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Greetings from the Silktown, Macclesfield!

Before we departured, we were told that Macclesfield is in rural area. As a small-town countryside girl, I was expecting fields and cows everywhere. When we had arrived, and did our first walk from our accommodation to town centre, we were a bit shocked by all the traffic. We were scared to go across the road, since people drive very fast in here and very rarely give space to pedestrians. Soon we learned that Macclesfield is a quite small town, but not as small as we imagined.

We started our placements on the very first week. On the first day we had an induction, where we met our University teacher and our contact person in the hospital. Our first glance of British people, and I got a positive feeling that my time here would be amazing. And so it was.

I can’t even describe how grateful I am that I had the opportunity to come to Macclesfield. I have met and worked with so many amazing people. One day, in my first placement with the Community Nursing, we had done all our home visits and we had some spare time. The nurse I was working with decided to show me Prestbury, which is near Macclesfield, and some of the houses in that area cost £4,000,000! I even got to see Wayne Rooney’s house, which was amazing! She also told me that in Prestbury, Wilmslow and Alderley Edge (they call it the “golden triangle”) all together sells more champagne in a year than in London.

Some of our patients in Community had amazing views from their homes.

I started my placements in Community, and my other placements were in the hospital, orthopaedic ward and gastroenterology ward. I can’t really compare all these three placements, and choose which one was the best. That’s because every single one of them were different in their own way, and they had their own best sides. For example, in community, the team I was working with was so amazing and accepting. I really felt like I was part of their team. It was busier in the orthopaedic ward, but I enjoyed it when my mentor asked me some questions which really made me think and concentrate. I learned so much from her and I’m so grateful she was my mentor. In gastroenterology ward, I think I got a change to do more things myself.

The staff has been great in every placement I’ve been, and I’m more than happy that everyone accepted me and was very welcoming. Compared to Finland, I think student’s role is quite different in England. There isn’t that much that you can do while you do your training. Or even after you’ve qualified. When you’re qualified, you must take extra courses to be able to cannulate, catheterise or even do pressure bandaging.

The Beatles Story in Liverpool.

During these three months we’ve had the chance to travel. Which was one of the things I was really looking forward to. We have been to Stoke-On-Trent, Manchester, Liverpool, Chester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Knutsford and London. I have seen so many beautiful places and felt like the happiest person in the earth, especially when I got to see my all-time favourite band in March. I cried the tears of pure happiness that night.

Fall Out Boy in Manchester, 29th of March.
The beautiful city of Chester
Camera Obscura, the world of illusions in Edinburgh.

These past three months have not been that easy, especially when most of the time has been spent in training. But still, this has been the time of my life. I will always cherish the memories I made here. And I am sure, I will come back to visit Macclesfield. I think I can say, that this town will always have a special space in my heart. Love,

Emmi-Kaisa x

Greetings from Macclesfield!

Just unbelievable how fast time has passed, I’m almost (When finally posted already finished)  finishing my final placement here and only a week and I will fly back to home. And guess what? All of the “During exchange” -tasks still not done. Oops!

Like a typical for me before take-off I was hoping much: A lot of new friends, parties, travelling, my prince of charming (Maybe successful placements as well)… Just a wonderful life without any problems. Basically I was hoping all of my dreams come true at once. Although I was expecting a lot of problems, home sickness and break downs. I was sure that I had done a big mistake when I decided to do that exchange. I thought that there is no way to manage with my English skills and all of that experience will just end up to totally disaster. How you can probably guess neither of those scenarios didn’t happened. Instead of those I have been living a normal everyday life here. I have done my placements in hospital and community, went to the gym (and lost a bit weight, Yippee!) and stuff like that. But you know what? I  have enjoyed it, I really have. And of course I had have a bit time to just enjoy the country as well.

Wonderful how country changes the person. (I just walked with all of those bags 1,5 kilometers.)

 

My two first placements were in the hospital. (Orthopedic ward and Gastroenterology ward.) At the beginning just understanding what’s going on in the busy ward insisted my full concentration and on the side of that I had to do couple of mandatory training as well. So my first week contained 51 hours dealing with my rubbish English in totally new environment.  You can just imagine how exhausted I was when I finally got home after 13 hours day. However I settled very well right from the beginning and I knew that the decision of coming here was correct. Before I came here I was little worried if I can’t learn anything because of the language barrier. But how wrong I was, I learnt so much!  Nursing skills like IV’s, injections, understanding of isolation, drugs, early warning scores… Facing the patients and family felt hard sometimes but most of them were really kind and understanding. And however when there was a language barrier, specially at the beginning, between us I had to concentrate my nonverbal communication even more. I tried to show with my body language and facial expressions that I really am  interested in to be in there and learn things. I also learned that it’s more important how I say things than what I actually say. And I think this is something what I could’t have learnt in Finland using my own language.

