Monthly Archives: May 2016

Wee Greetings from Scotland!

I have lived in Glasgow, Scotland for about four months already. In here I study in GCU – Glasgow Caledonian University, in the School of Engineering and Built Environment. In TAMK I study Environmental Engineering. I have studied only three modules (worth 30 credits), from which the best one by far has been Corporate Sustainability. I found that really interesting, and I also enjoyed the lecturers (the other had been working for Greenpeace!). The other two modules have been alright, I’ve learnt something new, but there has also been some overlapping with my previous studies, and some information I didn’t find that useful. After all, those other two modules were meant for buildings services engineers and electrical engineers.

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I have found attending to GCU quite similar to TAMK – there has been of course some changes. For example, really active student life (not just parties, but game nights, day trips and so on), excess paper use, and in some parts lack of fluency in services. Also one difference was the emphasis of coursework. During January and February there was hardly any coursework, but then in March particularly there were loads. There has been less coursework but the assignments are bigger, and then the exams are quite important and contain whole spring’s worth of studying.

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Eating in Scotland has proved costly. With a budget, at uni I can eat at £1,30 (a tiny, tiny soup and a small bread), at £2,55 fish and chips, or I can pay more (more than £4) for a healthier lunch with some greens on the side (peas or steamed veggies). After this I really appreciate a lunch/dinner at TAMK!

On my spare time, I have been travelling with my new friends, which has been really amazing! I have seen almost all museums in Glasgow (they’re free, and some awesome!), and I’ve travelled almost to all corners of the country (just Scotland). I’ve been to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Findhorn, Fort Augustus and Loch Ness, and on Isle of Mull, Isle of Skye, and Isle of Arran, and more. The highlights have been Dunnottar castle ruins and Isle of Skye & Arran for example. The best museums in Glasgow are Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, and The Hunterian. Also, The Gallery of Modern Art has a very nice small library (the Gallery is also OK).

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The best things during my stay have been the people and their accent, the amazing jaw-dropping landscapes, free museums and local stories (folklore). Scottish people are so friendly, and even though I’ve only made one local friend (others are exchange students), I  find them laid-back and friendly most of all.

Regards,

Krista

Coucou, tout le monde!

 

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Bonjour, it’s Emma speaking. Physiotherapy student doing a three-month practical training in Brussels. So far, my stay here has been interesting. There have been different kind of moments, very good ones but sadly very bad ones as well. However, altogether I am more than happy to be here right now.

During the past two months, I’ve done two different internships and still have a third one to come. My first internship was in a local universital hospital in cardio-vascular service. I learned a lot of different kind of heart operations and had the opportunity to go follow a heart surgery. That was an experience that I won’t forget. Second internship was in a neurological rehabilitation centre for post-traumatic patients. It is probably the rehabilitation centre where the victims of the terrorist attack in Brussels will go to recover. Rehabilitation was very intense, most of the patients had physiotherapy sessions from two to four times a day. In both internships I’ve got a lot of responsability and worked independently. This was nice, but I would have wanted to get more feedback on my physiotherapy treatments.

Here in Brussels I work in French. I have studied French for a bit more than three years, and my language skills are far from perfect. I struggle a lot, but it’s getting easier all the time. Most of the locals are understanding and can speak a bit slower if needed, or even translate the most difficult words in English. Several locals have told me that compared to France, here it is much easier to learn French, as the locals are used to the multiculturalism and do not judge you for not speaking the language perfectly.

During my spare time I have got to know Brussels, spent time with my international friends, done sports and enjoyed the waffels and speculoos! I’ve also discovered seven other citys and villages in Belgium, the smaller towns are gorgeous. From here it is also very easy and quite affordable to visit almost the whole Europe. I know I will go to Amsterdam, but after this exchange I’ve got some quite big travelling plans outside Europe, so I need to careful not to overspend my money.

For me, Brussels seems safe and peaceful, even after the tragedy on 22th March. That day was devastating, as the attacks occured close to where I live. Few days after the atmosphere in the city was clearly different, sad but also defiant. Belgian flags hung from every other window and people carried on living their normal lives. The local university offered crisis support for those who needed it. The fact that I had already started to feel like home here before the attacks was probably one of the reasons I seemed to recover from the shock so quickly.

All in all, my stay here has been successful. Belgium has impressed me and I certainly will come back one day.

Emma

Life in Brygge, Belgium

Greetings from Brugge!

I have been studying in Brugge, Belgium now three months and I have only 7 weeks to go. In Finland I study hospitality management and here in Brugge I am joining the business class. I have learned something about different leadership styles, international strategic management, intercultural awareness and comparative constitutional law for example.

Not all the courses here are actually my piece of cake or cup of tea but at least I have had a chance to learn some new skills what I can not learn in Finland. Studying seems to be a bit harder here than in my home university college in Finland sometimes. The most important things I have learned are the differences between the cultures. Especially the differences in communication. People from Finland are mostly direct with what we say and that might be shocking for somebody from the southern Europe. That is something you can not learn in your  home university. My eyes has opened by many new things.

What are the things I like the most during my exchange in Belgium?  Obviously I have enjoyed the things Belgium is famous about, like all the nice beers, the chocolates and the waffels. Belgium is a small country and the distances are short, so it is easy to travel to other cities and to see new places.  Brugge is a romantic small city and the coast is only 20 km far from my city.  But for me the best thing in Belgium is the perfect location in the Europe. I love travelling and it has been so much easier and cheaper to take a flight from Brussels than from Helsinki to other cities in the Europe. I visited already Copenhagen, London, Luxemburg, Paris and Berlin. I still have a bit time left and a few euros in my wallet so maybe I still have a chance to see some places I have never seen.

-Niina

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