Monthly Archives: April 2016

Nursing under the sun

Saludos!

I have been living in Spain, Torremolinos now about 2 months and have been doing my practical training in a private hospital in Torremolinos.  I have absolutely enjoyed my time here.

We, my classmate from TAMK and I, arrived here together and rented apartment from Torremolinos. We are doing our practical training in the same hospital in medical-surgical ward and outpatients clinic. When in Finland I thought that the nursing here in Spain would be rather similar than in Finland but the reality was something quite different. I absolutely adore the way how family is part of the patients treatment here and how warm and friendly nurses are. On the other hand aseptic manners are at the same level than it was in Finland something like 20 years ago, hand disinfection is something unheard here.

We both have been warmly welcome to the hospital and we have learned a lot in here. Before arriving here, lot of people were saying that when doing practical training in Spain it might be that you can only observe the nurse and not really do things by yourself. Well, we have been able to do and see a lot here, more than we would have ever seen in Finland. The nurses trust you and let you even cannulate the patient without supervisory. Even though  we are doing our training in medical-surgical ward we have also been to operation theater, dialysis and ICU. Next week we will even see an open heart surgery!

Even though we are working in the hospital from Monday to Friday, we have had time to explore the Spanish lifestyle and culture.

In Spain during the Easter there is this huge festival called Semana Santa and religious processions can be seen all over the big cities in Spain. We heard that Seville is the place to be in Semana Santa so we took the train and headed to there for couple of days. We were not disappointed!

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Semana Santa in Seville

We also went to see Ronda, historic little city few hours away from Torremolinos.

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Ronda, Spain

And of course in Spain is all about tapas!

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And when in Spain, you cannot miss the local football game. Stadium sold out, quite an experience!

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Malaga CF vs Espanyol

I couldn’t be happier now choosing to go abroad to study. I have learned a lot here and there is definitely more to come.

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Happy girls in Spain!

 

Nursing near by the beach

Buenas!

I’ve been in Spain now a little bit over a month for doing my practical trainings in Torremolinos at private hospital. I’m studying nursing and my first training is nearly coming to end, I’ve been working in a surgical and medical ward. Hospital is very international and working staff are friendly and helpful. I was told that here in Spain students are not allowed to do so much or participate to actual operations while they’re doing their practical trainings. Assumes turned out to be completely wrong because nurses trusts you and allowed to do a lot of things by yourself for example cannulate patient without supervisior. The most of the patients in the hospital are from Nordic countries, so they prefer to speak swedish or english rather than spanish. I’ve managed to see and work different fields of nursing in the hospital during my practical training for example I’ve worked couple of days in dialysis, operation theather and ICU. These seven weeks has flew by very quickly, I’ve learned a lot -especially my practical skills has improved.

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Even thought I’ve been working at the hospital Monday to Friday I’ve managed to enjoy and explore the most of Spains lifestyle. Travelling in here is easy and cheap, by train you can go almost everywhere here in southern Spain. I’ve done a little day trips with my friend Elli to Fuengirola, Benalmadena, Ronda, Sevilla and next week we’re going to Madrid to see few friends.

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Cloudy day in Ronda

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here in Spain the food is delicious even thought the eating hours are something that I need to get used to -for example they’re having lunch at 14 o’clock or dinner  between 21 to 22 o’clock.

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Spanish people are very outgoing and easy to talk with so it’s been great to communicate with locals. Couple weeks ago here were celebrating Semana Santa and the processions blocked all the streets and moving there was a bit difficult. But the weather is finally treating us well, almost everyday temperature has been above 20 degrees that’s the one thing that we’ve been eagerly waited for.

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Sunday game at the stadion.

Overall Spain has given it’s best in these almost two months, coming here was definitely right choice for doing my practical trainings.

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Hasta luego!

Ni Hao Finland !

Greetings from busy Shanghai!

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More than 5 weeks have passed by really fast. During that time I have done some practical training in the hospital and went to some lectures in our campus. Of course part of my life is enjoying free days, travelling around and getting known some Chinese habits and lifestyle.

Internship have been mostly interesting. First I was 4 weeks in Children’s medical center and last week I started to work in Renji hospital. Chinese way of nursing is mostly the same than in Finland, but of course there is things what they do differently.

