cared for.  My training has gone pretty well even though really no one speaks English and I barely speak Spanish or Catalan. But thank God we have a Google translator. People here are very friendly and interested in to learn some English so in practice I also teach English to my work mates.

(view from Manresa)

Manresa located about 65km from Barcelona. And almost every weekend I used to take train to Barcelona. I can say that Barcelona is huge city and every time I visiting there I found something new and interesting to do. Here it is not possible to get bored. The best thing for me is just to walk the seashore or La Rambla while the sun is warming up. Besides, there are also great shopping places here.

(La Sagrada Familia and La Rambla)

The training is quite similar here and in Finland. Of course there are some differences but I could say they are quite minor. The first difference I saw was that they do not have brakes between their work day, they just keep their brake when they had done all the works, like if you went afternoon shift your first brake was 20.15 and you can go home 21.00.

Other compares I saw was that almost every single TV series and movies are re-recorded in Spanish and I think that was quite annoying. Despite that I really can say that I have liked to be here. And of course the parking system, Spanish just park their cars anywhere and leave the warning lights on for while they go shopping.

(park Güell)

Greetings from Munich

I have been living in Munich almost six months now and it has been the best time of my life so far. My semester started in early October, but I arrived in Munich in September to get to know other exchange students and the city by its self before starting studying. I chose to study engineering subjects and that turned out to be a little challenging road. We had quite a lot of work to earn our credits, but in the end, everything went well.

During my exchange period, we had a lot of free time to hang out with friends and to travel all over Europe. We made multiple road trips to different countries like Croatia and Italy, but my absolute favorite was our ski trip to Sölden with other exchange students. We also made several day trips to different ski stations in Alps during the exchange.

Day trip in Axamer Lizum, Austria

What comes to spare time in Munich the highlight was definitely the Oktoberfest. But besides that, Munich offers a lot of other things to do. Most common way to spend time here is to gather a bunch of friends and go to grab a few beers in beer hall or beer garden. And of course, when you are in Munich you have to experience at least one Bayern München football match even if you don´t care that much about football. Just the atmosphere in the fully packed Allianz arena with 75,000 people is something to see.

Bayern München vs RB Leipzig

Studying in Germany has been a little bit different compared to studying in Finland. The main difference is that usually, it´s not mandatory to attend lectures. And the lectures go so that the professor talks the whole three hours and students take notes, or not however you like. It turned out to be a really boring way to teach. But one benefit was that they didn´t give any homework so you can enjoy your free time without thinking school. Of course, all the courses and the professors are different, because MUAS offers a large variety of different kind of courses where to choose.

Overall, I´m really happy that I decided to spend my exchange period in this amazing city!


Greetings from Fuengirola, Spain, where I am in practical training. I’m studying for a Bachelor of Social Services. Now I have been here five weeks and my training lasts three months. I enjoyed my life in Spain and the placement is a very good. It’s a small home school where is about 25 pupils.

                                         I love sunny mornings


Spare time

Spare time has passed by walking nearby villages and nearby mountain. During the first month came more than 300 km of walking. While the walking can to sense the mood of the villages better than in the car. In the nearby mountain there is a cave at an altitude of about 500 meters and there also came a deviation.


                                 Great views from the mountain



                                                                                                   Colomares Castle

 It’s not really Ia castle, it is a monument dedicated to the life and adventures of Christopher Columbus. It is a miniature model of the castle. This attraction is located on Pueblo Benalmadena near Fuengirola.


Spain as compared to Finland

First at all, the climate comes to mind, especially right now, that in Finland has had severe frosts. Despite the fact that last week there was a very rainy climate it is wonderful. However, rainfall is needed to fill rainwater from the basins of drinking water, otherwise the water setting will begin.


           Water flows down the Fuengirola River down the mountains


In Spain, nothing is very accurate and, for example, a car can be a parking space in the middle of the road and block the whole traffic if the driver deviates somewhere and there is no immediate parking space.

People are very polite and many greetings, hola! In Finland it is normal to turn away and say nothing. Here are lots of dogs and they usually run free. On the streets are quite a lot of dog stools. The dogs are not interested in other people but are running their own paths.


Even though here are many tourists, it is worthwhile to come if there is a chance!




Bienvenue à Nice!

