Monthly Archives: December 2017

Groeten uit Zwolle!

Christmas is almost here which means that my exchange period is almost over. Before my exchange I was excited, scared and I didn’t know what to expect because this was my first time when I was going abroad alone. Before I came here, five months seems such a long time but I can certainly say that time flies here! Now it’s sad to leave all these nice places and wonderful people and come back to Finland.

I’m living in Zwolle which is quite small (population around 125 800) but very cozy and calm city in the northeaster Netherlands. If you like big and crowded cities, Zwolle isn’t probably right place for you. But it is just perfect for me. The city center is small but there are many nice restaurants, cafés and shops (such as Primark, H&M, Zara). And of course, there are beautiful canals and old buildings.

I’m studying at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences. Windesheim is quite big school and there are many students. Most of my lessons are in the X building which is the newest building and very modern. My program is called Doing Business in the World and I have chosen courses like sustainability marketing, business ethics and organizational psychology. In addition to these we have one project for a real customer.

Studying here is very similar than in TAMK. We have many groupworks and projects. I think that the biggest difference is that the teachers here are more direct they have higher standards than in TAMK. For example, if they aren’t satisfied with your assignment they might ask you to improve it. Most of the students in my class are exchange students but there are also a few Dutch students.

Dutch people don’t eat lunch at all. At lunchtime, they eat only sandwiches or fries. And they eat fries A LOT! You can find snack bars almost in every corner. I would never have thought to say this but I really miss TAMK school lunches!

The first thing I did after I arrived at Zwolle was to find a bike because bike is the easiest way to move from one place to another. Bikes in here are quite expensive for example I paid 90 euros for my secondhand bike. I live in Leliestraat in a shared room where we have a bunkbed, own kitchen and bathroom. The building is old but the room is nice and my roommate is wonderful.

In my spare time, I have enjoyed walking around the beautiful city center and the park right next to my accommodation. I had quite lot of work in the first period but now I have more free time and I have been travelling around the Netherlands and Germany. Travelling here is easy and the distances are really short compared to Finland.

-Anniina

Finalmente aquí

Practical training 

I´m in practical training in Tenerife, in Santa Cruz. I study nursing and this is my last practical training. First weeks I was in health center because I had to learn some skills I haven´t learn in Finland. For example taking blood samples: I have done it only once in the school 2 years ago. Secondly i needed to learn Spanish quite well before the practising in hospital. These last weeks I´m in the university hospital,  in traumatology ward. This is very interesting. Other nurses don´t speak English much so we communicate with Spanish language. I think I have learned to speak Spanish quite well and other nurses and patients understand me.

 

 

 

Spare time in Spain 

There are many activities in Tenerife. Hopefully I have spare time every weekends. I´m grateful because me and my Finnish friend spend our exchange in the same destination country. When we have spare time we usually go take the sun to the beach or sea water pools. We are very lucky because here is everyday at least 22-25 degrees. Three weeks ago we were in Teide  (the volcano that is the highest peak in Spain) with our Spanish friend. We have met Spanish students and been hanging out with them.

 

 

 

There are many shopping places in Tenerife. Santa Cruz is the best shopping city in whole Tenerife. There are many shopping streets  and commercial center in Santa Cruz. Clothes and food in restaurant is cheaper than in Finland. That´s why we can go eat to restaurant more often than in Finland.

 

 

Compared to Finland

Practising in the university hospital in Spain is quite same than in Finland. There are quite same treatment methods and aseptics is important also in Spain. Even if I work in the different culture, there are similarities in practicalities and ethics laws. All in all I think Finland is more advanced with health system than Spain does: because of technology.

 

 

 

 

Grüß Gott! Greetings from Vienna, Austria

SCHOOL & STUDIES

I´m doing my exchange in Vienna, Austria. Our partner university here is FH Wien University of Applied Sciences. The department is mainly focusing on management and communications, which means I could not really choose tourism courses, but have rather been focusing on marketing, management and general business courses.

All my courses are mainly with other Erasmus students and in english. We have a lot of group projects and presentations but also individual essays depending on the course. One thing that differs from TAMK is the fact that my timetable changes practically every week, so I do not have the same courses at the same day and time every week and the length of the course depends on the lecturer. I have really enjoyed my studies here in Vienna so far!

 

FREE TIME

I have school only 2-3 times a week which gives me plenty of time to travel. During the first month I spend my free time mainly exploring Vienna and getting to know the city better. Inside Austria I have visited Salzburg and Hallstatt. I have also made trips to other countries such as Slovakia, Slovenia, Italy, Poland and Czech Republic.