Here in China you don’t need to be alone, ever. Sometimes it’s too much, specially in the morning when you need to push yourself into a subway. Fortunately rush hours last only couple of hours, so I don’t need to change my special morning rutin.

Food culture here is really interesting and I have tried to experience that quite a lot. Maybe in the future frog, special Chinese eggs and stuff are part of my diet.
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I have enjoyed my weeks here a lot and maybe I’ll miss China at some point after home coming. But for a now, I don’t need to worry about that stuff because I still have some weeks left. So what’s next? Summer days, Beijing, party, studies and of course a lot of smiling.

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Cheers!!

Mari

Buongiorno!

IMAG5310Greetings from Udine,  a small university city in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in northeastern Italy. Me and my classmate Ilona have been here already over a month, though it feels like we had arrived only a week ago.

I study physiotherapy and here in Udine I’m doing my practical training in the Gervasutta Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The first month I have worked with patients who have both neurological and musculoskeletal problems. I have worked together with some local physiotherapy students, which has been nice. It has been great to been able to speak English with other students and teachers, but at the same time I have not learned so much Italian.

In my free time I have worked out at the gym, done some shopping at local shopping IMAG5318centre, eaten some delicious Italian food (of course), walked around the city and met other Erasmus students. There is an active group of Erasmus students who organize many great events and parties here in Udine. Few weeks ago we prepared some typical dishes from our home countries and then we met and had this ”Eurodinner” together. Me and Ilona baked some cinnamon buns and they were a hit!

I think the best part of being in Italy so far, has been the earlier spring. While in Finland has still been snow and freeze, I have already enjoyed the sun in our balcony in March!IMG_20160314_123438

For the following two months I’ll stay in Italy, I have planned to do more travelling. I want to explore the region of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia – see the Alps, visit little villages and Trieste, the capital of the region. And of course, I have to visit the Venice. So, there are still many things to do and I’m a bit afraid those two months will go too fast…

Greetings from UK!

Hi, how are you? I’ve been asked that question countless times while my exchange here in United Kingdom. British are more polite than I thought and sometimes I feel myself so rude, when I’m not that talkative nor remember to use words like please and excuse me. In stores or at school I’ve been called darling or sir which I found hard to used to but at the same time I’m trying my best to be as polite as possible.

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I’m living in a quite small town called Derby. It’s located in East Middlands and is about 150km away from London. There’s no that much to see in here but it’s quite easy to travel other cities and places while bus tickets are quite cheap.

 

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Teaching style overall is quite different compared to Tamk. In modules that I’ve chosen there’s first a lecture held by teacher or professor. After that we have seminars and tutorials in smaller groups and these are quite similar as our lessons in Tamk. Biggest difference is that there’s no group works at all, not even at seminars. You’re supposed to work individually and I have to do these huge 4000 word reports for both of my modules to pass them. Luckily there’s no exams at all in these modules.

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I’ve made lot of friends in here and most of them are other Erasmus students. There’s lots of students from France, Usa and Holland. Me and the other student from Finland were almost the only ones who came here alone. Many others came here with friends but they’ve been really welcoming and have wanted to meet new people. We have our own nice little group of people and we’re doing lots of things together. We’ve been visiting Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool, London and seen football matches, visited Cadburys chocolate factory and done many other things. I’ve also visited France couple times to see my friends there and with other Finnish student we went Ireland and Edinburgh. So these couple months have been most eye opening filled with lot of new experiences.

I suggest that everyone who is thinking of going for a study exchange should experience that. Sometimes I’m missing things back home but in the other hand I’ve done so many new things and met new people in here and wouldn’t change even a day of that. Discovering a world is something that everyone should do!

Mad about Madrid!

Greetings from this crazy, lovely and lively city!

Time flies and it’s crazy to think that I’ve been here in Spain now exactly three months! I have experienced so much and met many new people from different parts of the world. My goal was to get to know Spanish way to live, learn languages, meet as many new people as possible, spend all my money for travelling and of course get some credits and learn new things here in University. I have achieved some of my goals very well but for some I have much work to do still. You can guess which ones I still have to work…

Continue reading Mad about Madrid!

Greetings from Portsmouth, the city of sailors!

