Monthly Archives: April 2019

Istanbul- where the west and east meets!

Greetings from beatiful Istanbul!

5th week of my practical training in nursing is going on here in Istanbul and I´m in love with the city! You can really feel “the wibe” of the metropolis while walking on the street of the main street Istiklal here on European side or taking the crowded ferry to the more local Asian side.

Some statistics say that there are more than 3 million people walking on Istiklal (in the picture) every day and It´s not hard to believe.. The street is 1,5 km long and connects the Taksim Square (one of the main squares in Istanbul) and Sishane metro and funicular stations to each other.

One of my favourite things to do during spare time is to go to some cafeteria and have a drink, sit on terrace and just watch people going by. And there´s a lot of places for doing this! Turkey is famous for its traditional coffee and specially tea. And people DO drink tea, everywhere, all the time.. We have also explored some night life during the weekends and it feels that this city never sleeps. But otherwise I´ve been living my everyday life here as if I was back home and bought also a 2 month- card to gym near my house just to try to take care of myself while being here. 🙂

One of interesting things in this city is the street cats. They are literally everywhere, from grocery shops to metro station. And people take care of them, so they can actually have a good life here on the streets. A cat in a picture has only three legs, but it doesn´t keep him out of going an enjoying the life..

 

My internship- hospital is called Florence Nightingale and it´s located quite central on European side. I spent first week in First Aid department and from the second week I´ve been doing the training in Intern Medical Department. In addition to some normal nursing care tasks I´ve had the opportunity to see some surgical operations also! There has been some language problems, because a lot of nurses and patients don´t speak any english. Google Translator has been in a  heavy use some days haha.. So there has been an excellent chance to improve my understanding of non verbal- communication 🙂

People work a lot more here than in northern countries. Normal weekly hours are approximately 55-60 hours and normal shift lasts 12 hours (night shifts 14 hours..). Working culture feels quite relaxed; it is very important that the atmosphere is good at work specially with these long hours people do here..! I haven´t found that many big differences to Finnish health care system during these weeks, even though obviously there are some. Working routines may vary, but the goal in health care is the same everywhere in the world!

 

Cheers from Portsmouth, UK!

Life in Portsmouth has been swell. I liked the city the moment I stepped out of the train and it has been a very rewarding exchange destination as it is a nice smaller town close to the sea, where sceneries are beautiful and small-town people are friendly.

Portsmouth

The studies here have been, to say the least, confusing. I had three courses I had to choose, overall and most of them have classes that only last for 60 minutes, while in Finland, I am used to much longer lessons. I have a marketing course, where one has to learn at home by oneself all the case studied, PP slides and online seminars for next class alone and then we go into class just to quickly discuss what we learned at home. I do not think this is a good way fo teaching, as one can fast have confusion or misunderstandings without the support of classmater or the teacher, when learning something new. Another difference here is the obsession with referencing. Of course, in TAMK referencing is important as well, but here it feels like the main thing of learning, whereas I feel like the content of the course should be the thing. The good thing is that I have a lot of freetime, as I only have school three times a week. The bad thing is that I do not like the teaching style here, at all. But it has been a learning experience, me being thankfull I get to study in a school like TAMK, rather than here. Of course, I also did not have as much options of courses to choose from as the students coming here during their autumn exchange, which might also affect the courses and the styles they are taught with! I have enjoyed the marketing course in a sense that it has taught me so much new things about the subject and the teacher is tough, but fair and I like her.

Bath Spa

My spare time has been spent a lof on travelling with my roommates. I was super lucky to have three girls whom I absolute adore to live with and we have travelled England a lot during our freedays. We usually have a trip booked for every week. This has been a wonderful chance to travel and see cities, where I might not take the chance of travelling to otherwise, because they are smaller cities or quite far away from normal travel destinations in England. The furthest I have been to was in Inverness, Scotland. This has been an amazing journey of seeing the country and really experiencing the English culture to its fullest. I feel time is flying way too fast!

me in Oxford, happy to hunt for Harry Potter locations

Compared to Finland, the studying style here is not as good, in my honest opinion. In Finland, I feel more effort has been put into the teaching style and methods and it is easier to learn in class with others, not at home, by yourself. As an international class, I also feel that in TAMK, the english language level has been a bit higher than in the international group here. Still, it has been a nice learning experience personally to live alone in a completely new environment and I have enjoyed the English way of life wholeheartedly. Also, experience with how the teaching in other countries is like is very valuable for me as a student. I will miss the pub culture and the kindness of total strangers, two big parts of the English culture and lifestyle!