Currently I’m doing my final placement in community (last couple days also), with District Nurses. So now I’m facing people in their own houses and I still can’t use my own language. Wow, what a combination. Now I have to respect their home as well, not only the person. So difficult but at the same time so teaching. With District nurses there has been a little different things what I have done and seen than in hospital. A lot of different kind of wounds, injections, drains, diabetics. And just patients supporting through the hard times or situations in their life. So yes, community is totally different than hospital so it’s really nice to see it as well. And to be honest it’s nice to see sun light during the working day instead of being inside from 7am to 8pm.

Differences between nursing in UK and Finland:
1. Training: When you are a qualified nurse in Finland you can do almost everything. In UK you have to have extra-training for doing bloods, cannulation, catheters, pressure bandages… And probably many other things what I can’t remember even.
2. Breaks: During 13 hours shift they have totally 1 hour break and it’s unpaid.
3. Hurry: Totally different here than what I have used to in Finland. Some days nurses didn’t even sit down or eat. They just drank strong juice to keep their blood sugar up and mind focused.
So I have to say that in my opinion we are quite lucky in Finland.

 

Although both of us, me and my room mate Emmi, have done full hours, 39-40 hours/week, with our placements we had done a lot of travelling and experiences as well. We have seen a lot of beautiful places and interesting things.

SNOWING!!! Felt like a home in Stoke-on-Trent in March.

“When your friend is a super-fan and you are not even sure who you are going to see” But thank you Fall Out Boy I still enjoyed! @Manchester

@Liverpool and Beatles Story

 

Almost as dirty water as in Aurajoki @Chester! Sometimes expectations and reality doesn’t face each other… And I’m talking about the picture, Chester was amazing!

 

4D-movie (or 3D? Whatever!) in Sea Life @Birmingham

Getting those fishes to the same picture with us wasn’t so easy thing to do…

@Edinburgh and Edinburgh Castle

Playing in Camera Obscura @Edinburgh

Still alive after Underground City Of The Dead Tour @Edinburgh!!!

May Day Carnival @Knutsford
There I was brave enough to face one of my biggest fears and I went to the swing carousel which went high! Wow, It was amazing feeling after that!

 

Although those cities has been amazing and I have enjoyed about visiting there I’m so happy that we have been living in here, our own love Macclesfield. Just a right size town where I can walk around wearing pink raincoat and wellies.

 

Originally I applied for an exchange on my own and I didn’t have a friend to come with me. But thank you Tamk so much that you didn’t send me here alone, I am really grateful for that! Exchange is an experience what you can’t explain or tell to anyone so it’s amazing that I could share it with someone. Although we didn’t know each other before exchange process now we necessarily do. We have lived together almost 3 months, shared a kitchen and bathroom, done travelling together, sort out problems together, got drunk together, laughed together (Not cried together because Emmi doesn’t cry) and done an amazing experience together. Of course Emmi has been really annoying sometimes and I could have send her back home with next flight but I’m still sure that I have done it better – Annoying I mean. And after all I’m quite sparkling and hot-tempered person so it has been nice that someone had reassure me a little when I have needed it.

For example sorting out this heating problem at the beginning of our exchange was a bit easier (and funnier) together.

 

While doing my placements I met a lot of wonderful people who made me feel welcome. My mentors in Gastroenterology ward and Community were brilliant! They got to know me and let me do and see a lot of different things. I always felt that I can question them as a mentor and say if I’m not confident of doing something or if I need more supervision. In Orthopedic ward I didn’t have a mentor so it was a little different there but anyway I always got someone to look after me.

And when talking about great mentors I want to introduce you my mentor in Community, Fiona who wants to be famous in Finland.

 

I just can’t to resist the temptation of sharing couple of highlights of our restaurant foods. Sorry, if you weren’t hungry yet, soon you probably are.

 

Although experience has been amazing and I’m super happy that I was brave enough to came here. I’m really excited of going home as well. I can’t wait to see all of those important people who I haven’t seen for a while. Speaking Finnish in grocery, doing Finnish things with my Finnish friends… Oh, I really miss those things. And those working internet and telephone connections what we have in Finland!! I can’t even count how many times I have thought to throw my laptop or phone through the window because of the poor connection. But not long to go anymore so see you soon Finland! (But before that see you London!!! Uuu, Excited!) 

 

Love, Laura xxx

 

Ps. I spend something like 15 hours by doing that one blog post but I did it alone, nobody correct it for me. That’s something what I wouldn’t do before the exchange so I’m more than brave about that blog post.

Hola y buenas tardes mi amigos!

I have been in Spain Fuengirola now almost three months and my practical training is coming to its end. This has been amazing road and I will remember this forever for sure. Like I mentioned, I’m doing a practical training, in a Finnish homeschool here, and in Finland I study Bachelor of Social Services.

