Monthly Archives: July 2015

Akkurat Norge!

Dear blog- reader,

After a couple of weeks I’ll land back to Finland from my memorable practical training from Mandal, Norway. Mandal is located in Southern- Norway, nearby Kristiansand. Here in Mandal, I work at a marine- styled restaurant of this leisure center named “Marianen” .

My duty at Marianen begun on May. Before restaurant could be opened for customers place have to be cleaned, ingredients had to be purchased and crew quided to their duties. Thanks to my former experience and my level of education I got an opportunity to teach new workers and say my opinion before recruitement.

Shores of restaurant are similar with shores in my home coutry, but I have took part into creating shift- list, work quidance and beer brewing. Quess, which one is my favourite :). Customers loved the product and we had to brew more due to demand.

Working days are sometimes long, but I have enforced me by chatting with my new friends whom I have met here.

Cottages at Tregde Ferie.
Cottages at Tregde Ferie.

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Brewing our beer for selling.

Hola Vic!

I have stayed four and a half months in a small Spanish town which is called Vic. Vic is located 70 kilometers from Barcelona. So big the city is close to it and train journey takes an hour to get there. Vic is a university city that is famous for its medieval buildings. In the center there are many beautiful and old buildings. Even if the Vic is a small town there is something to see. Here are two museums. The Museu episcopal, a medieval art museum administered by the bishopric and the Museu de la pell, a museum dedicated to leathers. Vic also has a large and old cathedral. And every Tuesday and Saturday here is a big market in the main square.

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Market in the main square
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Bike tour to little mountain in Vic
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I found a lake in Spain

In winter time, Vic was quite cold and there it was raining even snow, which I would have thought when I came to Spain. And the people went skiing in the mountains. But in April and May, the air began to warm up and my favorite place was the balcony. We have also gone a few times with my friends to the beach in Barcelona.

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Barcelona beach

After few months studying in Spain it feels natural. At first, everything was strange and Spanish “slow” lifestyle was also reflected in the school. Courses in Spain are different from those in Finland. Things are much easier. However, studing in English is one challenge. I passed all the courses and my English language skills developed.

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Montserrat

Spring has gone really fast and the time in Spain is over. I will miss Spanish warm weather and all the new people I’ve met!

Sometimes it’s sunny in Manchester!

I have now spent over two months in Manchester with only one week remaining. Time goes by so fast and now it’s time that I share some of my experiences with you!

I came here to do the first part of my five month practical training and to get some experience in working in English since I’m interested in international business. I’m working for a big engineering and construction company called M+W Group where I work as a support assistant in the company’s Business Development office. The work has been interesting and challenging and I will come back to Finland with a whole lot of new experiences!

Brought coffee from Finland with me since the English only drink instant coffee and well, no thank you
Brought coffee from Finland with me since the English only drink instant coffee and well, no thank you

Besides from the work experience I like to think I have learned also a lot about myself in this short time. I moved to Manchester on my own, didn’t know anyone, never seen my roommates before and had only visited the city once. Luckily Manchester is a great city to live with excellent public transports and British people are very friendly and helpful. So friendly that you will hear strangers call you “love” and “darling” on a daily basis! The time spent here has given me more confidence and I know now that I can manage living away from my family and friends if needed.

Market Street is the main shopping road in central Manchester with Piccadilly Gardens on the other ens and a huge shopping centre Arndale at the other (Photo by Henna Susi)
Market Street is the main shopping road in central Manchester with Piccadilly Gardens on the other end and a huge shopping centre Arndale at the other. This photo is taken on a quiet evening, usually it is FULL with people (Photo by Henna Susi)

I work from Mondays to Fridays so I’m always free on the weekends to hang out with my friends, roommates or travel. Since Manchester is located in the North West of England it is very easy to travel from here around the UK. So far I have visited London, Liverpool, Chester and Scotland.

Streets of Edinburgh, Scotland. One of the most beautiful cities I've ever visited!
Streets of Edinburgh, Scotland. One of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever visited!
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I love Liverpool! Photo from Waterfront in the city’s harbor

Even though I love to travel and see new places I have spent weekends exploring my home city Manchester. There is so much to do here and places to visit!

Albert Square during Manchester International Festival
Albert Square during Manchester International Festival
Cupcakes in Piccadilly Gardens
Cupcakes in Piccadilly Gardens, yum!

