All posts by Laura Syvänen

καλημέρα, from Cyprus!

I spent my spring in the Cypriot capital Nicosia, studying Hospitality Management. I stayed at the halls of residence there on the spot, upstairs of the school. For me that worked perfectly, since I am not a morning person I could just wake up and be in class in one minute. I shared a room with one girl and I was lucky enough to have someone so great as a roommate. Others shared their rooms with two or three people, ours wasn’t that crowded. I enjoyed the dorm-life very much.

Studying in HHIC was sort of different from studying in TAMK. I had seven “subjects” in total, two lessons a week each and a final exam on each as well. So at the end it was quite hectic to try and memorize all that information from four months time. If I were more clever, I would’ve studied during the period, not only the last two weeks!

Nicosia in itself is quite boring. Luckily, Cyprus is a small island so I could easily travel around by cheap buses and it would take only max two hours to get to places. I visited Limassol many times with my roommate, it was nice of her to take me with her on weekends. Otherwise I would’ve had to stay in Nicosia all by myself since everyone left home for weekends and I was the only exchange student there. I also traveled to Larnaca and Paphos as my family, my boyfriend and my friends came to visit me. Those were the times when I got to see the proper Cyprus outside Nicosia.

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Paphos

 

Food was amazing, weather excellent, studies quite easy and doable, people were nice although they tended to speak only Greek if I didn’t remind them to use English. I would say 3,5/5.

 

Efharisto!

-Laura

G’Day from Down Under!

Heey it’s Laura from Australia!

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I did my practical training in Darwin Australia in an event managing and organizing company called Agentur. I thought I’d share my experience with you since it was quite awesome.

I had never even heard of a place called Darwin before I finally got an internship there. Since it’s so close to the equator there’s only two seasons: dry and wet. I was lucky enough to be there during the dry season when it’s “not so hot and humid”. Coming from Finland it was still pretty hot for me. Temperatures varied between 30°C and 35°C during the day and at night it was between 23°C and 27°C. It took a while to get used to such warm weather but I wasn’t complaining, sun shined everyday! Well the first day I arrived there the wet season had just ended and it was pouring, I got soaked and hoped that that wasn’t the way it was going to be. And luckily it wasn’t, sun shined every day!

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On my way to work!

As I said I was working in a company called Agentur. They organize and put together events, galas, awards and conferences. My job was to answer the phone at our office, help out at the events, put together PowerPoint presentations for the events and make drafts of quest lists and run sheets, taking notes and running errands. I also participated in some of the meetings and took part in checking out the sites for the events. We had a little office puppy, little Yorkshire terrier Ares, the God of War, who I took for walks around the beautiful Cullen Bay area.

I  took part in planning four different events: the CEO Sleepout, Territory Day, Northern Territory Literary Awards and the National Indigenous Music Awards. It was great to get to go backstage and behind the scenes of these events and I really enjoyed all of them. Some of them were smaller and some bigger. It was funny to notice that even if the event was quite small it took plenty of effort to put together. There’s so much you need to take in consideration when planning an event! It really got me by surprise and there were things I would’ve never thought.

20160701_185913Territory Day sunset at Mindil Beach

I was staying with a host in her 2 bedroom apartment. She was traveling for six weeks so for that time I had the whole place for my self. The apartment was quite close to the city center and being so, very close to the nightlife! Since I didn’t have a car (even if I did, I don’t think I would’ve been driving that much.. These crazy Aussies are driving on the wrong side of the road!) I didn’t get around as much as I would’ve liked. The 3 months stuck in the city with pretty much nothing else than bars around got a little boring for me. Have to admit though, got my fair share of partying on Mitchell Street.. Luckily I made friends who took me to amazing places. We did a day trip to the Litchfield National Park to see the waterfalls, rock holes, termite mounds and other amazing views. That was definitely one of the highlights of my stay.

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Waterfalls & a huge termite mound

20160802_170552at the Litchfield National Park

I also loved the Mindil Markets just down the hill from my place. I really fell in love with the Darwin sunsets and at Mindil they were absolutely amazing. The markets also had food stands from all over the world. It was my Sunday tradition to go to the beach, watch the sunset and get myself some delicious food.

Darwin is located right at the top end of Australia in the Northern Territory. It is called the crocodile state of Australia so you would see all these signs warning about crocodiles where ever there’s water. It wasn’t recommended to swim in the ocean because of the salt water crocodiles. So I didn’t go for a swim. It was a shame because the ocean and the beaches looked so inviting!

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I did some traveling down the East Coast (Cairns, Airlie, Whitsundays, Sydney) after my training period and I totally fell in love with Australia. Hopefully I get to come back here one day for a proper backpacking experience!

IMG_20160701_215913No worries mate, cheers!

Laura