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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.

 

 

 

 

Graz, a city in a valley

Hello!

I’m an exchange student at University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, Austria. I study singing as my main subject and I’m here for 6 months, the summer semester 2017. I love my school and the city. It must not come as  a surprise, but this country is a dream for a student of classical music! I was so lucky that I got to take my boyfriend and our 2-year-old son with me, so the 3 of us are experiencing this all together.

I have been planning to travel more on my spare time, but life has been quite busy with school.  The only places I went to were Salzburg and Vienna. It’s very handy with Flixbus! Though always when we have a little chance to do something, we have been getting to know the city more. Especially after getting to know some local friends, we have found amazingly beautiful places, mostly on tops of some mountains. Well, like the topic describes, Graz is surrounded my mountains. There is also one in the middle of the city called “Schlossberg” with an amazing view of course, and places to have a beer… And because of the mountains the city itself gets very hot at the beginning of June and lasts for long! No air-conditioning trough the mountains 😀

Between TAMK and here.. we can see that in Graz the school can afford more different kinds of courses. Of course it’s a fact that people around the whole world want to study classical music in Austria, it’s very popular. Singers get 2,5 singing lessons per week, they learn French and Italian for all 4 years. They have individual lessons with correpetitors twice a week and on the side of a big opera project each year they offer high quality opera-class projects. They even have individual weekly classes with professional opera directors. The level is so high that I can only listen to my colleagues and learn how they do it all!

I’m so happy to have had this experience. And Graz is so magical !!! <3

Yours,

Piia

Best time of my life in Madrid

My journey in Madrid has gone to its end. It was an amazing experience to study in a city that is so lively and friendly. Gaining new friends and having new experiences made sure that the time in Madrid was totally worth it.

My studies consisted of human resource management, marketing management, national and international environment of firm and two tourism courses. The teachers were usually nice. One teacher must be the most interested person that I have ever met – and not in a good way. He was loco. One day he was being funny and making jokes with us and on the other day he was saying how much he hates us and can’t wait our classes are over. On the other hand university was easier than TAMK so luckily for me I passed the courses quite easily.

Most of my spare time I spent with my new friends, traveling around Spain and in Europe. There is not that many weekends that I spent in Madrid and when the school was over we went to road trip to the north for 11 days which was one of the best experiences. Other places where I visited was Malta, Morocco (Tangier, Casablanca, Rabat), Switzerland (Zurich, Luzern), France (Riviera cities), Portugal ( Lisbon, Porto) and Ibiza.

 

 

From heat to snowfall and back

I stay three months in Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany. My host university HFU offers education mainly for business and engineering students. I’m doing my internship in local laboratories, first four weeks at a clinical laboratory and then eight weeks at a research laboratory at the university. It has been very interesting to see how is the laboratory work in Germany like and also to compare it to the Finnish system. Laboratory field is very international and many principles are similar in both countries. Even so I have found some differences: the information systems and sample handing are organized differently, for example.

The weather in the Black Forest has been very changeable and it has also affected our plans for the weekends. However, I have done many unforgettable trips in the southern Germany and near its borders in Austria, Switzerland and France. Some of the trips were organized by the university but I have also planned some of them together with the other international students. It’s easy to travel by train in Germany and the group tickets are also very cheap. One of the best Saturdays we spent in Konstanz, on the shores of the lake Bodensee. It was a perfect, sunny summer day. We hired pedal boats and enjoyed the heat.

It has been a bit surprising to notice that many Germans don’t speak English. Fortunately I’ve studied some German but for a few years I haven’t had to use the language so I have forgotten almost everything. But even the basic knowledge has been very useful for me and I have been able to refresh my language skills during my stay. It has been great to notice that I can live in another country and communicate in foreign languages without any bigger problems. This experience has made me more self-confident. But of course the best thing is an opportunity to get new, international friends and learn about their cultures.