I had never been to Austria before my exchange, but I have not regretted my choice for one second! Austria is such a beautiful country and Vienna is definitely one of the most amazing cities I have ever visited. There is so much to do and see here!


LIFESTYLE

Overall, I would say that Austrian people and the way of living is pretty similar to Finland. People might seem a little cold and distant at first, but they are really nice and helpful once you get to know them. It has been relatively easy to adapt to the culture and the only difficulty has been language, although I´m studying German here. The Erasmus community here is huge and I have got a lot of new friends from all over the world. I would recommend everyone to go abroad for a semester if you have the chance!

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Emmiina

 

 

 

Among new vibes

Alarm rings at seven o’clock. Even though I have got used to it, for me it’s still (and maybe will always be?) hard to leave warm, cosy bed every morning. After basic morning routines I put my sneakers on and get outside: it’s time for morning running!

In Finland I am studying musical theatre and here I am focusing more on theatre and that makes the biggest difference in my studies if I compare them. My studies here in Estonia consist of different types of practical theatre lectures, such as body awareness, stage movement, acting, singing… And I also study Estonian language, which is quite useful here. At first it definitely wasn’t the easiest way to study, (to be the only one in a group of seventeen people who is not speaking Estonian and lectures are held mostly in that language) but definitely the best way to learn a language! The similarity between Finnish and Estonian language has of course helped me a lot also.

Viljandi, where I live, is adorable, peaceful, little town in easter Estonia. Everything is so near that you can mostly walk everywhere and even me who I am always biking from place to another have survived easily here without a bike. Here you do not have big shopping centers or vivid nightlife – but what you have is that so called ”Viljandi-vibe” which I love. Cosy cafeterias, nature everywhere – parks and forest in the centre, empty streets in the night, same dog walker passing by every morning… and many kind of cultural events which are keeping this town alive. I can say I haven’t been drinking this much green tea, seeing this much concerts or walking so many lazy walks in a parks just for fun – for a very long time.

Sure I have been exploring other Estonian also – but there is so much still to see! I have visited in Tartu and Tallinn several times and to those two months I still have left my plan is to include at least trip to Riga and some places in Estonia as well.

Christmas market at Tallinn Town Hall Square

Here the weather is quite the same than in Finland. They sell Fazerin sininen and rye bread in the stores. We have many similar words, same kind of ways to behave. I love the architecture that they have still so many old buildings left and cobbled streets.. But for me culture and behaving seems to be quite similar anyway. But here I live in student dormitory which is not usual in Finland – and this has been maybe the longest time in my life when I haven’t been in sauna. (Well, if I really would like to I could find it here somewhere as well.) As they say – everything has it’s time and place. And for now, this is definitely the right one.

Greetings from the city of love

Bounjour á tous!

I’m doing my exchange studies in Paris, France and the time has passed very quickly. I have been here now for 10 weeks and I have three more to go. Here, I’m studying in PSB (Paris School of Business) and I chose to study Luxury.

Studies and school

I chose five courses, because I wanted to get an certificate from PSB, that I have studied the track which includes 3 core course and two electives. I chose the track Luxury Management and I have the following courses; Doing business in Europe, French, History of Luxury, Fundamentals of Luxury Industry and Luxury Merchandising. The courses havebeen very interesting and I chose them, because I wanted to study something that differs from our’s school courses. It was great to get acquainted with different brands and different merchandising techniques, for example we went to a luxury boutique and we took some pictures and made some notes about their merchandising. Also, in other course we have made some research about luxury markets in globally, as well as in China and in the USA.

Free time

On my free time, I have experienced city a lot with friends from school and also with my friends from Finland, who have visited me. I have been in different parts of Paris and also I have seen many sights such as Louvre, Versailles, Disneyland Paris and of course the Eiffel Tower. Besides Paris, I travelled to a South-France, which was part of our integration week in PSB. It was great to see the Paris countryside as well.


 

Here, in Paris the restaurant culture is different than in Finland, for example there are a lot of cute restaurants and cafes.

What is different?

Compared to Finland the lessons are much longer and the teachers are more conservative. One lesson lasts 1.5 hours and usually we have two classes per day, so my school days lasts at least four hours a day. The school system is more hierarchical here, and also the teachers can be very strict, if you’re not coming on time for a lesson. Also, I have had much more presentations here than in Finland. It’s also different that they have shared the rating system, for example we have mid-terms and final exams both here. This way they try not to put enormous pressures on the students.

Also I have noticed that French are not very punctual, for example in Finland you will get all the details about the course and the exam during the first lesson, but here in France, you will get all the details just a week before exam or presentation. This has been difficult to accept, but I’m almost used to it.

Bisous Suvi