Tag Archives: Sweden

Getting educated i Sverige

Hejsan alla

Exchange period is coming to an end and snowy Christmas is not here either! First when I heard I got to the exchange studies in Halmstad, I was happy and excited because everything is going to be little different than back in Finland. All the thoughts and stereotypes about Swedish people being so much different than us Finnish.  But during exchange all of that was taken down piece by piece.

Halmstad Högskolan with the landmark of Trade Center in the background.

I was staying in Halmstad, southwest part of Sweden. Nice smallish place of about 70.000 people between Göteborg (140km) and Malmö (137km). The weather has been really rainy but for people living here it is the normal weather I hear. When I first arrived here I didn’t think it would snow at all, but I was wrong, there has been a couple of days of snow, just like in Finland!

Picture taken during a hike along Prins Bertils stig, which is a route from city center to Tylösand and back

City center has its shops and a canal splitting the city in half. City center has a big open square area in the middle and streets going to each direction, providing easy Access to all services needed. I would still recommend buying a bike on your trip to Halmstad as it is not necessary but it will let you experience so much more. There was good bus connections around the town, so you wouldn’t have any excuses for not going somewhere.
Also connections to other cities like Copenhagen, Malmö, Stockholm and Oslo most of which are accessible by train within couple of hours. And for people who have not seen Lapland local student organization arranged a trip to Kiruna with snowmobile and husky rides!

Down below iconic views from Stockholm, Copenhagen and main square in Halmstad.

What comes to studying in Sweden or Halmstad, it was delightfully similar to studies at TAMK. Most of studying had to be done on your free time having only a few lectures every week. With this in mind you have to have motivation and preferably a few friends to help you with the studies.

PCB milling during Electronical design and implementation-course

Teachers help whenever they can, but of course are booked most of the day. I had Electronic course which was project based as we designed and manufactured a PCB and assembled a working gadged of our choosing. On Working environment and leadership course we had many visiting lecturers from whom I learned how similar Finnish and Swedish working environments are. As a third course I had Computer Networks which was a certified CCNA course by Cisco academy. It was the basics of Computer networking, security, administration and maintenance. In whole my free time consisted mostly of studying and on weekends I tried to make trips around and connect with other exchange students. What was connecting factor with each course was that each of them had a theoretical and practical part in it, which I feel greatly improves learning experience and makes it more interesting.


Field visits to building site and EMC lab in Halmstad

As a closure: I had a good time in a lovely country with nice people. And as an advice to others going: get a bike and secondly remember that Swedish people are like us, we don’t go talking to people but usually like helping and talking if someone comes to talk to us!

Hälsingar från Göteborg

Hejsan alla!

I study for a degree program of Social Services and I’m doing my practical training of the second year now in Gothenburg, Sweden. My training is for three months, but I still have only two weeks left here.

As you may not know, Gothenburg is a part of a Finnish administrative territory because of the many people with Finnish backround living there. I am here to explore especially the services for the elderly but also getting to know with some Finnish organisations and Swedish Finns culture.

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The biggest difference between working as a socionom (= bachelor of Social Services) in Finland and in Sweden is that in Sweden the socionoms can do the same work as the social workers do in Finland. And still their degree program lasts as long as ours (3,5 years).

As a second biggest city in Sweden, Gothenburg is still very down-to-earth and cosy place to live. I could actually compare it to Tampere, because even when the city is so big with it’s manymany people, the atmosphere is still very open and welcoming to every kind of people. Also I love that there are many different kind of landscapes here. You can just wonder around the city and the next thing you know, you can see the whole city under your feet.

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The Swedes “fika” all the time. It means having a coffee and something sweet or sour with your friends/family/workmates. The best place to “fika” in Gothenburg is in Haga. There you can find the cutest little coffee places with these huge cinnamon buns! It’s a nice part of the city to just relax and have coffee. And you can also climb up the hill there and watch the whole city while drinking your coffee. It’s magical.

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Also what we like to do with my friends here is to play “kub” which is almost like Finnish “mölkky” but the Swedish version of it. There are many beautiful parks where you can go and play or have a picnic or even little barbeque. The only minus side of this city is that it’s always windy here. So even if the sun shines, it can still be quite chilly… And that’s why there’s no point of using an umbrella if it rains, because you’ll get wet anyways.

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Greetings from Linköping, Sweden

I have had three months to explore a country which is very similar to my home country Finland. Even though people would say it is almost the same than in Finland… I don’t agree. There are many things that are different in a good and a bad way.