Continue reading From heat to snowfall and back

Living the camp dream

Hi everyone! I’m studying business administration in TAMK. Currently I’m doing a part of my practical training in the United States in New Hampshire as the business manager for a Girl Scouts camp. I came to Camp Wabasso for the first time last year as a general counselor. I had the best time of my life and really wanted to come back but I also needed to do a practical training over the summer. So being the business manager for camp was the ideal deal for me.

Working at a camp is a lot of fun, and no two days are ever the same. Being the business manager my daily duties might be a bit more boring than the other counselors, as I work in the office for the mostpart and only rarely get to participate the camp activities. But I would not change a thing, I have loved being able to combine camp and my field of study.

My daily jobs include going to the post office to deliver outgoing mail and get mail for the campers and staff. Compared to Finland Americans are very big on sending care packages, some kids get more mail in a week than I do in a month at home. On daily basis I also print out emails from parents to the campers. My other duties vary between days. Some days I have the trading post open, where the kids can buy souvenirs and camp gear, I go to the bank to deposit or withdraw trading post money, I do supply runs and answer the parents’ phone calls in the office. Once a week I have a proper office only day, when I do weekly expense reports for everything we’ve used money for.

It is hard to compare the exact job I have to the way it would be in Finland, because I don’t think it really exists in back home. Summer camp culture is very unique to the States. Work culture itself is different in Finland in the USA. Finnish people are generally really hard working, and a lot is expected from every employee. In Finland, we have less people doing the same amount of jobs especially in the service industry. For me this has meant that I’ve taken more initiative and been more proactive than my employer would have expected of me in the beginning. I feel that hierarchy is more important in the States than in Finland. At camp, it is very clear who your supervisor is, and you should always only report any concerns or questions to your supervisor directly, and not anyone else. The upside of this is, that you get a lot of support from your supervisor, as it very clear for them to know who they are supposed to be supporting.

Because camp life is very different to normal life, I also get to do lots of fun things. I’m lifeguard certified, so sometimes I get to cover someone’s free time at the waterfront. We have lots of campfires and cookouts as well. Camp staff is one big community of forty women living and working together in a small area for the whole summer. While it gets hard sometimes, I have never regretted my decision to come back and am already trying to figure out a plan to come back next year.

 

 

Grüße aus Deutschland!

We (Ina and Maria) are doing this postcard together, because we are working in the same place and living together in a same city.

We came to Germany to do our practical training in a private international kindergarten. We are staying in Düsseldorf and the kindergarten is located in Meerbusch, about 9km from our apartment. Luckily the public transport here is very good ant it takes us only approximately half an hour to get there.

The kindergarten has about 65 children, 6 employees and of course the head of the daycare center. There are three different groups; the nursery group (4 month-3 years), the kindergarten group(2-3years) and the preschool group(4-6years). We are working daily, excluding the weekends, from 9am to 4pm, but we work in different groups every week. The staff and the children took us in very well and we could see how ecxited they were that we came there.  The days go past so quickly and there is so much to do. But of course in a good way. We have been here now for four weeks and only three weeks are left. The biggest barrier that we had to overcome was that we had no common language with most of the children. They speak either German, Japanese or Chinese and just a few children understands/speaks a little bit of English. The same thing is with the staff, only 3 of the 6 employees speaks English. So body language is an important tool for us. Fortunately working with children is quite easy like that. We have also learned some basic daycare phrases in German, so communication is getting easier day by day.

Düsseldorf is a big town and there lives 604 527 people. Here is a lot to see and to do for us in the free time. When the weather is good, we have been exploring the city. For example here is a huge park called Nordpark where we usually go for walks and see the beautiful gardens in there. And it is only a a few kilometers from our apartment.  We also like going to the city center, where there is a lot of shopping opportunities and good restaurants. There is also the old town, where we like to go to just hang out and see other people. This time a year here is also a lot of tourists, so expecially when the weather is good, the city center and the old town are packed with people.

