I started my third year of studies by doing my exchange in Madrid. I started the semester in the beginning of September and now four months later it is my time to return to Finland. My stay in Madrid has been mostly studying, doing sports and meeting new people. I had six courses in total and some of the courses were a bit challenging, so I was studying a lot. In TAMK I am used to have quite a lot of tasks in groups but during my exchange we barely had assignments in groups. It was a nice chance, but also it was more work for each student. Most of the courses had mid-term exams, so during one course we could have three mid-term exams and then at the end of the course a final exam.
Studying in Finland or in Spain is not that different but I noticed some differences too. For example, an exchange student without a knowledge of Spanish might have some problems living in Spain. Most people I met working in the customer service in Madrid did not speak English. Some of the teachers and the staff of the university did not speak English, exception of course the teachers that teaches the courses in English. In Finland I think the knowledge of English is better, if you go to the supermarket and speak English to the staff, they will understand you and probably will be able to answer you in English. And in TAMK nearly all of the staff has a good level of English.
My schedule included lectures from Monday till Friday, mostly from eight to 12 or 14. My apartment was not really close to the university, so I needed to get there by bus and a metro. The easiest way going around the city is going by metro and the public transportation in Madrid is good and also cheap. On my free time I was either going around the city, going to the gym, but mostly studying. I saw many nice places in Madrid, tried nice restaurants, went to watch football in the stadium and went around the beautiful streets and parks. Something I founded really nice in Spain was the weather. The first couple months it was over 20 degrees, nearly 30 and the last months it was from 5 to 15 degrees. The nice thing was that it didn’t rain much, and it was not as dark as in Finland, actually it was sunny almost every day.
All in all, my stay in Madrid went well and I can finish my exchange with some new experiences and good memories.
I’m doing my internship in Malta for four months. I’ve been here now more than three months and I still have about three weeks left before flying back to Finland. I’m working in a reception of a hotel and I have enjoyed my stay more than I could even imagine before coming here, the weather is amazing and these people I’ve met are so great. Working in a reception is something completely new for me so the first 2-3 weeks were super intensive and I learned a lot of new things, so after the shift I were really tired.
Working in Malta has opened my eyes, here they do some things so different ways and people act different. The working environment is international, we have employees from all over the world, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Africa, India, Pakistan, Poland, Germany, Turkey, France, etc. Everybody is used to different kinds of ways to work and solve problems. It’s so great to have people around the world, you learn all kinds of new things from different cultures and you also learn about your own culture.
I have couple day off per week, so I’ve had some time to travel around the country. Malta is very small country, so I’ll have time to see the nicest places even twice. Usually when I have a day off I travel somewhere to spend the day. The town I live in Malta is very small so I usually walk to the nearest city or take a bus to the other side of the island. Sometimes it’s also nice to just relax at the pool or go to the nearest beach. Although Malta is a small country there are really nice places to visit, beautiful beaches, little villages, big rocks, super clear light blue water, historical places and beautiful cities like the capital city, Valletta. The sunsets in Malta are also worth to see at least once… The nature in Malta is a bit unfertile so I miss the nature in Finland a lot. There aren’t many trees in Malta and the nature is not very green, but the views close to the sea are breathtaking.
I couldn’t be happier that I chose this place to do my internship, I got a lot of new friends from around the world, my German roommate Janine is amazing, it’s like we have known each other always. I learned new things about different cultures, even my own. I got to prove my English and I learned new things what comes to the life at work. In a few weeks it’s going to be really hard to say good bye to all this…