Monthly Archives: March 2018

Glad Påsk och hälsningar från Sverige!

Time flies when you have fun and lot to do. I have only two weeks left here in Linköping. Like you can guess, the culture and scenes here are pretty much same than in Finland and that’s one reason why this city has been feeling like a second home. The other reason has been friendly local people and other exchange students who have made these three months so funny and unforgettable.

Stora torget Linköping
Street of the city center and my home street
Buildings of Gamla Linköping

I live in a corridor apartment in a student housing area. I have my own room with own bathroom, but kitchen is shared with other seven students. And  have to say it hasn’t been very luxurious… Now I see that everyone don’t have the same view of the cleanness and hygiene.

My corridor with a messy kitchen…

In the beginning of our exchange we had orientation week together with other exchange students who’re studying medicine, nursing or physiotherapy.  We played together funny games, studied Swedish and were introduced to the university of Linköping. It was easy and nice way to get to know each others.

Picture of my exchange student group, they are amazing people!

Working with a different language has been hard and has taken a lot of energy and effort. But I think it has given more than taken! My first placement was in Pain and Rehabilitation center, and my patients consists mostly of adults suffering from chronic pain. I got chance to instruct physical training and mindfulness to the patient group I saw three times a week. I had also individual patients who I examined and made them personal training programs. Professionals worked in teams of doctors, occupational therapist, psychologist and physiotherapist, so it was great opportunity also learn to work in an interprofessional working group. First I felt myself completely lost with the patients because of the language, but after couple weeks it got easier and easier.  I was happy that they gave me much responsibility and own patients because that’s the way I can learn the most.

After my first four-week practical wee took train to Oslo with my Finnish classmate. From Oslo we flew to Lofoten islands. It was so breathtaking beautiful there, no words to describe the landscape!

Beautiful landscapes of Lofoten

After our holiday in Norway, I had theoretical part in Linköping’s university with swedish students. It was interprofessional course and handeled of quality improvement with healt care. My group worked in Campus Norrköping, which is in the city next to Linköping. The city and campus were super beautiful!

Norrköping

Last three weeks I worked with home rehabilitation. I was surprised how relaxed it was. They had max four patients for a day and long coffee and lunch breaks. But it was interesting to work at patients’ home and rehabilitate them in their normal living environments.  Next two weeks I will spend in the orthopedic studentward in hospital of Norrköping. That’s ward where students of different degree programs works together with the help of their supervisors.

I’ve been spending my spare time at the local gym and with other exchange students. After long working days it has sometimes felt hard to find energy to do something in the evenings. But in the weekends we have had international dinners and just chilled together or visited different cities of Sweden with other exchange students. Every Tuesday evening I have Swedish course to improve my language skills. And not to self: it’s so much harder to understand native swede’s speech than the listening comprehension tasks that we have used to listen at school 😀

Huge cinnamon buns and beautiful streets of Göteborg
Sunny Stockholm

I’m feeling both happy and sad to return back to Finland after two weeks. I’m missing my family, friends and hobbies in Finland, but also going to miss people I have met here. I wish that Finnish people could be as open and share their feelings and thoughts as bravely than international people here. This exchange has taught a lot about physiotherapy and internationality and definitely gave me courage and great experiences. I can feel myself really lucky to have this kind of opportunity during my studies 🙂

Sawadee kha from Thailand

I have spent almost three months in a small island called Raya Yai (or Koh Racha Yai) in south Thailand. I work as an office trainee in a Finnish scuba diving company, Raya Divers.

Raya Divers has offices in five
locations; Phuket, Koh Lanta, Khao Lak, Krabi and here in Raya Yai. I mainly chose Raya Yai because I wanted to live on a paradise island rather than in the city. I have never visited Thailand before so I wanted to get to know the more peaceful and calm Thailand first.

80 % of Raya Yai is jungle. On the other 20 % there are a few small shops and restaurants, an ATM, a few resorts, some bungalows and a lot of (Thai) diving companies. There is about 250 people living in here. On the road you can meet cats, cows, monitor lizards and water buffalos. Snakes are very common too, but luckily I haven’t met any!