I’ve enjoyed my time here and I would recommend Manchester as an exchange destination for people who like to feel at home even though being abroad.

Cheers!

Johanna

My little story in Spain

When I arrived in Spain I was shy and didn’t know how to speak English and I feel that I didn’t understand nothing what other Erasmus people speak. But when I start to be ok in Spain I start to push myself forward and I really start to speak. And almost end of Erasmus other Exchange students start to say me, that I had really improve my English. So that feel’s great. During the Erasmus my day’s was like, wake up, eat, go to school, do the gym couple times per week, see the friends, couple days per week go to the bar or club. Take the sun and do homework’s.

During the Erasmus semester at school I stady marketing courses because they din’t have accounthing courses. I take 5 courses and those courses was okey, I pass everything which was my maincall but many courses was pretty booring and not so usefull than in Finland. But there was one course called Strategy and new business models which was very good course i learn a lot and the teacher was very good and motivated. Nice school but many times everything work very slowly like in Spanish way, but I everything was okey at the end. School bilding was nice small and beautiful outside and inside.

On this picture I was visiting in Tarragona in Spain. That city was totally full of rocks, but still very nice city. This was a school trip, organized by Universitat de Vic.
On this picture I was visiting in Tarragona in Spain. That city was totally full of rocks, but still very nice city. This was a school trip, organized by Universitat de Vic.
I had so great mentor, she organized for me and 3 of my friend a trip to Monserrat Mountains and that was so asome trip. Lot of walking but very great wiew.
I had so great mentor, she organized for me and 3 of my friend a trip to Monserrat Mountains and that was so asome trip. Lot of walking but very great wiew.
Me and my roommate checking the map in Barcelona, in Barcelona we make many trip’s. Beach trips, city trips and party trips. Barcelona is beautiful city in many ways.
Me and my roommate checking the map in Barcelona, in Barcelona we make many trip’s. Beach trips, city trips and party trips. Barcelona is beautiful city in many ways.
Holi festival in Barcelona, asome experience.
Holi festival in Barcelona, asome experience.
On the beach with Erasmus
On the beach with Erasmus

 

Gopro in the bike
Gopro in the bike
Tapap, perfect
Tapas, perfect

 

Time with pleasure and profit

I am on my practical training in Russia for 1,5 month already and I can confidently say that it is my the most productive summer. First of all, let me remind you that Russia is my home country so I didn’t have any problems with adaptation or any cultural shock. I am working in the centre of laboratory analysis and technical measurements. They are making eclolgical monitorings and check quality and contamination level of soil, water, air and waste. This is a governmental organisation and basicaly they  make checks of some factories, farms, beaches and other important objects that can influence environment. But also they have private orders to check drinking water from a well, for example, or others. I was assigned to work in water department. I must admit that it is more difficult than I expected. This is a real chemical laboratory, with hazardous and dangerous chemicals, various technical devices. I had to pass all the safety tests. My supervising teacher is teaching me different analysis (now I can do quite many). For example, phosphorus analysis, content of nitrates and nitrites in water sample, chlorides, sulphates, hardness of water, the amount of such metals as calcium (Ca), iron (Fe), pH measurements, alkalinity of water. I was helping to keep records on overdue chemicals. Here are some pictures from the laboratory 🙂

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To make my practical training more interesting, my supervising teacher took me to several water sampling operations. I was not allowed to be on a boat (2 ppl max) so I was making pictures from the shore. Here they are

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Summer is time for holidays for many people, so everyone in the laboratory is happy that I’ve come, because I’m helping them to manage with all the orders. My working day is from 9am till 3 pm so I have free evenings to do what I want. In most of the cases I spend time with my lovely friends or with family as I missed them very much in Finland. I can not post all of the pictures of me and my friends, but here is one of the decorous ones (because not many of us met that day) 🙂

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I like working in the laboratory very much. It is really a good experience and I like that feeling of responsibility. I am a little bit sorry that very soon it will be over but at the same time I start to miss Tampere, TAMK and my new friends from Finland.

You allright?

That is the question I hear a lot here in Wales.  Or actually it is more of a greeting than a question. Just answer “you allright?” back and you’ll be all_right. I’m not totally used to it yet though because the greeting makes me think I must look so confused or something to be asked that all the time 😀 But that is about the only thing close to a culture shock I’ve had thus far so I could say things are going great here!

