Greetings from Slovenia or as the headline says “Moi”! Pok is a good word for hello to your friends in Slovenia but when you want to be more polite “Dober dan” works better. And well another thing I learned from my Turkish roommate is that in his language it means, well..shit. That’s all about the language studies because I can tell Slovenian is not an easy language for Finnish mouth and learning it wasn’t the main reason to do my exchange there.
Somebody has one time said that Slovenia is like mini-version of Europe because of the nature and I can only agree that. The country is the same size than Kainuu in Finland and population is not much over two million people. Slovenia got the Juulis alps, 45 kilometers of coastline, two beautiful lakes, turquoise green rivers, stalactive gaves, amazing green mountains and vineyards growing all over the hills and forests with huge old trees, historical castles and white churches can be seeing all over the view.
I am doing my studies in University of Maribor which is big old city near by the Austrian border. My faculty is however located in smaller and sympathetic town called Brezice and I study tourism there. Mostly my studies are individual work because all my lectures are held in Slovene but that is fine by me because I got more time to study tourism also in practice way in other neighbor countries. I still got few lectures with every subject and my professors are able to help if I need. We also got few conferences in our town and make field trips in surrounding places to learn about culture and nature. In this post I would like to tell little bit more about our one trip with some pictures in the end.
One of the greatest memories in Slovenia during stay was my field trip to the Alps to place called Logarska Dolina with other classmates and our professors. Trip lasted two days but because the country is not wide the distances are short and that thing is nice when you have used to the travel times in Finland. But yeah we did go few museums and had students presentations on the bus, saw the biggest waterfall in Slovenia, went to tasting local foods and guesthouses in the valley and heard the stories of local people. Our minibus drove us in the top of mountains to see the views, old church and drinking from the mountain creek. We had amazing weather all of the time and because it was early October it was really warm especially to a person who comes from cold snowy Finland 😉 That was the main thing that everybody did know about my country but maybe that is reasonable.
Trip was super and we had good time in the evening and many of the students had brought wines from their own vineyards and some kind of homemade blueberry and plum liquors. Slovenians are extremely friendly and nice people but as same than in Finland you will need to get to know them first that they really show their characteristics. I was surprised how good they speak English in everywhere and other languages but my classmate explained that if they want to speak with other people they need to speak foreign languages because 2 million people really isn’t big group of people.
I love the pictures I got from our trip and I knew that Slovenia was a beautiful country but the views still caught me. For many of people the country is relatively unknown, and in my opinion it is underestimated. For outdoor people I can only recommend to see these mountains in real. Let the pictures speak!
Koper, the biggest city of Slovenian coast with population 25 000, was ages ago island that was inhabited by goats. That is where its Italian name Capodistria originates (capra=goat). Koper has long history with Italy. It has been under Roman and Venetian rule, Koper is bilingual and you can go to Italy in half an hour. Italian effect can be seen in city architecture and in the menus of restaurants. I have been living in this picturesque city for two months now and I have really liked it here.
Koper above rooftops
I had my first practise in regional hospital of Izola. I was practising 6 weeks in surgical ward, in vascular and abdominal section and 2 weeks in surgical intensive care unit. System of practical training is really different here. At first, university arranges placements for every student, they don’t have to take any responsibility about that. And second huge diffenrence is that there is always several students practising together. For example I had my practise in the surgical ward with two Slovenian students, so we had to share every task we had in the ward. Because of that and slight language barrier with the nurses practise is not closely as efficient as it probably would have been in Finland. Two weeks in ICU were better, because I was only student and there was more for me to do.
Splošna bolnišnica Izola
Now I’m having my second practise, perioperative nursing, in neigbour town Ankaran. There is private orthopedic hospital, Valdoltra, that is very highly valued hospital around here. Orthopedic patients all coming from all over Slovenia and even neighbour countries, especially from Italy. Valdoltra is old hospital, established in 1909 for childrens hospital. It is located right next to sea and with its beautiful garden athmosphere is more like holiday resort than hospital. I have seen a lot while working in operating room but Slovenian students of nursing don’t practise perioperative nursing, so sometimes I can see that the nurses are little confused what to do with me.
Ortopedska Bolnišnica Valdoltra
Life here has been really nice. When I first arrived here spring was already far and it was very sunny. Now here is practically summer. The city is cosy, prices are cheaper than home and the best thing, distances are short! That’s why I haven’t spent many weekends here in Koper. I have been several times in Croatia and Italy, and visited other cities in Slovenia. And for spring break I travelled to Budapest. Because I’m having only practical training here my free time has really been free time, no studying at all! That’s why life has been easy here. After practise I can just go to beach or for cafe to read a book. I will really miss this freedom next fall in Finland!
Greetings from the beautiful Slovene Istria! Slovene Istria is a region in southwest of Slovenia that covers all the coastline to the Adriatic Sea. Though the coastline is teeny-tiny (only 47 kilometres!), we’ve got everything – historic cities, sea, vineyards, nature parks, beaches, Mediterranean food and let’s not forget the warmest weather in Slovenia!
