Monthly Archives: March 2015

Sàwàtdii khà!

Hello and warm, almost hot greetings from the land of smiles, Thailand! I am currently living in a small fisher village called Chalong, which is located in the island of Phuket. I’m doing my practical training here in a Finnish dive center Raya Divers and I got to tell you guys, this has been amazing!

My work is kind of divided into two main areas; working at the office and working at the excursions. I can’t really decide which I prefer more since in both of these two, my days are never the same and I learn something each and every day. Though it might seem like a paradise, I am here to work and learn, not on a holiday. I work six days a week and the hours vary from nine to twelve. Still it doesn’t feel like that while I’m snorkeling three hours with amazing customers and blacktip reef sharks 😉 but I’m sure you get the point.

This is my first time in Asia, so I admit that I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew that even though Phuket is very popular among the tourists and it’s getting more and more modern, Thailand is a developing country. While abroad I always try to get the authentic feeling from the place by talking with the locals, getting lost somewhere not so touristic areas and learning about the place. I have come to the conclusion that I love this place. I love how genuine people are, how they are happy for the fact that they are living in this planet and I love the mountains and the sea. This island is full of places you can go to relax, to think, to talk, to be alone and to explore. And to eat. Thai food is amazing, though I’m most certain that in Finland I don’t want to eat rice for a while…

The coolest thing I’ve ever done and which I have dreamed of many years is now my favorite thing while having day offs; diving. I can’t describe how cool and amazing and beautiful it is, you have to experience it yourself. I never knew there would be such a world underneath the surface and the best part is that I get to do it with my awesome co-workers. I did few courses and now I’m certified diver who can dive until 30 meters 🙂

I have never enjoyed working as much as I do here. This has been the best decision of my life so far and who know’s what this will bring to me in the long run 🙂

Here are few pictures of my office and life here, enjoy!

My office My office Diving in Phi Phi My office Raya Divers

-Kristiina

The City of Students!

Tere!

I have lived almost one month in an affordable student town, Tartu. It is the second largest city of Estonia and lies on the banks of the River Emajõgi “Mother river”. Tartu is a university town and a city of youths for sure!

I live in student hostel Nooruse 5, which is next to Tartu´s Health Care College and only 10 minutes walk from the hospital. I really like my dorm. I have two nice balconies, a little cute kitchen and a free gym downstairs. By bus it takes about 10 minutes to go downtown.

Tartu city has many shopping centers, science centers, museums, parks and sport place where to go. But I just like the old town with its richness of all the wonderful cafes, bars and theaters.

Town Hall Square is the heart of Tartu. In the middle of the Square stays one of the greatest symbols of the city, the statue of kissing students. It is a good meeting place with the friends. In free time we go and have a nice cheap lunch in one of the old town´s restaurants. Eating outside is not expensive, you can get a big pasta or pizza for 3 euros almost everywhere.

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I´m doing my practical training in Vascular Surgical Department in Tartu University Hospital. I have had chance to see many different operations and it´s been surprisingly to see how the doctors pay attention to me also and try to explain all the time what they are doing. Most of the nurses don´t speak English at all so I have had to learn some Estonian. I can already follow quite well what the nurses are talking about but my own talking is still bad.

Tartu University Hospital and Heath Care College next to the Student Hostel.

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-Mari

The city of seven bridges, Newcastle Upon Tyne

I have now been six weeks in Newcastle Upon Tyne, in the United Kindgom and from the very beginning I have felt myself like home. People are so friendly, weather is really nice most of the times and food is a little bit cheaper than in Finland. And oh I love Primark. It’s like H&M in Finland but a lot cheaper and because of that I may have some problems with my luggage when I come back to Finland.

I have never lived in shared flat before and I remember how shocked I was when security guard in the middle of the night showed me my room and left me there alone. The other four rooms were still empty. I remember thinking that I am never going to adjust in here. But after few weeks I really started to like my room and every day it feels more like mine. After the first week I finally got roommates, three spanish girls, and it has been very interesting to learn more about Spain, even though sometimes life together is hard because of different cultures.

The weather has really suprised me. I thought, and everyone else also in Finland said to me, that it is going to be raining almost everyday. Well it took seven days before it rained for the first time and it wasn’t even a proper rain. Now in the last few weeks it has been raining more often but still only one or twice a week. I haven’t even bought an umbrella yet! Wind is very cold in here and that is the reason why you may need to use a winter coat in here even though it feels funny because grass is so green and you can see flowers blooming everywhere. And it’s funny to see people walking in the streets wearing maybe a winter coat but then they are wearing summer shoes. But on the days when sun is shining it almost feels like a summer and I am really looking forward to see Newcastle in May!

