Tag Archives: Ireland

Ireland, Sláinte!

Cheers from Tralee!
It has been a amazing adventure I have had here this far and now it is almost time to go home already. Time flies when you are having fun!

Institute of Technology Tralee (IT Tralee) is a bit different than TAMK. The lectures lasts only an hour and the examinations are very strict. The courses’ final examinations are as strict as the matriculation examinations are in high school. There is only two semesters that equals to two periods, not like in TAMK with 4 periods per academic year.

The Starbucks cafeteria in the North campus has a nice view to the mountains, and is has been nice to see the mountains where ever you go in Tralee or how I have noticed, anywhere in Ireland.

View from the North campus of IT Tralee

The courses I had here were mostly marketing courses, but very different that those I had in TAMK. Sometimes the lecturers just did not show up but that happened to me only once. Some other course teachers were gone for most of the time without any note.

I have travelled around Ireland and visited also in Edinburgh, on the holidays and weekends. The nature here is wonderful and yet it amazes me every time how green it is here. Anywhere you go, for example from Tralee to Dublin, when you are sitting in the train, every 30 seconds you see either cows, sheep or horses. The sheep are everywhere, it is true that they can lay anywhere.

Ballyseedy Wood in Tralee
Ballyseedy Wood in Tralee

Ballyseedy wood was only for a 15 minute cycling away from the city centre. If ever going to Ireland, I recommend to rent a car. The public transport is not at the same level what it is in Finland.

Cliffs of Moher, Galway
Cliffs of Moher, Galway

Cliffs of Moher was beautiful and no wonder why it is a known place in Ireland with Giant’s Causeway.

After getting used with the accent of the Irish people it was easy to understand the people. For example our bus driver on the Northern Ireland trip, he was from Kerry, and he had strong Kerry accent, and for awhile it was almost impossible to understand what he was saying, but I got used to to the accent pretty fast.

Dingle Peninsula

The day trip to Dingle was the first one I did and I was impressed about the view there. Definitely worth seeing.

Killarney National park
Killarney National park
Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland
Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
Blasket Islands
Blasket Islands
Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle














The people that I have had the chance to get to know here are so great! They have made the studying and the small town Tralee feel like another home.


So as they say cheers in Irish, Sláinte!

Three months of good craic in the green island

It was a grand exchange period in Ireland I had. I met some great people and enjoyed my time fully. I studied in UCD (University College Dublin) and the radiography program was very good there. We had two modules: Irish Culture and Cardiac Imaging. I really liked the lecturers and their English was really easy to understand which I wasn’t expecting. It is amazing how quickly one adapts to another language and culture. The three months felt such a short time and flew by so fast.

fullsizeoutput_9d0For seven weeks I did a clinical placement in St. Vincent’s University Hospital. The people there were extremely nice and welcoming there. I lived with 13 other girls and five of them were also studying radiography so I had loads of support. At the hospital we did one week in each modality: General radiography, CT, MRI, IR, Cath Lab, Theatre and a few days in mammography, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, fluoroscopy and emergency department. It was nice to see the whole range of radiographers work in SVUH. The hospital is moderately modern and has 4 general x-ray rooms, two CT and one MRI.

The health care system in Ireland isn’t as equal in Ireland as we have here in Finland and the poor state of the economy is still effecting the hospitals and the equipment there aren’t as modern as we have in Finland. You can still see handwritten referrals scanned in the computer and huge patient files with handwritten forms. Our Finnish paper-free hospitals seem very modern compared to the computer programs in SVUH. Hand disinfection isn’t used as much in Ireland and almost the entire population carry MRSA in some form. The role of the radiographer is also quite different, they are more like technicians rather than nurses in Ireland and for example in IR (Interventional Radiography) the radiographer is only responsible for the imaging and radiation safety and the radiographic nurses are there to assist the radiologist and take care of the patient.

Cliff walk, Bray – Greystones

The scenery of Ireland is amazing. I love nature and Ireland definitely has a huge amount of beautiful places to visit and see the nature at it’s best. Although the Irish complain a lot about the Irish weather, I beg to disagree and after leaving the -20 degrees Finland in the beginning of January and arriving to the +14 Dublin, it was pretty great. I got to visit a lot of places in Ireland, because it’s a quite small country in size. Besides Dublin, I also visited Galway,  Doolin, Killarney, Belfast, Kilkenny, Wicklow mountains, Greystones, Bray, Howth and Tullamore.

