I am located with my practical training in Tomas Bata Regional Hospital in Zlín. I would say the hospital environment is basically the same compared to Finnish hospitals even though there is a lot of differences. Itself the hospital is large complex of different buildings which all has own departments. So the hospital isn´t just one big building with different sectors and that is what makes the working there little tricky. Whenever you need to go to another department you might need to travel all along to the different side of the hospital area for few minutes easily. Our locker rooms are located in different building and after changing to uniform you have to head outside and find your way to the department. You usually find yourself walking outside depending what weather it is, which doesn´t make it very pleasant. Also, for moving the patients between different departments it´s not very handy system.
We have changed the departments almost every week to another. Basically they are not as modern as in Finland. I wouldn´t say that is a surprise. Mostly no one speaks english except the students that we are with. It makes the communication with nurses and patients and other staff little bit difficult. Comparing to practice we had in Finland to practice here, it doesn´t offer that much what we expected. It seems that the students here doesn´t have own mentor and maybe that´s the reason we don´t get to do so much things in the hospital. The days in the hospital can really be boring when there is nothing to do or see. Best things might be those when we had opportunity to see different surgeries.
Even though the Zlín isn´t that big city it has decent amount things to do and easy ways to travel somewhere else to enjoy your time. There is a zoo just nearby where we visited in the first week. The city has also own ice hockey team called PSG Berani Zlín whose matches we have gone to see with other students. Time to time there is country presentation with two different countries against each other where we get to hear history and other information about them and lastly taste the food they have prepared for us. Zlín also has a mall with movie theatre where you can enjoy the new movies. Likewise in Finland there is a lot of parties every week with different themes that contains parties with other students abroad. So the most common way to spend your time is to grab a drink or two of good Czech beer and just hang out with other Erasmus students.
Another option is to travel somewhere in Czech or nearby countries. Zlín is located actually very central place when thinking to travel countries like Hungary, Austria or Slovakia. So when there is time enough in your schedule you can find yourself in places like Budapest or Wien which are really nice. In Bratislava there wasn´t that much to experience though.
I have been studying in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia almost three months now. Time has passed very quickly. I have five different courses at the uni and I feel like some of them are similar that we could have in TAMK. In TAMK we do almost everything in groups but here we have more individual assignments which I prefer more.
I spend my spare time usually with my friends, the other exchange students. There are approximately 70 exchange students, mostly from Europe but also from the United States, Mexico, and Australia.
I have been traveling quite a lot around Malaysia so far. Almost every weekend I have been to different places inside Malaysia and it has been a lot of fun. I have visited for example Georgetown in Penang, Perhentian Islands, Tioman Island, and Langkawi. All the trips have included many hours on a bus. I still have many places where I want to go to Malaysia. During the past month, I have been visiting also in Cambodia, Borneo, Brunei, and Singapore.
During the weekends I feel like there is not that much to do at home. Sounds crazy- I live in Kuala Lumpur. However, I live quite far from the city centrum and you have to go by car every time you want to go somewhere because there are highways all around. There is not that option to walk from one place to another. That is something, what I really miss from Finland.
I live in a student house where most of the exchange students and local students are living. It is ten minutes walk from the university and a mall, where there are places to eat. In my opinion, it is cheaper to go to eat than cook food yourself. I usually eat at least once in a day in a restaurant at the university area. In Finland the student lunch is 2,60€ and here you usually pay approximately the same amount of a good meal.
This is my second time in Asia so I already had some experience with cultural differences. I think you will really get inside the culture and habits after years of staying somewhere. Malaysia is a Muslim country and you are able to see that in your everyday life, for example, women wearing scarfs and the Islamic call to prayer. At the university, I feel like some things are more strict, like the way you talk to the teachers and the dress code. It might be also because it this is a private university and students have to pay for their studies and also because some of the students are so young.
Overall, this has been a great experience and I still have one month to go!
I’m doing my three month clinical practise here in Vukovar. This is a small and very cozy town situated right near the border of Serbia. Population is around 30 000 on the paper, but the actual number of people is lower. This town has pretty dark history because it was bombed down during the Croatian war in 1991 and some ethnic cleansing was done here by the Serbs during the occupation. You can still see some bullet holes in building walls and one burned down hotel. Nowadays people (especially young people) don’t really care if someone is serb or croatian, they just want to move on and aim for the future.