Most of Raya Divers’ clients are Finnish, so I haven’t got to use English that much in here. The much simpler and quite unique-sounding Thai English is very contagious, though. I learned a few words of Thai as well. I actually often find myself mixing the two languages when talking to the locals.

After the sun sets
Office kittens ❤️
Took a ride on the motorbike
Day off

My office tasks consist of customer service, sales, reservations for transfers and diving, keeping the places clean and general helping and organizing. A typical working day is at least nine hours long. Each day is a bit
different, as it always depends on how much customers we are having.

During my training I also got to do a PADI Open Water Diver course, which was free for trainees. I was able to go diving almost weekly, which was great! I will definitely continue diving in the future and maybe do an Advanced course as well.
I have really enjoyed my time here in Raya Yai. We had a small but great team on a small but a great island and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Finlandais à Paris

Not the Sacre-Coeur but still a beautiful building.

Bonjour!

I’ts been over seven weeks since I came to Paris and the exchange has exceeded my expectations. The city is beautiful: full of history and breathtaking architechtury on the old buildings and the first internship was the best ever. I’ve visited many of the touristy places and of those the Sacre-Cour church at the Montmarte hill has been my favourite.

On my spare time I’m usually at the gym or eating pastries and, oh boy, the French don’t praise their pastries and bread for nothing. I can’t say which of the delicacies are my favorites because there are so many. But if I must choose the ones I have eaten the most, I would say croissant, baguette and this little cream puff like pastry with sugar crystals on top of it called chouquette.

Lemon Tartelette and other delicious French pastries

My first internship was at rheumatology ward in Cochin Hospital. People came there to rehabilitate mostly because of rheumatism, chronic low back pain, scleroderma or knee or hip replacement surgery. They stay in the hospital approximately 5 days and work 5 hours per day with multi-professional team. So they had physiotherapy, occupational therapy, relaxation, hydrotherapy and maybe saw the podiatrist, physical education instructor, psychologist and dietitian and of course the doctor. I was also fortunate to go once or twice a week in the hospitals respiratory ward where people came usually from intensive care unit because to rehabilitate to be able to go home or to a rehabilitation center. In there I saw many interesting and special cases and learned more about rare diagnoses such as Guillain-Barre syndrome and Lupus erythematosus.

At the hospital, working with the individuals and groups without speaking the language

Cochin Hospital.

 

has been hard but very rewarding. My classmate, who came also for an Erasmus exchange, and me have had private french lessons from the teacher from our school in here, which has been really nice. We’ve tried to learn some useful words and phrases which has helped us to work with the patients. Even though I didn’t know any French before coming here, it has been fun to see that when people speak it all the time around you, you start to pick up some words and sentence without even realizing.

An eclaire a day keeps the doctor away.

Working culture in France doesn’t differ that much from Finnish culture. In my first internship, they were specialised in chronic lowbackpain and the rehabilitation happened in a gym room and there could be 10 patients at the same time working. It is not usual in Finland to have so many patiences working individually in the same space but in Cochin hospital they’ve made it work pretty well. One big difference what I’ve found is that the lunch brake is much more longer here in France. It can be from 30 minutes to 1,5 hours and it is a peaceful gathering where people chat about their lives and really connect. In Finland we could also try to really sit and relax and enjoy our meal with our co-workers. The lunch is usually here at 12:30 or 13:00PM and that’s something that I haven’t got used to, yet. I think it’s a bit too late for me because my tummy starts to rumble already at 10 AM. But when in Paris, do as the Parisians do (except don’t smoke).

 

 

 

-Veera

 

 

Min træning på Holbæk sygehuset.

The social- and healthcare system is way ahead in Denmark compared to Finland. One can really see where the money has been invested. Holbæk hospital is breathtaking and it makes me question its privacy. But no, the hospital is actually public, not a private hospital.