Ring of Kerry
Connemara, Co. Galway







I’m happy that I did the Erasmus exchange and I’m sure to be back to Ireland at least to visit. It has also made me appreciate Finland more and I’m proud to be a Finn. 🙂

– Heta


Having a craic in Ireland, Athlone!


Hello mates!

And so begins our 11th week in Ireland today. Only 4 weeks to go!#!!?

I´ve been asked to tell something about my stay in Ireland as an exchange student. I will be happy to do that.

My studies

I absolutely love my studies in here. I think I´ve learned more in this time here than I learned whole last year in Finland! But there is only one explanation to that and that is time. I have Tuesdays and Fridays off and my classes starts at 11 am at the earliest. Usually even later, like today only at 2 pm.


When we signed up for courses, I was horrified about Management accounting course. I´ve been so pleasantly surprised because I absolutely love that course! Such an interesting calculations and the teacher is so much fun! He absolutely hates our class, because people won´t shut up and some uses their phones, but I´m having a blast fallowing all of this. He also has a humor that gets into me, so yes gonna miss that one.


My other course is Operations & Chain Supply Management. The teacher is such a sweetheart and funny as hell – but sorry to say this out loud, I don´t learn there as much I would like to. Maybe it´s the language barrier but I´m off track a million times whenever I sit in his class. But the subject is new to me so I have found it very interesting. Something I will definately get into more at home as well. Products and services manufacturing process can be quite interesting to my brain 🙂 Also we did a group work about Tesla, which is now all I can think about. I want my own Tesla and I would like to start building a life at Mars with Elon Musk, thank you very much.


I find the teachers here have a bit more time to put into teaching.  What I don´t understand here, is the fact that we only got to know our final exam days like a week ago and got to book our flights back home only then. Prices have been going up all the time but we couldn´t book the flights any earlier. Well I´m glad we have a return ticket now.


My spare time

I could not be happier about this opportunity I had to come and live here in another country. And what a lovely little country it is. Since I am a bit older (I just turned 30!!) than the rest of the exchange students here, I have had more time to just think and rest than at home in my normal life; work-studies-social life mess.


I do love my daily routines here. We eat the most delicious breakfast each day with fress berries  and we cook nearly all of our eatings ourselves. I haven´t cooked this much in years and I absolutely love it! Can´t wait to continue this in Finland.


We have the best gym at school and we like to play badmington. The gym is only couple years old and it has everything! The staff provides you a free programm you can follow and I´ve already had 3 of those from there. Also they make tests to measure progress and check up on you in the gym. All of this is voluntary of course, but I have enjoyed every bit of that! And I´ve also seen some results so yey for those summer-fats gone away!


We´ve also done some trips. I´ve been to Dublin couple of times and Galway one time. We also went to the famous Cliffs of Moher, which was pretty amazing experience. I think I´ll just leave these pictures here to explain what I´m talking about.

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Than I also drove a car here! The steering wheel is on the right side of the car and you drive left side of the road so that was interesting. Truth to be told, it went pretty well! Can´t wait to drive some more, I hope!

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All together, I´m having a craic here! For those of you that don´t know, craic is an Irish way of saying I´m  have so much fun here and we laugh each day with our abs sore! This definately feels like home, even though it is freaking cold inside!! But I love to coming back to our flat after a trip away.

Thanks for visiting this blog and have a good day!



Great craic in Ireland

I’ve been in Ireland for five months and still staying strong. Last of the exams are over and now it is only matter of the results coming in. I came to Tralee in January, when it was windy and raining all the time, just like Finnish winters are now. The first impression I got from this little town that is was quiet and the people living here were very helpful and kindhearted. The accent in Kerry is the thickest I have ever heard, listening and nodding are my greatest strengths.

I mainly chose Ireland by accident, because I had to change my destination to something else, do to the fact I couldn’t leave in autumn. But it is easier to choose an English speaking country and  I’ve always wanted to visit Ireland.