Windy day in Portsmouth by the sea

Nihao, greetings from China!

This is a postcard from China, one of the culturally richest country. So I have started my exchange in China from August 2018 at the Qilu University of Technology in Jinan, the north part of China. This is my second home country and looked forward to this exchange journey!

(This photo was taken a front of the library of QLU, nice fountain!)

Studies weren’t so easy, okay the hardest part was the weather. It was so hot in China when I arrived, almost 30 degrees. And of course, there was no air conditioning, and for some reason, those fans never worked… But fortunately, exchange students had air conditioning in their room, so whenever the lecture finished, I enjoyed my study in my room (or “our” place with my roommate). Besides the heat, for me, everything went well (okay, Chinese professors had a quite strong accent, but you would get to familiar with that).

(Jinan Expo Garden near by the school)

Usually, I hang out with my friends during my spare time. Attending to the local church and had a few travels on the weekend or holidays. Oh, and Business Street was s cool place! Basically, I could find everything from there, like gyms, restaurants, karaoke, pubs, bakeries, stores, hairdressings etc, just everything!

Having a bicultural background was helpful for me to adapt to this country. Surely, there were some difficult times and it was hard to adjust to the local way of acting. But finally, everything went well.

A wee greeting from Glasgow

I actually didn’t know what to expect. I left to this trip without expectations, so I could enjoy it fully and I kinda succeed in that. I had almost a week free before starting the school and that time I used to walk and get known to the city. Glasgow is full of beautiful old buildings and it makes you wonder what kind of life they had before the modern times.

Anyway.

The reason I chose Scotland for my destination was kind straight forward. I wanted to go to a country where I can manage with my own English and is not “too far away” from Finland and there I had it. Country where I can live with english and study environmental engineering.

Lectures started, and it was little different what I would have thought. Students mostly sat and listened and then we headed home, and work needed to be done at your free time, but I got used to it kind quickly.

Days went by day after day and week after week.

Since accommodation was next to the school no public transport was needed. Just crossed the road and there you are but there was a major difference, yes, I mean traffic. It took 2 months to get used to the fact that first you have to check right and then left. Not vice versa.

Free time mostly went just walking around the city but time to time school event team organized day trips to further away with cheap prices. I got to see Edinburg, Stirling, Kelpies and lots of many other things that cannot be seen in Finland. The most breathtaking and mesmerizing event was enchanted forest and it is way beyond describing.

I don’t see much of a difference in studies between Scotland and Finland. Both have lectures and esseys and reports you work at home. One thing you had to do was to “check in” with your student cards which indicates that you are in class.

Time went flying and my exchange studies have almost come to an end and I say you if you got the opportunity to do studies abroad, JUST DO IT.

Greetings from Greece!

I’m doing practical training here in Athens and this has been an amazing experience and I’ve learned a lot about both life in here and nursing culture. In general, people are friendly and in the training placement in the hospital nurses and doctors are guiding me and telling me about the patients, diseases, treatments, operations, etc. I’ve also got many tips on what to do in Greece.

The hospital is a public hospital and I’ve been in a medical ward, operation theatres and a heart-thorax surgical ward. The patients are kind and interested in what I think of Greece. Health care system here is different from what we have in Finland and patients depend on their relatives, who stay with the patients all day. It is hard to see how the hospital’s lack of money affects the care patients get. Still, nurses and doctors are doing their best with what they have.

The hospital

Some things here I absolutely love, for example, the food and the weather and even the metro, and some other things I’ve got tired of, like the traffic and people smoking everywhere, really everywhere, anytime. On the streets there are lots of homeless people and their shacks. And cats. One advice regarding the weather in February and March: the temperature may be +15C but the wind is chilly, and apartments are heated by air conditioning systems. So layering clothes is a must.

There are lots of things to see and do in Greece and in Athens, from ancient sites like Acropolis and parks and shopping to tavernas and late night concerts and festivals and more. But to my mind, the best thing is to have a reasonably priced coffee and feta pie on a terrace on a sunny day 🙂

Hello from Athens

I am a second year social service  student. I decided to do my practical training in Greece, Athens.  I am  doing my practical training in  The Finnish Seamen’s Mission. It is a meeting place  for  Finnish people who has moved to Greece  and tourist can come  too.  There you can read Finnish newspaper, wash your laundry and get local information. We also organize  different programs such ass movie nights, lectures and I organize games for different senses. I am also at the cafe four times a week. Since I am working with Finnish people, the working culture Is the same than in Finland.

