Monthly Archives: December 2016

Hallo aus Heilbronn!

Christmas holidays are coming up soon so this is a great opportunity to reflect on my time here in Heilbronn, which is located in the southern part of Germany. I’m flying back to Finland for three weeks and then coming back to do my exams. The exam period lasts for about a month, but I only a few exams so I will a lot of free time on my hands. I’m planning on visiting as many places as I can around Europe. The central European location on Heilbronn definitely has its benefits, there are many different and affordable modes of transport to choose from, even though the city itself is not that big. Trains and buses can get you quite far and there are airports in Stuttgart and Frankfurt, just around the corner.

I’m studying business and transport here and the courses are fairly similar to those at TAMK. The amount of work is also divided quite similarly. One minute you don’t have anything to do, the next minute you have tons of projects and group works to juggle. The biggest difference is the credit points. Most of my courses here are worth 2,5 credit points even though the work load is the same as 5 credit point courses at TAMK, which is makes no sense. I’ve talked with some German students and they’ve agreed that the credit point system is really weird.

It took a while to get used to the new environment here, but now that I’ve settled in nicely, the everyday living doesn’t differ that much Finland. I just don’t understand what people are talking about around me. I speak German, but in this area most of the people speak the Schwäbisch dialect and it sounds quite different to basic German. Other than that, I have no complaints, food and alcohol are cheap.

I haven’t taken a lot of pictures, so these will have to do.

This is from my first day walking to school
I'm on a bridge
I’m on a bridge
The town hall
The town hall
Heilbronn is known for its wine. Those hills in the distance are full of grapevines
Heilbronn is known for its wine. Those hills in the distance are full of grapevines

Finland.Studies.

Hello here. I am going to tell you some of my experiences in studying in Finland. I starting my degree in 2014 in Tampere University of Applied Sciences. That was a nice start of my education as I went straight forward from the high school. I was only 17, when I came here. To my country, I came from Belarus, It was a bit unusual to go to Finland. Usually people are going to Poland, Russian or UK or just stay at home.

The start of studying was nice, I did not have any culture shock, which was really good. That was might be due to the fact that  we had a good introduction at the beginning and the tutors made their work excellent.



During the studying itself there were a lot of projects already, which were good organized and we were forming the teams and everything was pretty nice to work in a team.

Below, you can see some of the pictures, from the labs that we are having, yes, there are a lot of labs have been organized.

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The classes are usually in a good way organized I like the timetable. There are not usually some kind of long spaces in between the lessons. Students do no usually need to wait for 3 hours for the next class.

The organization of the brakes is also good. Students can easily decide with the teacher about having a coffee and lunch brakes. And usually the compromise can be found without any problems.

The food is one of the nice topics here as well. The prices are very cheap and if I got it right, the government are paying around 80 percent of the food price for students. The opportunity to take different food. There are some times, when it is a bit crowded, but in a wile, you can start managing your time and found out the perfect time to go there and do not wait long for the food.



Additionally to the studies we do have a brakes in between. As an example, during the last brake I was going with my friends to Lapland. That was a good experience I can say. I got a lot of fun and exercise during that trip. Below, there are some pictures from the trip.

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All in all, we had a lot of nice moments there. That is one of the good examples that Finland is not only good at studying, but as well a good opportunity for traveling.

 

 

Hejsan from Halmstad!

Living in Sweden is (well, as you can expect) pretty much the same as it is in Finland, which makes it very easy to feel like home here. The town where I live is located in Hallands län, on the western coast of Sweden and is about 2 hours from both Gothenburg and Malmö, making it very good place to explore southern Sweden and Denmark (and this is what we’ve been doing quite a lot. Halmstad is rather small, but I really enjoy it anyhow. There are many places to visit also within the city, including the best beach in Sweden called Tylösand.

dsc_0858 dsc_1121 Tylösand during the summer and 3 months later

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Haga district in Gothenburg, and Nyhavn in Copenhagen

The uni here is quite big, and there are something around 400 exchange students. I’m studying in English here and most of the courses I’m studying here are strongly connected to green values and sustainable development, which seem to be quite popular field here. There are not too many lectures per week, especially compared to my program in Finland. However, many courses include project works which require quite a lot work, but if you only schedule your own working well you have loads of time to travel and have fun.

