I’m writing from Benalmádena, a small city situated in Costa del Sol, Spain. Here you can meet people from many countries since this small city is a popular tourist destination. On the streets one will hear Finnish, English, German and many other languages.. Benalmádena is in the Southern part of Spain and a part of the Andalucia region. Thus the dialect is different than what you can study from books and on courses back in Finland. Local people tend to leave few of the last letters of each word unpronounced, which makes it a bit harder to understand their speech and to learn the language here.. But I’ll keep trying :)!!
Benalmádena is located between Malaga city and Fuengirola. It is easy to visit both places since the Renfe, a local train, goes often in both directions. So far my clinical placement has been situated at Fuengirola so I take the train for work. I have been at two different private clinics so far. First at Centro de Fisioterapia José Manuel Bonilla and now at Clinica Sohail. After this placement I still have 4 weeks at Xanit hospital in Benalmádena.
Physiotherapy here has been very different than back in Finland. At least so far the treatment has consisted mainly of manual methods and always some machines. At Bonilla the manual methods used were mainly osteopathic since our instructors had studied osteopathy after physiotherapy. (Here osteopathy is not its own career, physiotherapist can study it after graduation.) At Clinica Sohail the treatment consist even more of many different types of machines such as infrared lamps, electrotherapy, EPI, shockwaves and others.
This far I have been only in the evening shift so I miss a lot of the culture, since most events take place in the evenings. I have not met many local people yet, just those at the clinical placements, but I hope that when the placement at the hospital starts and probably the morning shift, I will have more opportunities to meet local people in the evening events. This far I have studied some Spanish and gone to the gym on my free time. We have also planed some trips to other cities with my classmate and with my boyfriend who will visit Spain in a few weeks. On these trips I hope we will see historical and cultural places (museums, caves etc.. what we can think of) and what the real Spanish lifestyle is like! So far my ERASMUS exchange has been versatile in all emotions and I think it will be for as long as I’m here. Looking forward to see what more lies ahead! 🙂