Tag Archives: Uruguay

The Uruguayan Bubble

South America, Uruguay, Montevideo. Very little country which seem to have it own “bubble”, so unlike it’s often said – also by the humble Uruguayans – the country is nothing like Brazil or Argentina. My university here is private: Universidad ORT Uruguay. There is just one public university and the rest are private. That changes things for sure. The other students are either spoiled or those ones who are working along side of their studies really hard! The studing is kind of relaxed, but when it comes to middle of the semester exams and the finals, they are really strict and the minimum points to pass the exam are suprisingly high. For my career, Audiovisual – Cinema & Television, there aren’t practically an exams, just creative work or essays to do. Of course this depends how academic courses one wants to take. Still, studying in a private university makes automatically a gap between the social class distinctions, which I mean that many people starts to threat you very differently (and not in the good way) when they heard where I study.  So in very early phase I learned always to add up that the exchange is free for me.

Like mentioned, the social-economical classes varies a lot here and has huge differences, not the biggest ones in SA, but still huge compared to European countries. This makes kind of problem of where to fit, of course it’s allways a problem in a new culture and country, but here it kind of means that you have to “take sides”. It’s horrible, but for example I accomplished to be disrespectful between the classes, trying to fit them but ending up being two-faced. Not my purpose, but to be fair and understanding, it’s very difficult, but in the end I succesfully was accepted in many different kind of social groups, which was very satisfying for me and supposly for them also.

The spare time is mostly hanging, relaxing on a siesta time. Uruguayans don’t worry too much, they aren’t very ambisious unlike Argentinians could be. The being, just hanging around could sound boring or waste of time, but unwise they get most from the moment, they are very life like people who doesn’t do or stress nothing that they doesn’t have to.

 

In life and with studies Finland is much more counciouss about goals in life and the studies. That makes automatically a pressure that one needs to become something. In Uruguay it’s kind of confussing, their way of teaching isn’t very professional or coherent, but instead of becoming they subjectively just decide to be what they want to be. That doesn’t lead in very great actions or accomplishments generally, but one’s life doesn’t have to be anything huge or especial, it matters what you are for yourself. So if someones wants to come really study hard and a learn a lot of new things in that sense, Uruguay can be frustrating, but if one wants to come more far from that occidental accomplishing and making an own signifigance meaning by success or others opinions, this is a right place. This country is a small bubble where the people are the heroes of their own lives. Along all the relaxing atmosphere I still have to remind that this is South America, which means need to be caucious and sometimes things are restless, not violent or corrupted, but restless. It doesn’t take a lot of time to figure out where you can go, at what time, who to trust etc. Still one should be open minded here, because the most typical Uruguayan characteristics and people I met in the streets. Good hearted, eccentric, but not maybe the most trustable with an indegious Uruguayan accent which I still don’t understand practically nothing..

Greetings from South America

I am doing my exchange semester in Montevideo, Uruguay. The partner University here is a private University ORT. The campus Pocitos is quite small and compact where they have all the business-related studies. The classes are always either in the morning or in the evening, since most of the local students are working during the day. Last classes can last until 10.30pm which was first a bit of a shock for me but now it’s obvious. The exchange students have some courses which can also be in the afternoon. The work load really depends of the professor how much do they require from you. Some of them are quite relaxed and really support us with travelling once we are here. The exchange students are not required to for example do an obligatory work, but only the final exam. In some of the courses I have had to do a presentation or parcial, midterm exam. Otherwise the studying is based mostly on lectures which differ a lot from the teaching style in TAMK where we have had a lot of group works. First, I was unsure about studying in Spanish, but it became easier after a month I would say. I encourage everyone just doing it if you are at all unsure! It will all become easier after a while when you are forced to hear and use it in daily basis.

This was my first time travelling to South America. I did not have that much of expectations on Uruguay but it is not what I thought about South America, thinking of for example Peru or Chile. Montevideo is more European and advanced in that sense. I first lived with a local lady but quite fast moved to an apartment with three other exchange students. What surprised me really, was that how expensive the living expenses food were. For this, it’s good to buy all fruits and vegetables in the ferias organized in various barrios every week.

During my free time, I did some sports at the rambla, sort of a beach boulevard going through all the cost of Montevideo and mainly hanged out with friends. There is a student organization called MIS which is organizing all different happenings, parties and even trips to the neighbor countries. I travelled with them to Buenos Aires and Iguazu waterfalls where the bus trip lasted for 24 hours but totally worth it! Then I also travelled to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, did a jeep safari in Bolivia and continued to Chile. We did a couple of road trips with my friends to see more of Uruguay as well. The flights inside South America are not that cheap, so be prepared to pay a bit more for your travels here.

The lifestyle is super tranquil. Having an asado, sorth of bbq, with friends or just chilling at the rambla sharing mate. Even if the lifestyle is chilled, though you must respect the deadlines given by the Uni, those are still strict. For accommodation, I would recommend looking for a residence or do as I, move in with your friends. Also, it is always windy in Montevideo and the weather took me by surprise. Indeed it was always unpredictable and more cold as I imagined and rained quite frequently for the two first months as well.

 

Saludos de Montevideo

 

Greetings from Montevideo, Uruguay. Time here has been flying and I am little afraid that 5 months is not enough. During my stay I came to realize how huge South America is and how little I know about it. Uruguay itself is manageable since it’s so small and has less people than Finland.

I have a lot free time outside the classes since most of the studying is being done at home. Although it seems like I have no time since I am always doing something or going somewhere. Also University is not expecting exchange students at least in my career to participate to mandatory tasks. Most of the students also work part time in order to make ends meet. It is easier to fit in than in Finland since there are so few hours in University. No one has been able to explain to me how normal people can live here since some of the food is more expensive than in Finland but by working full time the pay is less than what people in Finland get by doing nothing.

My spare time I have been spending a lot of time with my new friends. Most of them are exchange students but that is because they also have a lot of time. To my defense at least I do the effort of using Spanish also with people who do speak English.. Now I know my next holiday destinations since I need to visit my friends in Brazil and Mexico.

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Beach in Punta del Este and my first time riding a horse in countryside

 

Everyday things have been an adventure and I am happy I have time to discover these things. For example, it took me three weeks to find milk in the supermarket since I didn’t want to ask a one more stupid question. I used my stupid questions for other things like how to stop a bus once you are on it. At last I found the milk, and lots of it, in plastic bags. Asking for help or directions is getting easier since I now stand a chance of understanding the answer. Uruguayans are genuinely nice and helpful people. Most of the time they not only tell you where to go but also tell you all the options and history of the place. I am pretty sure most of them would accompany me to help me to find something on the other side of the country if I would just ask. I have been delighted to find out also how easy it is to pay with a card and that paying with my card I can get a discount especially in restaurants. Mobile internet is also working really well and it is surprisingly cheap. I paid first month only 4 euros for my phone and after that little more since I noticed it is so cheap that I can use it more.

The best way to g20161214_084143et affordable food: markets. This one was on my street every Wednesday.