The school has two campuses to facilitate all the fields of study. I had problems choosing courses, because most of the courses I chose weren’t available, for some reasons. At the start I was happy with all of my decisions, but first impressions are deceiving. Quickly I noticed that some of the lecturers don’t fit the standard of educating, but others do. The workload for me was massive and after 80 pages of writing I was exhausted, choose your courses carefully. For some lecturers you could see the passion for their work and it was a motivational factor, but some just demotivate you. I’m lucky I didn’t have any group projects, because I heard some horror stories about the work of the local students, the lack of it. After the crazy amount of studying I’m more convinced I like the system better in Finland, because we actually do something and not just go over theories I’m not going to need.

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Of course we had a lot of free time and most of the Erasmus live in the same place, so it was easy to get to know everyone. The town is small, but everything is close by and you can get easily from town to the next. We used The Irish experience tours services a lot, because they offer cheap tours for students which was grand and you get to see the scenery. Otherwise just see as much as you can and enjoy. I think this doesn’t help my English at all, because the Irish talk a little funny and I’m picking up some bad habits.

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Greetings from Ireland!

Hello from the green Ireland!

It has been about three months since I´ve arrived to Ireland. It wasn´t  that big culture shock to come here because the culture is quite same comparing to Finland. Time has gone by so fast and soon it is time to go back to home.

I had some concerns about the lectures here. I was afraid that the teachers would speak too fast and with a strong accent so that I wouldn´t   understand anything, but luckily that wasn´t the case. Lessons are easy to follow and there hasn´t been any problems with the school for me.

I have traveled a bit around Ireland. I have visited Dublin few times already, Killkenny (we went to see horse race), Galway, Ennis, Clifs of Mohar and some other places. There is still much left to see and me and my friends are planning to go visit at least  some places in the Northern Ireland (most likely Belfast is one of them). There is also a surfing trip to the South of Ireland.


Greetings from Ireland!

Hi everyone!


I am half way through my Erasmus time here in Athlone Ireland. The time has gone so fast and almost time for Easter break of two weeks! The studies here in Ireland have gone smoothly and learned so much etc. about Irish politics, economy and history. The education system is very much alike in Finland, except few differences. I am really enjoying the HR studies especially. The teacher is strict and demands a lot more from us students than other teachers here. We also have some projects for her that we need to return at the end of April. We also have project in marketing, in which we are suppose to design an ad for some Irish product that we start to import to Finland! I am really looking forward to that, due to in that we can exploit our visual eye and imagination. I prefer doing more projects than reading just to the exams, but the exams are going to be within two months so that is a bit terrifying!

At this point we have travelled many times to Dublin (which is an hour and a half away from here), Galway, Cliffs of Moher, Kilkenny, Ennis here in Ireland and also Scotland few weeks ago. We have seen lots of green (especially on St. Patrick’s Day), sheep, castles and beautiful landscape. The plan is still to go to maybe Cork, Belfast and some few-day trip to Morocco or Madrid.

I also started my internship in the early March. I’m doing it as distant job for a finnish company and while I go for the easter break in Finland, can work then as well.

I would recommend Ireland to all at least visit for a few days, the landscapes are amazing, people are nice and helpful and Dublin is definitely one of the most vibrant cities I’ve ever been to!

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Greetings from the land of leprechauns

P2060152Hi Everyone!

Greetings from Tralee, Ireland. I’m doing my study exchange in University of Technology Tralee and I’m almost halfway through my semester. My time here has been great so far. I’ve made a lot of new friends from other exchange students and school has also been quite okay. Lectures here are not so different compared to Finland and I don’t usually find it hard to understand the lecturers even though the Irish accent is really strong here in county Kerry and people tend to speak really fast. Back in January on my first night here in Tralee, I spoke with an old Irish man and I seriously couldn’t understand a word he was saying. Fortunately most of the people don’t have as strong accent as he did.

All of us exchange students here are anxiously waiting for St. Patricks Day. Most of us are planning to go to Dublin and see the parade and all the celebrations there. I think that will be a day to remember. Also my two week Easter break starts then and I’m going to visit London and Scotland during the break, so lots of fun things in the future for me.

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Exploring Ireland

Dia dhuit!

That means “hi” in Irish, a celtic language spoken in Ireland. It’s been two weeks since I arrived in Ireland. At first I stayed in Dublin for few days and I already felt like being at home. The atmosphere in general is very friendly and relaxed, people are so helpful and warmly welcoming you to Ireland. The pubs are great, there’s always live music and of course Guinness. The landscape is as beautiful and green as I thought it would be and almost every building is colourfully painted.

