Hello everybody from Glasgow, Scotland! I came to Glasgow, which is the largest city in Scotland at the beginning of 2017 to study the EPS program. That is the European Project Semester. It is mostly working with the real company and doing the project in a team and before it a bit of preparations to it with the help of learning some courses.
But what is about my life here, I can say that there are a lot of events happening at the moment. And I am not talking about the small parties between the students itself. So, you would not be bored at all. During the free time, I am usually going to the gym and it became something really important for me. I am training a lot and I have started long time ago, so I just continued it here. There are a lot of options to go to the main gym in Uni itself or go to one of those, which you can find in the city centre. The prices for gym facilities are cheap and of course, there are student discounts.
Moreover, we have been going to Edinburgh to participate the event, which is called the St Patrick’s Day. The picture is below.
Meanwhile, I was in the football team. We were participating in some competition, where we could win some good prizes. The picture is below.
All, in all, the time in Glasgow is good! The only disadvantage is the weather, which does not suite to everybody. It is always rain with the wind there. Sometimes, there could be some sunny days, but it might happen so rarely. That is why, if you are such a person, who wants some sun during the day, maybe it would be not the best choice for you. However, if you can deal with that problem, Scotland will surprise you a lot.
I’m doing my exchange in Dobrich, Bulgaria. I arrived here at the end of January with my best friend Julia. When we applied for the exchange we thought that we would be living in Varna by the Black Sea, but at some point we realized that all the BBA degrees are done in a smaller city Dobrich, about 40km from Varna. So at first it was a little bit of a shock when we arrived, because I had pictured a warm and sunny city near the sea, but when we came the weather was quite the same as in Finland (of course I had checked the weather forecast but the cold wind made it worse, and I didn’t realize it would still be snowing here). In addition Dobrich isn’t one of the most beautiful cities I have been in, and it’s quite small. But luckily Dobrich isn’t as bad as my first impression. All the people here are very warm and helpful. We are living at a dormitory where most of the students live, so we have made friends with both exchange and regular students. There are many dormitory parties, and every single week it’s someone’s birthday. Luckily the snow melted away very quickly, and for example today it has been +22 degrees.
I spend my spare time mostly with Julia and our friends from the dormitory. Usually at the week we take tan and go to the gym, and at the weekends we have parties. Usually once a week we go to Varna for a day (better restaurants, shopping malls and of course the Black Sea). We have also made a weekend trip to Burgas and last weekend we spent in Bucharest, Romania. After three weeks we are going to the capital city Sofia for a few days, and from Sofia we go to Greece. Can’t wait to spend my birthday in Athens! And in addition to the warm weather one of the best things in Bulgaria is that everything is so cheap compared to Finland. Here we have money to do things we don’t usually do in Finland, such as eating out in restaurants every weekend.
Studying here in Bulgaria is very different than in Finland. Varna University of Management is a private University and all the students at VUMK study in English. Here we have only one subject for the whole day which is quite boring, but at the other hand we usually have days off at the week. The courses aren’t that hard either, because I’m a third year student but we have also some first and second year’s classes. The university is also much more relaxed than the universities in Finland, you can for example order a beer with your lunch. I have definitely enjoyed. Of course I miss home, family, friends and the basics –rye bread, liquorice and sauna- in Finland, but I’m so happy to be here and to spend the next two months traveling and exploring new things here in Bulgaria.
For the past two months I have been living in beautiful Bulgaria. I am living in Dobrich, which is located 40 kilometers from Varna. If you do not know where Varna is, just google Golden Sands and I am sure you know what I am talking about. Here in Dobrich lives 100 000 people so compared to other cities it’s quite small, but I love it! All locals are so warm-hearted and always ready to help.
So, I am studying at Varna University of Management but here in Dobrich. Every day the school starts at 9.45 and ends at 15.00. Most of the people are studying Hospitality Management and there’s only ¨few¨ of us who’s studying business. What it comes to my studies, at the moment, I am studying branding, organizational behavior and IT. One course, employability, already ended. We are having lectures twice in a week and we only have one subject in one day.
