Category Archives: Social Services, Health and Sports

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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.

Student Nurse in Operation Theaters at Scotland, Ayr.

How wonderful life can be to having this kind of an opportunity..!

About me: I just turned 35 during my placement here in Scotland. I’m studying for my second occupation, to become a Nurse. I used to be an entrepreneur for 14 years, and I remember thinking what an awesome chance it is for those who can go abroad during their studies.. 😀 And look at me now! You never know where life might throw you.

I’ve been to Scotland once before, maybe 7 years ago, with my sister. We were on a holiday for a week. And during that time my I fell in love with this country. It makes sense now why I’ve always loved rain and small, quiet places, and kind, helpful people. -It’s how this is!

So when it came to my knowledge that there is a chance to go abroad the first thing I had to find out was – could it be Scotland? And ’cause it could, that was my aim.

The process of applying started in Autumn 2018 and we had a placement, with my class, in Finland at Christmas that i had to skip so I would have few options for Placement in here. That made some difficulties, personally, to understand what I’d be doing in here.. And because of that I understood, we do have this strict way of doing things and wanting to plan and know how things will go ect… 😀 But the worry was totally unnecessary. When I came here everything solved out the best way possible and people are at ease for adapting a new  situation.  I had to embrace that ability as well.. 😉

My sister came with me here(, of course, again. She loved the place just like I did.) to escort me. We had the chance to get familiar with my new hometown, find out where my new beautiful home was, how to get around and – most of all, enjoying Scotland.

Placement started on Mon 22nd of April, that was Easter Monday and I didn’t know at all what I would be against with because it was a day off for most people. Of course Emergency Theaters are always running but I didn’t yet know how.  Everyone were so welcoming when I walked in and took me with them. My own supervisor came to back shift, but ’cause there was another student for a first day ass well, I got the first tour just like any local would have it. Anyhow the day was quiet (good thing for mankind) until in the afternoon.. There was a planned patient coming for washing of an Necrotising fasciitis. The washing was made under a General Anaesthesia. (This may sound awful for most, but for those who are in Nursing or in other Health -field, this is amazing..!) That was a great first day. (And FYI the Patient had the needed help and was doing better. ) 🙂

There will be more of those Operation later, but I’ll try to write the way how normal people write and are able to read. Without gagging.. 😛 -And of course, no one can be recognized.

But for now, cheerio!

-Henna 🙂

Saudações de Coimbra!

I study to be a nurse and I decided to come Portugal to do my practical trainings.

Six years ago I was studying to be a sport massager at Spain, Fuengirola and from there I made few weeks training period at south of Portugal, Algarve aria. So I had small touch of Portuguese culture before I came here, but I was curious to know and see more about it.

Coimbra is located between Porto and Lisbon, middle of Portugal. It is historical city and have been capital city of Portugal 1200-1500 century. Here is beautiful architecture, beautiful coffee places, cakes, beautiful clothes and people as well. Also here is good food and one of the most oldest University in Europe and University library.

Portuguese people are much more calm than Spanish and that passion and craziness I have missed  here a bit. Some people they say that Portuguese people are more like Finns than Spanish and that is quite true. They are calm but they like to drink a lot and then to be really crazy.

I feel the culture here is quite conservative, patriotic and family oriented. People are mostly nice and helpful but sometimes they act arrogantly.  I have been thinking that one reason for it is bad economic conditions were very poor in some places. The scarcity of resources was also noticeable in the hospital where I worked.

I do here two internships at two different hospitals. First one I already finished in Pediatric hospital. There I learned lot of information of different problems what children had and had chance to practice to make medicines and administrate them to patience’s. Mostly I liked my internship but had challenges too, like didn’t get so well along with my main tutor. That experience was tuff for me and specially because I didn’t know how I should act in strange culture as a student when my tutor hurt me by words. After my internship finished I had long discussion with my teacher and I learned a lot of this difficult situation mostly about myself, how to act in future if I will face similar kind of situation.

On my free time I have  travelled with my new Brazilian friend to Algarve, where I was six years ago. My dream was to see the sea and rocks and we manage to get there. Also I visited Porto with my friends, who have van. Those times I enjoyed a lot and I would like to travel more in future. But it is a contradiction because in other way I´m so chicken to travel alone. So I need to face my fears to get what I want.

Here is some pictures:

kveðjur frá Íslandi

I have been Iceland now two months, but it feels like I just came here. Time seems to fly when you are having fun, right? I have learned a lot during these two months and made new friends.  I hope I could stay here longer because there are still so many things to see and do.

Reykjavik

I have worked in laboratory in molecular biology project. The project has been very interesting, and I have got to work independently. There are eight members in our group, some of the members are working and some are doing their bachelor or PhD. We all are working on our own projects, but all these projects form part of the whole project. The aim of these project is to see how a specific protein affects to human cells. I have learned more different analysis and cell culturing. At least now I know how I should not to treat my cells. Once a week we have a seminar where PhD. or master students represent their work. It is always interesting to hear new researches and novel treatments or drugs against deceases.

I haven`t work in research group in Finland so it is quite difficult to compare working culture and because Iceland is also Nordic country there are few differences. However, I was a little surprised the clean room working. It was much more stringent when we practiced at school. There isn`t room to change laboratory coat before going to clean room and it isn´t obligatory to use indoor shoes in there. But I don`t know are these differences only because I have worked with cell cultures at school not in real research group. I have also notice that there isn`t proper coffee break but everyone just drinks their coffee while working. Otherwise working culture is similar.

Vestrahorn Mountain

There are few people in Iceland and Reykjavik is a small city compare to other cities in Europa that`s why I think the best part of Iceland is nature. I have done a couple road trip during my exchange and it has been nice to see how landscapes change when the weather gets warmer. I have been in Golden circle to see Geysirs and swimming in the Blue lagoon. I have also visited in south, east and west part of Iceland. I guess my favourite place was Vestrahorn Mountain. It is a big mountain near to the black beach. Because the sand of the beach is wet you can see reflection of mountain from the sand. Other nice place was Kirkjufell mountain or as Game of Thrones fans know it as Arrowhead mountain beyond the wall. If you come to Iceland I recommend to rent a car (or if you are in good condition a bike) and travel around Iceland.

Kirkjufell mountain or Arrowhead mountain from Game of Thrones

Hello from Namibia!

Life in Namibia has been good. People here don’t worry too much about things that are not in their hands – the common way is to just relax and see what tomorrow brings. This has been a slight culture shock but after eight weeks in the capital of Namibia, Windhoek, I’m starting to get used to it. Wondering how big the culture shock will be when I get back to Finland…

I’ve been doing my practical training as a student of bachelor of social services through Flyinternship organization. My main project has been working with Windhoek Football Club and combining life skills with soccer with kids mostly under fifteen. Besides working there I’ve spent some days at a center for people with special needs. All of this has been really eye opening, life changing and simply just amazing.

Spare time here has been wonderful. Getting to know the Namibian culture especially. People here also now how to party so few of my sundays have been quite lazy when recovering from a big big party. I have had no problems at all with the local people although we were warned about certain things – none of them haven’t yet happened to us.

The way work here is is completely different from the way of Finland. I mean completely. During the day here it’s normal to go for a beer for example. Meaning of time is also totally different. When a Namibian says that the work starts at eight it usually means that they will show up at nine. Salaries here are also really low and the unequality has a huge role to play.

Summa summarum: I love this country and will come back later. That’s for sure.

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!

 

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.