I’m working in a local hospital as a physiotherapist. Me and my classmates are only exchange students here at the moment, so everyone here is eager to meet and spend time with us. People in the hospital has been very kind to us and always willing to help in whatever we need, whether it’s a car trip to local supermarket or getting a car to hire for weekends to tour around. I work in two shifts which differs from Finnish working culture, because in Finland physiotherapists usually works in only one shift.
I’m living in a brand new student dormitory 300 meters away from the hospital and 800 from the local university so the distance to work or university ain’t too bad. Other students in the dormitory have been really kind to us and are also willing to help with any problem we face. In spare time we usually hang out with people in the dorm or other people from the university.
All in all this time here has been really enjoyable and I think this gives me tons of good memories to bear with me. And maybe someday I’ll return this place and meet the people I call my friends, or maybe someday some of them will visit Finland! You never know.
I am happy that I came to Salford to do my exchange studies. Salford is a part of Greater Manchester, so it doesn’t have a center of its own (well it does, but it there’s only supermarkets) so as you wish to shop, go to bars and pubs etc. you go to Manchester city center.
I have lived in a student housing called Bramall Court, it is in a good location between the center and uni, I walk to both of them in 15 minutes. The public transportation is expensive in here so I would suggest you to move close to the uni so you can walk there. Student apartments are popular here, and there are a lot of them. Bramall Court has been ok to live in, but I would get more with the same money if I still lived in Tampere. So, living here is pretty expensive. Also, if you move to a student accommodation, you have to buy __everything__ yourself. Pans, pots, glasses, cutlery, sheets, pillows etc, nothing is here waiting for you. So if you wish to save some money, bring something already with you and use the second hand shops that the university provides. They sell kitchen supplies there with a good prices. Btw, you also have to pay the rent for the whole 5 months in advance, so be ready for that.
Lectures start pretty late here. Mine started 23.9 if I remember correctly, but I moved here on the 6th of September already. That was a wise thing to do. Semesters start first with early arrivals week (mostly exchange students come then) then welcome week takes place and only after those two weeks, lectures start. During the first 2 weeks, there is a lot of free events on campus where you can make friends, and that is also what I did. There is a lot of exchange students and also international students here in Salford, so I am sure that everyone will find friends here.
You will select 3 modules (=courses) that you study while being here. I study service sector marketing, managing international events and business ethics and sustainability. I have school only 3 times per week, 4 hours a day. So there is a lot of free time to do you assignments and travel. I think the courses are very good here and teachers are polite, well educated and want you to learn, so they are here for you.
The weather is also better than what I expected, it does rain a lot but not that much. If you come here with an attitude that it will rain all the time, you will be surprised that it does not and then don’t even mind the rain when it does. The winter here is nice because there’s more sunlight than in Finland and it’s not as cold. Now in November its usually from 4-8 degrees.
All in all, I think Salford is a place to be and if you want to do your exchange in the UK, I think you should come here. Manchester is a good location, big but not too big of a city, close to Liverpool and in the center of the UK so it’s easy to travel to Scotland, Ireland and other places. Btw, trains are suuuuper expensive here, so be ready to sit in a bus when traveling.
During the time I was in University Hospital Ayr, doing my Placement for six weeks, I had the opportunity to take care of real People as they went through an Operation. My supervisor was an Anesthetic Nurse so my job description was in that section too. I learned how to handle Patients who are scared and nervous of the upcoming operation, as we went to pick them to the Theaters. Anesthetic Nurse (at least in Scotland) arranges the Theater ready for every operation. Making sure that there is right kind of equipment, they are on the right side, everybody knows what’s coming and know what they should do. In Finland we might have this division a bit different. All the arrangements are done in the Operating Room before we went to collect the Patient. With the Patient we went straight to the Anesthetic Room, witch is connected to the operating Room but different area from it. There the Patient is put to sleep or have a local anesthesia, depending on the operation. Anaesthetist is the one, who does this all. Anesthetic Nurses are there to assist. During the Operation the Patient is under the Anaesthetist’s wach and after the operation Anesthetic Nurses help the Anaesthetist in the post-operative work and accompany the Patient to recovery ward.
