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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!

Bon dia!

I thought, that now is a good time to write this postcard, because it’s raining here at this moment. So, I am a nurse student, and I am doing my training in Spain, in the city called Manresa.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle manresa
Picture of Manresa, from Google

I am doing my training in big hospital. I don’t have one specific place in the hospital, but I have toured in several units during my training. It has been very nice, because I have seen and learned a lot of new things. I have, for example, seen and participated in treatments of cancer, different kind of endoscopies and treatments of surgery wounds.

The biggest problem has been the language. I don’t really speak Spanish and even less Catalan, and people here hardly speak English. Lucky for me, every unit I have been, has been person who has been able to speak English. And best of all, everyone wants to learn to speak English.

The things I have been noticed here in working culture, is that nurses really care about their patients. Or at least that is how I feel, when I see them working here. For example, in oncology unit, nurses really know them patients and their history, and they listen and speak with patients really much.

One thing, which was little bit a shock for me, was that here is only one break during the working shift, when there are often two in Finland. And in morning shift the break is breakfast, not even lunch. Now my stomach has started to get used to it, but first I was always hungry.

Picture taken when I was leaving work.

 

My spare time. Well usually after training days I come home and take a nap. It really isn’t so easy to do training in different country and in a foreign language!
But at weekends we usually travel to Barcelona with my friend. Manresa, where we are living, is really nice but pretty small, so here is not so much to see, and it is easy to travel to Barcelona by train.

Picture taken in Barcelona

The finest place so far has been the Montserrat Mountains. Views from the mountains are incredible.

Picture taken when we were visiting in Montserrat Mountain

All in all, I can say that I am very happy that I came here!

Habari! Greetings from Kenya

Now when my trip has reached its’ halfway point it’s good to tell you something about hakuna matata in Kenya. I’m doing 10 weeks working placement as part of my emergency nursing studies. Here my objectives involve medical, surgical and pediatric nursing. Apart from the hospital work I’ve also worked with an organization that helps for example local kids who live on the streets.

First 3 weeks I spent in medical ward where we had 3-4 nurses, 25-35 patients and depending on a day 2-15 nursing students (both university and diploma). Students took care of the patients very independently (including iv medication). Sometimes their attitude even was that ”you learn from your mistakes”. The system felt very unorganized. People were never on time, they consumed time in wrong things (the morning report took always over 1 hour) and when it comes to asepsis they used same brannulas several times, didn’t have enough gloves or alcohol swaps but still told us not to carry dirty sheets but put them on a trolley instead.

Medicines, medical ward, patient files

In renal unit things were a bit better but still the sterile procedures weren’t sterile at all. Doctors and nurses have a lot of knowledge but I guess the lack of equipment affects also their working moral. Also it’s a bit hard to treat a patient who can’t afford the examinations you’ve ordered for them (for example ECG) and the hospital doesn’t always have the medication you have prescribed to the patient. If the hospital doesn’t have it, relatives should buy it. If relatives won’t buy it, patient won’t get it at all.

Kakamega rain forest

After a week in surgical ward they asked feedback from me. I talked about their way of documentation. Why are they writing that things happened at the ideal time when in reality the morning medication was administered at 1 pm. I also wondered their way of treating and preventing bedsores. There’s a timetable on the wall of the ward where’s also written the times when patients should be turned if they can’t do it themselves. Still I didn’t see anybody doing that. After wound dressing the patients were left just as they were: lying on the bedsores on their back.

The son of the chief of Masai tribe and me with a lion hat

Here we have a great team of seven Finnish nursing students from Vaasa, Mikkeli, Seinäjoki and Tampere. We didn’t really know each other very well before the departure but already the night we spent awake at the Nairobi airport made us a really good team. Together we went on a safari to Lake Nakuru and Masai Mara. A great experience that you cannot miss if you travel this far! Then we visited Kakamega rain forest and during our week off we’re going to travel to the east coast to enjoy the white beach and the ocean.

Giraffes in Masai Mara

Kisumu is one of the largest cities in Kenya. When you’re walking in the streets of the city center you’ll hear people greeting you (”Hello, how are you?”), calling you mzungu (a word meaning a white person in kiswahili) and staring at you. The prizes of tuktuks, fruits, clothes in the street markets are always higher for you than for the locals. You need to master the art of bargaining.

If you want to know more feel free to follow my blog www.ke2018nya.blogspot.com (in Finnish)!

Life in Linköping

During my exchange in Linköping I have had three very different placements, and 2,5 weeks of learning project at the University of Linköping. First 4 week placement was in Attendo Care in Linköping, the second 3 week one in the city nearby, Norrköping, and the last one at Linköping university hospital in geriatric ward. So I’ve seen a lot of patients with all ages, disordes and diagnosis. The ultimate best place was in Norrköping primary Care at the rehabilitation ward where I had a great mentor! I almost wish I could go back and work there, but my language skills are not good enough to meet patients my own. The language felt hardest with elderly people, when there was  barely  any communication between me and the patients. So, for me it was a lot of observing. In Norrköping I could develope my physiotherapy skills more due to younger patients and an awesome mentor.

 

Rest homes in Attendo were beautifully decorated fot the patients.
Office-dog Hermes at Attendo.
Basic treatment room in Norrköping Rehab öst.

On my free time I like to go to the gym called Campushallen, which is the best gym I’ve ever seen! It inspires working out several times a week and it’s only 20 minutes walk from my apartment.

 

Campushallen has everything!

We spend a lot time together with the exchange group and corridor mates. Usually on weekends there’s a party somewhere everybody goes to, usually at Flamman. With corridor mates we play cards and board games, drink wine or watch movies. Every other Sunday it’s cleaning Sunday and everybody takes their part of cleaning the whole corridor’s common spaces which is nice.

Friends from different countries.

On weekends I’ve also tried to travel as much as possible. After the first placement we had a week off with the other pt-student from TAMK, so we headed to Oslo and Lofoten Islands. Norway is so beautiful, it was one of the most best trips I’ve made! I also visited Göteborg, Stockholm, Vendelsö, Norrköping and Copenhagen.

Lofoten Islands, Norway.
Beautiful sunset in Lofoten Islands.
Stockholm’s old city and narrow streets.
Norrköping’s University is located around the waterfalls and river.
Colourful Nyhavn in Copenhagen.
Railwaystation in Göteborg. Most of the travelling I’ve done by train, so many railwaystations has been seen.

If I would compare the working and study cultures in Sweden and Finland, I wouldn’t find that much differences. Because the health care system is so similar to Finland, it has been easy to blend in during my placements. The one hard thing during the placements and project at the University has been the language. Communication with patients and teammates was hard on times, but we managed it through with the mixture or english, swedish and body language. Well, if I would say one thing, swedes seem to spend more time on morning and evening fika. They like to take it easy during coffee breaks and have conversations about anything, which is kind of nice.

Fika time!