Monthly Archives: April 2015

What to do when in Budapest?

…I seriously don’t know what to answer. There are so many things to do and see all around the city. I had never visited Budapest before, so for the first week or so I was often left standing in awe my mouth half open. First the river and the Parliament at night lights, then in the warm sunlight, then realizing that almost every building here is beautiful and old and finally discovering how unique the famous ruin pubs actually are. There is nothing to do in Budapest-said no one ever. There’s a million cafés and restaurants, all sorts of festivals and parties and the parks and Margit Island are great for outdoor activities.

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Since the beginning, of course, I have also seen the everyday life and the problems of the city. Very few signs are in English, customer service is not always the best and many practical issues are more difficult to handle here. And of course ATM eating my card was an interesting challenge. But I think the city’s slightly decadent sides and the ruin of parts of it just makes it more exiting and interesting. It is awesome that there are trees growing in the middle of bars that have no roofs!

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Oh, and the school. Mostly things at BKF have been okay. Studying Hungarian is definitely very useful! Some of the other courses have not been quite my line of study, but it is interesting to see that there are different points of view to education, too. There are some ”Hungarian” aspects in dealing with things even in our school; if you need help, it is not a given that someone actually has the right answer. Despite the slight problems, in general the school has been pretty easy. For an Erasmus student the new friends you get of course make up a big part of enjoying school and life in general here.

 

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All in all, I think I will run out of time. And I also think everyone should take a weekend brake and visit Budapest!

Sunny greetings from Malta!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey,

greetings from Malta!

I am doing my placements at the hospital. I did six weeks at gynae ward, now I am doing two weeks at obstetrics (maltese babies are so adorable!) and then two weeks with kids. Maltese people work 12 hours a day, so I have been working a lot here. They do things very differently here than they do in Finland. The hygiene at the hospital was pretty shocking to me at first. The hospital could be from Finland like 30 years ago. They still chart everything on paper, which takes a lot of time and energy. After working long days, I am trying to remember to relax once in a while! Luckily, the weather is starting to be really warm and there is a swimming pool right outside my door.

The main island Malta is a really small and after working 12 hours, there isn’t a lot to do. On my days off I try to go and see other parts of the island and I still need to go see the other islands. Luckily, there still is a lot to see on this island so I won’t get bored on my days off.

I live at the University Residence. I have a roommate and in our flat lives about 12 other people. Even though the Residence itself isn’t in the best condition, you always have people around to do stuff with and you don’t really get lonely even if you tried.

Malta is like a one big outdoors museum so there really is a lot to see. Everything is old and historic. I don’t know how they all fit in this small island, but there are 365 churches here. That is one for every day of the year. Malta has a big and colorful history and it shows all around the island. Even St. Paul shipwracked here! Even Napoleon, the Britts and Romans had an impact on the history in this small but beautiful country.

Hope everyone is having a great experience!

-Elsa

 

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Coral reef greetings!

Sàwàtdii khà from warm and sunny Thailand. I am now living in nice and calm village called Chalong in Phuket and my life in here is quite peaceful. I am doing my practical training here in Finnish diving company, Raya Divers and atmosphere here is really good!
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I have been working in the office with reservations,info meetings and also in excursions during the day. Both sides are really good because you learn something new every day and also learn about the nature. Sometimes if my days last 12 hours in work, it doesn’t feel like working when you can float and swim in the sea with customers and fishes but it is important to be there and see that everything goes well.

Asia was definitely my first option to come to do my practical training because I had dreamed about Asia for three years before. First this scared me but then I was relieved that my dream came true and I can meet local people from different culture and lifestyle. Traffic is different here and faster and also two times one man asked on the move that where are we going and it was little bit funny. Phuket is known about the tourists but right now there is not so many western people on this island. It is really peaceful to notice that even the things might not be really well, people are still really happy every day and smile on their faces. 🙂

Before I came here I didn’t know almost anything about diving but right now I have to say that I did two diving courses and I am certified diver until 30 meters!! Diving will be part of my everyday lifestyle in the future and I will do also more courses. Animals and nature what you see under the water is totally the best thing in the world and everyone should experience that !
This journey have been really good for my life and I have learned from locals to be really calm and peaceful every day.

I will continue my journey around the world and will carry these awesome things with me what I learned during my training!

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-Susanna-

Živijo!

Greetings from the beautiful Slovene Istria! Slovene Istria is a region in southwest of Slovenia that covers all the coastline to the Adriatic Sea. Though the coastline is teeny-tiny (only 47 kilometres!), we’ve got everything – historic cities, sea, vineyards, nature parks, beaches, Mediterranean food and let’s not forget the warmest weather in Slovenia!

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The main square of Koper

My city Koper is almost next to the Italian border and that’s why everyone here knows how to speak Italian and actually, it is is easier to find Italian than Slovenian food here. I have also noticed that the closeness of Italy can also be seen in the relaxed atmosphere. The population rate of Koper is only 25,000, but we have an amazing group of nearly 80 Erasmus students here. Our local student organization is really active and taking incredibly good care of us. But it’s not only the student organization, but the Erasmus students themselves too. We spend a lot of time together and since the distances are really short to different parts of Slovenia and other countries too, we have been travelling quite a lot.

