Monthly Archives: September 2015

grüezi from Winterthur!

Hi!

I’m doing well in Winterthur! My school is great and I have got a lot of new friends. In my school there is only few exchange students, so teachers are very interested about us.

Switzerland is great place to be, it’s a paradise for snowboarder like me. In the morning I can take a train to the Alps, (to Davos for example)  and snowboard all day, and come back for night. Everything is so expensive here, so I buy only what I need. Beer is not too expensive, almost same what it is in Finalnd.

Regards,

Esapekka

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Greetings from Namibia!

Land of the brave!

That’s the name of the National Anthem of one relatively young country located in Southern Africa called Namibia. It is also how Namibian people describe themselves. It is a land of many different ethnic groups living together nowadays in peace.

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Going on exchange to Namibia was an easy decision after all. I didn’t know a lot about the country before I came here, so the decision was spontaneous. I only knew its location, language and a little bit of its geography. Like the photo shows, the whole land is basically a desert. Very few people live there and big cities are not to be found. However, the few people here are very friendly and warm. I never felt as if I wasn’t welcome.

Getting bored here is not an option. Even though it might sound like a place with not much to do, it is not the case. National parks with all the animals that you could wish to see, canyons, waterfalls, mountains and coast towns provide numbers of different kind of activities –  just to mention a few. Local people love to take you to their homes and introduce you to their way of life, and it is always easy to get to know these laid back Africans.

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The daily life is actually very similar to ours. People go to work, study and in the evening they do sports and maybe have some drinks at local bars. Or at least that’s the case in big towns. In the countryside you can find what we Finns usually think of as Africa, small villages with many various tribes, people hunting, clay huts and camp fires. Notable is that there is a big number of bars in small towns, with a lovely atmosphere.

Studying in Africa isn’t that different either. At least not at the universities. I got the opportunity to study at the Polytechnic of Namibia with approximately 12 000 other students. The classes resemble ours very closely. So called “African time” doesn’t exist that strongly there, some of the lecturers are even very strict with the timetables. Topics and the learning plans are just like the Finnish ones, and the premises are also fine. Sometimes projects with local people are a bit challenging due to the laid back attitude of the locals.

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(Source, http://intra-acp.polytechnic.edu.na/)

After all, I couldn’t be happier with the choice of going on exchange to Africa. Awesome people, many other exchange students, a laid back atmosphere and the spectacular landscape of Africa have made my time here unique.

 

Amazing days in Japan!

Hi everyone! Here is Yuqing Wang from IB12.

I have done my exchange in a beautiful Japanese city called Beppu and spent some really nice time in Japan! The country is full of kind, helpful and welcoming people, as soon as I landed in Japan, I got help from everywhere and everyone. During the six month many exciting things happened, and the best part is all the beautiful trips I took with my friend. Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka…. All of these legendary cities are more beautiful than they has been described in books and documentaries.

and guess what? The sushi is amazing! 😉

 

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Greetings from Budapest!

I had spent some wonderful days in Budapest, Hungary as an Erasmus exchange student with a major in Finance and Accountancy. In the night when I arrived at Budapest Airport, I was fully supported by Hungarian tutors with my luggages and accommodation stuff, which I truly appreciated. This reminded me of the activeness of my tutors in Tampere as well.
The nightlife here was the most memorable and breathtaking scenery I can imagine when come to Budapest, especially at the cathedral aside with the wine festivals and traditional cuisine. Budapest is definitely worth a trip and I will not regret trying this place!
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Xin Chao from Hanoi!

I´m making my internship in Hanoi, Vietnam. Three months of living in this amazing city. Here is some of my top moments here till now.Hoan Kiem

I arrived in Hanoi in the start of March and the weather was quite cloudy and rainy. Here you can see the Hoan Kiem Lake. It is such an beautiful and relaxing place in the heart of busy Hanoi.  At the Hoan Kiem you can visit a small temple, see people practicing tai chi or married couples taking pictures.

Lunch

My work colleagues took me out to eat lunch. The food was good but the fish sauce where you should dip slices of food wasn´t that pleasant experience. Small plastic chairs and tables are seen in every street restaurant.

 

Part of my job is to sell trips so I got an opportunity visit some of those trips. This is a picture from Mai Chau which is a small village on the country side, 3 hours from Hanoi. Mai Chau is green, peacefull village surrounded mountains and rice paddies.  Northern Vietnam is quite untouchable from tourism so in the country side you can experience the local life as it´s best.

Mai chau

And just for the comparison picture of the central square of Hanoi.Centrum

Namaste! Hello from the country of Himalayas

Hello everybody,

 

A warm greeting from the land of Himalayas . Although I am not working on the Himalayas location but beautiful Himalayas attracts all. I made trip to some beautiful location where we can see the snow capped mountains bright shining in-front.

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snow capped mountains

 

 

I am working in a village nearby a city on a community water supply organization. This place is also lovely and people are so friendly and helpful. I live in a rented room as here are no apartment systems. But its enjoyable to live differently although there are not all the facilities that you can find on student apartment of Finland.

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Beautiful houses on the lap of hill

On my leisure time I just room around and go for small hiking. There are even more cultural things to enjoy. Good bites of MO MO’s nepali style of dumplings gives  rich taste of local food.

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MO MO, yummy dish

And not to miss are many of the historic and old statues and idols every where on the locality.

