Monthly Archives: December 2015

Herzliche Grüße aus Wiener Neustadt!

Greetings from Wiener Neustadt, Austria!

My 4 month exchange semester in Fachhochschule Wiener Neustadt is almost in the end and I’m heading back to Finland next week. Time here has gone really fast and it has been so amazing. I have met a lot of new people from all around the world, made longlasting friendships, travelled in three different countries, and not forgetting, the studies.

Our faculty FHWN

I have been in Austria several times before, so I have known something about Austrian culture, but now of course even more. Wiener Neustadt is a small city, with 43 000 inhabitants near Vienna. It takes around 30-40 minutes by train from Wiener Neustadt to Vienna, so basically you can visit there every day.

Austria-round-trip and beautiful Hallstatt

Wiener Wiesn-Fest in Vienna with my Dirndl-ladies

Here we have around 30 exchange students from different countries, for instance Finland, Ireland, the USA, Portugal, Italy, Peru, Taiwan and South Korea. I have learned a lot of different cultures and improved my English and German skills.

The best experiences in last months have been travelling new places, meeting awesome people, hiking and rafting in beautiful landscapes and -of course- cheap Austrian wine.

HC Slovan Bratislava – SKA St. Petersburg hockey game in Bratislava

Hiking on the top of Steinwandklamm

Exploring sunny Budapest

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Rafting in Wildalpen

Christmas market in the city center Wiener Neustadt

This place is starting to feel like home and I wouldn’t even want to leave back to Finland. I could definetely see myself living in Austria or somewhere else abroad in the future.

Liebe Grüße,
Anniina xx

Jo napot kivanok!

Dear blog reader,

It’s already December and I’m about to finish my Erasmus- exchange here in Budapest – city of rock ‘n’ roll as we echange students are used to say.

By my point of view, my exchange began at fancy cruise on river Danube. I saw there all of the student who had came here for a semester or a whole year to study hospitality and commerce and create network all around Europe and a world.

At Cruise we got valuable information about cources tailored for Erasmus- students, like Hungarian language and history. Because I would like to know as much as I can about new country I’m living at next semester, I chose them both.


After two week of studying we got possibility to join for business simulator at Tatabanya, located about 80 km from Budapest. By simulating process, we got to know, whatkind is to run a bisuness. How much one can produce with a certain amount of machines, how much have to invest for marketing and how to be aware with competitors. After simulation we had to write a report, where we told motivators for our decisions in certain occasions.


After simulation week we begun with everyday work at BGF. My major is Hospitality Management and catering industry, but here I chose some lectures about Accounting and Finance, because I think those subjects may help me in my future career. Accounting is quite complicated sometimes, but I have found Finance easy. The most interesthing subject is Human Resource Management. The lecturer has 40 years experience on it and he teaches very enthousiastically. I really enjoy to attend for his lectures!

Here at my school, a brand new tutoring program, BGF Buddies- took their place. They have arraged lots of programs, where we get city known. Buddies have helped me in every problem which I have faced during my stay. For example, they took me to doctor, when I needed it. Buddies are so enthousiastic and they want to know lots of people from various countries. I wish I could meet them again after exchange.



Lovely Turkey!


I am doing my practical training in Istanbul Turkey, and İ have totally lost my heart to this place! People here are so warm-hearted and helpfull that you can not feel anything but  happy here. Only bad thing I can think of is the time spent here is not enough (not even close!)

In the hospital nurses rarely speak english, so communication in english is with doctors or with the help of Google translate. Body language takes you a long way, and there has not been a situation yet which has not been sorted out. I have also  learned some basic words and sentences in turkish, so every day communication gets easier.

Hagia Sophia in Sultanahmet

I have had a couple of funny situations with language differences. Best one is about my nametag, which says: ‘Nursing student AMK, Erika Isohanni TAMK’. I wore this nametag for the first two weeks at work and wondered why everybody is staring at it. I figured that ‘nursing student’ in finnish is so long word, that they have to read it all over again or something. But no…After two weeks one nurse had the courage to tell me, that ‘AMK’ is a short version of a really bad turkish curseword, and it means something like ‘f**k you’. I wanted to sink under the ground at that point 😀

Galata tower and view of Istanbul

One of the reasons why I love this city is because you can get anything here just by walking in the street. For instance food here is really  fresh and cheap and almost every day I get a fresh orangejuice from some shop while walking away from work.  There is also some weird things sold in the street. One time I actually saw a guy selling live goldfish in the street!

I have gained so many wonderful experiences and  friends here, so I will definitely come back!