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Since I am a public health nurse student and doing practical training here, I am going to tell you something about that. Firstly, everybody who sees my name tag and the title on it, start laughing or ask me to pronounce ‘terveydenhoitajaopiskelija’. I consider myself really lucky, that the language barrier has created more funny than frustrating situations like that. I already finished my first practice in Splošna bolnišnica Izola in an internal medicine ward. At first, there weren’t too many nurses that spoke in English, but in the last couple weeks I guess they started to feel more confident doing that. In the same ward was also two Slovenian students, that I made friends with, and they were helping me all the time. Now I’m doing my second and last practice in a health center. It just started, so I don’t have a lot to say, but the first impression was good. People are so nice here!

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Splošna bolnišnica Izola and the most amazing views from the hospital

Instead of summing this post up, I’m going to tell you something funny about Slovenians. When we are trying to do something in the same pace in Finland, we usually count from one to three. What Slovenians do, they count “three, four, now!” instead. After hearing this, they told me that Slovenians are special, and they sure are!

Wurst, Semmel und Sauerkraut

Greetings from Austria! At the time I’m studying in University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria as exchange student and life here is going well. As a country Austria does not difference so much from Finland although the weather is much warmer here in Austria. Still in daily life it does not difference much from Finland and when you travel with a train trough the woods it even looks like Finland some times.

To be more accurate I live and study in Wels, which is located in the middle of Austria approximately 200 kilometres west from Vienna. The studying in here is not so time-consuming as it is in Finland, but usually the subjects are harder to study so sometimes I have to sacrifice my own time pretty much for the studies. Still there is plenty enough leisure time to travel and see places.

Here it is easy to travel with train and there is plenty to see in Austria even though it is a small country. You can find beautiful lakes and plenty of mountains (The Alps) from here and there is many beautiful cities pretty close Wels in which you can visit. For example train to Salzburg takes 1 hour and train to Vienna takes 2 hours. Also there are many big cities around Austria that are easy to visit from here e.g. München, Bratislava, Passau, Brno and Prague.

Wels it self is not so big city (only around 50 000 inhabitants), but it’s the Outlet City of Upper Austria, as they call it here, so at the weekends you can find plenty of people from the city centre and it’s also easy to get rid of your money by shopping in here.

The people in Austria are very friendly and it is easy to manage here with only English. Usually if you try to stumble out something in German people change immediately to English when they realise that you are a foreigner.

Wels at night
Wels at night
Wels at night
Wels at night
Sights from Lake Attersee
Sights from Lake Attersee
Sights from Lake Attersee
Sights from Lake Attersee
The whole Wels
The whole Wels
Sights from Vienna
Sights from Vienna

 

In the land of the Blokes

I did not have much expectations about this country. People are relatively polite, but reserved. Living in the Manchester area I hear a lot of different dialects of English language. This melting pot has Irishmen, Scotts, Northern Englishmen and my favourite; Liverpoolians. After couple of weeks I got used to hearing all this weird lingo, and actually picked up few idioms into my own vocabulary…

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Living conditions provided by the University of Salford are unpleasant, to say the least. Charging around 300 pounds a month for a 8 square meter room in a house shared with 10 other people AND mice is a bit too much. Hot water is an occasional visitor in our house and leaking ceilings are something to get used to…20141106_205457

 

Education on the other hand has been very good. Professors are very motivated in teaching and helping us with the assignments and are more than happy to evaluate the work and give guidance throughout our semesters. Even though the level of actual studies is quite low here, basic stuff that we’ve already covered band at home, the facilities and “off-programme” guidance have been superb.

The facilities are the place that I’ve been spending most of my time in. I don’t really care about the city itself, I saw pretty much all there is to see in the first two months. Nothing special.

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When I’m not in the studios of our school learning all the gadgets and recording, I spend most of my time mostly in Castle Irwell, the student village. There are a lot of great people staying here with whom we hang out, drink beer and play pool. The atmosphere is mutually bored with the surrounding areas and the lack of activities.DSC_0042

 

Overall, I’m very happy to have come here. I’ve made a lot of new friends and learnt a lot about sound engineering and studio work, which was the main reason to study abroad:)

-Viktor

 

Merhaba!

Merhaba everybody from Istanbul, Turkey

I have lived my whole trip whit a local man named Ensar in The Taksim area of Istanbul which is the place where all of the action is ;).  In the first few weeks it was really hard for me to meet new people and get new friends because, to my great suprise, all most nobody in here speaks english. Luckily my roommate speaks english so communication whith him is easy and now I have found friends who speak english so I have been able to get in touch whith local places more!

At first I was astonished about the size of this city and it still continues to amaze me when i try my best to explore the city. The official population of Istanbul is 15 million, but the locals say that because of the homeless people and turists and every unregistered person in here the real population is close to 20 million, which makes Istanbul in the top 5 largest citys in the world!