Let me introduce you to my new best friend: Honeywell

First of all, technology is way ahead. Danish nurses wonder around the wards with their own smartphones called “Honeywell”. Danish system has expanded entire patient information on a digital database. All the vital functions can put straight to the smartphone where the automatic system calculates the patient’s riskpercent and gives nurses information when one needs to take new vitals (blood pressure, saturation, ventilation frequency, body temperature etc). All of this information is screened on a digital platform  where nurses can keep a track on patient’s riskpercent. The digital system is based on EWS = Early Warning Score which is known in Finland. Finns just still use cardboards that are still totally forgotten behind the desk. These days I am a huge fan on EWS-system! It is very smart and logical when used wisely.

This is the second best friend, the huge television with all the patients data

The patient information is also retained securely: all the patients have their own wristband that contains all the data needed: one can access to the system with Honeywell with the machine’s own scanning system. Nurses can scan the wristbands with Honeywell. This is also used when dealing medications so one can be sure that the right amount of the drug matches with the right patient. All the medication information has to be printed on the top of the dealed medication cups for the scanning.

Pretty futuristic hospital if you ask me. Maybe someday Finnish nurses have the same opportunities.

The hyggeism and high class design can be found inside hospitals also. Just take a look at our break area. We call it “the room with the view”:

Naturally one can find fancy coffee machine that is making lattes, cappuccinos, tea, hot cocoa and hot water. The hospital also offers free fruit baskets for the hard-working nurses on their breaks. Healthy aspects have been taken into consideration.

I need a reality check when I return from Denmark one day.

Grüß Gott aus Österreich

Grüß Gott aus Österreich

I spent my 4 months of exchange in a small but lovely city; Wiener Neustadt. Wiener Neustadt is located about 60km south of the capital Vienna.

I studied in Fachhochschule Wiener Neustadt (University of Applied Sciences). It is located on the outskirts of the city center. The dorms where I lived at were really close to the school and it took around 5-7minutes to walk to and from the school to the dorms.

The University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt was founded as the first of its kind in 1994 and counts among the top educational institutions in the state. More than 3600 students are enrolled in a Bachelor or Master programme at one of the campuses: Wiener Neustadt, Wieselburg, Tulln and Vienna.

FHWN provides extensive and future-oriented educational and research programmes and at present, they offer 34 Bachelor and Master programmes in five faculties: Business, Engineering, Health Sciences, Security, and Sport. More than 300 employees and 1300 lecturers provide for a modern and efficient practice-oriented education.

Studying at FHWN was a great experience. I would say that the quality of the education is about the same as in Finland. The teachers were really professional and I enjoyed their classes. The facilities were in good shape and there was a brand new building as well. Classrooms had everything we needed and the IT side also worked perfectly.

I had all of my classes in Wiener Neustadt but I got to visit the facility in Wieselburg and it was brand new.

All of my courses happened to be on Mondays and Tuesdays so I had a lot of free time.

 

At the dorms we became one big family with the other exchange students and we had a lot of activities together at the dorms and also managed to plan many memorable trips together to Budapest, Prague and other beautiful cities abroad and also in Austria.

Budapest

I will visit Austria again soon!

-Kenneth Lundström

Greetings from Hanoi!

Greetings from Hanoi!

 Vietnamese people believe that they are the children of a mountain fairy and a water dragon. The fairy and her dragon fell in love and the fairy moved to the sea shore. They got lots of children but the fairy could not be happy without her mountains. She took half of the children with her and moved back to where she came from. The water dragon took care of the other half. The story is easy to believe because Vietnam is a land of great mountains and the sea.

I am doing my 7 weeks internship in Hanoi Medical University Hospital. The first four weeks of my internship consists of mornings at the surgical department and of participating lessons with local students in the afternoons. There is also another Finnish girl participating the same courses. The next 3 weeks we’re going to spend at the emergency department and as a future emergency nurse I look forward to it! The local students are our tutors during our internship. The doctors don’t have time to teach us and many of them lack English speaking skills so that’s why it is easier for everybody to have the students to guide us. Most of the patients don’t speak any English so the communication with them is difficult. But we smile a lot with each other and they are very interested in Western nurse students.