I am sharing my exchange experience with my best friend Elina, so we are spending our spare time usually together. Mostly we are just chilling with the other Erasmus students but also with the full-time students. We both love traveling so we have been traveling as much as possible. So far we have been in Varna, Burgas and Bukarest. After two weeks we are also going to Sofia, which is Bulgaria’s capital and from there we are flying to Athens. There’s also some great gyms, which costs only 15 euros per month, so we have been exercising too. Of course, we are having some awesome parties every weekend with all the students! Alcohol in here is WAY much cheaper than in Finland, so if you like to party, Bulgaria is definitely a right place for you !
Studying in here is more theoretical than in Finland but of course we are still discussing about the main topics. Some teachers even give us some ¨wrong¨ information about some topics. For example the teacher taught as that the marketing manager is making the budget for the company. We were just laughing J it’s also nice that in TAMK we are having many subjects in one day so you do not have time to get bored because in here we are only having one subject in a day. So, at the times it’s a bit boring. Technology in our school is also a bit old at least if you compare it to TAMK. But still I have nothing bad to say about the education system in here. Everything is great and I am so happy that I got the opportunity to make a part of my studies here in beautiful Bulgaria!
I have now been practising in Hanoi for one month and the time here has past very fast! Maybe it’s because here is a lot of new and different things to explore and experience. I’m supposed to live here for three months and this first month I was practising in a postoperative department in Hanoi Medical University hospital and tomorrow i start in the critical care unit of Bach Mai hospital.
Some injection and wound care equipment in the trolley
I have practical training from monday to friday from morning till noon. Typical day for a nursing student here in Hanoi is that hospital practise is in the morning and lectures from 13:30 till afternoon. Practise hours are not so long as in Finland but i have had chance to do many practical things during that time, which I’m very happy about!
Patients medications and medical liquids in an own box
Nursing studies last 4,5 years in Vietnam and students have a lot more practical training here because they go to the hospital for a practise already in the first year and the days are like I mentioned. Students don’t have so much theory lessons and sometimes teachers have to cancel because they have to be in a hospital performing a surgery. Almost every teacher is also a doctor. Doctors also teach nursing students in the practice because nurses don’t have time for students from their work. My supervisor at the practise is a third year nursing student but I think she has many practical skills she can teach me very well.
Working culture in Vietnam is very hierarchical and students have to listen very carefully what the nurse and the doctor says. Vietnamese working style is fast and nurses don’t do any basic care because that is nurse assistants or family members job to do. Everyone has a certain role.
Beach in Da Nang
In my spare time I have got to know of Hanoi and been travelling to Da Nang and Hoi An. I have planned to travel in Vietnam as much as possible. Hanoi is a very busy 7 million peoples city, traffic is a chaos because almost everyone has some private transportation and scooters are popular. In the traffic you have to be very careful because many people don’t follow the rules. When you want to cross the road, you just walk and don’t stop.
Traffic in Hanoi
Water puppet theater in Hanoi Old Square
Street food take away in a bag
I think I tell you more next time and I try to tell you the main things but it’s impossible to tell everything because there is so many things you just have to experience yourself so you will understand the lifestyle of Hanoi! 😉
Three weeks is behind for this exchange. Live is begun to normalize over here, what is actually very nice.
We arrive with my friend Miia in Cardiff first of March. That trip takes Gatwick airport to Cardiff over five hours. We ride through to England by bus and neither did not any idea where we are whole the travel. Everywhere was so green and warm compared to Finland where was same time snow and minus degrees.
Finally we were Cardiff and University hospital of Wales where our placement starts in few days. Typically, we were lost again in Hospital district. Luckily Wales peoples are very friendly and help always when you look even little bit lost, so some friendly hospitals Security guard took us to our accommodation which was only 400 meters to hospital’s concourse.