So I’m doing my placement in University Hospital Kerry which is located in the west coast in Ireland in a quite small town called Tralee. I’m there as a midwife student. It’s a bit different comparing to Finland. Maybe the most significat difference is that they don’t use computers and all the patient information and data is on a paper. And there’s lots and lots of paperwork because of that. Of course pregnancy, childbirth and the care in general are the same everywhere. My working hours are 9-12hrs a day which at first was tiring but I think it’s much nicer to work longer hours and then have at least 3 days off. I also have to mention that students in here don’t get to do much in their placements; they mostly observe and assist. So it’s sometimes a bit frustrating not to do “anything” whereas in Finland students work independently.

All in all it’s been lovely so far and I think it’s going to be even lovelier as the time goes. I’ve got so many travel plans for example visiting Connemara and Killarney national parks, Cork, Cliffs of Moher, Dingle peninsula, Galway, the Ring of Kerry, Glendalough, Kylemore Abbey, Blarney castle and Northern Ireland.

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My adventure in Ireland

Hi! I have been two weeks now here in Ireland, Tralee and I love it; people are so friendly, nature is wonderful and so green, and of course, Guinness is cheap and good.

I stayed two days in Dublin. The pubs are wonderful and the live music is lovely. St. Stephens park was worth seeing even though it’s going to be even lovelier in the summer, I think.

My placement is in University hospital Kerry. I’m there as a midwife student. I am not allowed to do so much but by observing you also learn. The difference to Finland  is that they don’t really use computers when they document the patient files. The care is the same though. I work 9-12hours shifts which is also different compared to Finland.

I have 12 weeks left in the hospital. I’m going to be working but also travelling. Today I was at Bannastrand beach and it is the most loveliest place!! I will go and see also Cliffs of Moher, Galway, Cork, Killarney national park, Dingle peninsula, Glendalough lake etc.

Here are some photos:








Tralee, city centre


Emerald Isle calling!


Here I am, in Dublin, Ireland! I’m Katja, a third year radiography student and I’ve spent the last month figuring out how to be as irish as possible and experiencing all that Dublin has to offer. Time has been flying, as anyone on an exchange would say! Good thing there is still plenty of time to see Ireland outside of Dublin aswell. The picture above is from the Sugarloaf Mountain in County Wicklow. We went there before continuing on to Glendalough, and boy was it windy….only a 500 m climb, but it felt like something much, much more because of the not so gentle breeze we got to enjoy;) But we ended up on top!


So far I’ve been doing my study modules at University College Dublin, we had a few weeks of lectures before we started our clinical placement. I’m doing three modules here; cardiac interventional radiography, advanced CT and forensic radiography (which sounds like something out of CSI, which it kind of is but kind of isn’t:D). I’ve enjoyed the lectures a lot, they’ve been a bit different than what I’m used to back in TAMK. Definitely more interactive, probably because of the small group size.

I just finished my first 3 weeks at the hospital where I’m doing MRI, CT, general x-ray, fluoroscopy, interventional radiography, mammography and cardiac catheterisation lab. So, quite a lot of things to see and do, I like it! The hospital I’m in is a very modern one and many of the equipment I’ve already seen in Finland during placements, so on that part there hasn’t been too much of a culture shock to be seen. Hand hygiene is a different thing, I’m still finding it hard to get used to the lack of hand gels at the hospital. They exist, but once emptied, it can take weeks for them to get filled again, because of the lack of use:D Other than that, I’ve found the experience great in so many ways, you can’t really compare placement in Finland to one abroad. There’s the use of a foreign language, handling the sometimes impossibly broad scale of Irish accents that patients come in with and just the every day things you take for granted back at home, like washing your hands quickly. Yes, I’ve had my battles with the double taps, but I think we’re fine now.

I’ve learned a lot about my future job as a radiographer, I’ve gained an even bigger passion for what I do and I’ve also learned that there are things I still have to learn. And that’s pretty much what this entire Erasmus thing is for, right? Oh and Guinness. In Ireland, there is always time for a pint and a good craic with your friends. Especially the awesome new international ones!