Monthly Archives: September 2019

Kia Ora from New Zealand!

I started my practical training in Wellington, New Zealand in June and the training period lasts for 6 months. I am a fourth-year student and I am studying to be a Bachelor of Social Services, so I am planning to graduate this Christmas. My training placement is called Wellington East Girls’ College and I am an intern in Supported Learning class.

As an intern I am doing the same things as the teacher’s aids in the class. I support the students in their studies both in our own classes and also in mainstream classes, such as Future Pathways, Music and Arts. We also have couple of classes for supported students only, such as Life Skills and Colours of Sexuality. In addition, there are different kinds of therapies for the students in our class, for example Speech and Language therapy, Occupational therapy, Music therapy and RDA – Riding for Disabled.

I would not say that being a teacher’s aid in our class is a same thing that it would be in mainstream classes. It is really challenging, and I can definitely say that my education in Social Services has been a good help for me. In a class of 15 students with mental disabilities every day is different and you can never know when someone has a meltdown or when you have to act as a referee in a fight.

The working culture here is quite the same but quite different comparing to Finnish working culture. People are much more relaxed about things in general even though the rules do not always seem like that. For example, people might take sick leaves from work more easily (sometimes when they are not even sick) and a 30-minute lunch break might be 5 minutes or one hour, depending how the day is going. Lot of things are also just talked through, and many things people should know are not written down anywhere. This sometimes leads to me going to some events in two minutes warning and people forgetting things.

During my spare time I try to relax as much as possible. I also have two holidays during my training period. The first one I spent in South Island. The other holiday I am going to spend in Australia. During weekend I have also made smaller trips to closer towns here in North Island. During mid-summer (mid-winter here) I hiked on a small mountain. I will attach more photos below to show different places.

Dreams do come true!

Hello from Malta! 

My internship lasted almost four months. When I came here, I had no idea what is it really like working as a receptionist. The beginning was super intense, because there was a lot to learn. Reception duties are pretty easy, but there is just so much to remember. All the things, tasks and machines were new to me and it was my first time working overseas so the beginning was honestly pretty crazy. Although after a while everything gets easier when you remember what to do. The tricky part of being a receptionist is that you are the face of everything. No matter if you would do your job perfectly, you are the one people complain if something is wrong. That was actually a big part of my job: past things to different departments. Sound easy? Yeah, maybe, but before it gets easy, you have to remember all the different departments and their tasks and even the names of the people who work in all those different departments. For example in my work place we had leisure activities, lounge bar, which is our restaurant, IT-office, bookings department, accounts department, education etc..

I carried out several different duties, but mainly answering phone, dealing with clients queries, dealing with arrivals and departures, entering bookings in the system for online reservations, collecting direct payments for accommodation, excursions and lessons and so much more. As a receptionist in a language school you work with student in all of the ages and from all around the world. You have to have a lot of common sense, act fast and be ready to answer for the most different kinds of questions at any point of your shift. I know all this sounds like it was crazy and super busy, and most of the time it really was, but I still loved every second of it. It was the best kind of job for me, especially at this time of my life.

My summer squat ❤️

What it comes to my free time in Malta, it would not be nothing without my co-workers and students who became friends. I was never alone, it even came to that point that I couldn’t be alone because I didn’t know how. I was so happy and grateful to meet all those people who I can now call one of my best friends. So, what did we do in our spare time? We went sightseeing all around Malta: new cities, beaches, churches, restaurants. We partied a lot and just hang out basically everyday. We did everything together. Down below you can see few of my favorite go to places.

   

Eeetwell was one of the places I went to eat or at least crap a smoothie every other day. Easy and healthy 😉

You can find few eeetwell’s around Malta.

💚💚💚

My favorite (and probably most common places to visit in Malta) cities in Malta where Mdina and Valletta. Mdina is so cute, little and pretty. Valletta, the capital city of Malta is also a must to visit.

Malta’s longest beach is Mellieha Bay. You can easily spend your whole day there because there is also restaurants and bars around the beach.

Malta also has two islands very close by, Cozo and Comino. Both worth to go! In Comino you will find a beautiful Blue Lagoon.

My favorite church is for sure St. Paul’s Cathedral in Mdina. Breathtaking!