The working culture in the kindergarten we work in is quite similar than in Finland. The daily routines and schedule also goes almost the same comparing to Finland.  A couple big differences we have noticed is that only the youngest children takes  a nap during the day. And because the days can be long for the children (even 7.30am to 7pm) the children that does not sleep, might even snooze while playing etc. Also the food culture is a lot different than in Finland. It is normal food in here but the way wee see it, it`s not as versatile and healthy than what we are used to eat in finnish daycares.

  

We are looking forward the rest of the weeks in here and are excited to learn even more from the Germanys culture and early childhood education.

Tschüss,

Ina Schmidt and Maria Salonen

Viele Grüße aus Deutschland!

I did my exchange period in Dortmund, Germany. Dortmund is located in the west part of Germany, in a state (=Bundesstaat) Northrhine-Wesphalia. Dortmund is middle-sized city in Germany with its almost 600 000 citizens.

There is not much to see in Dortmund. Dortmund is famous for its football team, Borussia Dortmund (BVB). During BVB’s matches the football stadion Westfalenstadion ( or as the new name, Signal Iduna Park) is always full with more than 81 000 football fans. I had the chance to go to one match and it was totally worth the money!

Luckily it was free to us to travel in regional trains to other cities in the same state – Cologne (Köln), Düsseldorf, Bonn, Aachen and to many others. Cologne was my favorite of these and had a lot of history and of course the Cologne Cathedral. We also went to see a world championships of ice hockey which was organized by Paris and Cologne this year.

The school days were shorter than in TAMK but more demanding and theorical. The bureaucracy was something unbelievable, everyone should experince the paper war with German authorities.

The student life in Dortmund was very good with cheap student bar near the dormitories and the ESN Dortmund arranged lot of freetime activities. The German food culture (sausages, Schnitzel) also became very familiar. It was easy to travel to Netherlands from Dortmund and you can also take the train to Paris in 4,5 hours 🙂

Belissimo Torino, ti voglio bene!

Ciao tutti! Hi everyone 🙂

I am studying Business Administration at Università degli studi di Torino. My journey here is almost finished and I feel both sad and relieved. Next week I am travelling back home and I will see my family and friends again – too excited about it! Then again I feel sad that I can’t spend time with these people that I have hanged out with the last four months, and that’s going to be weird.

Something about our University: Our university is one of the oldest universities in Italy. It was found in 1404 and most its buildings are old. Sometimes even the style of teaching feels like from that century- just kidding. We had this Irish professor that said that Italian teaching method is so old fashioned and should be changed. This is because the professors just sit in front of the class and speak from the slides. There were two professors standing up, but their bad skills of English blew it. The style of the lectures are very university like, but there were also some group tasks and case-studies. For me the case-studies worked the best. In TAMK the teaching method is more from practical point of view and that’s why I missed more of case-studying kind of method to the lectures. But it’s an old university, can’t forget that.

Torinoview
View from Monte di Capuchini – me and my flatmate

Now something about my spare time. At first I attended the Erasmus parties and other events for exchange students. I liked to go to this Tandem Linguisticoevery week- the idea of it was to practice different languages. In Torino there’s also a party called Baila Conmigo, where’s a free dance lesson about latin dances in the beginning and afterwards you can set your new skills free on the dance floor. Now that it’s summer I like to spend my time in the big park of Torino called Parco del’ Valentino. We also like to have apericena, which is a combo of aperitivo and dinner.