 

My job here is very different for what I have used to since I have never worked with kids this age. The children are between preschool and ninth grade, so the radius is also big. My job description includes for example guidance, teaching, motivating and actual “parenting” if you know what I mean. It’s kind of funny because I have such a big influence on these kids and I’m also growing a lot at the same time… The best thing in this job are definitely the children, challenging roles and of course the beach where we eat our lunches 😉                    (picture from our break –>)

 

 

Time has flown but luckily I have had some time to get to know my current residence. In Fuengirola there is a lot of Finnis people and other foreigners so it’s a bit hard to find locals.
(<– There was lot of locals 😉 Malaga CF vs. Barcelona. Spain is a football country so it was kinda obvious I go and see at least one game!)
You really have to know where locals spend their time. So first I had to explore the nightlife of course, and I did manage to find good places where also local people liked to hang out. They love dancing as do I, so it was natural for me to go in these kinds of places. Second thing I have spent a lot of time is watching ice-hockey, since SM-league and MM-games both were going on whilst I was here. Along with dancing and ice-hockey, I just hang out and do nothing special. Sure I have made some trips to another cities and so on but those does not fill my normal days.

 

(this pic is from Mijas near to Fuengirola)

I don’t know how to compare Spain and Finland as working places because I’m in Finnish school and the schools main teacher is Finnish as are the children. Of course it is different to be in small, under 30 student school than to be in school where one class can include that 30 students… Here we can provide more individual teaching and help, and if (when) there are students with special needs, we notice them more easily and can pay more attention to them.

I have loved it here and i firmly recommend Spain as a practical training country. I personally think that people learn best from another cultures and from another people so if you don’t want to go to Spain, go somewhere. Muchas gracias y hasta luego!

(King Julians say hello from Bioparc Fuengirola)

Turning Maltese

HELLOOOO!

Welcome to my Maltese adventure! It’s been an amazing ride, and definitely one of my life’s best decisions and craziest experiences. Totally recommending this programme for anyone who’s interested! Let’s get cracking!

So…. I’s my first time abroad… alone… EVER. I have only visited Sweden and Estonia when travelling outside Finland, so this has totally been an jump into the unknown. My choice to go on an exchange to Malta was a mixture of curiosity towards the southern European culture and learning practices, the need for a total change of scenery and people, and also a small wish, that I could experience some warm sunshine after a grimy winter in Finland. I’m happy to admit, that I got exactly what I wished for, and a whole lot more!

The day I landed to Malta, the weather was amazing, +20 degrees in January during the day. I was so excited and happy I couldn’t believe it. For the first time I saw the big cactus trees and southern plants in nature, and saw the Mediterranian sea. I got to experience the open and helpful nature of the Maltese people pretty soon, when getting into the bus for the first time, three people started advicing us without even asking. Also one day I had my hands full and was struggling with my glove; so a stranger looked at me and put on my glove for me without asking or saying a word. It was funny and totally unexpected, thank you, strange Maltese dude!

The temperature at night surprised me completely, because one it got dark, the temperature dropped to about 9 degrees. In an extremely humid climate that feels so so so cold. Also, the houses don’t have any heating, because they are built for the hot summer, so at night I had to sleep with 2 blankets to keep myself warm. February is considered winter in Malta, and I can see why. But it got better quite quickly.

My placements for physiotherapy practise have been

  1. Musculoskeletal outpatients unit – St Luke’s Hospital
  2. Children Development Assesment Centre (CDAU), St Luke’s Hospital
  3. Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Center (SAMOC), Mater Dei

In musculoskeletal ward I got to assess, treat and observe patients who had various musculoskeletal issues. I had a lot of shoulder and knee patients, and I also got to see some ankle, back, neck and general mobility cases. For one day I visited the hydrotherapy pool.  I had an amazing supervisor and got so much experience by going out of my confort zone and dealing with the patients first with my supervisor, and then on my own. I was happy to get self-confidence and reassurance.

In the children’s ward the patients were mostly cases with cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome or some other syndrome, spina bifida, or children with general developmental delay. We visited the Helen Keller special school for severely disabled children/adolecents in Qrendi also every week to assess and do therapy with the students. The childer were all very adorable, and the physiotherapy with them is done always through play and games. We had nice therapy rooms full of toys and equipment, and I believe the children really liked the fun excersises we came up with.

In SAMOC we had 2 general cancer wards, haematology ward, palleative care unit, children’s ward and the outpatients ward, that we worked in. I got to experience the ward physiotherapy, and also treat patients in the outpatients unit with lymphaodema. We did complete draining therapy manually and using a PCT machine, that passively inflates a external sleeve, to get the lympf liquid moving. I got to perform manual lymph drainage on a few patients of “my own”, do measurements of the upper limb and try some assessments as well. For a few times I had a survivors gym group to instruct, that was a lot of fun and I connected with the people well! For a good-bye and thank you, some of my patients gave me gifts, which really moved me and made me extremely grateful. After work I went to the beach every day to swim and sunbathe… Can’t get better than that!!!