My city Koper is almost next to the Italian border and that’s why everyone here knows how to speak Italian and actually, it is is easier to find Italian than Slovenian food here. I have also noticed that the closeness of Italy can also be seen in the relaxed atmosphere. The population rate of Koper is only 25,000, but we have an amazing group of nearly 80 Erasmus students here. Our local student organization is really active and taking incredibly good care of us. But it’s not only the student organization, but the Erasmus students themselves too. We spend a lot of time together and since the distances are really short to different parts of Slovenia and other countries too, we have been travelling quite a lot.
Since I am a public health nurse student and doing practical training here, I am going to tell you something about that. Firstly, everybody who sees my name tag and the title on it, start laughing or ask me to pronounce ‘terveydenhoitajaopiskelija’. I consider myself really lucky, that the language barrier has created more funny than frustrating situations like that. I already finished my first practice in Splošna bolnišnica Izola in an internal medicine ward. At first, there weren’t too many nurses that spoke in English, but in the last couple weeks I guess they started to feel more confident doing that. In the same ward was also two Slovenian students, that I made friends with, and they were helping me all the time. Now I’m doing my second and last practice in a health center. It just started, so I don’t have a lot to say, but the first impression was good. People are so nice here!
Instead of summing this post up, I’m going to tell you something funny about Slovenians. When we are trying to do something in the same pace in Finland, we usually count from one to three. What Slovenians do, they count “three, four, now!” instead. After hearing this, they told me that Slovenians are special, and they sure are!
Hi and greetings from Ljubljana! I’m currently doing my practical training as a nursing student here in the capital of Slovenia. My exchange time lasts three months and it is almost gone. I’m going to be back in Finland next week.
In these three months I’ve been practicing in many different places, both in primary healt care and special health care. Most of the time I’ve been in University Medical Centre Ljubljana. I’ve been in many different wards, e.g. operating theatre, surgical ward and hematology ward. Every place has been different and very interesting in their’s own way. I have seen many kind of things, learned a lot and got to practice my skills as nurse. Foreign language has brought challenges to my practice, it’s been difficult to communicate especially with older patients, who can’t speak English. My colleagues here are really nice and also very interested in Finnish health care system.
I’ve also been couple of days at university, where I attended skills lab class with local students.
The main building of University of Ljubljana
Slovenia is a beautiful country and local people are kind and polite. Nature here is variable, there are mountains and lakes, caves, coast and hills. Ljubljana is known of the river Ljubljanica, which flows through the city. This city is also a popular exchange destination, there are a lot of student from all over Europe studying here.
These three months have gone very quickly and I can warmly recommend exchange time for everyone. You get to see the world, meet new people and learn a lot new things and also about yourself.
I’m studying automation engineering at University of Maribor. Maribor is the second biggest city in Slovenia, but it isn’t very big. It’s even smaller than my home city Tampere in Finland, but like Tampere also Maribor is a very active student city. Today over 300 exchange students are studying at University of Maribor.
I came to Maribor 25th of September and the academic year in our University started on 1th of October. Truly I can say that I haven’t studied anything yet. It really takes time to get everything started! I have five courses, but only two courses are held in English. I’ve to make some individual studies in other courses which are held in Slovene. I’m the only exchange student in Industrial electronics course and I’ve to go make laboratory works with locals. I’ve also noticed that communicating with teachers is here little bit more formal than in Finland.
Erasmus student network (ESN) is very active in Maribor. Our student life in Maribor started with Welcome weeks. It means unstoppable fun in many events for the first two weeks in Maribor. I got some unforgettable memories, when we had a chance to attend Timber raft and Zorbing tournament. Of course we had parties every night somewhere in the city. Zorbing was as fun as you can imagine. It looks a bit unsafe but I think it’s safe. Over 100 students tried it and we did not suffer any accidents.
I’m living in a private flat with a German and a Polish flat mates. I’m sharing my room with the Polish guy. Both of my flat mates are studying business and economics, which is the biggest faculty here. And of course, I have to tell to you, that my flat mates are awesome. I’m very luckily that I can live in a private flat, which is in excellent location, very good condition and the rent is quite cheap.
I want to tell you something about Slovene student food system. It’s great and quite unique. Every month government gives 20 to 22 food coupons to each student. Food coupons can be used in most restaurants. It’s funny, because with these coupons, going to eat something in a good restaurant is cheaper than cooking at home. When you are using food coupons you will always receive a starter, a salad and a main dish and some restaurants also offer desserts.
The study exchange in Portoroz, Slovenia has started hotly. The place is great and beautiful, next to the sea.
If you are a fan of the summer you would definitely enjoy this place. When I left Finland it was approximately 10C, I am living summer all over again.
So far we haven’t had so many lectures, however the first week started straight away with a guest lecturer from the US. It has been inspiring and motivated to be surrounded by people who are motivated to study and by professionals who know what they are doing and are passionate about their fields and sharing their wisdom with us.
The language is very different compared to Finnish, however I did have a small laughter when I heard that juha, which in Finland is a very common name for a man, means soup in Slovenian. Now you will be able to order some soup in Slovenia.
The climate and surrounded ares are very different compared to my hometown. In the mornings when the sun is out and I am on my way to university I always have company by these little fellows, lizards.
This was probably the biggest shock I have had so far. If you are lucky you can meet these fellows on your way as well or pump into a rooster!