I spent my student exchange in the beautiful city of Nice, France. 4 months on the Riviera coast makes you truly understand why so many choose to invest into an apartment there; the surroundings are stunningly beautiful, the sun is shining for 305 days around the year and Nice has the French culture & cuisine. What is there not to love? On a longer stay one can realize that Nice is so much more than just a city with palm trees and beaches.


I was studying in IPAG business school and took the 3rd year courses. The school is a private business school and a rather small one, located in the city center. I took 5 courses, which results in 30 ECT’s, but yet I had a lot of free time. Especially in the very start of the semester I had many day offs, which was great as we had time to go to explore the city or just relax on the beach. However the schedules kept on changing a lot so if you noticed a free day in 3 weeks, it was very possible that something might appear. This affected mostly long term planning for longer trips.

Otherwise I felt that the school was easy. Some of the courses had similar content as we had already studied in TAMK during our 1st year. We had quite a lot of group work and home assignments, but the subjects were easy and there was not a lot of effort required to pass them. Our studies were divided into lectures and tutorials, which basically meant that lectures were about classic lessons where the teacher taught us and the tutorials were for our own learning. During the tutorials there were group projects, assignments, discussions and otherwise more modern methods used for teaching and learning. The teachers had very different styles of teaching, which I found refreshing but some of the students complained about this fact.

I had the opportunity to take courses not so related to business, such as French language and French culture & civilization. The French lessons were held in French, which may seem extreme but it was great for improving your understanding of spoken French. The culture & civilization course I recommend for everyone, the teacher loved to talk about France and the weird customs they had and was also very interested in our cultures.

During my free time I traveled a lot in Nice and on the coast. In Nice I concentrated on the many restaurants, cafes, parks and the old town. The local buses are very cheap so it was easy to see all the smaller “towns” nearby. My absolute favorite was Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, which had the most beautiful walking path by the sea. I also hiked to the old village of Eze, where we found a lot of small boutiques and restaurants. The hike is a bit of challenge but I strongly recommend it! In addition to Cannes, Antibes etc. other French cities, I had the chance to visit the national park (Mercantour), the countryside of Bordeaux (wine, wine, wine), Madrid, Milan, San Remo, Ventimiglia and of course Monaco (many times). Nice is located wisely and travelling is easy.

Leeds, UK

I can’t say I had heard of Leeds before my studies there. Kind of weird, since it is the third biggest city in England, with a whopping 2,4 million residents in its metropolitan area. The truth is that I never even applied there; I got to find out during my application process that in order for me to study in the UK, I need to take a spot in Leeds. And so I did.

Leeds city centre

What I really applaud Leeds for, is that as a small town girl who thinks even Tampere is big, Leeds never felt overwhelming. The city centre is big compared to Tampere, for sure, but it’s also oddly compact. If you leave the central area you will quickly find yourself in the suburbs and more sparsely populated areas. Our campus was not in the centre either, but in an area called Headingley, which I really liked despite having to travel a bit more to get there.

Kirkstall Abbey, monastery ruins and park in Leeds

I felt like the studies in Leeds more or less matched with what they are in Finland. I had three modules (that’s what the Brits call their courses), and I think it was just the right amount for an exchange student, since you really don’t want to spend your whole time just studying. Even though my schedule felt quite empty, the modules did require a lot of time and effort, so it was a good balance. I really enjoyed the lectures and the assignments we got, so could have not been better in my opinion.

Headingley campus library

I think the biggest difference to Finland is just the sheer size of the campuses. They are absolutely massive! Headingley campus alone had over ten buildings you might have your lecture in, there’s a huge library that’s literally open 24/7 (I mean how cool is that?), the campus cafeteria had three restaurants to choose from, and each campus has its own bar. Yeah, a real bar you can get a drink at. Oh, and campus shops. Reasonably priced campus shops. Definitely miss that.

On my free time I did quite a bit of travelling around UK with my flatmate and classmate Tiia. We visited York, Whitby, Alnwick, Durham, Edinburh (twice!), Bath, Stonehenge, Lake District and London. I also visited Glasgow and Manchester. Dublin is definitely something I would have liked to see as well, but we only had so much time and resources. I have so many memories from this entire journey, so many pictures, so many people I met, I wouldn’t change it for the world.