Hanoi is a city of great contrasts. In the city centre you can find expensive restaurants and shops, and you almost forget that Vietnam is not a rich country. The majority of Hanoi consists of shabby buildings and narrow streets where the local merchants buy fruits and vegetables, meat and fish. Forget the cold chain, it is okay to keep the meat products laying on the table whole day. There are chickens walking freely in the city streets and once I saw a man skinning the chicken next to the pavement. It is very dirty everywhere and air pollutants are a big problem. Vietnamese people are friendly and helpful. I have been travelling around Asia when I was younger and I always hated the way many people try to take advantage of me when talking about money. It happens here also, but not so much. People stare at me because I am a western girl with almost blond hair, but mostly they let me be alone.

My favourite Vietnamese food is bun cha. It is a local soup made of pork and noodle. It costs approximately 25000 Vietnamese dongs, about 90 cents in euros. As a coffee lover I tasted the famous Vietnamese coffee. It is a bit strong and sweet for Finnish taste, but still very good!

During my free time I have been exploring the city. I went to see the botanical garden and the famous water puppet show. The show was interesting and crazy in a good way, I recommend it to anyone who travels to Hanoi. I’ve been travelling outside of Hanoi also, to see the famous Halong bay and the valley of Mai chau. I love travelling and the countryside, so it is very difficult to me to stay in Hanoi for a long time. Especially because the population of the capital is 7,5 million.

Vietnamese nursing culture is very different compared to Finnish one. The hospital where I am working is one of the best hospitals in Hanoi but still I can see the differences. Protection against infections is not so strict as it is in Finland and for example gloves are not used very often. It has been difficult for me to do all the things in Vietnamese way and not how I learned to do them in Finland. The treatment of ulcers is made with iodine only and some treatment practices differ a lot from Finnish ways. Sometimes it is difficult to keep myself from questioning the practices, but still I can see that local nurses and doctors are very professional and I learned a lot here. Privacy is not a big deal, there are approximately ten patients living in the same room and sometimes nurses need to make extra beds to the floor or have two patients in the same bed. There are no curtains around the beds and all the nursing operations are done in front of other people. Including catheterizing. The nursing work here consists mostly of medical treatment. Families take care of feeding and washing the patients.

I have been enjoying my life in Vietnam and fortunately I still have 5 weeks left.

 

Greetings from Paris

I’m doing my 6 weeks internship at Cochi’s Hospital. Hospital lies very close the beautiful garden of Luxembourg. People are very friendly at the hospital and my tutor speaks good English. Some of the patients don’t speak or understand at all English, so sometimes it’s a bit difficult to give some physiotherapy. I don’t speak french at all, except few sentences and words. Some patients have asked me why did I come to France if I can’t speak french? Well yeah… That’s a question. I have spent a lot of time at the rheumatology and ortopedic sections where people suffer a lot of low back pain. Postoperative physiotherapy is also given at the both sections. I have also had  a couple of french lessons at the Ecole d’Assas. Just trying to learn some sentences and phrases what I can use with patients who don’t speak English.

This is how they recommend patients to eat

After 6 weeks internship at the hospital, there’s an international week at the school. There are going to be lots of presentations about different areas of physiotherapy. After the international week, I have 4 weeks internship at Cardiology and respiratory center in the north side of Paris.

Jardin de Tuileries

I’m spending my free time at the local gym called ”Fitness price”. I try to workout 2 to 4 times a week. It gives me good feeling and improves my endurance condition. I have also seen many sights, for example Eiffel tower, Triumphal arch, Champs Èlysée, Sainte-Chapelle, Church of Notre Dame, Sacré-Coeur, Luxemourg garden, Tuileries Garden, The Pont Alexandre, Pére Lachaise Cemetery… Paris is a historical town and there are lots of old buildings and much to see. Maybe 3 months is not enough to see everything that the town offers?