After spending four months in Malta, it started to feel like home. This summer was full of the most beautiful moments in my life which I would not change for anything!

This last picture is from Golden Bay, where you can see the sunset in a whole new way 💛

Pictures speak better than words but if you have any questions about my summer, my internship or Sprachcaffe in general, feel free to contact me, I would love to tell you more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m in love with The Hague

I really had the best time of my life and I wouldn’t change a thing. Everyone should do exchange period!

I spent my August 2018 – January 2019 in The Hague The Netherlands. There are about 500 000 inhibits and it’s an hour’s train ride away from Amsterdam. I really loved the city and there were not so many tourists as Amsterdam has.

I studied in The Hague University of Applied sciences where my specialization was International Business. You could choose one 15 ects minor, I chose Human Resource Management. In addition that I had for example Business English Communication and International Business Law courses. The best thing about my studies were HRM courses. I learned so much! Teachers were all very motivated and inspiring and classes were well planned. I also think student respected teachers more which was nice. A lot of the studies were something I wouldn’t have had a chance to learn in TAMK so I was very happy with my curriculum.

I lived next to the school in this big building in 21st floor and had amazing view of The Hague from my window . I had my own room but shared the rest of the apartment with three others, two boys and one girl. They were also exchange students. We became a one big happy family and spent a lot of time together. Our friends often came to our apartment and we had movie nights, cooked together, sang singstar, talked, drank and partied and played a lot of Uno. So many happy memories. After Erasmus our group has stayed close and we even had our first reunion already!

 

During my free time I traveled to many other Dutch cities as it was very easy by train. I also visited Vienna (where I had two of my friends from TAMK doing their exchange), London and three Belgium cities.

I really had the best time of my life, in school and in the free time. More of my thoughts can be found from SoleMove feedback section and don’t hesitate to contact me if you want to know more. I can warmly recommend The Hague and all Erasmus experience.

Auf Wiedersehen Wien

Vienna, Austria was absolutely amazing. The land of classical music, äpfelstrudel and Sacher-torte.

I arrived to Vienna in the end of August and I left the city in the end of January. The experience was unbelievable. I can highly recommend the city and the country for a exchange, if you don’t want have big cultur shock. want to learn german and see beautiful places. Vienna was my number one choice when applying for exchange so it was like a dream come true.

I studied at a local business school called FHWien of WKW. Teachers were kind and professional and they understand that we were exchange students. I had teachers from around the world, from Australia etc.

I had seven different courses during my exchanges. For example Austrian culture, German language, HR-Management, Cross-Cultural Management and Communication Psychology. I think the courses very interesting and useful. Timing of the lectures changed every time in every week and sometimes I had only like two schooldays in a week. So I had a lot of spare time.

In my spare time, I traveled a lot. I visited seven different countries during my exchange, In Italy, Slovenia, Poland etc. Travelling there was very cheap and easy.

Greetings from the sparkling city of Kuala Lumpur!

This is my first time in Asia, so there is so much to discover here! Many exchange students were able to fix their timetables so that there would not be classes on fridays, which gives us one extra day to travel around. Otherwise I have classes from oenology to revenue management and even a course for holistic health and wellness. In my perspective, it seems like a very interesting catalogue of courses.

In Finland we are more focused on restaurant business in our studies while in Malaysia we will learn more about the international hospitality industry. This exchange period is probably going to be very useful for our future careers as we get to widen our knowledge from different viewpoints as well. Also, travelling in Asia and getting to know local cultures would serve us well when communicating with tourists in Finland – or wherever in the world, too.

Spare time in Malaysia is full of activities. There are fancy rooftop bars, swimming pools and numerous destinations to travel for either a cultural trip or a holiday on the beach.

Last weekend we visited Penang – a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site since 2008, which is full of culture and natural scenery. For example, you can take a hike in the national park and visit monkey and turtle beaches by boat.

Penang is also known for its street food, combining Indian, Malay and Chinese cuisines. Food in Malaysia is overall very delicious and offers many options for everyone! Also, the variety of street art found all over George Town makes the destination enjoyable for any art lover.

Looking forward to the next trip, lovely warm nights outside and many new local dishes to taste.

-Laura