!IMG_1609In the operating theater

I am doing my practical training in Sisli Florence Nightingale hospital, which is a private hospital and a good one so many things are done similarly to the way we do them in Finland! I have been all around the hospital which has been a good experience and I have been able to see many different wards and how they work. Right now I am in the operating theater and this is really cool! I have seen heart, spine,brain surgery etc. so the experience has been really good and educative.

IMG_1666The Blue Mosque

I have of course travelled to the most famous sights in here and they have been very beautiful. This place has so much history in it that almost every building has a story.

IMG_1668The Hagia Sophia

The Turkish culture is also different and has been an exciting experience to witness it and learn it. The Mosques sing five times a day and the first one starts at 5.30AM so if you are not a heavy sleeper like I am you will most definitely get a free weak up call every morning even if you asked it or not 😀

 

IMG_1641In the Sea World

The whole experience so far has been good. It has been a pleasure to get to know another culture that is very different from ours and in a city like this you can see the many different sides of life so even though Istanbul is an very exciting and almost magical place there is no place like home!

 

My life in Kisumu.


It’s Africa. That is the sentence I have heard many times during the last month. In a good and a bad situations.  It has been funny to realize how quickly a human can adapt some things. But other things take a long, very long time. Anyhow after few weeks here I found myself in the middle of the traffic and I was not even scared. It was just normal, not even a rush hour. I don’t still want to see a passing but by foot I am more than fine.

And actually it is pretty nice just to walk. Africans like to walk but they are doing it more easy-going way than we do. But in fact finnish walking speed would be too much in the heat. At first it was quite hot and I got burned so easily. Then when I got used to the hotness then  the rain season and “winter” came. Still Kisumu is more warm than many places in Kenya and I am happy because of that. Last week in Nairobi it was really hailing.

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We started our training in the place called Blue Cross Society. It was surprising to see how they were working among the street children. I was so happy to see that there is hope for those cute boys with the sad eyes of despair. The rude truth is that it is still rare to have a chance for better life. There is almost thousand street children only in Kisumu. And the background stories of these kids, wow. One was raped, an other was abused by the step mother. The one who got lost from his mom, was the lucky one.

The people are so friendly. Many has invited us for a lunch. I think the people are the best part of this culture. One worker of Blue Cross invited us to use her kitchen and showed us how to make traditional bread “chapati”. It was complicated but so delicious!

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Sightseeing? Yes. Already in the first weekend we went to the Victoria lake and we saw some hippos bathing. Thw wildlife is really worth of seeing and we are looking forward to do an actual safari. But there is animals outside of the National parks too. By the road to Nairobi we should many zebras and monkeys. It was really good decision to take a bus even though it took seven hours. We also saw the biggest tea plantation on the way to tha capital

 

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All in all. I am sure this is the time I won’t never forget. And I really hope that back in Finland I would be very pleased what I have.

Nyumbani Tansania!

Two memorable months in Mwanza, Tanzania – lived up to ideas. (African) time flies in this atmospheric and cozy city of rocks. Mwanza is a place you can easily call home sweet home – nyumbani ni nyumbani. It is an attractive combination of lakeside views and local hospitality.  As capital of Mwanza Region is vibrant with various tribal groups and the population rate nearly three million. You find a diverse spectrum of people, greetings, habits, tribes, ties and interaction here in TZ and on the southern Lake Victoria shore.

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I stay here to study sociology in Saint Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT) – enrolling three courses for three months. This bilateral exchange hospitality provides me close-knit relations and nearly familial bonds. Besides the academic process, I pay study visits to the non-governmental organizations to get a glimpse (or a pinch) of the grass roots level operations. We have contributed with the street children centers with arts, food, facilities, play sessions and other activities. In addition to informal swahili lessons, studying human rights issues, human resource management and project implementation is intriguing enough to learn something new every single day. The cultural confusion is the best teacher, besides all the assignments.

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It is hard to avoid the fascinating views and top attractions in Tanzania. We’ve had miraculous weekends off in Zanzibar, Serengeti, Ukerewe Island . Easter was unforgettable as well; staying with friends and their families in Arusha, Manyara and the capital Dar es Salaam. Women’s Day celebrations were spectacular, but I am still curious to experience the colorful culture – its twists and traditions.

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PS. Smiling is the best compensation to any trouble. So take your time and live the moment now.

Asante kwa ukarimu wako
– Hanna-Kaisa

Saint-Perersburg Practical Training

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As a mandatory part of my studies in TAMK in the department of International Business I was an intern in travel agency «VenFin SPb» during the period of 8 Aug – 11Nov, 2014. Working placement in «VenFin SPb» consisted of regular visits to the company, its departments, consultation with the head of practical training, collaboration with the employees and officials, dealing with records management, and customer service.

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During the training  «VenFin Spb» participated in a tourist exhibition.It was held in an extremely beatiful place calle «Petergof»

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Doing my practical training for travel agency in Saint-Petersburg gave me incredible experience of dealing with real business issues. Being born in Russia, I never expected that internship in my home country will be so diverting. I knew the country, its features, customer attitudes, but never been involved into a promoted business environment.  And of course, being in a home country for 3 months gave me a unique chance to be close to my old friends and relatives, have fun and enjoy the time together.

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