The work hours for me were from 8 am till 2 pm, so only 6 hours. Maltese have short work days, and because the physiotherapy is free, sometimes patients don’t bother to come, and you end up with a lot of free time on your hands. So the system is a bit different compared to Finland’s. As what comes to the physiotherapy, I think it is mostly the same in Finland as well. The Maltese university students have a 4 year degree in physiotherapy to get the bachelors degree, whereas in Finland we only have 3,5 years. The Maltese have a very good education system in physiotherapy in my opinion, they have a lot of testing, practice and training. When they graduate, the physios working for the government will do a 5 year long rotation, where they work for 6 months in a certain department, and then switch. This way every physio gets experience in all major areas of physiotherapy, f.ex. children, neurology, musculoskeletal, geriatry, and so on. I think this system would benefit many in Finland as well.

In my spare time I liked to adventure around the island; Malta is a very very small country, but there are many amazing places to see. We got to go on hikes on Sundays with a fun tour guide for only 3,5€, that covered the busrides there and back, and hiking was a fun way to spend the day, see rare sights and make new friends! I also participated to many of the offical ESN – groups fun activities, including scavenger hunting in the capitol Valletta, speed dating in the University, and a full weekend tirp with a big Erasmus group to the Malta’s sister island, Gozo. I made a big bunch of friends from all over the world!! And there was always someone to text and go out with!

I also got to participate in the University of Malta’s Student’s Fest, which is a annual, big musical made by the university students. This year we depicted the Little Mermaid, with a little twist. There was a couple of hundred people participating, and I got the opportunity to perform in the main chorus. We practiced a lot, and it all was worth it in the end, because the finished product was amazing! We had 4 shows in total, and there I got to get to know many Maltese students and see part of their University experience!

The night life in Malta is crazy and so fun. Paceville is the most popular place to go have a good time; it’s a small area full of bars and nightclubs, and it doesn’t cost anything to go in to the bars.  And the drinks are so cheap!! You can get a beer for 1 € and cocktails for 3,90€, and usually there are people handing out free drink tickets outside the bars. There are always people having a good time there, and you always bump into some people you know! And there are always some student parties around, you wont be bored, I swear!

Though there are some problems and things to grow accustomed to for example not being able to drink tap water, everything being late from buses to meetings, almost dying every day due to the crazy driving manners of the people, and LACK OF OAT BREAD AND GOOD VARIETY OF PICK AND MIX CANDY, Malta is a great place to do your exchange in. The people, the extremely active ESN-group, very professional physio supervisors and great, historical places to visit, made the experience one that I will always cherish. I truly loved the experience, 3 months was way too little for me!!

Grazzi ħafna!

Nina

Vienna – Life Around Palaces

Liebe Grüsse aus Wien!

Vienna is a beautiful city full of history and nice sceneries, and the exchange has been a great experience. The city is divided into 22 districts, which all have their own distinct air. My Praktikums (= internships) have taken place in Wilhelminenspital, a big, old hospital in the 16th district. The atmosphere at work has been great, all the physiotherapists are friendly and I have been able to take part in many different things: Laufband-training with neurological patients, Heilgymnastik for traumatology patients recovering from surgeries or accidents, pool therapy groups, mobilizing patients at hospital wards etc. In the beginning my German was quite rusty, but everyone has been very understanding and helpful with the language.

I have met people from many places, Vienna is quite multicultural. My first flatmates were from Ukraine and Hongkong, and there are have been people from USA, Latin America and all over Europe both at work and elsewhere. Cafés are an essential part of Viennese culture, people sit in them for hours working, socializing or just relaxing with the daily newspaper. There are all types of cafés, and the prices are quite affordable for a Finn. A must to try is a coffee speciality called Mélange, which basically is coffee with milk and sugar prepared in the Viennese way. The cake variety is endless, Sacher Tarte naturally being the most famous, but there are so many other great options that it is always hard to choose.

Austrian culture does not differ too much from our own Finnish one. The city is tidy and feels fairly safe. The public transport system works amazingly well: metros, trams and buses run often and usually on time. However, Austria is a very traditional, conservative country. People quite generally fast before Easter, and shops close usually by 6 pm. After Saturday 6 pm the grocery stores open the next time on Monday morning (a bit problematic  for a foreigner arriving in the city on Saturday evening). In addition to doing the internship I had a chance to spend a week at the FH Campus observing the local physiotherapy teaching. Practical classes and lectures were very similar to the ones at our campus at home, only the topics differed slightly, so I learned some new techniques.

All in all, I can sincerelly recommend choosing Vienna as an exchange destination! 🙂

Schloss Schönbrunn

Ragazze mie, questo è Italia!

The Spring in Udine

If I should describe the scenery of Italy with different sounds, the soundtrack would consist of chiming of church bells, birdsong, honking of cars and some Italians speaking loudly to one another. Mix this with the scent of flowers and maybe some freshly baked pizza, interaction with friendly locals plus unbelievable views, and here you go, you’re in the heart of Italy!