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Here is a lot of things to see in Newcastle. Newcastle is known of its seven bridges which go over the Tyne river to Gateshead. The Angel of the North is a sculpture who is seen by 33 million people annually. It is 20 metres high and its wing span is 54 metres. If you travel 30 minutes in metro you get to go to the coast of the North Sea. There are for example many beaches, lighthouses and castles. European’s most biggest shopping centre is in Gateshead, only seven minutes travel by train from Newcastle. There is 330 stores and besides restaurants, coffee shops, cinema and bowling alley.

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Map of all the stores in the shopping mall
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Angel of the North
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The Millenium bridge is beatiful in the evening light!

I am a nursing student and Iam doing my parctical trainings here in two hospitals. It has been very interesting to see how health care works in here and I feel so proud of Finland and my teaching in TAMK because like Jenni before me said, based on what I have seen, nurses in here do not know for example how to put sterile gloves on. I have seen how a student puts sterile gloves on and how a staff nurse does it and I felt like I want to cry! So I really now understand and appreciate better many things as a nurse and I am very happy how we take care of people in Finland. But I really like how the working uniforms looks in here, especially dresses with black stocking and black shoes. I want to wear a dress too!

At the last thing I read from the internet before I came here and which I have seen is not true – shops do not close at 5pm. Primark usually closes at 8pm and one big supermarket in Gateshead is open every day but on Sunday at 10pm.

I have seven weeks left in here and I don’t really know how I am feeling about that. On the other hand it would be nice to come backhome but I haven’t seen enough yet and I have really enjoyed my time in here.

Pure dead brilliant

Hello! Hou ar ye? A’m nae bad masell. In other words, hope you’re doing fine, because I am doing well indeed. I’m on my exchange in Paisley, Scotland, just on Glasgow’s doorstep. I have had the most marvellous experience here! People are really nice, warm-hearted and sincere. Scots don’t care what anybody else thinks of them, and that is one of the many aspects that make them so loveable. I’ve been chuffed about almost everything here, except maybe the weather that can change from sunshine to storming wind and monsoon rain in about 5 seconds (broke two umbrellas until I decided they were useless). And as a nursing student it does bug me that the nurses here have no idea what ‘sterile’ really means.

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Paisley. Reminds me of Salo, such a tiny quiet town.
Glasgow Necropolis, one of the most beautiful cemeteries I've ever seen.
Glasgow Necropolis, one of the most beautiful cemeteries I’ve ever seen.

Before coming here I thought my English was alright and I wasn’t that afraid of the Scottish accent. But believe me, it’s even harder in real life than on TV. Scots speak dead quickly and half of the words they use are unique to Scotland or even to the town the person’s from. Accents can be completely different in towns just two miles apart! Sometimes the manner of speech almost makes you laugh out loud, but you just cannot not love it.

Sceneries are unbelievable here, especially for someone from the flattest parts of Finland.

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Clencoe. We were driving along the same road James Bond drives in ‘Skyfall’.

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The West coast and the best weather the whole Spring!
The West coast and the best weather the whole Spring!

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Old castles are a thing here.
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There are hundreds of lochs in Scotland – but only one lake. This here is Loch Lomond.

I haven’t missed home since the first evening here. I would stay if it was possible. My heart will definitely stay here with the drizzle, endless fields of sheep and the friendliest people I’ve ever known.

Cheerio!

 

 

 

My little joy…

Manchester Eye
Manchester Eye

         I did my Erasmus study exchange at the University of Salford, in Salford, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom. It is not exaggerated to say that Tampere is Manchester of Finland, not only because both are big industrial cities, but also because of the feel they both bring to us. Perhaps, the difference is population; Tampere is much quieter. The image shows the city center of Manchester with Manchester Eyes and Market Street.

Source: http://www.freshfieldsrescue.org.uk

               Life in Salford started very smoothly for me with a little kid this type welcoming me right on my first night arriving at the student village. The cute thing about these little foxes is that they are not scared and run away from us or that they do not attack people (of courses, I guess they do if they feel threatened). I had known about them from a friend before I arrived there and I did prepare to even go out and seek for them if I could not see one, but I was lucky enough to come across a cute fox on my first day. 😡 (And later on, I realized that it’s extremely easy to see them, but not to take picture of them)

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            Well, my life in this place seems to be surrounded by animals. These guys was captured by me in my room; the nightmare when I open my window in the evening. This is indeed my first culture shock in the UK. I came from a place with tropical monsoon climate, so these are kind of too familiar. However, the two years in Finland somehow taught me that I don’t usually see these and rats, of courses. So the lesson is: Do not leave your window open at night. You want air? Open the door, instead.