Next couple days went very fast when we orientated our wards and hospital and university district which are side by side.
I do my exchange time for two placements: medical/surgical and district and community nursing placements. My first placements are geriatric internal medicine ward C6. Most of patient is elder people who got some long-term diseases and dementia. Ward got about 40 patients and it is separate in to two parts which they call “north and South”. North sides are men patients’ side and south side female patients side. I’ve been working both sides depend who is my mentor that day.
The care culture and nursing cultural are quite similar than Finland. Most of different goes to the right of nurses can do and can’t do: Example: In here basic qualified nurses don’t cannulate or Catheterizes men what are normal measures in Finland.
Second thing what is different is working clothes: we students wear purple (picture below the text) clothes, health care support workes (it’s like Finland practical nurse but without qualified and authorized to issue medicines) wear green, registered nurses wear light blue, etc. Here’s the picture for example:
In here we make long shifts what means twelve and half hours workdays three times a week. I think that is great because you get more spare time!
In this couple weeks we are use our spare time for training and exploring the city and little bit neighboring towns also. We were day trip from Barry Island which it is very popular beach in summer. There are also filmed some episodes of known TV series Dr. Who.
Last weekend was full of Rugby! Friday we were in the city watching six nations game in the pub. (Six nations is tournament where plays England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy. Locals say that’s European Super Bowl) There was play Wales against Ireland. The game played in Principality Stadium what is in Cardiff central. Wales won that game and I’ve been never see so a lot of people celebrating in the center. That was so crazy!
At next day we was watching local match Cardiff Blues vs. Munster rugby from Scotland. That was great game but unfortunately Blues lost that game only few points. Atmosphere was almost as good as yesterday’s national team game.
Okay, I think that this was all the stuff by summarized. It would be a lot of things I’d like to tell you and show but I believe That no one is feeling like to read it all if I do it. Until the next time. -Jami
It’s been now exactly 2 months since I arrived at Manchester. But when I think about how much I’ve already experienced here and how many new friends I’ve got, it feels like I’ve been here for so much longer. On the other hand, the time is flying and weeks passing by incredible fast!
The city of Manchester at night.
The weather here is awful especially this time of year. So windy and wet that it’s a miracle if you get to a club without having a wet hair. But after a couple of weeks you just get used to it and don’t even bother to carry an umbrella around.
I’m studying here at the University of Salford among over 20000 other students. The campus is really big and attractive. There are for example 24/7 open library, cafeterias, student store, a pub, student union lounges and so much more. Also student accommodation is located at campus so I actually live in the campus as well.
The best thing in the University of Salford are the societies. No matter what you’re interested in, you’ll find a society that suits you for sure here. They vary from Rugby to Pole dancing and from religious groups to drinking clubs. I joined the European society and Salford Snow, which is a society for snowboarding and skiing. Societies are an amazing way to meet new people and get new experiences! One of the things I’m most looking forward to is a holiday in Pas de la Casa in Andorra. One week of skiing, snowboarding, partying and having fun with the society is going to be once in a lifetime experience.
This is the oldest building of Salford University where most of my lectures take place.
The lectures and seminars aren’t that different compared to my home university Tamk, but at first it was challenging to keep up with others since the teaching language is English and the vocabulary quite difficult. After a couple of weeks you get used to it and it doesn’t feel that challenging anymore.
As a Finn, I’m really used to having great internet connection and unlimited data on my phone wherever I go. Here it isn’t a no-brainer. You can be walking in the city of Manchester without any internet connection in your phone at all. So if anyone else has as bad sense of direction as I do and is planning a trip here, I’d strongly recommend downloading maps from google maps offline.