The Royal Victoria Hotel’s restaurant where I work is quite busy in these summer months so I really have something to do during my shifts and I am learning a lot about my field of study. We also have a great atmosphere between workmates here and others are glad to help the new guy = me! learn how everything is done. I work mainly in breakfast and dinner shifts and my tasks include everything from laying the tables to attending the carvery or serving food to the tables for the customers. Below you can see a glimpse of the Royal Victoria Hotel.

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In my free time, which I have quite a lot of, I like to walk around and explore the breathtakingly beautiful nature of Wales. The landscape is so different compared to Finland with all the mountains and green fields. And lambs. There is A LOT of lambs. There are sometimes a few lambs eating grass in front of the hotel even! But it’s cool. I like it here a lot. There is always some new nature trail to follow or hill to hike up.

Below is a picture of Lake Padarn. Llanberis, the village I’m living in, is situated on the shore of lake Padarn.

Padarn

The highest point of England and Wales, Mt. Snowdon, is situated near Llanberis. The peak is at 1085 meters and I climbed it last week. Took me 5 hours there and back but it was definitely worth it. I mean look at the sights….

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I’ve also been traveling around a bit. There are good train connections from the nearest city Bangor to Wales and England so I have been able to visit Dublin (I took a ferry there though), Liverpool and a few of the smaller cities nearby.  Hopefully I will find the time to visit Manchester and south Wales at some point!

Now I really need to start getting ready for work .  Bye!

Love,

Hanna Suojanen

Welcome to Pragadise

It has been little over a month since I arrived in Prague and I’ve seen a lot already! Prague is a stunning city and here is plenty to do, I feel that this one semester is not going to be enough to see everything I want. I have made very good friends already, especially with a few german and spanish chaps, with whom I made a trip to Poland a couple of weeks ago. I have also been at two hiking trips, both inside the Czech borders. Also I have already visited  Finland again for a weekend, because a close friend of mine got married.

I managed to get quite good courses at the university, and teachers here speak (mostly) good English. Some problems I have faced at Economics’ classes, because it is a hard subject for me, even in Finnish, and teacher speaks English with a very strong accent. But I think (or I hope) I will cope with that course also.

I live at the Uni’s dormitory and I share an apartment with a Finnish, a Spanish, a Belgian and a Hungarian student. Although it is a little cramped sometimes, we haven’t had any problems with the space and I am very lucky to have such great roommates. And there is no chance to ever feel lonely.

Me at a hiking trip in the National Park Sumava in the Czech Republic.
Me at a hiking trip in the National Park Sumava in the Czech Republic.

 

Greetings from the city of Titanic

Hi everyone! I had a nice year of exchange studies in Southampton(UK). This the city in South England. Since it is UK, let’s talk about weather first. Actually, I can’t complain about famous English rainy weather at all. It was pretty sunny during the whole winter and, compare to Finland, really warm. That was strange to spend a year without snow and see flowers in February.

IMG_20150528_170529About the city, Southampton is comparatively small city for the UK but it has everything what is needed. Even if the city is really old, almost all historical buildings were destroyed during the Second World War, therefore it is quite different from typical image about English old cities. Also Southampton is really famous because it is the city from Titanic departed. Moreover, there are plenty picturesque places around.2015-05-28 13.12.52Another thingthat I would like to share is British English. It is so different from what I expected. At first, it was really difficult to understand most of the Brits of my age because of really strong slang. Sometimes it felt that they hardly can understand each other because there are plenty of different accents. It always was interesting to listen different people and to try to copy pronunciation. After all, I don’t know anymore what is the right way to speak English.IMG_20150524_203056

My university was also really nice. Exchange students have a possibility to mix courses from different programs therefore it was hard to choose courses but I’m happy with those I took. Teachers were great as well.

IMG_20150530_203110And, of course, travelling around UK is just amazing. I was aiming to see more nature than cities, and I fell in love with it. Ocean and cliffs are incredible. I guess there is no words to describe it!

Cheers

 

 

Greetings from Würzburg!

Hi all! I’m having an internship in a small town called Marktheidenfeld, in a region of Franconia, which is located in the northern part of Bavarian state in Germany. I’ve lived in Würzburg (about 40 km off from Marktheidenfeld) for two months so far and I’ve totally enjoyed my every day here! Here’s approximately 125 000 inhabitants in Würzburg and it’s full of students. So I’m really happy I chose to move to Würzburg instead of living in Marktheidenfeld, even I have to travel every day about 80 km. I have to admit that it is nice to drive a car here in the highways, since here are no speed limits 😉 Well quite often here’s also traffic jams which make the driving uncomfortable..

