Feelings about Valencia

Well, my Erasmus-exchange in Spain, Valencia didn’t start as I had imagined. First of all, my luggage didn’t arrive here but luckily I got it during the next day. I’m so happy my father has taught me to pack some extra clothes to my hand back! I arrived here on Sunday and on Tuesday I went to the University to talk about my practical training places. In the University they were shocked because I only speak Spanish a couple of words. Two months ago TAMK asked them can I come here with these language skills and the answer was yes. So, now they are saying that it’s too difficult to find training places for me because my low level of Spanish. They think the biggest problem is that patients don’t speak English at all. Finally they said that they try to figure out something and I should just wait for their e-mail about this.

I was waiting for the e-mail for a week. During that week I walked around Valencia and wrote my thesis. I felt days were pretty long because I didn’t really have company and the schedule of each day was pretty same for the whole week. But at least I had a chance to enjoy the sun!

I went to the University again and I was prepared to go home because I understood that there is no training place for me. Well, the information wasn’t really working inside that building either. Some of the people had thought that I have already started a training and some of them were about to send me back home. After being at the University about 4 hours they managed to find a place for me. The training place is the University’s own clinic and there are two physiotherapists, Lucia and Roberto. I met Roberto immediately and after couple of minutes it was obvious that he doesn’t speak English. Well, we went to see the clinic and I also met Lucia, she doesn’t speak English either. In the same clinic there are an occupational therapist and three occupational therapy students from Portugal. Luckily those three students speak English.

Physiotherapists don’t really have clients in the clinic so most of the time I am watching occupational therapy. I think it doesn’t matter because actually here the occupational therapy is more like physiotherapy in Finland. Here the physiotherapists are mainly just massaging and putting kinesiotape everywhere 😀 Communication is a big problem and I think it is ridiculous that I have to say things to Roberto using Google Translate… He is not able to say a single sentence in English and I can’t ask anything because he doesn’t know what I mean. I really like the occupational therapist because she is trying to tell me things as much as possible. She doesn’t speak English either but somehow I understand many of her sayings. It’s good that medical terms are mainly Latin so those terms are familiar to me and the things I don’t understand are translated to me by the Portuguese girls. I’m working long hours, actually every day from 10am to 2pm and 3pm to 8pm. But that way I will get my credits pretty fast 🙂

My flatmates are nice but I just rarely see them. All we have done together so far is watching a couple of movies in our flat. Our landlord is also a nice old guy who even picked me up from the airport when I came. His English isn’t very good but I think we can communicate enough.

When I have spare time, I write my thesis and walk a lot around the city. I also call many times a week to my husband, parents and little sister using skype. Sometimes I feel homesick but talking to my family makes me feel better. During the long walks in the Turia park, I see a lot of dogs and their owners jogging and playing. Those moments make me miss my dog incredibly much! I met two Finnish girls here who are also exchange students in the same University. They have helped me a lot and together we like to go to the cafes to talk. I have a local buddy student but I haven’t met her yet. To be honest, she doesn’t seem to be very active to answer my messages on Facebook… Now it’s time of the big festival called Las Fallas. Every day at 2pm in the city hall square there are noisy mascletas, but so far I haven’t been there watching the show. Or actually there isn’t that much to see, it’s just the matter of loud voices and like fireworks without colourful shapes in the sky 🙂 At the moment I’m looking forward to my little sister to come here after two weeks! There are many places we will go together and I’m excited to show what is my life over here.

That’s all for now, hasta luego!

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