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BBQ and vegetarian fiesta at Krus

The dorm where I live is called Krusbäret and most of the exchange students live here. We have our own rooms with bathrooms and shared kitchens. The rooms are very basic with beds and desks, but a lot can be done with little effort. I share my room with a polish girl, and even though first it was a bit difficult, I’m really enjoying it now. In our kitchen there are students from China, England, Spain, Belgium, Poland, Czech Republic and Austria, and it has been super exciting to see what people from other countries eat. The kitchen has actually been the very place where I’ve got to know people and where we spend time together.

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Kitchen life and our room.

To sum it up, my Erasmus has treated me well.

Greetings from Glasgow

I am studying forensic investigation as an exchange student at Glasgow Caledonian University. I quite like the studies here as they are in-depth, span over the half of a year instead of the Finnish quarter semester and concentrate on knowledge more than group work. I still miss the challenging and independent practical work we get to do in the relatively modern laboratory we have back home.

Loch Lomond
Loch Lomond

As for free time, there a lots and lots of things to do in Glasgow. For myself I already miss the nature that surrounds every place in Finland. Glasgow is a pretty grey town, also because the weather of Scotland can be a bit unpredictable, wet and miserable. Anyhow the thing that makes this city loveable is its warm and friendly people. The atmosphere in almost any pub and restaurant is welcoming, charming and real.

Loch Long, Arrochar
Loch Long, Arrochar

There is a lot to see: museums are free, you can find food and drink from all around the world, there are parties almost every day. Getting around other Scotland is very easy too as Glasgow has a central bus station connecting all the country.

The Cobbler
The Cobbler

There are plenty of sports and other activity societies in Glasgow Caledonian University that arrange group activities every week. I have joined a couple and find the societies very friendly. They are a good way to find like-minded friends. The best has been the possibility to go for hikes around Scotland and I will include some photos I have taken on the trips.

View from the Cobbler
View from the Cobbler

It is said that you can experience all four seasons in one day in Scotland and I think you can see it in these pictures!

Laid back Porto

Hello from Porto! I have now been here over three months and it has definitely been a great experience. Studies have been quite the same as in Finland although not as challenging. Subjects I am studying are mostly focused on cultural differences in business and everyday life and how to get the best out of them.

Outside of the studies I have been travelling a lot around Portugal and even made a pit stop in Germany, Munich. I have been in Lisbon, seen the amazing university of Coimbra, swam in crystal blue waters in Algarve and relaxed in the hot springs of Azores. In Germany I mostly enjoyed the beer because here in Porto you basically have only one beer which is called Super Bock. Don’t get me wrong it’s good but it gets a bit boring after while. bridge algarve azores

The main difference here compared to Finland is definitely the laid back attitude towards everything. If you arrive ten minutes late to a meeting or class it’s not considered rude and you really don’t need to apologize for it which is a good thing but on the other hand you can see it in the results. Other major difference is that during the studies you have to choose between either continuous or final assessment. Continuous assessment means that you have small exams and group projects during the whole semester when final assessment means that you have to do one big exam in February on the subject.

Vila Nova de Gaia.

 

While waiting for small Christmas vacation to Finland I’m going to enjoy some delicious Port Wine (in moderation) and study hard and try to enjoy my last month here in Porto 🙂

Greetings from Suwon, Korea

Time flies. I feel like I just came to Korea, but in reality I have been here over three months. I never expected to do my exchange in this country, but now I can only thank myself for being this brave to get to know a totally new country and culture. I have been studying International industrial management (or something like that!) in Kyonggi university in Suwon for this semester.