Greeting from Portsmouth, city on the south coast of England! It is beautiful and the most densely populated city in the UK. Portsmouth has very interesting history and it was one of the most fortified cities in the world. I have enjoyed my time here very much but I am happy to come home soon from this windy and rainy place.

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Spinnaker Tower
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Beach of the South Sea

I did my exchange in the Portsmouth Business School, University of Portsmouth. The teachers were really interesting and had amazing life experiences for example one of our lectures was part of opening the first university on a small developing country in Asia. Students also got personal assistance in course work which was really helpful. I had a change to work in really international groups where every student was originally from different countries. I was also part of International Day where I was talking about Finland and our school to local student who are thinking going to exchange. Ps. I am still not used to the fact that they have a bar in Student Union 😀

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Table of Finland in the International Day
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Main Building of Portsmouth Business School

I was staying in private housing and sharing an apartment with four other people which was more fun that I expected. I also got lot of new friends from all over the world, mainly other exchange students. People here are really friendly and helpful which was great especially in the first weeks when I was completely lost. University offered trips to near cities like Cambridge and Oxford which was one of highlights of my trip. I also joined Cinema Club which is organizing trip to Harry Potter Studio in London in the end of the April. I can’t wait! Portsmouth is also only 90 minute train ride from London so I did couple of trips there.

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My home street
St. Patrick’s Day

Life in Portsmouth has been so far more than I expected. I have already learned a lot new things especially also about myself. Time here has gone so fast but I am still happy to go home in two months back to my “real life” in Finland.

Home of the mighty Victoria Falls, Zambia

Greetings from Zambia 🙂

 It’s always great pleasure to be back home. I did my practical training at New Fairmount hotel and casino for three months in my home town Livingstone.  The staffs at the hotel were very welcoming, social and easy to get along with.  I worked in the purchasing and supply department, much of my work included stock controlling, issuing and requisitioning for purchase. It was a little bit complicated in the beginning but later on started getting easier. I learnt so much and was able to apply some of my theoretical knowledge to practice.

view from outside of New Fairmount hotel and casino

Besides sitting in an office, working for 9 hours a day I did have a fun social life while I was there. Every weekend was like an adventure. Livingstone has so much to offer, from safari to fun activities. The weather was supper hot but that wasn’t a bother to me considering I had lived there almost my whole life. There are so many activities to do such as the walk with the lion, bungee jump, gorge swing, sunset boat cruise, game drive and many others, and one thing for sure is that if you in Livingstone you must definitely visit the Victoria falls.

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sunset view at the royal livingstone

We had some quality time at the Royal Livingstone hotel with friends and family. The hotel has one of the most beautiful sundeck in the city.

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segway ride at Avani resort
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selfie 😀

Pretending to be confident but scared while taking a selfie with the lovely Zebra at Avani Victoria Falls resort. The resort is in the national park so most of the times animals such as Zebras, giraffes, warthog, kudus loiter around the premises. These animals are known to be very calm and not scared of people.

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the victoria falls

The picture below was taken when we were going for a boat cruise at the river shark ‘Taonga river boat’.

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elephants crossing the road

 

The whole training was a great experience and am proud of what i have achieved.  This place will always be in my heart no matter where i go. I recommend it to anyone who is interest in african adventure and learning a whole lot about the zambian culture.

😀

 

I am home! – Australia

Moments of NOW

Step One – Getting Grey Hair

The application process or rather called nerve-racking months were… well how should I put it… challenging. 🙂 I first heard about this wonderful opportunity to go on an international exchange to Australia August last year. I could not believe what I heard, since when I applied to my first international exchange the year before, Australia was not on the list to be applied for! Well, after getting over the first shock I was starting to be quite thrilled and already creating images of Australian in my head: sun, ambulances, kangaroos, university and the easy going lifestyle. “Wow Wow Wow, hold your horses…. now you are going a bit too fast!” I tried to control myself. 🙂

Well the first couple of months nothing really exciting happened and it was just about filling in few papers and going through an interview. More information would follow later… time was crawling… Luckily I had something else to think about while waiting for more information to come – practical training in Dumfries, Scotland, United Kingdom for three months. 🙂 The time was flying past and soon I was back in Finland getting more grey hair.