I’ve also gotten to know many other Erasmus students from all over the world. It’s been really eye-opening to work and have fun with people that are from different cultures. On our spare time we hang out together which usually involves food and music. We also went bowling and driving pumper cars one evening which was really fun! I don’t really get homesick here because there are so many things happening all the time and friends to hang out with. All it takes is a bit of courage to go out there and get to know people and you won’t regret it. British people are extremely friendly and appreciate foreigners who can speak English.
So briefly said; I’m so happy I took the chance to go abroad and get all these new experiences!
Here we are hanging out with European society in the student accommodation lounge
For now I’ve been studying in Kyung Hee University for one month. My school is ranked as 15th best university, from 191 universities in South Korea. My major is hospitality management, and courses I study are “principle of cooking”, “basics of Korean language”, “cultural tourism” and “theory of marketing”. I’m pretty happy with courses I finally got, because they are all really different with different teachers, so I don’t get bored during school days.
Kyung Hee University campus
One huge different to studying in Finland is that every class takes only one hour and 15 minutes! Also it’s a lot of lectures, and not much interaction between students. I think it’s nice for a change, but I couldn’t study like that all the time for 3,5 years.
Studying in here is also pretty competitive, from getting courses to your final grade. I was lucky to get in almost all the courses I originally wanted to take, but there were lots of troubles on the way. There’s not that many seats to all of the courses, so you really need to be ready when course registration opens. Also, on some courses, professor can give only certain amount of A:s for students, and that might effect on students behavior during course, for example not to help each others that easily etc..
On first week, one professor told us “exchange student compete against other exchange students, and Korean students compete against other Korean students”. I was really shocked about his comment, because that’s something you would never hear teacher to say in Finland! For us it’s always just about competing against your self and giving your best.
On first week it was very common for professors to say “this course is really difficult, so I recommend you to consider if you really want to take this course”. That felt pretty ridiculous for me, because I’ve got used to teachers say for us that “yes, this might be a difficult subject, but we will learn it together”.
My Korean language studies are proceeding well, I have already learn Korean letters. Next step is to learn basic phrases to help my daily life here. It’s surprising that they don’t speak English lot in here.
After all cultural differences, I’m enjoying school a lot! Usually, I don’t get homework from classes and my schooldays are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, so I have a lot of free time here! I’ve made friends with girls from my dormitory, who I like to explore Seoul and experience all interesting and new things with.
I like Seoul because there’s so many neighborhoods and they all have their own character, if it’s a good area for shopping, eating or clubbing for example. Weather is also getting nicer all the time, I cant wait for summer in here! One thing I’m really looking forward to is having picnic at Han-river and spending all day outside. Now we are all a bit sick, because we spend long times outside but especially when sun sets weather gets quite cold.
My Korean friend Jisoo has shown me lots of cool places in Seoul, I got to know her from “Each One Teach One” course last year in Tampere!
So far me and my classmate Anni have lived over two months here in Malta and we have enjoyed our time here very much. The saddest thing is that we have only three weeks remaining and atleast I’m not ready to go back to Finland just yet. Luckily I have only one week of clinical placements left and then I have two weeks of holiday!
Malta is a very small country, which consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino with population of over 400 000 people. The main island Malta is only 27 km long and 15 km wide and it is located in the middle of the Mediterranean sea directly south of Sicily.
Our exchange consists of 200 hours of clinical placements and teaching. We are studying at the University of Malta and working at the Mater Dei Hospital. Mater Dei is the main general and acute public hospital in Malta and our placements takes place at the Medical Imaging Department. We are studying e.g. pharmacology, professional issues, Maltese culture and language and last week we had exam week which wasn’t that horrible than we thought. We had only three exams, pharmacology, Maltese language (oral and written) and two presentation.
Maltese lifestyle is very relaxed but extremely lazy! A family may have as many cars as family members because they are too lazy to walk from one place to another. That is one of the reason why the traffic is so crazy in here. Maltese are typically welcoming, warm, friendly and willing to help other peolpe. They speak so loud and passionately with lots of arm-waving that a normal conversation may seem to turn into a huge fight in seconds.
