Tag Archives: Spain

Practicing in Torremolinos

Greetings from Spain. I have been here now over two months and I have only couple of weeks left. It’s crazy, time flies. When I arrived, I stayed two nights in a local hostel. The hostel wasn’t great experience. Somebody example stole my hygienic materials. Soon as I started my practice and luckily got my own apartment. I booked it online from Finnish owner. So communicating is easy when I can do it in my home language. The apartment is small but quite cheap and near a hospital, where I do my practice.

PaellaCaminito Del Rey oli upea

The hospital is same than where Tomas doing his practice. So I try to avoid telling all the same things. I have similarly been two weeks in a one place. I have done only morning shifts because I like to do them more. I have been in emergency, intensive care unit, operation theatre and surgical ward. The hospital is private so there is both of tourists and local people who has a insurance. So many of nurses speak a good English or at least little. Here is many differences compared to Finnish working culture. Workers have to buy and wash their own working clothes by themselves. So I have to do like that too. I don’t like this, I have example seen when somebody already has clothes on train. Some nurse said that a public one things are different because it’s not a business. Here in many unit still write things down but it’s chancing and in emergency works already by electric. I think that here is less workers in one unit and example in operation theatre isn’t at all anesthesia nurse like we have. Only a doctor who doesn’t always be on the spot. One time one patient almost woke up in middle of the operation. I know it sounds crazy.

Even the working here is little bit different than in Finland I have learned much about things like cannulation and taking a blood test and electrocardiogram. I have also seen many interesting treatment especially in operation theatre. There was a lot of plastic surgery, too. I didn’t like the idea of it even it was interesting otherwise. On summary I respect even more a Finnish healthcare than before. Our quality and standards of care are really high.
Kirurgisen osaston lääkkeitä. Kanslia on avoin ja periaatteessa kenellä vaan on mahdollisuus päästä käsiksi lääkkeisiin.

In my free time I spend time with my new friends and explore in a new places. I have example visited in Marbella, El Chorro, Gibraltar and Portugal. And next week I have purpose to go Africa with ferry. Besides, I spend a lot of time a local crossfit gym. There is so nicely people and training here is so much cheaper than Finland. I have also got visitors from Finland. My friends were here in September and my mom is here right now. The weather is here truly perfect. Even I miss many things in Finland, the weather isn’t include. I hope that I can bring the sunny with me when I come back to Finland.
Katukuva Fuengirolasta
-Jessi

Warm and beautiful Fuengirola

I moved to Fuengirola one week before the practice started. I wanted to get familiar with my new hometown. Now I have been here two months and I have one month left.

 

This far I have studied English in Aurinkorannikon seurakunta and gone to walk on my free time every evening. I have also planned some trips to other cities with my husband and daughter whose have visited in Spain. We have visit in Malaga, in Marbella and in Benalmadena.

My basic work day usually consists daycare for children. My working days are from Monday to Friday, when children daycare is open.  I have every weekend free and of course every evening, so I have quite much spare time. And because I’m in Spain I go very often to the beach and relax there.  Like I mentioned earlier I have been walking a lot, according my iphone watch I have walked about 600 kilometers so far.

I have enjoyed my time here. This life is so much different than in Finland. In summer time here is always warm and sunny and rarely rain. Here is very good food, friendly people and always something to do. Here is a beautiful landscape, nice sights and a wonderful sea.

Here is everything very cheap.  One-way bus trip was only 1,15€ in city. Food costs almost half than it does in Finland. Near by my apartment are lots of different restaurants. My favorite Spanish dish is tapas.

 

I hope that my last month will be as wonderful than first part of my trip. There are so much to see and experience.

 

Greetings from Costa del Sol.

 

I had been here over a month, before I figured out that most of the people, I have met has been Finnish. I was surprised about that fact. Fuengirola is far away and totally in the other side of Europe than Finland, even so its very easy to live here with almost only using Finnish. Here you can visit a Finnish doctor, food market, hair dresser, masseur, bar, dentist and of course Finnish church. It is possible to live here in a Finnish bubble with sun shining on it. And amazingly many, who has moved here, choose this kind of life. I met a couple that has lived here 25 years and don’t speak or even want to learn Spanish language. Local people think Finns as a bit mentally cold because they don’t take contact. And its difficult to take contact if don’t have a common language. However, Finns are accepted here because of the money they bring along. Of course, here is also Finns that are interested to integrate into Spanish culture and learn language. I was surprised because I know what is demanded about foreigners who wants to move Finland. There is a saying “maassa maan tavalla”, which means that you must assume the local habits and learn Finnish language if you want to live there. I don’t want to accuse anyone, but I honestly think that it would be more fun and multifaceted live if taken some of the local culture as a part of your own life.