Beauty of Verona

We spent our three-month exchange in Northern Italy, in a small city called Udine with my classmate Noora working in the field of physiotherapy. During the exchange we did three traineeships in different departments of the rehabilitation hospital Gervasutta. First practice was in children’s policlinic, the second one was with adults in a department called Biomeccanica, where the patients had had partial spinal cord injuries. The third one was general rehabilitation department where there was patients with brain injuries.

In all the departments we got to practice physiotherapy independently, but there was also some bystanding when we observed physiotherapists to do the work. We didn’t know almost any Italian so there was some difficulties with teachers and patients who didn’t speak English. In those situations either the Italian students translated us the important things or if that wasn’t possible, we managed to translate some things by ourselves and to speak simple words and sentences to patients and teachers. Oh boy you learn a lot of Italian in three months if you must! The teachers and Italian students were really friendly and despite the language barrier you could understand and get to know each other well and have fun.

One of the palestras in the hospital of Gervasutta

The courses of physiotherapy are also held in the hospital of Gervasutta and the teachers of physiotherapy are besides teaching working in the different departments of the hospital. All the students do practical training in the morning and in the afternoon they have lectures. The schoolday can last from 8am to 6pm (there is two-hour break at noon) and there is many tests during the year so it’s a lot of work. The students seem to appreciate the education very much and they’re very motivated and hard-working. It shows in the results: The level of skill and knowledge is high. I guess is partly because in Italy you must pay for the higher education. The Gervasutta is one of the best physiotherapy schools in Northern Italy.

The rush hour in Venice

Compared to Finnish hospitals, the working culture is a bit different in Italy, at least here in Udine. There is a lot less coffee breaks (depending for the department, of course) but more communality. People greet everyone, also the strangers, and everyone are working together and helping each other if needed. People do something all the time and often many things are done at the same time. Also in some departments there is this huge working area, “palestra”, where many patients are treated at the same time, so it’s a lot of hustling and bustling and noises. In the hospital where we were, there was also a lot of paper work: in Finland about all the information of patients is on computer, here all the documents were paper versions. And that is a lot of paper and files!

Naples, what a view!

Although there are less coffee breaks and lots of things been done, there is sometimes a lot of waiting too and you’ll get used to not to know what happens next, especially if you’re not that good in Italian. All the equipment might not work as you would expect them to do and things might not always happen in the minute you have agreed. But as one of our tutors once said “Ragazze mie, questo è Italia!” (free translation: “Oh my dear girls, this is Italia!”), it’s a part of Italian culture.

The best pizza I’ve ever had!

In my spare time, I have been doing lots of traveling, taking part of events and parties with other Erasmus students and enjoying the atmosphere, food, drinks (very affordable wine and Aperol Spritz) and the culture of Italy. For example in the Easter we went to Naples for a few days and it was such an experience! The city of Naples was unbelievable: So much crazy traffic, cars honking and scooters speeding pass you in the narrow streets, so much trash and splittered glass everywhere and a bit obscure people in the dark alleys! But on the other hand so helpful and kind locals and very beautiful views of the sea and the volcano Vesuvio. And the pizza was so delicious! I ate the best pizza margherita after visiting the archeological site of Pompeii, in a nice pizzeria in the beautiful center of the village of Pompeii. Also I miss the small pizzettas you can buy for 1€ from the street booths – yum! When in Naples you could really understand the differences of northern and southern Italy. After that trip I was kind of relieved to not to get hit by a car get to do the internship in the Northern part of Italy in a safe and peaceful Udine.

One of the piazzas in Udine (It’s Aperol time!)

As I write this I have only three weeks left of my internship. The time has flown so fast! During these months I have learned much about myself and the Italian culture. I have seen unbelievable places and met so many new, friendly people. Udine is a great base to explore the Northern Italy (and also Slovenia and Croatia). I’ve really enjoyed my time here in Italy! At times there has been difficulties but as one famous American artist sings: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. If you have the chance to spent your exchange here in Italy, don’t hesitate! Go for it, it’ll be worth it.

Magical mountain scenery in the Fusine lakes

Saluti a tutti!

Greetings from Udine, a small city in northern Italy. Udine is a not so typical Italian city because this Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region has a lot of influences for example from Slovenia and Austria. This university city is beautiful and quiet with great possibilities to travel. It takes just a couple of hours to reach the mountains or the seaside and there are some nice small towns and bigger cities near. In fact, I have spent my weekends travelling around. For example, I have visited Trieste and Grado, which have pretty sea views.

Duomo di Milano
Pompeii

Of course, I’ve also travelled to Venice which was my absolute favourite place here in Italy. Also, Milano with its stylish atmosphere and stunning sightseeing locations was great. I have seen small Italian towns and Kanin mountains. During the Easter holiday me and my classmate travelled to Napoli to see the difference between North- and South-Italy. The difference was huge. Napoli was everything you would think of when speaking of stereotypical Italians. Their way to talk and the usage of hand gestures while communicating is a very distinctive feature. They also drive scooters a lot. But it was great to see Pompeii and Vesuvio!