Görüşürüz! 🙂


Bettering brand images in Madrid

Greetings from sunny Madrid, where a glass of wine costs less than a mango in Finland, people must be the fastest speakers in the world and no one ever seems to be unhappy!

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I couldn’t be happier about my stay in Spain. Believe it or not, I have learned the true meaning of hard work during my time in Madrid. I landed an interesting job in a country branding company, where I was responsible for the organizations Public Relations as well as later also Media and Communications. The field of nation branding is extremely fascinating as it differs a bit from traditional branding, and I was lucky enough to get a front seat view in one of the leading companies in the world. The DNA of the company is quite young, vibrant and enthusiastic, so I fit right in. My regular days have been quite hectic and busy, but it is the way I enjoy working and it has definitely taught me a lot about time and project management.


In other terms, the capital of Spain has been quite wonderful to me. The spanish lifestyle is easy to love: people enjoy their life on the streets, sharing a plate of tapas and drinks with co-workers after work. Madrid offers something new to see and experience for every day of the week. The city if filled with beautiful parks and green areas and each corner of a street has cute little cafes and restaurants. I have absolutely loved the life here. Madrid is definitely a city where I could see myself working and living in the future, too.



Kisses from Spain! xx

Oona Vitikainen

Living in Catalunya

Greetings from Vic!

I have spent three months now in Spain. I’m really glad I ended up in Vic, which is  quite a small place where almost everything is within a walking distance. Whenever you wanna go to enjoy the life of a bigger city, you just take a bus or train and within an hour you’re in Barcelona. I really like it this way, and I feel that people here in a smaller city are more friendly and relaxed than in Barcelona. We’ve been spending a lot of time in BCN too, since it’s so easy to go there and there’s a lot to see and to do. Here  in Vic people speak both Catalan and Spanish as their first languages. I decided to study only Spanish, and I’ve been doing just fine.  Of course the locals are always really delighted if a foreigner speaks Catalan to them, especially since there are political issues between Catalonia and rest of Spain. Most of the people here speak at least a little bit English, but in many situations knowing even a few words of Spanish has been the key to understanding 😀

Local beer and typical tapas.

The University has been good, all tough there are no courses related to Film and TV (which is my major) offered in English. Instead I’ve been taking for example marketing classes, and I think that studies here have been different but useful. The teachers speak English more or less, and in the classes there are mostly us exchange students but also locals. On our free time we’ve had lots of dinners, parties, visits to other cities and beautiful nature sights here around Vic. Im lucky to have a roommate who owns a van, so we’ve been able to drive to France, go hiking on Pyrenees and do other trips with a bunch of people.

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The first 2 months were really warm, but now during the last month the weather has got colder, and I’m starting to consider to buy a winter jacket…  At least I still get a lot of vitamin D, since it’s mostly sunny 🙂 I’m looking forward to see the Spanish/Catalan Christmas traditions, and to see how the city gets alive during the Medieval market that starts next week. Time has gone fast and I’m gonna make the most of my time left here.

Saludos cordiales,



Practice in Portugal

Finally my first practice here is over.

I started my practice 14.9.2015 in Health care center. My learning goals was spoke little with people and understand them. See the new culture and different ways take care people. Learn things what I can use in Finland and things what I can`t use there. I think that my learning goals was realistic  First days was really hard because I can`t do nothing. I dont know what I have to do, so I only follow what nurses made. I`m really lucky, because same time there was other student Sofia who helps me a lot. I really try to do all of things, but language was problem. It was so easy to be there because nurse spoke good English. Maybe she has little bit problems understand me sometimes. I admire nurses way to face patiens. She was so friendly, polite and she has good workmanship. Here nurses are relaxed. In Finland we are too formal.

Here nurses talk with other nurses and I think that is good, because they help if somebody have lot of patiens and they know hole situation. Cooperation with the dogtor is really good. First nurses take all necessary measurements and talk with patient and then patient go to the doctors room. Doctor dont have to take anymore them and they can only focus other things. In some situations nurse have to help doctor. Example when the doctor take a papa-test.

Here is different way to take care like a wounds. I saw first time many new ways take care. I tryed explane how we improve wounds. Here they use a lot Betadine and we in Finland dont. Normally I use everytime gloves but here I learn make sterile ”compressas”. I can clean wound without golves. I got take off wound sutures. Im do that only once so it was good practise for me.