Along with integration I have worked with loneliness and homelessness within my placement. Both issues appear my daily work here. Here are about thirty Finnish with no permanent place to live. They sleep outside, beg money and spend time in parks. We have met them, talk with them and helped them if possible. Often, they are pleased when you give them a moment and listen their story. Most of the people just walk past them with turning their look away.

Loneliness is seen within old people who has become a widow recently. They wheel sadness, tiredness and need someone to be with. There is a high risk that they are not able to get out from their apartment if not necessary. Our small cafeteria in the centre is great place for them to meet other people or even find a new friend. And we try to visit those who can’t reach the café right now.

My eating habits has become totally different here. During Spanish workdays its normal to grab a sandwich etc. after midday and another snack after work. Bigger meal is used to eat after sunset. In Finland I used to eat much more. Warm lunch at school or work and another one at home. Sometimes third meal at evening if needed. I would estimate that I eat less than half here compared to Finland. It must be the body heating due to cold that spends energy up north. Big change for body but it seems to be happy with it.

For me spare time is easy to spend here. From our apartment its only 200 meters to the seashore of Mediterranean and almost all services are as far. I enjoy meeting new people here. They are social and very friendly. Back in Finland I used to watch ice hockey and soccer when possible, but surprisingly here I can do that much more because of the Finnish restaurants and sport channels. I really didn’t expect that. And can you mention a better place to watch live football than Spain? And of course, at the end I must mention the sun. Its always present here, and biggest reason for Finnish people to move here. Maybe for me also.

Hot Torremolinos- Málaga

I arrived to Málaga for a couple of days before the practical training. I was located for those days at a hotel near the city of Málaga. The first thing to notice when I arrived, was the hot and humid climate.  I had to change my long trousers for shorts.

I visited the Old Town which was flocked with tourist. Moving in the tiny streets of the Old Town was slow. But the architecture of the buildings, along with their history dating back to the middle age made it worthy. The food is good and affordable. There are many bars and restaurants which are usually full. The locals also go out for a drink or two.

Figure 1 Photo from Málaga shopping street

There are many small shops around the centre of Torremolinos and you can find almost anything you want, also there are countless amounts of Chinese shops which sells from daily groceries to decorative objects. There shops are usually packed and full of items, with very narrow aisle.

I moved to Torremolinos the day before the practice started. I rented an apartment via online, from the centre of Torremolinos. The apartment was nice and cozy, unfortunately the very first night I heard a banging next door, and later an alarm set off. So, I had to call the police because of an attempted burglary, later I got informed that the house which was embargoed was already empty and probably the previous owners were trying to occupy the house.

Starting the practice

I went to a meeting with the head nurse from the Clinic I was going to do the practices. The head nurse told me that I should buy a nursing uniform. This was different than in Finland where students also use clothing given by the employee, because of sanitary rules. There was an epidemic outbreak weeks before I arrived and there were still cases of Listeria coming out in Andalucía and I was worried I had to wash my own clothing.

One-way bus trip was 1,55€, I went a week paying the single ticket. Then I bought a monthly ticket for the bus. The bus stopped every 20 minutes and took about 10 minutes to get nearby the clinic.  I had always my own lunch or dinner, and there was a store nearby open, if groceries were needed.

Figure 2 The uniform was inexpensive, bought it in a nearby Chinese shop.

I started my week with evening shifts, the first shift was nice, and I could see how the nurses interact with the patients and what kind of patients there is to take care of.  The interaction with the patients is warm and natural, although there are sometimes language barriers between the nurses and patients, but the patients get their treatment.  I paid attention to broad beds and small narrow passages, turning the beds in those passages needed skill. Also, the rooms were spacious and although there were usually two beds, only one bed was in use.  This was surely for the privacy of the patients.

The medication is given by room number, not by name. That can create confusion if there are two patients in the same room, but I suppose there is a good practice for that.   I used to have hand disinfectant in every room in my workplace, but I only have seen bottles of alcohol to be putted on gauzes., also the gauntlets must be taken from the office. For position changes there are no sliding linen, so we grabbed the patients, which is the way I learnt not to do it.

The nurses have given me the chance of putting IV cannulation, preparing medication and checking them. Two of four cannulations went well, although I couldn’t avoid blood spilling to the floor and patients’ bed. I learned much about IV cannulation with the nurse Bea.

I was supposed to do geriatric practice, but there is no geriatric ward on the hospital, the head nurse told me I was going to rotate the whole hospital from the inpatient ward, to surgery and urgencies. The inpatient ward was mainly patients going to a programmed operation, so it was mainly a surgery ward, the surgeries varied from beauty surgeries to cardiovascular surgeries. The age of the patients also varied from infants to elderly.  There were some patients who were brought by urgencies unit to take more evaluation on their condition.