Venezia
Laghi di Fusine

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vesuvio
Grado

 

 

 

 

I’m doing my physiotherapy internship here with my classmate from Finland so I’m working every day at the local hospital. Hospital “Gervasutta” is specialised in rehabilitation so I have learned a lot. My friend and I have been working at three different areas of the hospital. The first practical training was with children so it was my favourite. The second training was with patients who had spinal cord injuries and with amputation patients. Now we are working at a department where people with different types of brain injuries are treated. I have seen so much during my stay here and neurological physiotherapy has become familiar. Some of the teachers/physiotherapists speak English. With the patients I must speak Italian language. When I came here I didn’t know the language but the practical training has taught me so many words and phrases. Also, working here has tested my manual and visual skills constantly. The biggest difference between Finnish and Italian way of doing physiotherapy in a hospital is that here you must wait everything because things happen so slowly. They also do loads of paperwork here which amazes me. It seems like they don’t use so much softwares to keep record of patients and treatments. Also, students must give every assignment in paper. Physiotherapy education also takes place in Gervasutta. The students have practical training at the units every morning and afternoon they have classes. I think that practical training at the hospital is a great way to improve students’ skills. For me as an exchange student it has also been a wonderful opportunity to get to know local students because I’m not at the University of Udine at all.

 

 

 

 

During my free time I like to get familiar with the city of Udine and do some sports. I have also taken part in nice events arranged by the ESN of Udine (Erasmus student network). I have spent my time with other Erasmus students and of course tasted a variety of Italian food and drinks. For example, here in Udine they serve a typical dish called frico. And tiramisù is from this region! And what would my time in Italy be without tasting plenty of pizzas, gelatos and wines.

      

Oh, how time has flown. It’s hard to believe that I have already lived here for over two months. Now I will enjoy my last month in Italy. Luckily, the weather is finally great (around +26 degrees) and the nature has blossomed. It’s like the best of Finnish summer here even though it’s only spring and some people are still using their winter jackets. See you soon Finland! Ciao!

Piazza Libertà

 

 

Pozdrav iz Hrvatske!

Hello from Croatia. I have been here since late of february and there is few more weeks to go. I started my practical training in March in Klinicki Bolnicki Centar Osiiek, which means the Main hospital in Osijek. Osijek is in the east side of Croatia which is called Slavonia. The first 4 weeks I was in abdominal surgery department and children surgery ward. And now I am having 6 weeks of maternity and paediatric training in the same hospital. My mentors are very nice and they are always asking me how I´m doing and is there something I want to see. The people here in general are very warm and friendly. First when I came to hospital I was very exited about everything because I could communicate with others only in english and there is huge language wall between me and others because they dont understand english. And sometimes it is difficult to communicate with patients or with other nurses but the nurses are very eager to show me everything, and patients of course are very chatty. I got to know also a lot about Croatian culture and not just nursing.

Traditional breakfast with colleagues in children's surgery ward.

There is lots of differences working in hospitals in here tahn in Finland. Nurses are graduated from highschool and they have to work in 12 hour shifts. And nurses with diploma who are graduated from university works only 8 hours per weekday. The amount of the hours is still the same like we have in Finland. The wards are much bigger than we have but there is less staff so there is much work to do. The patients stays in hospitals much longer and they also have their own pajamas and shoes with them.

There isn’t so much computers and every thing has to still write down. The patients have document on their bed where stands the vital signs, diuresis, medication and diagnosis. Everything is bit old and used, but there is also much more creativity with hospital equipments. The hospital beds lays next to each other and there is no curtains between them. So there isn’t actually any privacy between patients.

Buildings are old and in hospital area there is many separate houses next to each other, so the hospital is actually multiple buildings sharing the same garden. And you can see that this part of Croatia didn´t survive trough the Yugoslavian war so easily. There is lot to repair. But still the city is amazing.

For slavonian people it’s very common to go after work  to cafes near the river Drava. Which is joining the larger river Tonau only 15 km after Osijek. In the city you can see multiple cafe’s and also many tiny bakeries from where you can buy snack or lunch to go.  in daytime there is many people in city and talking each other. In Osijek there is also the Old town which is must see. There is one nice slavonian restaurant which serves delicious slavonian dishes, pork  and paprika in many ways.

There is long promenade both side of the River Drava and there is beautiful pedestrian bridge over it near the city center. Osijek is the bicycle friendliest city in Croatia and I know it is easy to cycle around here. The city is not too big and there is also nice places to visit. There’s the Zoo, outdoor pools (which is opened unfortunately after I return from here), basketball and football matches, the old town, and multiple parks. Osijek is also the greenest city in Croatia because in here is multiple beautiful parks where you can have picnic or just hang around.

 

I feel so proud to survive in here because this was the first time I ever went to abroad alone and after this I know I have so much friends from other countries. I can’t wait when I get back to Finland and see my family again.

