Category Archives: Social Services, Health and Sports

Biomedical Laboratory Science, Emergency Care, Physiotherapy, Nursing and Health Care, Radiography and Radiotherapy, Social Services, Midwifery, Nursing, Public Health Nursing, Wellbeing Technology, Clinical Nursing Expertise, Development and Management of Health Care and Social Services, Health Promotion

Greetings from Ireland!

I was really happy when I got accepted to Institute of Technology Tralee. It was exciting toknow that I am going to study abroad during the autumn 2017.

Tralee is a small town in the south-west Ireland. The dialect is pretty strong in County Kerry and sometimes it is challenging to understand the native speakers. Anyway, it is easier to understand the dialect after living in the country for a while. Studying in different language is not easy in the beginning but after all, it is really enchanting to see how much my own language skills have been improving during the exchange.

IT Tralee is smaller institute than TAMK but there was also modules of social services. My main goal was to learn English and it is quite easy when all studying and communicating are happening in English.

The Irish are not so precise with time so sometimes the class starts about 10 minutes later than it should but all students are still expected to be on time. That is the reason why the lectures feel short but on the other hand school days can be longer in its entirety. In Finland the lecturers are usually on time and also students should be. Our lectures are three hours with a break but outright our school days are usually shorter than in IT Tralee. Also the style of study is different. In TAMK we typically write a lot of essays and we have less exams but in IT Tralee they always have final exams (which remind matriculation examinations) in the end of the module and some essays or exams in the middle of the module as well.

View from IT Tralee’s window

 

We have been traveling with other exchange students and we have seen so many beautiful places during this experience. The scenery of Ireland is breathtaking in some places, even though the weather is often cloudy and rainy. Pictures tell more than my words here so I decided to add pictures about my free time in Ireland.

View from a mountain

 

It was pretty windy sometimes

The Giant’s Causeway
Titanic Belfast
Dublin Zoo

I am so happy that I had the courage to experience something like this abroad.

 

Beautiful Tenerife

I did my practical training in Tenerife. I had never visited the Canary Islands before so it was very interesting to go there. My friend and me lived in the capital of the Island, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, but we also got to know many other places of the Island. Here I want to share a few places I really liked.

Teide

Teide is a volcano that is located in the middle of the island. Big area around the volcano is Teide’s national park (Parque Nacional del Teide). We made a trip to the national park and near the volcano by car. Views around Teide were amazing. We did not have the chance to go to the top of the volcano, did not book the elevator trip before. From the top it is possible to see the whole island. If I travel back sometimes, i I definitely want to go there.

   

García Sanabria City Park (Parque García Sanabria)

This park is a big park in the centre of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. There are a lot of different trees, flowers and plants in the park. There are also many beautiful fountains. We went to the park many times because it was near to our home and it was a calm place to relax for example during the siesta time. There was also a good restaurant in the park that I can absolutely recommend!

La Laguna

La Laguna is an old city in the northern part of the Island. I found it very cute and pretty place. Everything wasn’t so “big” like in the capital. It is an important historical centre and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The loveliest part of La Laguna is its old town. Thera are beautiful buildings and only pedestrian streets, so you can walk around in peace.

The eye-opening Malta

Hi!

My practical training was placed in a Maltese hospital. I had two separate placements, first one in the main hospital Mater Dei and the second one in a health care center. Both of these places were very eye-opening, but I liked the hospital more.

 

 

 

First days in the hospital were awfully confusing. A lot of things were happening, people were talking in two languages and I was trying to absorb all the information I possibly could. Mater Dei seemed massive for such a small country. By the end of the first week, I was familiar with the daily routines. However, hearing everything first in Maltese, worn me out. In addition to that, the normal working hours at the hospital were 12 hours. Although, that meant that I had only three or four workdays a week. What made everything all the more interesting, was my extremely supporting and positive mentor.

Health care centre was slower paced than the hospital. Mornings always started with blood samples and continued with wound care in the afternoon. By this time, I had gotten so used to hearing Maltese all day every day, that I just zoned out when things weren’t in English. Nevertheless, I learned so much from my second mentor as well and got to practice my skills more.