There were seven different Theaters:
The Operations I accompanied with for example were: fistula, part removal of colon, prosthetics of hips knees and shoulders, hernia, TURP, amputation, gallbladder removal, evacuation of aorta, removal of sigmoid colon. And these are only part of the operations.. 🙂
Living in Scotland for 2,5 months gave a chance to see more than just the Hospital I had the placement in.. I worked from Monday to Friday so Weekends were off and that gave me the opportunity to go around and discovering what was around..
One beautiful spring weekend I decided to visit Ireland, Belfast. We (another Erasmus-student, from Finland) took a ferry from Scotland, Cairnryan. Buss drive to the Harbour itself was already so joyful. Weather was sunny, the drove was near coastline and there were tiny villages with lots of sheep all around. In Belfast we walked around the City, dropped in a Botanical Garden and had a blast!
Picture: Statue in front of Belfast City Hall
During the time in Scotland, I thought the weather would be rainier than it was. Actually it was mostly so lovely, sunny and bright, I even had to go and buy shorter clothes for the “heat”. Everything was blooming and I couldn’t get enough of the Nature around me. I lived in student flats near the University of The West of Scotland. It was located by the River Ayr. To being so close to a River, the trees and everything were really soothing for walks and enjoying outdoors.
Now that I have been back to Finland for several months, I find myself longing back there.. And if everything goes planned, I will be visiting my old Home Town over there at least for short period of time. And wee meeting with all the great people I had the privilege to meet by the Placement. After visiting Ayrshire, I’m gonna rent a Car and drive the rest of the Country. Even though the driving on the “wrong” side of the road will take it’s time.. 😀
Things I miss from Scotland: Cheerful People, sarcasm, Fish and Chips, Rhubarb and Ginger Gin, fresh Fruits, Tennent’s beer, Sticky Toffee Pudding(!!!)
Things I missed in Scotland: Visiting Islands of Harris and Lewis. And didn’t see enough of the Highland Cattles.
Things that helps for the longing: Irn Bru. (Scottish soft drink. Second most popular drink, after whisky) And gladly You can find that some places in Finland too!
Oh, I almost forgot.. My supervisor bought a House during my Placement. And the most hilarious thing is that there is a Sauna in their new House! I told them everything I know about having a Sauna, but of course, when there is a lot of new information You can’t remember everything.. That’s why I wrote them a Practical Guide having a Sauna. 😀 It was 10 pages and Mark (the supervisor) was so touched by it, he even send me a message afterwards.. We all joked in tee brakes about the fact that we have a thing called Sauna-sausage. And I explained how you roll the sausage in tinfoil before going in. You place the wrap in to the hot stones and when you throw löyly, you throw it around the wrap. Must remember that beer is one of the most popular Sauna-drink. And You can throw a wee bit of it in to the kiuas as well.. (“Do not forget to drink enough water as having some Sauna-time, ’cause You should sweat alot in there.”) After a relaxing time in the heat, be cautious and take the foiled sausages of the kiuas and enjoy the warm sausages as a snack afterwards.
During my exchange I studied business administration in Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt in Germany. The school is technical university of applied sciences, but they also have a Business School within. Courses for international students were diverse and major of them were about international business or technology based. I found it harder to study in Germany than in Finland. Of course, one reason for that was that the teaching was not in my mother language, but also courses seemed more difficult. I was really surprised how much I had to study to cope with my courses. The studying culture in Germany is differing from Finland and often the main point is to memorize everything from the course material. The quality of teaching was good on my opinion. The school’s library was open everyday till 12 pm and in the exam period 24/7. It was nice place to gather with friends and study together. I never thought that I would spend the whole night in the library before exam especially during my exchange but now that I have done it, I can’t recommend it to anyone.
Despite the hard studying life, we surely had lot of fun things to do in Ingolstadt. Naturally as we were in Germany, drinking beer was one of the top activities in our spare time. Beer culture is very strong in Germany and especially in Bavaria where Ingolstadt is located. They say in Bavaria that beer is rather food than a drink. Our school organized a lot of different events for international students as well as all students. For example, we had beer bong tournaments every now and then. Ingolstadt is quite small city and with the bad weather it was sometimes quite boring. On sunny days we spend time outside playing games, riding bikes or in the lake.