Bailaconmigo

Baila Conmigo in LAB

I have also done a lot of travelling while being in here, mostly in Italy. I have seen Rome, Naples, Bari, Aosta, Alba, Ivrea, Verona, Venice, Genova and Paestum. Outside of Italy I have travelled to Nice, Monaco and Athens. If your wondering how I had the time to do all that, it’s because our courses are held one at a time. Then after every course there’s always been a long enough vacation to travel. I’m so happy about this journey and all of the people I have met here. I’ve got to know people from so many different countries but after all I have to say- we are not that different from each other. 🙂

verona

I wish all of the other exchange students the best time! Enjoy :):)

Grüße aus Deutschland ;)

Hi all! 🙂

I started to work on my bachelor’s thesis in the middle of May in Marktheidenfeld, Germany. Marktheidenfeld is a small town that has a population of about 11,000 people. Since Marktheidenfeld is so small, I decided to live in Würzburg (~120 000 inhabitants) instead. Würzburg is about 40km off from Marktheidenfeld. This is my third time already working for the same company (Schneider Electric) in the same location. So far I’ve worked on my thesis for 4 weeks, so I still have about 2 months to go!

Phhhh how do I spend my leisure time… Well this is my third summer in Würzburg already, so I know all the best places and all the best festivals to go to 😉 There’s lots of great wine & beer festivals in the city and the local white wine is actually well know, at least within Germany 🙂 I spend a lot of time at the Main river, either chilling, swimming or grilling with friends ;’) Music is perhaps my most important hobby and luckily I have few friends to play with, so there’s no way I could get bored here 😉

IMG_20150516_114901

Würzburg^^

I’ve never worked in an office in Finland, so it’s therefore pretty hard to compare the German office working culture with the Finnish one… I work in a marketing department, where I happen to have only few German colleagues from about 12-14 employees. That means that our working environment is really international, which I find really good. My boss comes from Iran, but my other colleagues are from France, Japan, Finland, China, UK and of course Germany. Everybody has their own habits, but anyways the atmosphere at work is really good which is pleasing!

Best Regards from Würzburg,

Mikael

Ireland, Sláinte!

Cheers from Tralee!
It has been a amazing adventure I have had here this far and now it is almost time to go home already. Time flies when you are having fun!

Institute of Technology Tralee (IT Tralee) is a bit different than TAMK. The lectures lasts only an hour and the examinations are very strict. The courses’ final examinations are as strict as the matriculation examinations are in high school. There is only two semesters that equals to two periods, not like in TAMK with 4 periods per academic year.

The Starbucks cafeteria in the North campus has a nice view to the mountains, and is has been nice to see the mountains where ever you go in Tralee or how I have noticed, anywhere in Ireland.

View from the North campus of IT Tralee

The courses I had here were mostly marketing courses, but very different that those I had in TAMK. Sometimes the lecturers just did not show up but that happened to me only once. Some other course teachers were gone for most of the time without any note.

I have travelled around Ireland and visited also in Edinburgh, on the holidays and weekends. The nature here is wonderful and yet it amazes me every time how green it is here. Anywhere you go, for example from Tralee to Dublin, when you are sitting in the train, every 30 seconds you see either cows, sheep or horses. The sheep are everywhere, it is true that they can lay anywhere.

Ballyseedy Wood in Tralee
Ballyseedy Wood in Tralee

Ballyseedy wood was only for a 15 minute cycling away from the city centre. If ever going to Ireland, I recommend to rent a car. The public transport is not at the same level what it is in Finland.

Cliffs of Moher, Galway
Cliffs of Moher, Galway

Cliffs of Moher was beautiful and no wonder why it is a known place in Ireland with Giant’s Causeway.

After getting used with the accent of the Irish people it was easy to understand the people. For example our bus driver on the Northern Ireland trip, he was from Kerry, and he had strong Kerry accent, and for awhile it was almost impossible to understand what he was saying, but I got used to to the accent pretty fast.

Dingle Peninsula

The day trip to Dingle was the first one I did and I was impressed about the view there. Definitely worth seeing.

Killarney National park
Killarney National park
Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland
Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
Blasket Islands
Blasket Islands
Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The people that I have had the chance to get to know here are so great! They have made the studying and the small town Tralee feel like another home.

 

So as they say cheers in Irish, Sláinte!