The work on the ward was sometimes hectic, and to add some thrill, the doctors wrote all the procedures and care instruction with the medication by hand. We had a couple of moments where we couldn’t understand what the doctor had wrote. The nurses also wrote by hand all the medication that was given that day, there were no computers.  The third day I was giving independently IV medication to the patients.  The blood pressure was taken manually, because the electric one was broken, also the manual blood pressure was fixed but it didn’t fill well.  They told me that the situation in private hospitals like I was doing my practice was worse than in public hospital where for example alcohol hand gel was part of good aseptic procedures, but in the inpatients ward where I was there was no alcohol gel.

 

Paperwork

I received a month before the arrival the information for my practices. The University demands you to enroll yourself on the courses, and instructions were given. The first process was called the pre-enrollment where you selected the courses you do in the university, they sent ID and password for an incoming students’ website.

I went to the campus three times to take care of the enrollment, the third time I booked an appointment with the tutor to get the papers signed and enrollment happen. The area of the campus is around three metro stops, with wide desert areas

In the Clinic I wasn’t given a shift timetable but was instructed to come one week evening shifts and another week mornings.


Free time

The free time I spend outdoors walking with the locals and going to bars and meeting new people. The weather is hot and you can easily go on t-shirts in the night.

Figure 3 Me at the local gay club, Parthenon.

 

Hola from Madrid!

Hola!

Time has gone flying here in Madrid. I came here with two of my finnish friends also from TAMK and I’ve got so many new ones in here. The studying here is somewhat similar as in Finland. However, here it is not mandatory to attend classes. One of our teachers even said that he doesn’t want to wake up as early as we have classes, so we may as well skip it.

Even though the classes aren’t mandatory, it doesn’t mean that here wouldn’t be any work to be done. I mean, almost in all of our classes we have group works. Usually I do enjoy group works, since I get along with different people very well. However in Spain, the Spanish and Finnish way of doing school works are really different. Also, the language is a problem. There are not many Spanish people in our school that would speak English all that well. So you kind of have to learn to understand Spanglish.

We do have similar school tasks as in Finland. For example in addition to group works we also have to write essays in almost every class. Although I have to say that in here it doesn’t really matter what you write in your essay as long as it has lots of pictures.

Spanish people have siesta. That means that between 12 and 16 there is no hope for finding anything to do. Most of the stores are closed and most of the people are at home. It the evening however the city comes to light and everyone comes to hang out together. Despite the siesta In Madrid here is also really nice things to do and see. Like tasting all sorts of different tapas and experiencing the culture. Like visiting the royal palace for example.

Although I’ve had a nice time here, I sometimes miss the fact how everything works in Finland. Everything and everyone is on time. You don’t have to prepare for everything being late all the time. Also here is no concept of personal space and sometimes that can be a little bit overwhelming.

However I am enjoying my time in Madrid and adapting to the culture here.

Buenos días!

Greetings from Costa del Sol!

 

 

 

 

 

I was doing my internship for my studies in Business Information Systems in Benalmadena, around 10 kilometers south from Malaga. The weather was nice – raining twice or so during my stay. It was warm although cold of the night caught me by surprise. Not because of the temperature but because the apartment I had rent had no proper heating for the season. Something I was mistakenly expecting due to our Finnish heating  system.

Okay, that’s enough of the weather. Let’s move on to my work. To put it simply, I was working at a organization consisting of voluntary workers. The organization and the members of it are all Finnish old people who have retired and either live permanently in Spain or are just visiting for few months.

So, my basic work day usually consists of helping the members of the organization and updating social media with current events. There are two days when the office is open and at those times people come to me asking for help with their devices. The open hours are very tight so I made reservations for home visits. I liked the fact that I got to travel around the city while on the job and talk to colorful personalities and see how they lived there.

On my free time I walked around the city. On the weekends I would plan ahead a destination and make a longer trip there. There are tons of places to see like Castillo Monumento Colomares and bull arenas and parks. My highlight was definitely climbing the nearby mountain,  Calamorro. I did it exceptionally after my work. I did some calculations and came into conclusion that I can get up there and back before it gets dark. Oh how ignorant I was…

I also visited Málaga on my last week with my buddy. There was a castle up the hill so of course I had to climb that too.

 

I didn’t get to experience all the things in Málaga area but overall I am satisfied. There is still room for another eventful visit.

Till then… Adiós!

 

Lauri

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.

¡Hola!