Germany’s location is brilliant for the person who wants to travel. You can take a cheap Flixbus to many destinations or rent a car and drive buy yourself. Also Ryanair has very good flight offers and you can buy tickets with only 20 euros. I traveled as much as I could during my exchange and in 4,5 months I visited 11 countries.
South Korea is a truly unique country. I knew early on that I wanted to do my exchange studies there. TAMK has an amazing amount of partner schools in Korea and it was quite hard to choose one that would suit me best. In the end I ended up going to Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul. The university has two campuses, but all my classes were located in the city center one.
The location of the school is amazing, being very central and at the same time having views over the city. The campus has modern stylish buildings where the classes are held and that house many other kind of services too. The university was originally founded in 1398 and still has an area of beautiful traditional buildings that were used for teaching.
All my classes were aimed at exchange students with topics revolving around Korean culture and language. The teachers mostly spoke good English so I didn’t have any troubles with understanding. They were also very nice and understanding, unlike my expectation of strict attitude based on pop culture. Even though natives were studying very long hours, I didn’t find the studies too stressful and studied pretty similarly to how I do in TAMK.
The neighbourhood surrounding the university is nice with lots of shops and places to eat. I spent a lot of my free time hanging around Hyehwa area with my friends or going around Seoul. The city has a lot of interesting events and so many cool things to see and explore. I also recommend travelling elsewhere in the country to experience a different side of Korea.
I fell in love with Ireland. Irish people are heartfelt and funny, nature is gorgeous and there is live music everywhere, everyday. I studied at Cork Institute of Technology in Bishopstown. My course of study was Creative Digital Media (BA Honours). I think I was the first media student from TAMK in Ireland so far? Therefore, there was a great deal of misunderstandings though. To prevent anyone else to go through this: TAMK don’t have a contract with CIT in Creative Digital Media, only with the Fine Art students. After all the trouble I had to go through, I got a permit of exception from CIT to study one semester in Creative Digital Media and I’m truly grateful for that.
It was very heart-warming how well the Student Society kept an eye for students’ well-being and how much there were organized trips and events by the International Student Society as well. In addition, we had a chat with our course lecturers from time to time as they wanted to know how we are keeping up.
In Ireland after school clubs were a big thing. There were a whole lot of sport clubs and society clubs to choose from. One of my best decisions during my exchange was to join the CIT Canoe Club. That was basically how I truly got to know Irish culture as the whole club was full of Irish students. I had the chance to make Irish friends and have long chats with them about life in Ireland. There were meetings outside the canoeing as well. Their team spirit was incredible and I felt very welcome. There was always help offered in everything before I even asked for it. I got to see more of the beauty of Irish nature as well. One of our trips became one of the most incredible experiences in my life. We drove to a bioluminescent lake of Cork on a dark night. We kayaked around the lake under the wide and starry sky. I even got to see Saturn and Mars in the sky. If you touched the water, it started sparkling! I felt like I was in a fairytale.
My free time in Ireland included kayaking, jogging with my roommate and seeing my other friends. One of the best things were road trips around Cork County and Galway. I really enjoyed that all of my friends lived so near, so we could walk to the campus together and have dinners at our student apartments. As I had French roommates, the best ones I could have wished for, sometimes I felt like I got to know French culture even better than Irish. I got very familiar with Frech foods and ways of life. We had a custom to prepare both French and Finnish dinners together and talk about our cultures. I taught them some Finnish and I learned some French as well (my roommate still remembers “rock, paper, scissors” in Finnish).
But back to Ireland – I really liked Bishopstown. Its size was perfect. You could find anything you needed and there were always people around but it still had the feeling of a small, heartfelt town. We participated in the events of international student society, went to the movies quite often, including Cork Film Festivals and of course visited quite many pubs. We had one favorite place, called Franciscan Well, as they had delicious brick oven pizza.