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             So, a message from Salford Business School, where I spent my Erasmus exchange: “Show your ambition”. Life at the university is fairly fun, not with the studying though. It is difficult because most other students are in a different level of English; therefore, they require more with the language we use on writing. Apart from that, everything else is excellent.

The old buildings are no jokes – Peel Building
The old buildings are no jokes – Peel Building
Modern campus as well – Media City UK
Modern campus as well – Media City UK

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           There are many activities organized by the Student Union. They are fun and very good for socializing. This is Hyena tattoo, one of my favorite sections.

              What I wanted to do most when I came to the UK was to travel around the countries. I did not get to travel to many places, but all of them are very nice.

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York

                The weather was a minus for my experience in the UK. It is as bad as expected. I hate the every afternoon rain. The fog looks really nice from inside, but annoying outside. Most importantly, it is unexpected. However, I can’t deny it’s good sometimes.

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Castle Irwell Student Village – My rare artistic moment

Just to conclude the postcard, unexpected things did happen, but above all, I love the place and people I met there. I miss them all <333

Cheap, Cheaper Bulgaria!

I´m enjoying my time here. Even though the city where I`m staying is quite small, there is still much to see. At first it was a bit shock for me to realize I would be living in so small city where is nothing to do. Or that´s what I first thought. The fact is you just have to go and wonder around the city and you will see all the amazing places this city has to offer. And if you get bored with one city just travel to another. Traveling and actually everything here is really cheap compared to Finnish prices.

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Four Horse Men -statue, Veliko Tarnovo

Here is this one saying;” In Veliko Tarnovo there is only two ways to go. One is up and the other is down.” After spending two weeks here I realized why they have this saying. There is really few places where you don´t have to go up the stairs or a hill (of course the way back it is downhill).

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St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo

Studying here has been interesting experience. None of the stuff working in the University speaks English and from the professors only few speak English. So figuring out all the classes and courses has been a big challenge and slow process. But luckily I have awesome mentors here, who help me every time I have problems with something.

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Weather is finally getting better. Sun is shining and the degrees are around 20. Locals call it spring, I call it summer.

Greetings from sunny Bulgaria!

-Enni

Pozdrav z Prahy!

You just have to love Czech Republic, the country where not only the beer is cheaper than water but there is something new and exiting to do for every day. Brno, Tábor, České Budějovice, Český Krumlov , Písek, Kutná Hora… If you somehow get sick of the capital city Prague just pack your backpack and travel around the country, that is just what I am doing during the weekends.

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I visited Kutná Hora’s famous bone church last week

Weekdays are passing by with school and  assignments such as trying to learn at least basics of the language. After lessons I usually meet my friends from Czech and other countries and have a beer (or two) and do some activities like laser tag, bowling, movies etc.  So far my favourite thing has been just wandering around the city and marvel the beauty of Prague.

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The view from Prague castle is amazing, in the backround you can see the Žižkov tv-tower, I live just under it.

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Life is sometimes really hectic in a city of 1,2 milj. inhabitans but luckily there are some places you can go and enjoy the nature like Bílá Hora which is the highest part of Prague

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You can not only see hippos in the Prague zoo but some other places too, Prague always surprises you

IMG_3503The other side of Prague with Vltava

So far I have enjoyed every moment here and I know I will also enjoy the three more months I have left in Czech Republic.

From sunny Prague: Iida

Magical city of Barcelona

Barcelona is the second biggest city in Spain, the population of the city is around 1,6 million, and the population of the metropolitan area is around 5 million. Barcelona is the capital of autonomous community of Catalonia and is located at the Mediterranean sea, northeastern Spain.

I had been in Barcelona for vacation three times before moving here and therefore I was quite familiar with the city, I fell in love with the city when I first came here. When I moved here it felt unreal and I was beyond excited.

From the airport I came straight to my new home that I had arranged beforehand. I live with one girl from England and one boy from Italy, I couldn’t hope for better flat mates! They both are super nice and I have met a lot of people because of them.

I came to Barcelona to do an internship for a startup travel agency. I am doing social media marketing as well as writing a corporate blog for the company. There are around 15 interns in the company which is awesome, we have a young, international and relaxed atmosphere at the office!