The school itself is very nice and the location of the campus offers a fast way to get to Seoul. The english course list was not very impressive when I got it in the beginning of the  August. As Tourism student, I really needed to think carefully what courses might suit and support my studies in TAMK. However, the course contents are very broad and the sc14182414_1274409755916287_1714558902_nhool offers lots of culture courses, so I managed to have a nice list of courses for the fall. I have taken courses, from management to Korean culture all the way to sports English.

The study style in Korea is totally different from Finland. It reminds me of the elementary school classes where everything had to be learned not by heart but in a way that you just have to memorize everything from word to word. Lots of the exams have been that the teacher has taken a phrase from his slides and taken one word out from it to be filled up. This has recuired a totally new way of studying but I think that maybe this will eventually benefit me in the future.

But the main point: Spare time! If you want to eat cheap and super delicious food and experience lots of cultures totally different from your home country. Korea and Seoul is the place to be. Our dorm does not offer any cooking facilities so eating out everyday is the basic condition here (which I really don’t mind!), you can get a proper big meal by less than 5€ and enjoy a glass or more of Soju with your classmates before continuing the evening to a local karaoke or one of the nightclubs in Hongdae or Gangnam.

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During my spare time here, I have been trying to discover the city as much as possible, tasting as many foods as possible and get to know the culture as much as possible. I have seen more temples and palaces than ever before and enjoyed the Korean hospitality.

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During the weekends I have been travelling as much as possible and I have been visiting other cities (Jeju, Busan etc.) and even 14466341_1296743427016253_1343250037_ohopped to another countries (China and Japan). Travelling has been the thing that I have appreciated the most while being in the exchange. The flight tickets are so cheap, so why not visit other countries while already being in this side of the world. Seeing the Great wall of China and the Tokyo tower has been the highlights of my exchange and thing that I will never forget!

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However I still have to say that I would choose Korea every time if asked which Asian country I prefer the most! Couple weeks to push through my final exams and then I can go and enjoy my Christmas in Philippines (to where it is also super cheap to fly!)

I think I fell in love with Korea and hopefully I will come to this country again in the future! See you soon Tampere!

-Pauliina

Hiya from Scotland

Greetings from Ayr, the west coast of Scotland! I arrived in September and now I have less than three weeks to go. Time has passed amazingly fast and autumn has felt like a blink of an eye.

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I came to do 3 different kind of training periods here: 7 weeks on a receiving medical ward, 3 weeks at a maternity unit and lastly 3 weeks in domiciliary care. It has been a great opportunity to see different areas of the local health care.  As I expected, training nursing abroad has been challenging but rewarding.

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I was staying at the university halls and it turned out to be a good decision because it has been easy to make, both local and international, friends here.  I have spent most of my spare time here in and around Ayr. I have enjoyed of nature and views, summer turning to autumn and winter, Christmas atmosphere, nights out, food, long walks and travelling. I have loved to stay in a smaller town but I also have spent some time in Edinburgh and Glasgow which are both lovely places. I have also spent a lot of time wondering why British people love to do things the opposite way than the whole other world. For example, traffic, doors and card games are working to different direction that I have been used to.

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I met a Spanish nursing student who invited me to stay at her home during our autumn holiday. The offer was too good so soon I found myself packing bags and heading to the airport. I did not expect to find myself from Spain when I left to exchange in Scotland. I’m lucky I did, because the holiday was one of the highlights of this autumn.

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Compared to Finland, here nurses do longer hours – 12 hour shifts normally three times a week. I found longer days tiring – especially because I had to concentrate harder than normally because of the new environment and foreign language – but in the other hand I naturally had more spare time which was very welcome. Nursing is an international occupation and personally I didn’t find massive differences between Finnish and Scottish nursing cultures. But I learnt how differently public services – such as health care and school system – are provided in Scotland compared to England. I find Scotland’s way of arranging these things similar to Scandinavia.

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Although I have enjoyed my time here, I’m pleased to get back home for Christmas and back to my own boring routines. I didn’t exactly know what to expect from my time here but I can say that this exchange was everything and a lot more. I feel grateful and lucky of this experience.

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