I’m now half way into my studies at Listaháskóli Íslands (Iceland Academy of the Arts).
This has not been an easy two and a half months but I am glad that I came here.
I feel that Reykjavík is the city of opposites.
As a city it’s very young. In the 19th century the whole town of Reykjavík was still only one street (Aðalstræti), as most people lived and worked on farms.
Living and building in Iceland is not easy, so the development of a capital area in Iceland was happening much later than in other Nordic countries.
Now there is construction everywhere in the city and no house looks very much alike. There was an urban design plan in the early 20th century by Iceland’s first architect Guðjón Samúelson to transform whole Reykjavík so all houses would be made of concrete and they would all look alike. They started the project, but it came to an end when younger people started to protest against tearing down the older wooden buildings.
So now the center of Reykjavík looks very strange.
There are a lot of graffiti in Reykjavík. And surprisingly most of it is really beautiful artistic work.
There are a lot of tourists in Reykjavík compared to the number of locals living here. I sometimes think (exaggerating) that I’ve seen more Spanish and Chinese people than Icelanders on my stay here.
But there is still enough room to find the quiet roads and calm spots. Even if you sometimes have to share them.
The view of Reykjavík is usually dominated by the beautiful mountain Esja. There are a lot of mountains in Iceland, but Esja is the one you see most often.
I went for a hike on the most popular route of Esja in January (not the smartest of ideas), on a day that was supposed to be cold, but bright. How wrong was I.
When we got there it was dawn and everything was fine. Half way up the weather changed drastically and we found ourselves in the middle of a windy blizzard.
I had been walking ahead of one group of exchange students and could see another group of adult climbers before me. I kept going in the storm and at some point I lost the people before me, I lost the path and when I looked back I saw that the others had turned back.
Somehow I didn’t even get scared, because I could still sort of see footprints here and there, and I knew that the climbers had to come down the same way and that I would see them if they would decide to turn back. I just kept going and at some point I caught up with the climbers.
It wasn’t easy and the whole trip up and down to Steinn at 600m took hours. The conditions made it impossible to go any higher and we couldn’t see anything from the top anyway.
And later I learned that on the same day there had been an avalanche on the harder route through the mountain pass and one Icelandic man had died. This was a week after we had heard of many tourists being swept away by waves and killed because they went too close to the shore in the south.
Hiking or exploring in Iceland is not to be taken lightly. Ever.
I really love the teachers here. And the students are a nice bunch of people.
The mold I absolutely hate.
The school is the only higher education art school in Iceland and it’s still really small. The departments have been divided into three different locations and lucky us, the musicians and actors are all in the one building that has mold.
It’s not just a guess or something that needs to be investigated. You can go into certain rooms and look at it. Yep, black mold.
Here’s a video:
Our singing lessons have been moved away from the building but everything else is still there.
I get headache and on some days symptoms of a hay fever.
They are apparently trying to find new housing for the departments, but it doesn’t help the students currently there.
I can’t wait for summer leave.
The studies and courses are similar to those in Finland. The level of the music department is not as high as that of TAMK’s, but I’m happy that I’ve got to work with these amazing teachers and get a new perspective to my studies.
We have a lot of masterclasses here, which is really good for singers and we are doing scenes from Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte and Le nozze di Figaro.
We get to work with all the singing teachers in the school, which is also a benefit on university level.
But you do need to learn to at least understand some Icelandic here. Not all the teachers like to speak to the whole class in English and even though you can return all your homework in English, you will want to understand the lessons as well.
I would recommend coming here in the Autumn and going to the intensive language course in the Westfjords.
I have been relying on my own studies and it has left me only with the ability to compliment things and ask for my latte with oat milk.
Also the word for an exchange student (skiptinemi) is funny.
Iceland is a great place to visit, but living and studying here takes determination.