Yours Alli

The Most Friendliest Coutry

Hello from Ireland town call Tralee! I’m almost over my 3 month internship here in University Hospital Kerry. First I was so nervous how I’m going to survive here and I wasn’t so confident of my English because I have never been alone abroad. Even before I came here I got so much support from Institute of Technology Tralee so I was sure that everything going to go just fine. When I got  here I had to come 2 weeks earlier so I have the time to finish my Garda Vetting before I can go to work at the hospital. Everybody was so kind and supportive so all that paper work went flying. Meanwhile when I waited the results we went to Dublin with my boyfriend who came with me to stay for the first week. Even we were there only couple nights we saw Guinness factory and Natural History Museum. We also saw some lovely church and parks.

 

After that it was time to say  goodbye to my boyfriend and head back to Tralee.  When my first day started at the hospital I was nervous about how I’m going to cope. After a while I started to get some confident and my speech was getting better. Irish people speak very fast so that can take a while to learn but after first two weeks I was coping just fine. I also notice that most of the words that they used in health care was familiar from latin. Even the learning was more of listening than doing I still saw and learn so much. Even the shifts could sometimes be 12 hours they wasn’t still too bad. After all you get Friday off so more time to explore Ireland! The hospital staff was so kind and ready answer any of my questions. We got along so well and I was feeling so welcomed. Hospital full of gold.

We also got some snow in here and everybody was panicking about that because they don’t usually get snow in here. Luckily in Tralee we didn’t get as much snow as in Dublin but I still got to make a snow(wo)man under my window.

Even here is raining a lot it didn’t stop me to go out and see the beautiful  Irish nature every weekend. Because I love taking photos I have now over 2500 pictures taken but I’m still feel that it is not enough. I think the best place where I got my best pictures were Killarney and Dingle. These were places were I visited more than once because there was so much to see and so lovely scenery. In Killarney there is a National park where you can find lovely walking paths and breath taking views. You can also get cabriole ride around the park but I prefer walking. I visited Ross Castle and Muckross house which was lovely places to see. I saw also all kinds of animals and birds.

In Dingle I ate best seafood plate ever! And I climb to see the big sea.

 

Also I took a part of Tralee park run which take place every Saturday. It was so fun event and I haven’t run as much and when the nurses were telling about this at first I wasn’t so keen to go there. But luckily I went  because it was the best! Even I didn’t know the people everybody was cheering for everybody and they didn’t care did you walk or run as long as you had fun.  In Tralee I went to walk every change I could get and near to my apartment is a nice forest where was calm and lovely to walk.

My apartment is a Kings Court  (http://kingscourtapartments.com/). It is nice shared flat we have our own rooms and bathroom is en suite. We all share a kitchen/living room. Right next to us we have Tesco where you can buy everything that you need and not so far is a pit cheaper Aldi. One of the problems every time I had to wash my laundry was that the machine takes only 1€ coins so I have to hoard every 1€ coin that I can get! My roommates are two men and one woman. Mens are studying health  care also and they were really nice to me. Girl was in Spain so we had so much in common to figure out things. We went together to Killarney to celebrate St. Patricks day and we had so much fun. And you can’t forget the pubs what they have here! With a good beer there was often a live music.

 

I have seen a lot but there is still so much to see and I have less than 3 weeks left. I have plan to see northern coast  with my boyfriend  when he comes here for the final week. I have learn so much in this trip about my internship and myself also. I have said that it is not so crazy idea anymore to think that maybe some day I could live and work abroad. I would not change this time for anything.

See you soon!

The life outside the hospital

I have been travelling with a buddy, in a group and on my own before. So I know how to make friends and how to figure out stuff to do in a new environment. But working in a foreign city just changed the game. First of all, I am tied up to my work: I have my shifts, the arrangements and meetings inside the hospital. I have my office hours, membership at the local gym and the coffee breaks with the co-workers. This kind of life has its own limitations when travelling and it can affect to the social life.

Thank god I have my Finnish friends that are apparently missing me as much as I am them. Heaps of old friends and relatives has bought tickets to see me. That is a blessing but at the same time I have to make some arrangements with my shifts. My guide nurse has been really understanding and allows me to have also some fun outside the hospital. After all I am also a exchanging student so it is also important to have some fun and travel.

So I have gathered top things to do in Denmark. These are the things that I have found interesting. I have spent most of my spare time at Copenhagen naturally and when my local friend arranged me a rental bike it gave me even more freedom to wonder around the streets of Copenhagen. After all, if you want to be taken seriously you need to own your own bike. That is the main way to travel around Denmark.

I gathered my favorite things to do in Denmark. Mainly one can find the spots near Copenhagen but there are still heaps of nice things to do in the wild too.

DGI-byen

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This was the very first place I visited in Copenhagen. DGI-swimming hall is located right beside the Copenhagen main trainstation. It has to be the most designish pool I have ever seen in my entire life: the pool is round! It really feels like it never ends (actually the total length is 100m). One can also get the access to the gym and ping-pong-tables when visiting. And they accept Finnish studentcard! And yes, they have SAUNAS for all those Finns out there who are dealing with the homesickness.