When I left for the exchange, I decided to enjoy my stay in Sweden and also see as much as I can. During the weekends we often travelled to different cities like Norrköping, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Västerås and Stockholm just to name a few. And those weekends taught us a lot about Sweden as a country and a society. We wanted to experience if there were any differences for example in public transports or customer service compared to Finland.linkö_2

One of the best parts of my exchange was the first week – the orientation week where I met all the crazy people all over the world. We spent the week together and we formed a temporary family. We were cooking, dancing and partying with our Swedish teacher and learning Swedish habits. We had great tutors too whom introduced us Swedish food and drinks around the country. We were singing the national songs and dancing and just learning what is it to be a Swede.

But when the real studying started I got really tired. Education in Sweden has higher standards and I was studying at a university instead of a school of applied sciences. The studies have actually consisted mainly of practices during this three months.

First practice was in the city of Finspång which is about a one-hour bus journey from the Linköping. Luckily I got a free buss card so the location wasn’t that bad and the practice place was great. Second practice was about five minutes’ bicycle ride from my home so I got a bit more time to sleep too. This practice was the hardest, but I learned so much of it. There I also had many opportunities to choose what I wanted to learn and see. Last practice was in Linköpings university’s hospital student ward. There are only students working and the supervisors are helping us if needed. Last practice really gave a chance to see how far I have become in my studies and to see myself as a physiotherapist. I’m so thankful for all these places and those supervisors for giving me the opportunity to learn and grow as a physio.

We were also participating Linköping’s Medical Students Olympic games with our exchange group. From the first Swedish lesson our group learned a word ”snälla” and that was also our teams name. In this Olympic game there were four different competitions and they tested us in eating, drinking, power and speed. I was involved with two games. First one was eating a candy as fast as I can without using my hands. In the second competition the task was to transport a bottle of water with a tampon on my waist for a 10-meter distance. The latter demanded speed, accuracy and concentration.

Biggest part of my exchange was FOOD. I really love food and Sweden gave me a chance to enjoy it. We were doing many international potlucks and there I had a chance to taste foods from all-over the world, for example sushi from Japan and tortillas from Mexico. Gothenburg gave me the best and the biggest cinnamon buns in my whole life. And if you love meat, I can suggest to have the Swedish meatballs. And of course if you like sweet stuff, Sweden is the place to go. They are having “fika” (drinking coffee and eating pastries) almost all day every day.linkö_3

There are many possibilities to do and to see sports in Linköping and in the neighboring. There is an ice-hockey team in Linköping and I was really enjoying their big games and that dedication the team and the supporters were showing. Near Linköping you can go to watch basketball. There are also chances to go to watch and play football, handball and other sports. We also had a chance to go to do paintball and laserwar for free, and those I can warmly recommend.linkö_4

So if you are interested to learn Swedish, to be a part of student happenings and to learn more about your own field of study… I would warmly recommend Sweden and especially Linköping.
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Normal day in Linköping

The culture in Sweden is almost the same than in Finland, so there are not much surprises to tell. Linköping is very nice city and I think it reminds Tampere really much. The city centre is small but you can find everything you need in there. I spend the last 3 months there doing my clinical practise in the Linköping university’s hospital.

Spring came to Linköping little earlier and the early mornings didn’t feel so hard anymore. So, because of the practice I woke up 5 am. the last weeks and then cycled to the hospital at 6 am. and most of the mornings there was a beautiful sunrise, which was much nicer than the couple mornings when it was pouring rain, because it was 5km biking.

The days in the hospital went fast in the ward and of course with the Swedish fika and the day ended around 15.30. In the hospital and in the wards, they usually have a little bigger fika every Friday with cakes and sandwiches.

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This year the universitetssjukhus i Linköping was second best.

 

 

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Real mexican made torillas.

 

After the day at the hospital we usually just hang out with other exchange students or then just went home and made food for the next day and then went to bed early because of the early waking. My corridor wasn’t the cleanest one so, sometimes the cooking was a little difficult.

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I was so thankful that I don’t drink coffee. This is the coffee maker in my corridor and it was like this for two weeks before somebody washed it.

 

 

 

In the weekends when everybody had more time (and weren’t working in the hospital) we usually did something together with other exchange students or then travelled somewhere. We went for example to Göteborg, Copenhagen and Stockholm. We also visited couple times the beautiful Norrköping (small city near Linköping, where is also one university campus) with the free campus bus.

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They really know how to make a cinnamon bun in Göteborg.

 

 

 

20170119_184826     Fika at our swedish teacher’s home.

I’m really going to miss my exchange friends and Linköping, but I don’t think I’m going to miss the kitchen in my corridor. 😀

And in the end, here is the best swedish fika song!