Du bist meine kleine schwarze Katze

I spent my 5 months in a beautiful, small town called Krems an der Donau, in Austria. At first, I was a bit nervous to go abroad all by myself, because I had never travelled alone. The other fact that made me a bit nervous was, that I wasn’t sure how good English people speak in Austria. All I knew about German was “Du bist meine kleine schwarze Katze”, and that wasn’t really helpful in my daily life. And yes, there were times when people didn’t speak (or just didn’t want to speak) English, but still I somehow managed to survive.I studied in IMC Krems, which had two different campus areas in the city. All my classes where in the international campus, which was in the old town. The building was an old monastery, so some of the classrooms were really beautiful. The professors spoke quite good English, and the international relations office was always happy to help you with your issues.My classes were with the regular students who studied Export Oriented Business in English. There were many nationalities in the group, as only about a half of them were from Austria. I felt like most of the professors gave good grades way too easily, but otherwise most of my courses were pretty good. Some of the courses I took were HR, Export marketing and German for beginners. I have never learned a language as fast I did with German. It really helps when you hear and see it everywhere. And also the fact, that you must learn it to survive in your daily life, or a t least make it more comfortable.Maybe the best course I chose was “Austria Business, Politics and Culture”, not just because I learnt about the country I was studying at the moment, but because the teacher was so nice. At the end of the course she invited our group to her home for an Austrian dinner. We spent the evening with her and her family, eating, drinking a local white wine and sharing stories about our lives at our home countries. At that point I was so happy that I was prepared for moments like these, as I brought a “Finnish gift bag” with me from Finland, containing a small Moomin towel in a Marimekko cosmetic bag. It was a perfect gift for a moment like that.My spare time I spent traveling across the country. I got to see amazing views, hike in a sunny autumn weather and snowboard in the Alps. I loved the nature and the historical buildings and old towns. Austria was a good choice, and I’m sure I will go back there someday.






Annyeong From Korea

I am going to Kyonggi University, in Suwon, South Korea. It is a good university, though it was built in literally a HILL, so you would have to climb the hill to go to class. Not that I’m complaining though, it’s like working out, which is good for your health and body~.

I took some courses in English, related to International Business and the East Asian region. Actually, the selection of courses wasn’t that great, but enough. The classes in Korea are quite different from Finland, more about listening to the lecture of the teacher than discussing among students. It is not hard, I don’t have to put a lot of effort to get a good grade. But I believe that because my courses are left easier for they are in English. I’ve been witnessing Korean students study so so hard for their exams: no one playing sports, no one hanging out, just eating ramen and studying.

I also took an intensive Korean Language course for 10 weeks, from Monday to Friday every week, which is really “intense” and so I could be confident to say that I can speak Korean now. So if you are interested in Korean language, I highly recommend this kind of intensive course since you can really take something out if it (of course with a lot more effort) compared to the normal language course once a week.


I had quite a lot free time during the semester, considering taking only 4 courses. I usually hang out with other exchange students, most of which are from France or Germany, some from Mexico, and I am the only one from Finland. Everyone is nice and friendly. Together we try Korean food (most of which is SUPER spicy) and travel around. Suwon is less than 1 hour away from Seoul by subway so we go there quite a lot.

There are so many places to visit and many things to try so you have to be selective. My favorites are the palaces, museums, Korean sauna (called Jimjilbang), or just wandering around shopping areas like Kangnam or Myungdong.




Korean people are really friendly, you can get a lot of free services in restaurants and shops when you are foreigner. Some of them also love to ask about you and your country, in Korean most of the time of course. But Korean students can be very shy, if you are foreigner and speak English. I guess they are afraid of making mistakes in English. But when you got to be friends with them, they are really nice and fun. Korean students are good at drinking and having fun in clubs and bars, or so I’ve heard since I don’t really go there.

Oh and one thing, there’s literally so personal space in Korea, which I miss the most about Finland. People love to squeeze together over here. And sometimes, in the subway or elevator, they just come straight to you, pushing you out of your place so that they can stand there, which still puzzles me until now.

We went to the DMZ (Korean Demilitarized Zone) and that railway is supposed to be going to North Korea~


All in all, I’ve been having a great time in Korea. It is a nice blend between tradition and modernity. I found the country so young and lively and buzzling but also deep in rich culture and history and tradition. So I’ve got to experience a lot, all of which is precious to me, as well as to make so many great friends, not only Koreans but all over the world, each of whom is dear to be now.