There was quite a significant amount of paper work to be done, filled in, signed and stamped for the application process and after my participation was granted, but knowing that I could help the future students with their application process made my work load all worth it! A huge thanks belongs to my school nurse and Fimlab for efficient and proficient help with my certificates! When I finally got all papers and formalities sorted out, it was only four days to due date but in any case it was time to – FINALLY – book the flight tickets!

Step two – On the Way Home

The few days before departure went super quickly, like always just before leaving. Everybody wants to see you, like I´m going away for the rest of my life -goodbyes… So extremely busy time table to visit everyone and to sort our last minute things concerning my departure like bus to airport, souvenirs from Finland to UWS, snacks for the journey… packing is not a part of my To Do List… packing has its own sector called: panic packing just few hours before “take-off”. But to keep myself sane, it is always better to keep my time table busy otherwise I would just be sitting at home panicking and losing my mind. Well practiced protocols over the years.

Panic packing in the morning went smoothly and I had more time than usually… though I was still able to miss my first local bus to the bus station into Tampere centre. While sitting in the bus to Helsinki-Vantaa airport a feeling of calmness and tranquillity filled me. I was on my way home! Flight and transition time was altogether 29 hours through London Heathrow with 3 hours of spare time spent walking around, a little shopping, people watching and relaxing. In Hong Kong I had only 20 minutes to change the terminal and to find the right gate. I can tell you that I have not been running that fast in a long time especially through the security! Only when I got to the last plane it started to come to me and realize that I was only less than 10 hours away from Australia. Just a little sleep away and few movies.

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Beautiful view over London!

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Flying somewhere over Europe or Asia.

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Sunset in Hongkong.

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I was so grateful to fly with three seats just for me! 🙂

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Already in Sydney and on my way to Campbelltown!

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Stopped for a little lunch in Campbelltown!

After the long journey half across the world and across Sydney suburbs I finally made it to my new home. Home sweet home, a cold shower, food, long chat about my journey and background with my landlord.! The next morning after a great night of sleep I woke up 6 am bright and shine in the sounds of birds chirping and singing. I look out of the window and see a palm tree and a beautiful sun rise. What a wonderful way to wake up in the other side of the world and the 29 hours travel was just a dream. I knew I was where I belonged

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View from my room window 6 am, the sun is starting to rise.

Step three – Life in Australia

The first weekend was for relaxing and getting comfortable in the new place – which for me was just more time in the Paradise. Meeting up in the University with the teachers, fixing last paper work, courses, practical and uniforms and doing some grocery shopping. Exploring the nearby area: Campbelltown and Macarthur and a little further: Bondi beach, Darling Harbour, The Rocks and I also fitted in my friend´s Baby Shower in The Entrance, couple of hours north from Sydney. The Entrance was another piece of Heaven! Such a beautiful and tranquil place!

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Getting burned and becoming a lobster at Bondi Beach

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Sydney was preparing for GayParade Festival and had beautiful lights, music and decorations all around Darling Harbour.

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People enjoying the evening at Darling Harbour.

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Full of Hearts!

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Visited Sydneys oldest brewery – The Lord Nelson Brevery Hotel at The Rocks.

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View from The Rocks to Sydney Opera House.

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The Long Jetty at The Entrance, couple of hours north from Sydney.

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Beautiful sunset in The Entrance.

On Monday the University of Western Sydney (UWS) courses started with lectures and practical: Introduction to Paramedicine, Paramedicine Practise, Obstetrics and Paediatrics, Out of Hospital Medical Care and Culture, Diversity and Health. The standard of the education is extremely high, 2.5 years old university buildings and facilities with library, shops, lunch restaurants and cafes very remarkable but still keeping the atmosphere chilled and open for new encounters, learning and different activities. Absolutely nothing to complain! And even though Australian students have to pay for their education, you can see that it is all worth it!

The courses are mostly during Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, leaving plenty of time for our interviews, collecting information and material for our thesis. And of course independent studying with online material and courses that UWS provides, not to forget studying, exploring and enjoying the target culture, nature, people, surrounding areas, towns and cities of New South Wales and hopefully also other states as well during my short period of time here in lovely Australia. Queensland is checked out from my bucket list since I went up to Sunshine Coast for Easter and I fell in love with the beaches, peacefulness, beautiful nature and sunshine.

