I am doing my internship in Rhodes Island, Greece. Rhodes is such a beautiful island and I have fallen in love with it. There are so many historical places to see here and truly amazing beaches. Now in the middle of summer the weather is unbelievably hot. Almost +40 degrees in the shadow during the day. And everyone says it will be even hotter in August! It has been quite difficult for me to get used to this kind of weather but I am doing it somehow. Luckily, we have air conditioners in our office and our apartment, because without it, the weather would be unbearable.
I have enjoyed working here even though it hasn’t been quite what I expected. Although, I have already learned so much and will learn even more before this internship is complete. At first my work was mostly picking up students from the airport and taking them to their hotels where they started working. It really didn’t seem like my work had anything to do with marketing or human resources (that’s what I was supposed to be doing). However, I soon started to other things while I was taking the students to their hotels. For example, I met with the hotel managers and talked to them about co-operation with our company. I also created all the necessary documents for the students and went to different Government offices to get them approved. Now I find the work really interesting and versatile which is very good because I am learning something every day and now my work is actually related to my studies.
I have had a lot of spare time here. I thought I was going to work 6 days per week here but it turned out that I only work for five days per week. So, every week I have two whole days to visit different places. Mostly in my spare time I go to the nearest beach and just relax. Sometimes I visit other places like the city of Rhodes, Lindos or the other islands nearby. I live in such a small village and there really isn’t much to do here. Luckily, it’s easy to go around the island by bus or boats. I have been in some cruises here too and I truly enjoy them. But during this month I haven’t visited many places because it’s so hot here that even the idea of walking around the cities makes me sweat. So basically, I just spend my days off at the beach. Luckily, the water is still quite cold so it’s perfect for swimming and cooling down on a hot day.
It was a little bit of a shock for me when I started working here. I noticed that companies are not so organized here and they have serious communication issues. First it seemed like no one knew who was really in charge and people gave different orders and tasks for me. Some days in the office were really quiet and I had only a few tasks but then there were days when they gave me too many tasks to do and it was in no way possible for me to do all of them on time.
Also, Greeks have a really bad temper, it took time for me to get used to the fact that if things didn’t go how they wanted, they got angry and started yelling at each other. Here it’s normal to show emotions and express them however you like but in Finland people are shy and mostly keep their feelings to themselves. That’s why it was quite shocking at first that people are so open and emotional here but I have gotten used to it by now and started to be more open myself.
I have had a great times here and I have met many new interesting persons. My placemement in Attikon and Agios Sophias hospitals has been very well and now I have seen general view how healtcare is organized here. I have experienced many interesting threatment situations and participated to them. People here really like Finnish people and trust me. They appreciate Finnish healtcare very much, too.
I have travelled a lot around the Greece, discovering many new places and partying like animal! Of course not forgetting eating in fine restaurants and tasting good cocktails in the best nightclubs. The situation here is not very good generally. People don`t have much money to use because of economic crisis. Unemployment rates are very hight. I can see many homeless here sleeping on a street. On the other hand for tourist this city is very cheap and especially for finnish purchasing power. Anyhow people can still enjoy for living here, because it is very warm and sunny here almost the whole year.
Having stayed in Athens now for over 2 months I’ve had time to see this city’s many sides. At the beginning of my stay in September, the sun was still shining every day and summer was at its best: temperature over 30°C every day. Now the winter has started to slowly arrive.
During weekends I’ve had time to explore mostly this huuuuge city, Greek food culture and visit the many historical sights Athens has to offer. I’ve especially enjoyed the food here: the crisis has lowered prices drastically and it’s very affordable to eat out. Greeks have many tasty foods: feta, Greek salad, souvlaki and different pies and pastries are to my liking.
My Erasmus consists of two different placements in 90 days. My first placement was in a public hospital which is the newest public hospital here (built 2003) and the second biggest in whole Greece. I must say that even though I didn’t have big expectations for the standards of health care here I was surprised by how much lower the level of health care is here compared to Finland. Health-care really is excellent in Finland: the problems in health care in Finland are in a total different scale compared to here. It’s just like they say: you have to go far to see near.
The most interesting thing has been seeing the many faces of the Greek crisis and refugee-situation. I’ve seen many strikes, protests and debates as well as all many of those people suffering from the financial situation. Huge amounts of homeless and poor people, drug- and alcohol addicts, immigrants and refugees can be seen in the metro stations and streets. Nurses and doctors are working crazy hours with low wages (or even without getting paid) without the equipment needed. It’s something you have to see in your own eyes to realize what’s going on in this country. I have – after all – enjoyed my time here and learned many things that I could’ve never learned in Finland.
I have been living here in Crete a month now. I live in a small village called Vamos. It’s located seven kilometers from the sea and 25 kilometers from Chania. Vamos is a traditional village which offers tourists agricultural experiences and a get-away place from mass tourist destinations. Now in spring the nature is very beautiful and green and the climate is not too hot (today only +30) .
I’m here for almost three months, doing my practical training. I study tourism and after this training I only have to write my thesis and then I can graduate. I’m working here in a small company which is run by only one Finnish lady. This company brings Finnish tourist groups here for one week at a time. We arrange them breakfasts, activities and a dinners for the whole week. We have visited wonderful places during this month and I have learned so much from the groups and from Merja my mentor/ business owner. Groups are usually middle aged or older and they choose to come here to see the real life of a normal village. I have really enjoyed the training so far, and I’m already little sad that I have to leave `soon`.