Møns Klint

This place has to be one of the most breathtaking places I have ever visited. Natural attraction that contains 6 km stretch of chalk cliffs along the eastern coast of the Danish island of Mon in the heart of Baltic Sea. One can still find old fossils that used to crawl on the very same beach millions years ago. I haven’t ever felt that small, in a good way. Good change from the citylife. It takes around 2 hours with a car from the Copenhagen city center. We decided to rent a car for the day (costed only 27€) and head to southern areas of Sjaelland. It is also possible to take train and a bus to get there but it is actually more expensive compared renting a car.

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The freetown of Christiania

This area near Copenhagen center is a great example of people making their own choices. It is a weird “free” area where the cannabis is tolerated (still not legal though). One can skate, admire street art, smoke some bold spliffs on a daylight and just feel the atmosphere of the freedom. I still can’t believe that this kind of area exists in a heart of Copenhagen, but one can walk 20 minutes from the center of Copenhagen to get to this autonomous anarchistic district. “You can not kill us!” goes the anthem of Christiania.

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Superkilen

In a heart of Norrebro, the most hipster area inside Copenhagen, one can find the heaven for skateboarders. If you still struggle with the balance on a skateboard I’d still suggest you to visit the area, there is still a lot to see and great coffeeshops to visit.

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Malmö

It only takes 40 minutes with the train and you find yourself on a foreign country. Malmö has a bad reputation with the burning cars and immigrant problems but I’d suggest you to visit there open minded. The city isn’t called the Berlin of Scandinavia for nothing: heaps of vintage clothing stores for driftshoppers, underground nightlife, graffitis and falafel rolls for only 2€. Take your passport with you because the police might check the train before landing. Only police we saw were handing fees to bikers that were riding with their bicycles on a pedestrians way. Apparently the Swedish cops have time to take care of this kind of criminal behavior too on a side of terrorists…

Dyrehaven

Only 20 minutes outside the Copenhagen and one can find freely running deer on a park. Kind of like Seurasaari in Finland, but just change the fat squirrels with the deer and you get the idea.  Dyrehaven is also historical place: dyrehaven is a part of royal hunting lands. Near Dyrehaven is also located the oldest themepark in Denmark:  That’s right, apparently Tivoli isn’t the oldest one!

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Botanical gardens

This place is made for freeloaders like myself. It is actually free to visit the public gardens of Copenhagen. One can also visit the glasshouse which is actually super nice.

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Meatpacking district

Every city has its own street food court, also Copenhagen. The food is great but I was a bit disappointed of the atmosphere cause the area didn’t look that underground that was told. After visiting the place couple of times I realized that the magic happens inside the building: there are multiple great pubs, bars and restaurants inside meatpacking district.

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Driftshopping: Prag, Golden age, Wasteland and Episode

There are a lot of beautiful vintage clothing available at the Copenhagen center and Norrebro. I put my favorite ones on the title. The clothing stores have usually a deal with Red Cross so they get new clothes every day. And th racks are literally filled with beautifully picked clothes! The prices are naturally higher than fleamarkets but it is still worth it to visit these shops. One can also search some fleamarkets: I know that every first sunday of the month Studenthuset arranges fleamarkets for students.

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Louisiana

This is a modern art museum of Copenhagen. It is only 30 minutes from the central with the train. When I visited Louisiana there was Picasso’s exhibition which was really inspiring. One can purchase the tickets online or at the cashier of Louisiana.

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6 Forgotten Giants

This was a nice way to explore the wild near Copenhagen. There are 6 wooden statues that are made of recycled wooden waste hidden near Copenhagen. We started our adventure at the Hoje Taastrup trainstation. I would highly recommend to rent bikes for this one. We managed to find 4 of them and then we run out of time but it is possible to see all of them in one day without the bikes also. There are literally no maps to find the Giants but Google maps helped a lot if you know the names of the art pieces before starting. Every statue has its own name and there is also a hidden hint near every giant (it is written in Danish though).

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La Banchina

This has to be my favorite spot in Copenhagen. La Banchina is a terrace near Nyhavn. It is also a nice swimming spot with a sauna! You can get the access to sauna for only 40DKK and trust me it is almost as nice than swimming in a lake in Finland!

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Holbaek havn

I have done a lot of yoga on this beach. When I had a day off from work but I was too lazy to take the train to Copenhagen I usually go to Holbaek harbour. There is a small beach with a peaceful seaview. Holbaek started to show me its beauty when spring came to Denmark. It is a harbor city like Hanko in Finland. One can also rent kayaks and sup-boards near the harbor.

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Roskilde

Roskilde is not just the home of Roskilde festival. It is also pretty nice and peaceful town at the middle of Holbaek and Copenhagen. I would recommend travelers to visit Roskilde also but it is not the main thing to do when travelling. We had a picnic at the park near the central which was super nice.

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There you go! Hopefully you found some valuable tips!