I never had the time to visit Manly Beach when I was previously in Sydney couple of times few years ago, so of course I went to explore it and found it very nice, even though a bit touristic but still very calm, relaxing area and a big beach with a lot of activities around including stand up paddle boarding, surfing, beach volley and trekking in the Sydney Harbour National Park, not to forget all the shops, restaurants, cafes, bars and nightlife.

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Views from Circular Quay.

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On a ferry on our way to Manly Beach from Circula Quay.

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Beautiful nature, flowers and views.

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Shark Alert at Manly Beach!

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Art at Manly.

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Great views and nice weather for some trekking in the Sydney Harbour National Park.

I love bush walking, trekking and getting lost in the wilderness, because then you always find something you did not know you were even looking for! I also visited Wentworth Park greyhound races few times with my old bosses from Victoria.

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Koala Alert. & Getting lost in the bushes. Still smiling, but after couple of hours wandering in the same forest…. not so much. 🙂

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Sun goes down very quickly and I better head home while I can still see ahead. 🙂

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Wentworth Park Greyhound races.

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I have found my place!  

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Market City, Haymarket.

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Chinese Garden of Friendship in Darling Harbour.

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Pancake breakfast and a good cup of black coffee in the Paradise of Sunshine Coast.

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Easter Sunday in Sunshine Coast and everybody are so relaxed.

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Wonderful beaches at Sunshine Coast.

Now that I bought a bicycle I can explore the surrounding areas even easier and get some sun and exercise at the same time! Yesterday I took the train to Sydney Central Station and cycle to Bondi beach area with the idea of spending the day under the sun relaxing since the weather forecast promised 30 degrees warm and sunny for the whole day! Though in the end I got lost (like always!) and accidentally cycled over 30 kilometres mostly up hill (well if you go up you always come down so few down hills as well!) and discovered some really stunning and intriguing beaches, gardens, parks, harbours and gorgeous living areas. So I have been keeping myself fairly busy with studying and learning but also enjoying the Australian lifestyle, weather and culture!

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On my way to city centre with cycle.

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Double Bay.

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Blackburn Cove garden and beach.

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Long way with a boat. 🙂

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Gorgeous view over the harbour to city.

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Shark Beach and Nielsen Park.

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In less than a week I will start my 5 weeks of practical in the local ambulances. 4 days in  with 12 hours shifts and 5 days off, which gives me a plenty of time to recover and learn, search more information and explore a bit more, maybe visit my friends in Melbourne and Tasmania! For the last week in Australia just before departing back to Finland I am planning to spend in Perth, Western Australia visiting my old firends and work mates.

I am quite excited and waiting forward learning more about out of hospital medical care in Australia, improve my own clinical skills and expand my knowledge about Australian medicines and administration in the ambulance environment.

 

Sunny regards from DownUnder,

Virpi

Saludos desde Madrid

Hola a todos!
I’ve now been here in Madrid for two months, and it is true that time really flies when you have fun! I’ve really enjoyed my time here:   people, food, weather and city in general! I am so happy to still have two months left here.

Of course, to understand good things there must be some difficulties too. For example Spanish healthcare- system, English skills and heating system have been a bit questionable. On the other hand, people are so helpful and friendly here, and how else would you learn Spanish than when you’re forced to use it? I think my Spanish has improved quite a lot here, and I really try to use it with everyone. I also participate in Spanish courses at school, and I’ve never had so fun at school than in those classes! Me encanta espanol!!

University and lectures here are totally different than in Finland and TAMK. In the beginning I think we all were so lost. There wasn’t plenty of information available, so if you wanted to know something you needed to ask someone local (again good training for Spanish skills!!) Then it took a month before I got the password to the intranet of the uni, and from there I finally found the needed information to the courses. Also teaching is very different here compared to teaching in Finland. For example, you don’t need to participate in lectures, but when you do, you can’t even use a toilet during it?! Teachers are more strict here than in Finland, but on the other hand discipline is apparently needed in a class full of Spanish people.

Despite some troubles, I have really loved it here. I’m so happy that I decided to do the Erasmus half-a-year, and that I got to do it here in Madrid. This is such an amazing opportunity for every student to learn new culture, language and people, and I’m super thankful that I have that chance now.
Hasta luego!

Senja
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