I have worked long days since I got here, some days with the groups lasts from 9 am to 10 pm and there is only two hour break in the middle. But when there is no groups we have normal office hours during which I update and prepare the new webpages. In my spare time I sit by the pool of my hotel, drink tea in the cafe and speak with my local friends here. We have also made some trips with my boss in our day offs. On Saturday we are probably heading to the beach with some friends. And I’m planning to rent a car on the last week when i’m here and travel around the Crete!
I have really enjoyed my time here and I’m planning to come back in the autumn with my family so that they can understand how I’m so in love with this place! I’m also hoping to find a summer job from Crete for the next summer season. I’m learning all the time so much about this island and the people that i need to come back. And I have realized that I really want to learn this language to understand even more. I’m waiting forward for the last moths here!
Hopefully there is no snow in Finland when I come back. See you in June!
It feels like I just got here and now I’m already halfway of my exhange! The time really is flying over here! I have met amazing people and experienced a lot. There’s over 500 Erasmus students in the city so it’s impossible to know everyone but on the other hand there is always someone to go out with or have fun with. And all the events that the student organizations are organizing are really nice and really a good way to get to know the other Erasmus people.
My classes here have been pretty easy, same level than they were in Finland except here the teaching language is of course English. I only have classes from Tuesday to Thursday so I have a lot of free time which is nice! The long weekends are really good for travelling and it’s also really cheap to travel to the neighbouring countries. So far I have been to Sofia in Bulgaria and Skopje in Macedonia and of course to Athens and some smaller villages near the city.
A part of me has already fallen in love with the city and the Greek culture. I love the way Greek people enjoy their everyday life. The culture of going out to eat or just for a coffee with your friends and family almost every day is really nice. I think that’s the reason this city is full of cafes and tavernas and restaurants. Even though the city and the buildings are quite old I still think it’s beautiful. The city is right next to the sea and there is a beautiful walking street in the seaside. There are also these ruins of old fortresses in the city center which gives the city a unique feeling.
There are also some things that annoy me. For example the traffic is awful and there are these demonstrations on the streets every once in a while and when they happen all the stores and cafes and even streets are closed so you can’t really do anything. And the weird thing is most of the times you don’t even know when they are having these demonstrations. But it’s a part of the culture and there is way more good things than bad.
All in all my new life here has been really good so far. I might say that I’m having the best time of my life. I have gotten some really good friends and I know that we will be in contact after this time aswell.
But now I have to go and enjoy the rest of my Erasmus, καλησπέρα everyone!
Good evening to all of you as my title says! I’ve now spent three months in Crete with my classmate and our exchange period is ending this Saturday. This whole experience has been amazing and I haven’t yet realized that I really am going home this week…but before I leave I want to share the highlights of my exchange with all of you.
I’m a nursing student and I came to Crete to do three different practical trainings. First one was home care but because of the differences in health care systems between Greece and Finland this training took place in a local nursing home. There we familiarized ourselves with “Namaste Care Programme for people with dementia” and leaded so called Namaste sessions for the elderly patients.
The second practical training took place in orthopedic department of the local University Hospital “Pagni”. At first we were really shocked about local hygiene perceptions and the slow work tempo but in the end everything turned out okay.
We did our last training in operation rooms of Pagni. This training was the most exciting one for me and based on this experience I chose to specialize in perioperative care in my studies. We got to observe surgeries from almost every field of medicine and we also explored the work in recovery room.
The highlights of my exchange outside the hospitals are from following moments:
Trip to Spinalong island with other Erasmus exchange students
Autumn break when my family came to visit me from Finland
Hiking trip to mountains where I tried rockclimbing for the first time
All those sunny and beautiful days we spent on the beach
Trip to Athens with other exchange students from Heraklion, Hania and Rethymnon
Last week we organized a Finnish evening for the other exchange students because of the Independence day of Finland. We served hard rye bread that had shrimps with mayonnaise on top of them and “Fisu”, the popular party drink from Finland. On Sunday we had a pre-Christmas party and the exchange students from Czech had made glogg and ginger biscuits. Tomorrow we are going to Hania and on Thursday we will meet with people from Rethymnon. Friday is our last day here and we will spend it in the University dormitory with our Erasmus family. I am so grateful for this opportunity and hope you all had as amazing exchange experience as me!
Hi everybody! Im currently doing the last week of my practical training in beautiful island of Crete with my classmate and also my best friend! We are living in the city of Heraklion which is same size as Tampere. Only one week left from three months training here. In these three months i have been working in the nursing home and in the hospital. I have comleted homecare and surgigal practises. I have learn what is working like with foreign language and how you can work with people that you dont have common language with. Sometimes it has feel like im not going to learn anything here because its kind of Greek style that people are not doing o much and everything happens really slowly. But afterwards i have realized that i have learned so many things. For example at first i was quite shocked about the aseptic working here because they dont pay much attention for it but then i realized that when i see that somebody is doing something wrong and differently from what Im used to in Finland I will remember how things have been taught in school and I will pay more attention that I do things right. And i think that it is really richness to see different kind of ways in working. And i have to admit that even when we sometimes in Finland are complaining about working conditions and lack of time in working we still have the best healthcare system and possibilitys to good working.
We also have had lot of free time between works and by far we have experienced so much and amazing things that it is almost impossible to write everything here, but I will try my best! For example we have visited Athens, Agios Nicholaos , island of Spinalonga, palace on Knossos and Mykene. We have also enjoyed the beautifull nature and sunny and warm weather.
Three months have gone really fast and i cant believe that soon Im coming home. These have definitely been the best three months in my life and Im going to miss this so much!