My Erasmus studies came to its end in Madrid a while ago. I studied for the duration of the spring semester, a little over 4 months in Madrid at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos. The university is located outside of the centre of Madrid, in Vicálvaro. For me it took about 50 min to get to school with the metro. It is a lot of time to travel one-way but in my opinion it wasn’t too bad, especially since I didn’t have school every day. I also knew that I wanted to live closer to the city centre than the university. I lived in south from the centre of Madrid, close to the Madrid Río. I think the area where I lived in was peaceful and nice, 15-20 min metro ride or about 30 min walk away from the centre.

Madrid Río

The university campus was little old-fashioned in my opinion but it had all of the necessary features you needed. It had a quite large library, where you could go to study. The library even had some computers at the students’ disposal. I used the library a lot since I had a course that required doing a lot of homework with a computer. I had mostly business courses but I also had some studies in tourism and international relations. There was some variance in the level of teaching, which I wasn’t too happy with. Luckily there were a couple of good teachers on the courses that I chose.

In my opinion the teaching in Finland is at top level. It was interesting to hear that Erasmus students from other countries had also heard or read about the level of the education in my home country.

I travelled quite a lot in Spain while living in Madrid. My favourite trip was to Andalucía which was very beautiful. It was easy to travel from Madrid to other cities and that was actually one of the reasons I chose the capital of Spain for my Erasmus destination.

Me in Barcelona

I had not been to Madrid before my Erasmus, so it was a completely new experience for me to explore the city. It came as a surprise for me how large the city actually is. The population of the metropolitan area of Madrid is about 6,5 million. In comparison the total population of Finland is 5,5 million. My favourite areas in Madrid were the trendy neighbourhood of Malasaña and La Latina. I enjoyed the good restaurants and terraces in those areas. I also loved the area of Madrid Río a lot.

The rooftops in La Latina

Although Madrid did not live up to my initial expectations, I still feel that all in all my Erasmus experience was great! I met a lot of new people, and made new friends which when I think about it, makes Madrid actually very special for me.

The Bear and the Strawberry Tree – The Symbol of Madrid

I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to go to Erasmus exchange. It will give you countless unforgettable experiences and friendships that hopefully lasts for a long time.

Saludos desde Valencia!

I’ studying technical architecture in the Polytechnic University of Valencia for the Spring Semester of 2018.

I have four courses in total; two are taught in Spanish, one in English and the fourth is a Spanish language course. I was in the building engineering faculty, but I also took one project course from the architecture faculty. In the beginning I was a little bit nervous taking the two courses in Spanish, as it was a little bit difficult for me to follow the lessons, but as time went by I gradually started understanding the teachers more and more and by now I have very little problems understanding the lessons. Studying in Spanish has definately helped me with my Spanish comprehension!

  Sunny day at the Palau de Musica in Valencia

I wanted to come to Spain to improve my Spanish skills; I have studied Spanish on and off for about 5 years now and my goal was to become fluent in Spanish. I haven’t become fluent – I think half a year is not enough to become fluent, for that, I think one year study exchange would have done the trick!

 

Valencia is the home of Paella, a must try!

Studying in UPV has been a good experience overall. In the beginning I was surprised at how some things are organised (for example there are printing shops, where you give an employee your usb stick and they print it for you, instead of you being able to print things yourself – when we had to hand in a final project I had to wait two hours in line so that they could print four A1s!) but in order not to stress yourself you just have to accept how things are done differently in different countries. Also, a lot of the teachers wanted us to draw things by hand and also show the methodology we used in taking measurements, particularly in the restoration course.

 

The Horchata drink is also from Valencia. Chug it down with some churros, a Spanish classic!

During my free time I spend it mostly with my friends, at the beach, in cafes in the centre or doing Erasmus activities; there are a lot of Erasmus organisations that organize activities such as trips to different cities (I’ve been to Toledo and Xativa – amazing little towns!) and different events, like hiking or colour festivals.

Holirun Valencia   
Hiking near Valencia

I also organised my own trips to Barcelona in February, and to Andalucia and the Basque country during Easter break (one of the perks of studying in Spain is that you have a nearly two week Easter holiday!)

Patios of Cordoba…
The Great Mosque of Cordoba is a must do and absolutely stunning!

But most definately the best part of my exchange studies was meeting lovely people and making so many new friends, who I will hopefully remain friends with forever!

 

Picnicing at the City of Arts and Sciences

So if you are a technical architecture student, would I recommend UPV for you? Yes! You should definately go, but be prepared to learn a little bit of Spanish beforehand and be open minded! There are courses in English, but you would definately get more out of the experience if you also took the Spanish ones. However, even if you do not speak Spanish, you will still be alright and you will have an amazing time!

Besos y que pases bien!

City of Arts and Sciences