I have now been here for two months and I have had a chance to travel to Girona, Montserrat and Valencia. Since Barcelona itself has a lot to offer it’s also nice to stay here during the weekends, you can always find things to do and see. The city is very international and compared to other cities in Spain it’s the least Spanish one, in my opinion.

Things I love about Barcelona: You will not get bored ever, it’s sunny almost everyday, the international atmosphere, amazing restaurants, happy people, limitless opportunities and the beach of course!

I have my personal blog as well, if you are interested you can find it from here!

Above some pictures of the beginning of my adventure in this magical city!

jbjbkSome of my workmates

IMG_0138Valencia during the festival called Las Fallas

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Eating Paella with a friend

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Arc de Triumf, Barcelona

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A view over the city, from Búnker del Carmel 

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Girona

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Montserrat

IMG_9782With the flatmates

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Biking on the beach boulevard

Bordeaux, love at first sight!

Bordeaux is a port city in southwestern France. It is the capital of the Aquitane region and also the world’s major wine industry capital. The historic part of the city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List because of its several historical monuments, 18th-century architectural buildings and arts. As the title says, for me Bordeaux was love at the first sight! This city is incredibly beautiful. I can just walk around in the city center and admire the scenery. There is so many lovely cafes and restaurants everywhere, cute little streets and squares in the old town, the river Garonne.. So much beauty around!IMG_7903

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I started my journey here in France, Bordeaux, at the beginning of January. So, now I have been here over two and a half month. It means that I have already spent half of my exchange time and the time has gone really fast. In my opinion, too quickly. I am not ready to go home! I have enjoyed my time here. I have met lot of new wonderful people from all over the world and made some really close new friends. I have traveled a lot, for example, to Canary Islands, Paris, Barcelona, Toulouse..

Canary Island

Paris

Barcelona

Name of my school is Kedge Business School. The school offers classes to exchange students in different business field, such as finance, marketing, HRM, entrepreneurship etc. They have courses in English and French at the bachelor or master levels. I have only classes thaught in English. I have liked studying here and I have experienced it useful to learn subjects of my own field in English. I also like our school building which have been built one year ago.

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My spare time here I spend with my friends, enjoying the food and wine and traveling around. We have visited at many Wine Chateaus and wine tastings, visited the ballet at Grande Théâtre and every sunday we go to the local outdoor market. And of course we have lot of Erasmus parties.

Oysters at the market

Maison du vin

Now it is time to enjoy and to take all the joy out of the remaining time here!

Bisous,

Henna

¡Saludos desde España!

¡Hola!

Greetings from Benalmádena, Spain. Benalmádena is a town in the provence of Málaga and it is situated approximately 12 kilometers to the west. It is easy to come here from the airport because the local train, Renfe, goes through the airport and it takes about 20 minutes to arrive. Benalmádena is eight most populous municipality in the province. Here you can meet a lot of people from different countries e.g. finnish, swedish and british. Most of them though are elderly people that have come to live here escaping the cold months of their home countries.  But also tourism flourishes and  there are lot’s of destinations with leisure facilities like an amusement park, a caple car and one of the largest marinas of Andalusia.

Marina of Benalmadena

So far I’ve been in to two different practical training places. The first one was Bonilla fisioterapi which is located in Fuengirola. And the other one that I am currently practising is Clinica Sohail and it is also in Fuengirola. Those two places are quite the same and the physiotherapy is mostly manual and physical treatments e.g. shockwaves, ultrasound, laser.. So it differs quite a lot of from finnish physiotherapy which is more advicing, correcting posture and giving excersices. The plan is to try to get people to help themselves. In Spain the treatment’s make the patients more passive because the therapist does all the work. But it is all though nice to see how the physiotherapy is in different country.

The language used in here is mostly spanish but you can manage with english. Some patients speak english but most of Spanish people can only say their name or something similar. Luckily the instructores in those practical trainig places can speak fairly good english so one can understand what the patients problem is. I am trying to learn spanish but I have noticed that it takes quite a lot of time. So patience, patience…

From the Calamorro mountin, Las Aguilas: falconry show

So far we haven’t travelled arround that much with my classmate Linda. We have just tried to get to know the town of Benalmádena and also Fuengirola. One time we have went to the mountain Calamorro with the caple car and watched a falconry show. The bird were amazing and I got the hold one falcon for a moment. Picture above :). In the upcoming weeks we have planned to go to Madrid and a town called Nerja and maybe somewhere else also. It isn’t so serious if one doens’t have plans. Just relax and enjoy the “show”! But looking forward to see what Spain has to offer still.

From the top of the Calamorro.
From the breakwater.

-Miia