Monthly Archives: May 2015

Sunny greetings from Crete!

I have been living here in Crete a month now. I live in a small village called Vamos. It’s located seven kilometers from the sea and 25 kilometers from Chania. Vamos is a traditional village which offers tourists agricultural experiences and a get-away place from mass tourist destinations. Now in spring the nature is very beautiful and green and the climate is not too hot (today only +30) .

View from the balcony
Balcony view from Vamos

I’m here for almost three months, doing my practical training. I study tourism and after this training I only have to write my thesis and then I can graduate. I’m working here in a small company which is run by only one Finnish lady. This company brings Finnish tourist groups here for one week at a time. We arrange them breakfasts, activities and a dinners for the whole week. We have visited wonderful places during this month and I have learned so much from the groups and from Merja my mentor/ business owner. Groups are usually middle aged or older and they choose to come here to see the real life of a normal village. I have really enjoyed the training so far, and I’m already little sad that I have to leave `soon`.

Trip to Aradena gorge.
Trip to Aradena gorge.

I have worked long days since I got here, some days with the groups lasts from 9 am to 10 pm and there is only two hour break in the middle. But when there is no groups we have normal office hours during which I update and prepare the new webpages. In my spare time I sit by the pool of my hotel, drink tea in the cafe and speak with my local friends here. We have also made some trips with my boss in our day offs. On Saturday we are probably heading to the beach with some friends.  And I’m planning to rent a car on the last week when i’m here and travel around the Crete!

Sea view from Almyrida.
Sea view from Almyrida.

I have really enjoyed my time here and I’m planning to come back in the autumn with my family so that they can understand how I’m so in love with this place! I’m also hoping to find a summer job from Crete for the next summer season. I’m learning all the time so much about this island and the people that i need to come back. And I have realized that I really want to learn this language to understand even more. I’m waiting forward for the last moths here!

Wwe have four puppy's in the work place!
We have four puppy’s in the work place!
Collecting gastropods
Collecting gastropods
In the Saturday market with my boss
In the Saturday market with my boss

 

Hopefully there is no snow in Finland when I come back.  See you in June!

Hiya from Scotland!

Scotland has been amazing so far! The people are super nice and the weather hasn’t been as bad as I feared. My placement is going really well! I am in a surgical orthopedics ward where most of the surgeries are elective. I have learned a lot from my mentor as well as my patients. We have visited other places here in Scotland such as Edinburgh and Killpatrick and so on and the views have been amazing! I recommend Scotland to everyone!

10847538_10155159921820436_185648419248938122_oScott’s Monument in Edinburgh

10847645_10155159922695436_4732394313299404972_oArthur’s seat in Edinburgh

10904452_10155159954985436_6407234761736672428_oPaisley Abbey

10924620_10155159922775436_8419936175374983070_oHighland seen from Edinburgh Castle

Hola a todos!

Greetings from Spain! I have lived here now for almost two months. I live in city called Fuengirola, which is part of province of Malaga. Fuengirola is quite small city with a lot of tourists. The best part about it is the beach. The nature is also very beautiful here, especially up in the mountains.  I’m going to be here till the beginning of June.

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I’m doing my practical training here. I study social services and I’m working in a kindergarten and also organizing free time activities for children and teenagers. I like my job a lot because it is so alternative and the children are very adorable. There are also other students who are doing their placement here in the same place, so it is nice to have other people around who are in the same situation.

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My working hours differs a lot. Some days I work only till 2pm but often we have some evening activities too. I’m also going to attend on two different camps in May.
On my spare time I’m trying to travel as much as I can. I want to meet my old friends and meet new people. Last spring I lived in Spain for six months, so I have a couple of friends here already. So far I’ve been visiting Granada and Sierra Nevada and heading soon to my ex home city, Seville.

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I’m doing great here, even the start wasn’t so good. I had a water damage in my apartment and they are still trying to fix it. Also the weather was very bad at the beginning. Luckily it had got better. I really like Spanish culture and language and I’m happy to able to learn about it more. Adíos!2015-03-16 08.25.10 1

Life, or to be honest, no life in Bemidji, Minnesota, USA

_aEm6kxd1X-_0gh3V3cICM1wimLwK1sS0zXf3DewpDoHello people!

When I saw Bemidji name in my exchange acceptance letter I was pretty sure I am going to Thailand. Few hours later I decided to check where actually that Bemidji is. Imagine my face when I saw a dot in a middle of North America.  Bemidji did not sound American at all and as I put Thailand as my second and third choice I thought that there is where I am going to. However, I did put USA as my first choice but just because everyone was saying that it is almost impossible to get in I was just trying my luck. And, oh boy,  I was the lucky (???) one!

2014-08-27 18.07.26I have been to the States before and I loved it but I have never been in a middle of Minnesota where the closest city is five hours away by car. In the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nature. Sounds romantic? Well, at least not for four months.

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Some important things need to be mentioned:

1. Wild night life. Everything close at 1:30-2 AM. Dresscode: Crocks, woolen socks and oversized sports shorts.

 

 

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2. Teachers are the ones who phisically are not there. Welcome to the future.

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3. Library is full of booksbut but those you need for your classes you have to buy yourself.

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4. Many rules, like quiet hours, no alcohol on campus.

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5. God is also there and he is in everyone’s heart.

 

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6. Proper food.   IMAG3432

Do not understand me wrong, I love the States but the things that I love are few hours away by plane from Bemidji.
2014-11-23 23.47.21To sum up, Bemidji itself is a great place to be if you are under aged or someone middle age.

God bless you!

Vainora

Quite normal life in Glasgow

Greetings from Scotland.