Postcard from Sweden

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Sunset with new roommates

My exchange in Malmö was nice. My course, called Storytelling – Narration Across Media suited my studies to become a screenwriter here in Finland. According to the course guide the idea of the course was to give a wide idea about how narration is made in different medias. So this meant we covered games, books, films, comics and even sound. It was a lot of information but for obvious reasons we couldn’t dive to depths with them (so to speak). But I liked my course and it helped me to think about narration in a broader sense, not only through screenwriting.

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View overlooking to the shores of Copenhagen

I also had a small adventure while there. As my application went late to Malmö University for some reason, I wasn’t eligible for student housing which they normally offer to their exchange students. So on my first day I didn’t know were I was going to sleep, as renting from private was impossible. Well I ended up staying in different Airbnb places eating up ALL my savings from the summer before and it sucked. But because of that I got to meet a lot of people I wouldn’t normally have met, and it was cool. I eventually did get a room in the student apartment due to a cancellation and slowly got to know the people there. It was hard at first because they had known each other for months by then but it went okay I guess. I met some really lovely people that I hope will be my friends for life.

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Picture from the garden of one of the places I stayed in

Compared to Finland studying in Malmö University was pretty much the same. The education system as a whole was really similar, although student organizations were really active and they organized multiple events, had clubs and trips and everything. Teachers and school staff were really interested and active in helping their students and it was really great.

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This is from when we made a trip to Lapland!

That’s all folks!

Hejsan from Halmstad!

Living in Sweden is (well, as you can expect) pretty much the same as it is in Finland, which makes it very easy to feel like home here. The town where I live is located in Hallands län, on the western coast of Sweden and is about 2 hours from both Gothenburg and Malmö, making it very good place to explore southern Sweden and Denmark (and this is what we’ve been doing quite a lot. Halmstad is rather small, but I really enjoy it anyhow. There are many places to visit also within the city, including the best beach in Sweden called Tylösand.

dsc_0858 dsc_1121 Tylösand during the summer and 3 months later

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Haga district in Gothenburg, and Nyhavn in Copenhagen

The uni here is quite big, and there are something around 400 exchange students. I’m studying in English here and most of the courses I’m studying here are strongly connected to green values and sustainable development, which seem to be quite popular field here. There are not too many lectures per week, especially compared to my program in Finland. However, many courses include project works which require quite a lot work, but if you only schedule your own working well you have loads of time to travel and have fun.

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BBQ and vegetarian fiesta at Krus

The dorm where I live is called Krusbäret and most of the exchange students live here. We have our own rooms with bathrooms and shared kitchens. The rooms are very basic with beds and desks, but a lot can be done with little effort. I share my room with a polish girl, and even though first it was a bit difficult, I’m really enjoying it now. In our kitchen there are students from China, England, Spain, Belgium, Poland, Czech Republic and Austria, and it has been super exciting to see what people from other countries eat. The kitchen has actually been the very place where I’ve got to know people and where we spend time together.

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Kitchen life and our room.

To sum it up, my Erasmus has treated me well.

Hälsningar från Sverige

In southwest Sweden the temperature is around 9 degrees of celsius, although it’s late November. Grass is still greenish, and apart from few snowflakes and few cold days, there’s no signs of winter.

fullsizeoutput_23ef  Dock of Halmstad

Halmstad, the city that I’m staying, has started to feel a bit small, which is understandable when talking about city of about 60 000 inhabitants. Great thing is, that Gothenburg is less than two hours away, Copenhagen and Malmö around two and a half, Oslo around five, and smaller cities like Lund and Helsinborg even closer, and easily reached by public transportation. Weekend get-aways and day trips away from Halmstad have been nice change of scenes.

fullsizeoutput_2438 Coffee shop called Materia in Majorna, Gothenburgfullsizeoutput_240fGothenburg’s archipelago

fullsizeoutput_243b img_1978Copenhagen

The university life itself consists of lectures, group works, seminars and is rather similar to uni life in Finland. I’ve occasionally talked swedish with my Swedish course mates, but apart from general small talk and everyday tasks (eg. ordering a coffee, doing groceries) I’ve been mostly using english. Even though I’m studying construction architecture in Tampere, and here in Halmstad I’m studying construction engineering, I’ve find the courses here useful and interesting, especially the one’s that are focusing on sustainable development and green building. I’ve noticed that those subjects and sectors might be in more central focus here than they are in our school.

Not only the uni life, but the life and culture in general, is very close to finnish ones, and that must be the reason why I haven’t felt homesickness almost at all. Observing my exchange friends from around the world, the cultural differences has been significantly bigger for them than for me. Every now and then I find their complains about the coldness and high price levels a bit baffling, cause for me this has probably been the warmest autumn so far, and the average price level might even be a bit lower than in Finland. The fact that I’m originally from a small town, makes it easier for me to adjust to living in a small town that is sort of “hibernating” during winter months, unlike my friends from bigger cities that are really struggling.