Speaking of food, fish and chips dish was as good and common as it is in England. Even though the traditional food of Ireland is meat stew, different sea food came a cross more. Not a surprise though, as Ireland is an island. What comes for Irish drinks, I really liked fresh Guinness and Beamish as they are very soft and tasty. However, Irish Coffee and Orchards Thieves cider became my personal favorites. If you are having a night out, a strong recommendation for Baby Guinness as well!
My courses in Ireland were Applied Animation, AV Technology, Creativity Innovation & Teamwork and Web Design Basics. Compared to my course of study in Finland I had less lectures to attend but much more assignments and tests to do. I really liked that we had two exam periods, the first one in October, so everything didn’t build up for December. One thing I was really shocked about as a Media student was the poor equipment. In Finland we have a large storage of different cameras, lenses, lights, recording equipment and basically almost anything you could think of needing. In Ireland we had a couple different Canons, one or two stands and not a single light or even a reflector. In addition, the “equipment storage” wasn’t open every day during the week and there were certain days for rental and for returnings. This made scheduling quite challenging with other students and modules. When we had to do the music video with two Canons and zero budget, I started to appreciate our circumstances in Finland in a new way.
I was told in advance that in Ireland there can be very thick accents. I was a bit worried at first how I could manage, with school especially. It was comical how shocked I got in the very beginning of my way to Ireland, as I sat in the airplane and the first announcement came. I couldn’t understand a word. So many thoughts rushed in my head how hard this would become, until the announcement came in English. The first one had been in Irish.
So, I didn’t have a hard time with the accents after all. Cork accent is very nice to mind, actually. All my lecturers spoke loud and clear. I had only two times when I couldn’t understand what someone was saying and both of them were older people, one was a janitor and one was a bus driver with a very thick Cork accent.
Being in exchange offered lifelong memories and friends. My self-esteem grew as well as my interest towards other countries and cultures. I learned a bunch of new things and I got better with speaking English, significantly. After being exchange, some kind of longing for living abroad again arose. I can’t wait to go back to Ireland again.
I really like the way Kedge Business School takes the approach on studies and how the professors take their jobs seriously and in the most professional sense, yet providing all sorts of beneficial information and helping students reach their personal goals and also the course objectives.
I love how each professor talks about their experience and linking it to a methodology and explaining how it could work in a real life situation and how they have faced challenges in career because of certain experiences or mindset. Although, strictly speaking this would not be part of the course, however, most of the teachers believe in self-improvements when it comes to students and if their own experiences can provide assistance or something they can relate or learn from that not only gets students to actively participate but also ask more questions and learn about more things in general.
In a double degree program you may be thinking that a lot of stuff would be repetitive, but you would be surprised to learn the same course may have a different approach on the topic and what sort of learning objectives that teacher may set. However, the methodologies may be the same but a different approach on the same topic could raise a lot of questions and sharing of experiences, hence, enhancing the learning.
Moving on, when you have time for yourself Bordeaux and the cities neighboring it could offer very heart-warming site seeing and a great time with friends. Not so far, from Bordeaux is a place called Arcachon which is known for its beaches and breath-taking experiences.
It is a great way to spend an afternoon/evening with the friends and just go surfing or sunbathe in this beautiful area and the people are quite welcoming and friendly of tourists and students.
In my experiences, the food is quite expensive comparatively to Finland and if you think the rents in Finland are high wait till you see how much a student accommodation may cost in Bordeaux, France. However, even though it may be expensive but the quality of food is something to die for and certainly offers tastes that you would only experience from a French Kitchen.
Furthermore, in terms of studies Kedge is quite similar to TAMK in many ways, teachers genuinely want to help students and are available for them to clear doubts and provide further feedback on their assignments/work. Nonetheless, it is different in its own way and just the way one can create networks in Kedge is something very interesting and not what you may think or experience in Finland.
However, during my last months I can see the similarities and differences in terms of experiences and the significance of the learning outcome form them. All in all Bordeaux, would be an amazing place to go for an exchange, just if you remember to book an accommodation, WELL ahead of time due to the shortage, other than that you are sure to meet a lot of people with multicultural backgrounds, inevitably creating a very informative and learning environment. A word of advice would be to try as many Macarons and Chocolatines (chocolate pastry) as you can, it is worth treating yourself to that after or before a long day at the university.