      

 

French pastries are incredibly good and tasty! I spend my free time… eating. I have already tasted opera cake, macaron, mille feuille, croissant, baguette, chocolate tart (twice…), eclair, nutella crepe, madeleines… This is the city of gourmet. If you go to café and order one cup of coffee, it’s going to be a really small cup. I’m serious. I think they don’t understand that I’m a finnish girl and I need a bucket of coffee!

Physiotherapy studies last here 4 years ( in Finland 3 ½ years) and they have specialized studied in their education. Physiotherapy is similar in the hospital than it’s in Finland. Here they invest a lot of time and resources to intensive rehabilitation. They rehabilitate their patients 5 hours a day! That’s something Finland should learn from example! Here also multi-professional collaboration comes out very clearly. Doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, personal trainers, podiatrists and orthotists work as a team.

You alright, mate?

Hiya!

I spent three months in the surprisingly warm and sunny Portsmouth in the south coast of England. Who knew there are palm trees in the English seaside? Portsmouth is a coastal city, slightly smaller than Tampere, and the main part of the city is actually located on an island, although I only realised this about halfway through my stay there. People always say that the English weather is horrible but I was actually surprised by how warm it was. Even though Portsmouth is on the south coast, I didn’t expect to have 14 degree temperatures in November. Maybe the weather is horrible in everyone else’s mind, but for a Finn it actually feels very nice?

I study International Business and I specialise in marketing. Unfortunately, there weren’t many marketing courses, or units, as the English call them, on offer at Portsmouth. Since most of the units last a full year there were only a few options for those spending only half a year. Most of the units offered to exchange students are actually shortened versions of the whole year units, so almost all of the other students are exchange students as well, which was nice in a way, because at the beginning of the year everyone was in the same situation. Still, it would have been nice to get to know some of the local students as well. Despite that, I enjoyed most of my studies, and found them in someway relevant or interesting. I also enjoyed working with the other exchange students, and since everyone was foreign, the classes were quite diverse.

In England, or at least in Portsmouth, there are only a few classes every week. I had 5 units, and most of them only had two hours of class every week. One hour lecture for everyone in the unit, and then one hour seminar in smaller groups. I found this to be a quite good way of learning, although it meant that my timetable was quite scattered. Attendance was mandatory for all classes, although no one checked for attendance in the lectures. In the seminars, however, if you miss 3 consecutive lessons, you’d essentially fail the class.

In my free time, I’d hang out in the city. There are three main “city” areas to Portsmouth. There’s Commercial Street, which is right by the University and is the actual city centre, with all the shops and things like that. Then there’s Gunwharf Quays, which is a more fancy, touristy, high end shopping and restaurant area, right by the sea and the harbor. The third one, which I liked best, is Southsea, which is where all the good bars and restaurants are. It’s on the southern side of the city, although almost everything in is within walking distance. Southsea is, in my opinion, the most beautiful area of Portsmouth, and it is the area of Portsmouth that looks the most like a stereotypical English coast city.

Southsea might be my favorite area in the city, but what I really loved doing in Portsmouth, was walking on the seaside. Being a Finn, I’m used to there being water around me all the time, and I’m not going to lie, the sea was a big reason for me when choosing Portsmouth as my exchange destination.

Since Portsmouth isn’t a very big city, I also visited the bigger cities around it, like Brighton, Southampton, and Bornmouth, as well as the absolutely beautiful Isle of Wight. Portsmouth is also only a 90 minute train drive away from London, when the trains are running that is, so I visited London quite a few times. On the last week of my stay, my boyfriend and I flew to Scotland, which was absolutely amazing and quite possibly my favorite part of my stay. We rented a car and drove around the Scottish highlands for a day, and I’m not lying when I say I’ve never seen anything so beautiful. Coming back to Portsmouth was almost a disappointment, since it was so close to Christmas and there was no snow in England, unlike in Scotland.

Compared to Finland, studying in England was quite different. There were fewer classes every week, but that meant you were expected to do more reading at home. Based on some of the teachers’ comments, I was slightly intimidated of the workload, but after receiving my grades, I can happily say that I managed just as well as at TAMK, with pretty much the same amount of work.