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Würzburg is located alongside the Main river.

I’m working for a company called Schneider Electric Automation GmbH (Ltd.) and I’m working with Safety Products in a Marketing Department. So far I’ve totally enjoyed my work ! I’ve got great international experience since there’s people from India, Morocco, Pakistan, Japan, New Zealand, France (Schneider Electric is a French company so there’s a lot of French people). So basically I work only in English language, but luckily I have a chance to use German every now and then and fortunately the company offers German classes once every week!

So about Germany and its cities.. I didn’t expect that Würzburg would be so great city to live in, but almost every weekend we have some kind of festival or sometimes even two festivals during the same weekend! Wine festivals, beer festivals, Volksfest (“people’s festival” with a funfair), a lot of music festivals etc. At least I’m not bored during my stay here 😉

But sometimes variety refreshes your mind and therefore I’ve tried to travel in other cities as much as possible. So far I’ve spent weekends in Karlsruhe and Bad Liebenzell, Hannover, Rothenburg and Treppendorf. Because I’m a musician and the big music store called Thomann is located in Treppendorf (only 60 km off from Würzburg) I had to visit there, and I have to say it was a musician’s paradise! One of the best moments was when we headed to Bad Liebenzell with couple friends of mine and we went hiking to the Black Forest. I didn’t expect the landscapes to be so amazing!

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Hiking in the Black Forest, stopping by in a town called Hirsau. Monastery of St. Peter and Paul (construction began in 1082) in the background.

To sum up, I like it here! The work, traveling, beer.. Looking forward to travel even more, there’s still Münich, Frankfurt, Nürnberg and lots of other cities to see !

Grüsse, Mikael

Greetings from South Germany

Servus! I have enjoyed four months between two states, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg that are splitted by Danube river. In the Baden-Württemberg side, there is the city of 120 000  inhabitants named as Ulm. One of the most famous things is the cathedral church that is 161,5 meter high that is survived the World War II, unlike other buildings in Ulm. On the other side of the Danube is a town called Neu-Ulm.

View from the Münster
Busker on the Münster field
Busker on the Münster field

In the churches the bell rings on the hour. Ulm is very peaceful for people who are fed up of big cities. The traffic is not aggressive, there is much parks for spending times during sunny days and the city is friendly to cyclists, thanks of good bike paths.

In the spring the weather has varied from raining to heat and the summer time was mostly sunny, meanwhile it was raining midsummer in Finland. Currently there is even 33 degrees and the lakes in Neu-Ulm side are full of people. I can’t wait the day 20.7., when the event “Nabada” stars and the Donabe is full of boats. In Finland, we call the event as “kaljakellunta”, but it is more organized in Germany.

Donabe
Donabe

My study takes place to Hochschule Ulm. The main campus is not so big like TAMK and there is a lot of places to work self or relax inside or outside, so it is peaceful place to study. Most of students are Germanies and all signs and announcements are written in German. Semesters compared in Finland starts very different times, because semesters in Germany are finished 3 months later. Our international semester started in March and ends in June or July. Most of teachers speaks very well English and  they use a blackboard every time, unlike a whiteboard is used at my home university.

One of my goal abroad from Finland was to learn the languages. At least I wanted to stop talking Finnish and studying with other international students improved my English skills every day. The German language is also mandatory to use sometimes, because services in this non-so-touristic city don’t use English. I have studied German basics and sometimes the skills are very useful, but the way to learn requires a lot of work and many years, before I could speak it as well as English now. Second target was to explore new cultures and meet people from around the world. Most of fellow students came from USA, South Korea, Hungary and China, and we spent the time together with people from many different countries. I got very much of new contacts and we studied and enjoyed a lot of free time together, it’s sad to say goodbye after long good times.

Hochschule Ulm
Hochschule Ulm

Central Europe is perfect place to travel many kind of places.  Germany has a lot of border neighbors and it is easy to go by train or bus to another country, like Prague or Budapest. If you’re bored from cities but you love nature, hiking or skiing in the Alps is a good choise. For avid travelers have many options to spend a vacation.

Hiking in Tannheim, Austria.
Hiking in Tannheim, Austria

I highly recommend Central Europe – it is easy, sufficiently familiar, flexible and fun.

Come and start your new life experiences! Auf wiedersehen!