In my spare time I like to bathe in the sun on my buildings roof and I enjoy  walking around the city and see all the historical sights.  Every time I am walking in the city I go and have frozen yogurt, it is my favorite treat <3.

Because of the economy crises, there are a lot of  disadvantages, poor and refugees here and 3rd sector does not exist here.  There is a demand for lot of different social work.

Greek people are very family orientated and they take care of each other so poor people who has no family are in trouble  and without support. The only  good thing about economy crises is that people are more equal than before.

Greetings from Namibia!

Hello!

My name is Eero and I’m studying to become a bachelor of social services. Me and my two friends decided to do our second years practical training aboard and so we chose Windhoek which is the capital of Namibia. We’re social coaches and teachers of social skills in Windhoek Football Club and we are working with kids who are under 19, 15 and 9. All the age groups have their own teams, so altogether we are working with 60 kids. At the first, the kids were shy and quiet but they are slowly becoming out of their shells. You can’t compare working culture in Namibia with working culture in Finland, things are so different here. For example “time” has no meaning here, in Finland when the day begins at 8am it begins at 8am, here the day may begin at 12am or 2pm. One local said: “Swiss make clocks, Germans know the time and Namibians have the time.” That metaphor is 100% true.

Things are ok here, Namibia is a very dry and hot country so it was quite a shock when we arrived here three weeks ago. When we left, in Finland there was -4 degrees and finally after 36 hours of traveling we arrived in Namibia and here it was +36 degrees. Namibian people are polite and friendly and they have quite strange sense of humour. We are truly enjoying life here, because we like working with Windhoek Football Club and all of their players – they are magnificent people. We’ve also met a lot of locals and they are so kindhearted in every possible way. People just don’t act this way back in Finland.

And of course, beer is cheap and the food is just great. Namibians don’t eat so much vegetables so this is a heaven for carnivore like me. I still miss Finnish vegetables almost every day…

Below, you can find some pictures so you can see how things are going here.

The house we are living.
Us working with the U15 team.
U9 team won silver in the tournament.
Me and my Windhoek Football Club shirt.

So, all in all, these are going well and we got still seven weeks left. I’m sure I’m going to miss all the lovely people I’ve met here.

Best,

Eero Heinonen

 

Hilsen fra Bergen!

The campus in Bergen was luxurious combination of modern buildings and history of the city. It was functional and cozy. I only had one course that required campus life. Language course was in the other building in different place. Studying was similar like at home.

My clinical placement was in the university hospital. I liked it very much. I was doing two modalities during eight weeks. Although the placement was super, in the end your brain was very tired. It might have been better, if we’ve had even one week between the modalities.

Spare time was spent studying more, exploring the city and just charging your own batteries. All the social activities during the day, speaking english all days long and being away from your family were all surprisingly exhausting.

But still, I’m happy to go back home.

Everyday life of Wolverhampton Wanderer

Greetings from Wolverhampton, United Kingdom! I’m Veera, construction engineering student from Finland and I’m doing an Erasmus in England.

Picture 1: Part of the campus.

Our campus here is huge. Pretty much half of this (small) town’s buildings belongs to the University.

Here in the University of Wolverhampton we don’t have many lectures and even if we do, we are not required to go there if we don’t want to. However, I work more for the University here than I do in Finland, but mostly cause it takes so much time to read and write in a foreign language.

 

Pictures 2&3. On the left: a silent study area with a nice view. On the right: Mainstream. But yes, we have a Starbucks on campus.

Most of my friends here are also exchange students and we all live in an university accommodation. Everyone has their own tiny room with a bed and a table in it and then you share your kitchen and bathroom with five other people.

Football is a big thing here. Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. (Wolves) compete in the Premium League and the stadium is between the accommodation and the university, so you cannot miss out a match day. On match days there are a lot of kiosks near to the stadium, and one of my favorite things here is buying some sausage and chips on my way home after a long day at the library!

Yesterday (2 March 2019) I happened to walk beside the stadium when Wolves scored their winning goal against Manchester United. Memorable moment.

 

Picture 4: Molineux stadium.

Wolverhampton is a small but well-connected town. Birmingham International airport is only 30 minutes away and coaches to London leave almost every hour. I’ve been to London four times already and during our winter break we flew from Birmingham to Ireland and tickets were only 60 euros each. Also Manchester and Liverpool are only few hours away. Since lectures here are optional, you can easily travel a lot if you want to.

In conclusion, Wolverhampton has been a good place to do Erasmus. Studying here is pretty much what I excepted and there are a lot of exchange students here so it’s super easy to make friends.

Best,

Veera