Although I haven’t felt homesickness, I’m looking forward to spent Christmas in Finland among my friends and family. I’m also trying to find an apartment from Tampere, since I’m moving back there after Christmas, which is not the easiest task (tips for available flats or flat mates are more than welcome). So far I’ve been adjusting myself to Christmas mood by teaching my Hungarian flatmate finnish lyrics of famous Christmas carols, and drinking Glög.

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A farewell cake my friends made me before moving to Sweden

 

 

 

Tjenare från Stockholm!

Greetings from Stockholm,

I have had a great times here in Stockholm. It wasn’t that big culture shock to come here because the culture is quite the same as in Finland.

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I have met many new friendly persons in school and in dormitory.  Yes I live in dormitory,  I have room, toilet and shower but we all share kitchen.

I was in school two weeks and after that I did placement. I did my first placement in Byle gård and second placement in Sophiahemmet. In Byle gård we have patients who have cancer and in Sophiahemmet is health center.

I like this city too much and after exchange I stayed here for the summer to work.

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Having fun in Malmö

My exchange has started very well. Malmö Academy of Music is as good school as what I heard it would be before coming here. Althought information doesn’t move between school and students any better than anywhere else. 😉 The school has made practising very easy for students and that’s why most of my days are pretty long. My teacher is awesome and very inspiring, and I have progressed a lot in my playing thanks to him. The school has five other french horn students and it’s really nice to work with them.

12647105_10153995016879662_7336307590606391351_nLast week we had our first symphony orchestra project. Our school had first time a concert in the Malmö Live which is Malmö’s brand new concert hall. That was one of the best experiences that I have ever had. The concert hall was as good as every musicians has here said.I have already got lots of new friends from the school. Here is people from many countries and I have friends from Sweden, Finland, German, Estonia, Spain and Latvia.

 

12541039_10153954472979662_2830295893536506699_nAlongside the school is important to do relaxing things and with friends from school we go to listen Malmö Symphony orchestra’s concerts that are ones a week because all the student’s of our school can get a free ticket if the concert is not full. I have been in every concert that they have had this year. A friend gave me also a free ticket to Malmö Opera’s Billy Elliot -musical. That was awesome! Tomorrow I’m going to explore Copenhagen and the Royal Danish Teather. I go there to see Verdi’s Falstaff with my German friend.

Malmö is not very beatiful city but it has lots of nice places. Especially the central is really nice at the evening time when it is already dark.

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Malmö has history of factories and just next to my school is one factory. First I thought it is really ugly but I have learned to appreciate its high chimneys while I’m some how got lost with my bike.

12643029_10153991303804662_3205363831491082699_nHere everyone has bike, and the cycle paths are really good. Many times I get much faster to where ever I’m going with the bike than with a buss. For example from home to school takes 15 minutes with the bike but with the buss (with all the walking included) it takes about 25 or 30 minutes.

In the winter time the darkness comes really fast so it is very important to have all basic cycling equipments in order. Have to be very shiny for safety reasons!

 

 

12651178_10153998174704662_6267118038860533478_nThis week we had a semla dag. Semla is a bun that has lots of cream and almond paste (or jam) in it. they are really big thing here. My landlady had baked them on monday and one was waiting me in the fridge when I got home. Next sunday is Valentine’s Day and me and my friends are going to bake some more semlas. ^^

 

 

12688234_10153997227219662_4037261403369475766_nSome times is good to work somewhere else. For example in the fast food restaurant that has tablerunnes, a candle and a rose in the table. I still have 3,5 months time to find lots of more lovely places in Malmö. <3

Enjoying Stockholm!

 

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My stay in Stockholm has been full of joy, exitement and learning new things. This has been a great opportunity to have a taste of life in Stockholm and to see how Swedish people live.  During my tranings I have improved my nursing skills and my Swedish. By learning more Swedish has given better chance to blend in and talk to people from all age groups.

My stay here has taught me also a lot about Finnish culture and many others. My accomondation with other exchange and Swedish student has given me possibility to talk about other European cultures and Chinese culture and compare them. My corridor friends has become like a family to me and I’m going to miss them a lot when I go back to Finland.

Stockholm is a very beautiful and old city and there is lot to do and see. I haven’t done everything I wanted to during my stay but that just gives me a reason to come back to Stockholm!

Picture I added is from Kungsträgården when the cherry trees where blossoming♡

Best regards

Juliaana