We had home care places and it opened my eyes. First I think that nobody cant live here, windows was broken and house was really old. I understand now how lucky I am. Next house was better, and we did there wound care.  I think it`s really good that nurses go elderly peoples house and see hole situation. Most people cant go to the hospital, so its good that someone go theirs house. And I think that home care  prevents illness and and they can live at home longer. Home is always home where people want to be.

I was in Cozinha comunitaria with other nurse. There was lot of people. I took a blood pressure and other nurses took weight and asked questions. They try to prevents diabetes. Nurse told them about stoke, heart attack etc. I dont understood a lot because she told Portuguese. Maybe two days later I was with the same nurse and other students in school. We counted there childrens BMI values. We make a ”playground” for them and I think that they had fun. I really like kids and that day was fabulous. I took childrens hight so I learned numbers in portuguese. Kids are our future.


I was involved in the five days program. First I learned fruits name in portuguese. Then I was in fruit factory with other students and we told to childrens why they should eat fruits everyday. What vitamines is different fruits.  I try to do all things and talk with childrens. We had many different groups some groupe was really wild, but still we “survive”.  Childrens made fruit salad and we made smoothies for them. Its important teach them eat healthy food. And hopefully they will eat many fruits after that.

I`m in dance group. Reason why I`m in is diabetes. We will dance in shopping center Dolce Vita. We have a blue t-shirt where is diabetes logo, character. We are practice that dance couple times and it was fun. I`m little bit scary, because I`m not a dancer. But nobody else isin`t too, it helps me that I can do something like that. For me it is big thing. We try to tell about diabetes with dance for people.


Im travel a lot here. Im been in Alagarve, Porto and Lisboa. One day me and my Erasmus friends rented a car and we travel Aveiro, there was big beach and weather was good. Im visited many cultur places and meet many new people here. Im really lucky that I choose this city.


Ofcourse I`m party here too with my friends and I really can`t understand how those people can party hole night. They are crazy 😀 But I think that we have to “Aproveite sua vida<3”




Χαίρετε from Athens!

Having stayed in Athens now for over 2 months I’ve had time to see this city’s many sides. At the beginning of my stay in September, the sun was still shining every day and summer was at its best: temperature over 30°C every day. Now the winter has started to slowly arrive.

A day-trip to Nafplio
A day-trip to Nafplio
Parthenon temple in Acropolis
Parthenon temple in Acropolis
View from Acropolis
View from Acropolis

During weekends I’ve had time to explore mostly this huuuuge  city, Greek food culture and visit the many historical sights Athens has to offer. I’ve especially enjoyed the food here: the crisis has lowered prices drastically and it’s very affordable to eat out. Greeks have many tasty foods: feta, Greek salad, souvlaki and different pies and pastries are  to my liking.

Bakeries can be found in every block
Chicken pita souvlaki
Chicken pita souvlaki, only 1,80€ each!

My Erasmus consists of two different placements in 90 days. My first placement was in a public hospital which is the newest public hospital here (built 2003) and the second biggest in whole Greece. I must say that even though I didn’t have big expectations for the standards of health care here I was surprised by how much  lower the level of health care is here compared to Finland. Health-care really is excellent in Finland: the problems in health care in Finland are in a total different scale compared to here.  It’s just like they say: you have to go far to see near.

View from our hospital
View from our hospital
Main entrance of Attikon hospital. Protesting posters against government's budget cuts in health care, hung in front of the doors.
Main entrance of Attikon hospital. Protesting posters against government’s budget cuts in health care, hung in front of the doors.
My home street
The parliament house and Christmas lights
The parliament house and Christmas lights in Syntagma square

The most interesting thing has been seeing the many faces of the Greek crisis and refugee-situation.  I’ve seen many strikes, protests and debates as well as all many of those people suffering from the financial situation. Huge amounts of homeless and poor people, drug- and alcohol addicts, immigrants and refugees can be seen in the metro stations and streets. Nurses and doctors are working crazy hours with low wages (or even without getting paid) without the equipment needed. It’s something you have to see in your own eyes to realize what’s going on in this country. I have – after all – enjoyed my time here and learned many things that I could’ve never learned in Finland.


Practical training in Estonia

Tallinn, my new home for the next 3 months!


Estonia is a beautiful country, and Tallinn is great because of its diversity. The city has much to offer, especially if you are interested in culture and food. In Tallinn you can meet lot of tourists, so the vibe in the Old Town is quite international.

Practical training has gone well and so has life itself.

Exploring the fair and working


Christmas has arrived and so has the Christmas market in Tallinn. Absolutely nice place to visit, have a warm drink, listen to music and enjoy the atmosphere. If you get lucky, might even meet Santa Claus.

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