The grading of the units was based on an essay, a presentation, or an exam. The exchange students, however, didn’t have any exams, since those take place in January, and the autumn semester ended on the 15th of December. Most of my units were graded based on an essay, which I had never written in TAMK, only reports, so I found this quite challenging, and had to spend a lot of time in the library. This was another difference to TAMK. Students actually hang out in the library a lot, and the library is open 24/7. I liked it though. When doing groupworks, or writing essays, the library was a good place to gather in, since most of the exchange students lived in student housing, so there wasn’t enough room in anyone’s apartment to hang out it. All in all, student life is much more inclusive compared to Finland. There are different clubs for students, for different sports, different ethnicities, different diets, different political orientations etc. There’s even a Quidditch club, which is quite possibly the awesomest and most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of. Every week is a student night in the city, with different events in different venues. Basically, if you’re a student, your whole life revolves around the university.

Portsmouth to me was quite an ideal destination. I love the city, I had great flatmates and I met amazing people from all around the world. I love the seaside, and the short distance to London. I don’t just miss the people I met there, I also miss the city itself and I’m very happy I chose to go there. It’s one of my favorite places in the world, like a home away from home, and I’m definitely going back there.

Salutacions de Manresa!

Greetings from Manresa! I am doing my training here in South Europe. I am nurse student, and my training place is quite nice and small health center where children and adults are cared for.  My training has gone pretty well even though really no one speaks English and I barely speak Spanish or Catalan. But thank God we have a Google translator. People here are very friendly and interested in to learn some English so in practice I also teach English to my work mates.

(view from Manresa)

Manresa located about 65km from Barcelona. And almost every weekend I used to take train to Barcelona. I can say that Barcelona is huge city and every time I visiting there I found something new and interesting to do. Here it is not possible to get bored. The best thing for me is just to walk the seashore or La Rambla while the sun is warming up. Besides, there are also great shopping places here.

(La Sagrada Familia and La Rambla)

The training is quite similar here and in Finland. Of course there are some differences but I could say they are quite minor. The first difference I saw was that they do not have brakes between their work day, they just keep their brake when they had done all the works, like if you went afternoon shift your first brake was 20.15 and you can go home 21.00.

Other compares I saw was that almost every single TV series and movies are re-recorded in Spanish and I think that was quite annoying. Despite that I really can say that I have liked to be here. And of course the parking system, Spanish just park their cars anywhere and leave the warning lights on for while they go shopping.

(park Güell)

Greetings from Munich

I have been living in Munich almost six months now and it has been the best time of my life so far. My semester started in early October, but I arrived in Munich in September to get to know other exchange students and the city by its self before starting studying. I chose to study engineering subjects and that turned out to be a little challenging road. We had quite a lot of work to earn our credits, but in the end, everything went well.

During my exchange period, we had a lot of free time to hang out with friends and to travel all over Europe. We made multiple road trips to different countries like Croatia and Italy, but my absolute favorite was our ski trip to Sölden with other exchange students. We also made several day trips to different ski stations in Alps during the exchange.

Day trip in Axamer Lizum, Austria

What comes to spare time in Munich the highlight was definitely the Oktoberfest. But besides that, Munich offers a lot of other things to do. Most common way to spend time here is to gather a bunch of friends and go to grab a few beers in beer hall or beer garden. And of course, when you are in Munich you have to experience at least one Bayern München football match even if you don´t care that much about football. Just the atmosphere in the fully packed Allianz arena with 75,000 people is something to see.

Bayern München vs RB Leipzig
Marienplatz

Studying in Germany has been a little bit different compared to studying in Finland. The main difference is that usually, it´s not mandatory to attend lectures. And the lectures go so that the professor talks the whole three hours and students take notes, or not however you like. It turned out to be a really boring way to teach. But one benefit was that they didn´t give any homework so you can enjoy your free time without thinking school. Of course, all the courses and the professors are different, because MUAS offers a large variety of different kind of courses where to choose.

Overall, I´m really happy that I decided to spend my exchange period in this amazing city!