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Old statue on the side of road.

A photo from the reservoir of the drinking water supply tank plant where I am working.

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Reservoir on high hill

Not only these, but there are a lot to enjoy and learn about in this community. As I said earlier, friendliness of people, good food, good air and surroundings attracts everyone although internet and mobile network are poor.

 

Ramesh

Nawalparasi

 

 

 

 

Living la vida loca

Hola, buenos tardes a todos!

I did my practical training in Barcelona, Spain. I worked as a nurse in 3 different places which actually where outside of Barcelona, in a smaller town called Manresa. I lived pretty much half of my time there and other half in the city centre of Barcelona.

A view from Montjuic

 

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This picture is taken from a window of a hospital where I did my first practice. It’s a view over Manresa. You can also see the Pyrenees if the weather is clear enough. IMG_2127

Me and two lovely auxiliar de enfermeras (more or less the spanish version of lähihoitaja) IMG_2184

 

 

 

 

 

 

The streets of Barcelona are full of life and culture

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We rented a bikes with my friend who came to Barcelona to see me. There are so many beautiful and narrow streets where you can find anything!


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Some local delicacy..

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The Barceloneta beach. In Barcelona you can enjoy both city and beach life.IMG_2566

A view from my room. A balcony is a must!

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The world famous La Sagrada Familia. Antoni Gaudi’s masterpiece, construction began in 1882 and it’s still not ready.(Will be finished by 2026.. Maybe.) IMG_0315 IMG_0321

Another must-see building in Barcelona, Casa Batllo

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The narrow streets of Barri Gotic are magical.

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I’m completely in love with this city.

Hasta luego y besos!

Are you from here?

Čau!

This post is to tell briefly about my experience in Riga, Latvia as an exchange student. There are a couple things to note first:

  1. I am a Latvian native and coming from Riga
  2. I speak both of the languages used in Latvia

This might seem confusing at first ( you are definitely not the only confused soul I came across during my exchange experience), but I can’t express in words how eye-opening and stimulating it is to see your own country with the eyes of the foreigner (-ish).

With that being said, I would like to reward myself with an imaginary pat of the shoulder for taking part of every single event organized for us- exchange students. Yes, exactly, I did multiple guided excursions through cities, museums, schools and halls that I have wandered around at some prior point of my existence.  I have learned about my own country and its components way more than during my first 18 years of life. The most eye-opening part was probably everything that was connected to the Latvian self-identity matters. I might have gained one on my own. My presence there did, however, confuse quite a bunch of people, therefore I chose to be a latvian-in-disguise later on. Trust me, if was for the sake of not going through the same 3 questions over and over again, each time with a new conversation mate.

Riga was stunning as always and I tried to take it in fully. My newly aquired eyes of an foreigner helped me to capture the unique beauty that the city holds better than ever before.

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When it comes to my educational experience, I can probably describe it as, well, interesting. I have never encountered such level of organization and execution of learning procedures. But you know what they say- it is always easier to learn from mistakes and it is better if they are not made by you. This experience has made my expectations regarding an educational institution more clear and it will benefit in the future. There were some positive moments due to the same organizational chaos- I got to participate in a MBA level course and it was definitely the most qualitative and personally pleasing learning experience here.

Since Riga is conveniently located, it was easy to travel to other Baltic countries, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. The proximity was also influencing the international community in Riga. It was great to see more and more students choosing Riga as their study  and travel destinations. I can assure each and every one of you- Riga nowadays is more global as ever and I can’t wait to see what improvements and innovations that it will encounter in the future.

I know one thing for sure- you don’t just live in Riga, you experience it!

 

 

 

 

Surf’s Up in Ireland!

Dia duit! Or hello, if you are more familiar with this kind of greeting.

So far Ireland has for sure been an interesting experience. It is far different from Finland than what I ever expected. It has its positives and negatives. As my exchange started I already felt like I was swamped with school work. Studying here is very different from what it is like in TAMK. Homework is given out each day, and corrected in the next class. It is much more like “high school” thank Finnish universities of applied sciences are.

I feel like I have done a good job in my courses so far though, even though the beginning was really difficult. I feel like many students here do not take the school seriously. It saddens me. There are few other exchange students in my class, and I feel like all of them are handling the classes better than many of the natives students.

Athlone, my exchange city, is located right in the middle of Ireland does not have beautiful coastal scenery that Ireland is very famous for. It does have some cool features nevertheless. The oldest pub in Europe is located in Athlone. An old castle, cleverly named Athlone Castle is also located right in the centre of the town. Athlone Castle. Tower of the Athlone Cathedral. Irish Coffee from the Oldest Irish Pub

Apart from studies I have been lucky enough to be able to travel a little around the country. I have visited the capital city Dublin a few times. I have visited different historical sites, museums, famous architecture, and even a few pubs. Dublin is the most popular area for tourism in Ireland, and it also has many things to offer. Dublin has something to offer for everyone. Dublin Writer's Museum. The Temple Bar Pub in Temple Bar Ha'penny Bridge. Molly Malone, my mother, and I.

One of the highlights of my exchange so far been the trip to Donegal in South-West of Ireland. There I attended a day of surfing in the freezing cold Atlantic Ocean with about 20 other exchange students. If you ever visit Ireland, County Donegal is a must! I hope to visit the place in the summer time in the future! Surf’s up and enjoy Ireland!

Surf's Up!