 

The health system in Malta was very much similar to ours in Finland. Some small practices in protection against infection were different but they weren’t overwhelming to me. The hierarchy in the hospital was very distinctive. However, I noticed a friendship between all the workers in the ward. They were all one big family, supporting each other.

I also liked the system that they had with the work shifts. Two day shifts from 7am to 7pm and the third shift was a night shift, from 7pm to 7am. Three days of 12 hours shifts and after that, two days off. The schedule sticks and you can plan easily ahead. In Finland the shifts change, and you get shifts for three weeks. The 12 hours were long and I was usually very tired at the end of the day.

 

During the exchange, I traveled around the main island. I got to know the culture, architecture and beautiful sights. I enjoyed the sun, hikes and small trips that you could make every day because the island was so small.

Greetings from Slovenia

Zivjo!

I did my exchange semester in beautiful Ljubljana that is the capital of Slovenia. Slovenia is an amazing country that provides great opportunities for outdoor activities, but especially Ljubljana also has a very active cultural life. I found it very easy to get to know the city and get into the everyday life there. Slovenes are slightly reserved, but always very helpful! In the picture you can see the castle of Ljubljana.

I really have enjoyed my studies in the faculty of social work. I only have two courses, as I was also supposed to do an internship while staying in Slovenia. Unfortunately the internship did not work out. But the studies I took part in have been very interesting. There are also plenty of guest lecturers who are coming to visit our faculty and so we had the change to learn more about very important topics related to social work. Our erasmus group at the faculty was really great and I learned really a lot outside of school. I shared my flat with three other social workers and sometimes our kitchen seemed to be the best place to gain knowledge!

During my exchange semester I had plenty of time to do sports, go hiking, travel or just to enjoy time with my friends. In the first weeks of my stay we went to visit one of the most famous attractions in Slovenia, the Postojna caves. Close by there is also Predjama castle. In the picture you can also see that during my stay I got to explore different seasons as in the beginning of February they had plenty of snow!

In the picture above is a city of Ptuj, where we went to see the local carnival called Kurentovanje. Ptuj is the oldest city in Slovenia and Kurentovanje is really something interesting to see. Also in Ljubljana they organized carnival even though it was a lot smaller if compared to Ptuj.

Later in the spring we did some hiking trips with my friends and also our faculty was organizing some trips for us. And of course we were travelling on our own as well 🙂 Below you can see a picture of Koper and a view from a cave. 

I can truly recommend Slovenia for studying or just for a visit! I am definitely going back.

-Emmi

 

 

How things are going in Germany

I am doing my practical training in Fuldas Hospital. I was 4 weeks in Oncology ward, 4 weeks surgery ward, 2 weeks at day surgery ward and 2 weeks at family school (playing pretty much with newborn babies). I do not have the language skills to talk with the patients or the people at work so I am trying to learn as much as i can everyday. I am able to draw blood and measure vital sings. Learning numbers has been the first thing i learned and they have come handy in many occasions! Here in the hospital in some wards we get typical breakfast everyday. It includes bread, cheese, deli meats and more bread. Delicious !

On my spare time i hangout with other exchange student whom I’ve met from my student housing. Threw them i have also met more and more people. German and non german. We also rented a car one time and drove to Cologne and Dusseldorf. It was nice going fast on the motorway and seeing beautiful views on the way. Are student housing is placed in a beautiful old town scenery. Some days it was just nice to wander around and chill at the nearby parks al day in the sun.

I do not have a lot experience in working at hospitals in Finland. None actually but what i noticed is that everything seems pretty similar to Finland. One thing was strange and it was that doctors only drew blood. I do know how to do it also so i did it overtime i was able and they were very impressed. Germans seems to be also very formal with workplace dressing. In hospital its a little Hard to see this because everyone had their hospital uniform but in every meeting etc. I saw this.

 

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 has been encounters with people from the 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 most often 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 their doors only on Monday Morning – which was 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 back in Finland, 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