All of those stories about weather changing every 30 minutes in here are true so I can not really be more precise on how sunny or rainy weather is like rest of you have been. It also made winter in here seem like extended Finnish autumn.

So yeah, I’m studying in Glasgow Caledonian University which is one of the three main universities in the city. Glasgow is the biggest city in Scotland and  it has the largest shopping centres and shopping lanes for people who are into that kind of a stuff. After settling down me and my flatmates and their friends wanted to see proper Scotland so we did several trips up into highlands and north of Scotland and everywhere we went we were greeted by astonishing scenery.

Vuoria

Local people are nice to each other and always really polite. But even in big cities such as Glasgow people are highly bound on the areas they are living and that can be seen even as slightly different accents between people living other sides of river Clyde. I feel like that I haven’t had any problems with the Scottish accent as people will try to explain things more clearly once they notice that you don’t have slightest clue what they are saying. Other than that I would say that life in here doesn’t differ that much from life in Finland. There are no huge cultural differences and everyone should be able to find their place.

In overall academic life doesn’t feel that different compared to Finnish one as it too revolves around seminars, lectures, tutorials and intense laboratory days filled with constant output of reports and essays. As I was taking part in third and fourth year courses I got to know bunch of local people and gained some in depth knowledge and heard some  stories how life in here truly is.

I believe this has been great opportunity to really live and study abroad and gain really good friends who I will some day show true side of Finland. I’m also invited to visit their countries  (and even some upcoming weddings in the future!) 😀

Best wishes

Janne

Chinalife

Hello everyone !

I’m a bit late with this post, so sorry for that. But for starters, China hasn’t been anything I thought it would be. I thought I would have a great chance of practicing my clinical skills such as cannulation, mixing medication etc, but not a freaking chance. Even Chinese students aren’t allowed to do pretty much anything. They are not even allowed to change the IV-bag if it’s empty ! We have so far been in cardiology, neurosurgery and a nursing home, in which I haven’t learned anything. The whole exchange itself has been a huge disappointment. You can check Aurora’s post for more information, I don’t bother to write the same things all over again..

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The inside of an chinese ambulance
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More insides of an ambulance

We’ve had fun too, couple of weeks ago we went to Mt. Huangshan (The Yellow Mountains) and it was quite something ! Though it wasn’t as breathtaking as I thought it would’ve been, but it was worth it. Luckily we have learned one thing during this stay here, to lower our standards. In China one should never expect much. Chinese people are annoying, rude and  there is waaaay too much of them. And can you imagine, we were considered rude when we asked a chinese nursing student, where she wants to work when she graduates ! But there’s only a couple more weeks left and we will spend them in Shanghai Children’s medical center, so it should be okay, but I’m not getting hopes up ;p And next week we’re heading to the Great Wall of China, so yay !

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Mt. Huangshan
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Jade-Buddha temple

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Paris, la ville très magnifique !

Paris is awesome!
Time in here has passed so fast in here, too fast actually. Now it’s almost time to go home and good opportunity for me to inform how my life here has passed by so far.

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Sacre-coeur

Like I said in my title, Paris is so beautiful! Especially now with all the beautiful colors in the trees. This spring has been really good in here. Temperature has been in some weeks over 20 degrees, almost 26 degrees in some days. I have had an opportunity to spend an early summer here few weeks ago. Of course this semester has been filled with bad days too. Paris has shown it’s worst side also, with lot of rain and cloudy days. But even in those rainy days the city has been great.

This city has been full of possibilities. There is something new to see everyday. I feel that this time has been too short for explore all these possibilities that this city has to offer. I wish that my exchange would’ve last the whole year, not just a one short semester. But on the other hand it will be nice to come back in here and still have something new to see.

So even though this city is full of things to see and explore, I have traveled little bit around Paris and France. I’ve been glad to had this chance to go and visit all kind of new cities so easily.

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This next picture is from Italy, where we visited beautiful lakes in the north. In this trip I totally fell in love to Italy also! Outlook was breathtaking and I will definitely go to visit these lakes again.

 

Belgia_11.4._8We also visited in Belgium, in Brussels and Bruges. These two cities were totally different but both really nice. I really liked Bruges, because it was an old looking city with nice buildings and canals. Belgium offered awesome waffles and great beer, surprisingly.

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This picture is from Bordeaux where my friend is doing her exchange.  I was really surprised about Bordeaux and the fact how nice this city really is. It was full of nice and old buildings, and the atmosphere in there was great. Even though I spent only one short weekend over there, the city started to feel really homelike. This city seemed an excellent choice to do exchange semester in.

After little wine tasting in Bordeaux I went to have some Champagne tasting. This was an organized day trip from Paris to a small city called Epernay to visit some Champagne caves. This whole area near Paris was nice countryside with a lot of different champange manufacturer.

Next weekend I am about to go visit Normandy, which is also near Paris. I hope this trip is going to be as great as all my previous ones.

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Louvre

Life in here has surprised me totally. Paris has felt like home this entire time and I’ve started to feel need to live here later in my life, after my studies. But even though I see France, especially Paris with my love glasses, there is lot of things which could be as easy as it is in Finland. For example all applying or all official duties are made in old-fashion way. I mean made by paperwork. Some things are managed way more difficult than in Finland, and that makes me confused time to time. It feels like every company are as difficult to function with as KELA in Finland is.

School in here has been quite normal compared to TAMK. All lessons has been provided in English, which is good thing for me. My French is not in so good level to understand lessons. Most of my classes are international classes, so there is no french people participating. But still I have few classes with french people also, and those aren’t the nicest ones. In these classes the teacher can in some point start to speak French for the native speakers, and then I get all lost. But luckily this rarely happens.

But still I’m really happy of my choice to apply to Paris. It’s been the best decision so far!