All posts by Removed User

Greetings from Sapporo

This year I had an internship in the city of Sapporo, Japan in Hokkaido University’s department of engineering. There I mainly did laboratory works with my pair and reported on the findings we did. I didn’t participate in any lectures, but I did participate on weekly meetings with our professor to update our situation and seminars in which each week somebody announced their progress to the members of the laboratory.

The main thing what I actually did was studying the materials related to the next laboratory work and then making a lot of experiments. Then after that was handling the data in excel and reporting it to the professor.

Arrival to Japan happened in late spring just in time for the late cherry blossoms of northern Japan. It was an historical time to be in the country since I was there just when the emperor retired, and a new era, Reiwa, began. To celebrate there was a festival in the local park, where I went. It was timed to group of national holidays called golden week, which was extended this year.

In my spare time I visited neighbouring and went to eat local food towns with some new friends from my laboratory. One such trip was to the town of Otaru with a bicycle. It was an interesting trip and, on our way back I definitely noticed I need more exercise. The place is famous for its seafood, historically remarkable city centre and beautiful landscapes.

 

We also visited the town of Furano in central Hokkaido to see the lavender fields they have there, also there was a place where everyone could try their hands at pottery. I went also to couple of mountains around Sapporo. Mount Moiwa is said to have one of top five, night landscapes in Japan.

One great thing about Hokkaido University is that the University has clubs that arrange meetings and different events where locals and international students can meet. There were barbeques, cooking sessions, one museum tour and many other things. There are also all kinds of event for the whole school. There was a sports day, and a festival, where the main street of the campus was filled with different stands and all kinds of events like mini concerts and dance competitions. This and my other activities made it so that it doesn’t get boring!

Studying there was different at least for me. I wasn’t a normal student so I can’t compare the lectures given there to the Finnish ones. But for the working culture around the laboratory and maybe little in general is something I can compare.

It was very common to work late. The seminars where I did attend started generally at 5 pm. Sometimes there were still people in the student room of our laboratory working at 9 or 10 pm. It was not a rarity to go out eating after the day. I discussed about the working culture in Japan and apparently it is common in the working world that you go out to drink most days with your boss and co-workers after work. This way you can bond with them, but you miss a lot of time in home compared to Finland.

People are also much more company loyal and don’t really change their workplace that often. But companies also take good care of their employees. This is what I heard at least. However, my work in the laboratory was very independent. I needed decide by myself when and how to do the tasks that were given. In Finland we have some courses that are relatively independent but nowhere close to that level.

Grüße aus meiner Heimat!

Greetings from my homeland! I started my practical training in a medical technology company in my German hometown Tuttlingen. Tuttlingen is located on the Danube river, close to Switzerland and France and if the air is clear we can see the tops of the Alps. With more than 400 medical technology companies in the Tuttlingen area, the city is also called the “World Centre of Medical Technology”.

I found a trainee position in the Marketing Communications department of Aesculap AG, the oldest and biggest MedTech company at this location. My main tasks are designing marketing materials such as brochures and flyers, publishing news articles and the monthly newsletter and assisting at events and in workshops. What I enjoy most about my practical training are the creative tasks, the international environment and the familiar atmosphere in the office.  

Right from day one I felt very welcome, however I felt obvious differences between the Finnish and the German working culture. Particularly noticeable is the profound hierarchy in German companies and the use of the formal “You”. Colleagues who know each other or work a lot together address each other by their first names, but higher-level colleagues are usually addressed by Mr./Mrs. and their surnames.

Working life as well as everyday life of Germans is characterized by Ordnung and punctuality. The working day in the Communications department starts at 7:30 in the morning, but when I arrive at 7:25 in the office, most of my colleagues are already sitting on their desks. We have a lot of paperwork, everything needs to be documented and it takes months to complete a project. For example, before a new brochure can be printed it gets reviewed multiple times by tenths of people. These people can be product managers, compliance officers, the legal department, the financial department and external inspection bodies who have to comment the document until it gets finally released.

After work or at the weekends I am usually meeting old friends or visiting relatives who are spread all over Germany.  Below you see pictures from the Oktoberfest in München: 

See you soon again in Finland!

Slovenia, here we go again!

Greetings fellow explorers and vagabonds! Part of my thesis, I decided to finish my studies as a part of practical training in Slovenia in Tourism innovation company. This time I have decided to jump to the deep end of the pool, and mingle with locals instead of Erasmus students which I did last time while I was here. The location is the same beautiful coastal town Portoroz in Slovenia. It is almost the perfect place to take refuge from the harsh northern winters as the mild sub-mediterranean climate keeps over 20 degrees even in end of october.

Sunsets are absolutely breathtaking. At a clear weather you can see the alps spreading across the horizon, and with good luck you can even get a glimpse of Venice in the Southwest!

Travelling to Slovenia isn’t that hard. People are friendly, most of them speak english very well and are very hospitable. The country itself is a mixture of balkan and german. The mixed culture has taken influences from the Habsburgs, Italians and ottomans during its history. People enjoy sports, spending their time in cafes, nature and working absolutely hard as animals.

The city of Piran is nearby Portoroz and offers sea, culture and history in the same place. Prices tend to be for tourists, and for such I recommend other less touristic towns to visit for a more affordable accommodation, food and services. Living in touristic town is expensive as appartments are scarce and services tended more to tourists. But if you are on a holiday and have money to spend, then come on over!

Nightlife is pretty dull, but I tend to enjoy more trekking in the mountains, and most likely will go skiing in the alps at winter, since the distance is very short. For sports there are lot of activities, but otherwise you have to get creative.

As a part of my thesis I will be doing survey on Tourism advertisement and working on writing most of my days, but luckily that is a mobile job, so I will be doing them in local cafes, enjoying the sea view and letting the warm wind ease my stay.

There isn’t much anymore culture shocks for me since I visited here already, but working a thesis is a bit different, since professors tend to give direct guidelines what you should do, limiting my creativity, but otherwise they have been very supportive.

Thanks, and take care!

Greetings from Costa del Sol.

 

I had been here over a month, before I figured out that most of the people, I have met has been Finnish. I was surprised about that fact. Fuengirola is far away and totally in the other side of Europe than Finland, even so its very easy to live here with almost only using Finnish. Here you can visit a Finnish doctor, food market, hair dresser, masseur, bar, dentist and of course Finnish church. It is possible to live here in a Finnish bubble with sun shining on it. And amazingly many, who has moved here, choose this kind of life. I met a couple that has lived here 25 years and don’t speak or even want to learn Spanish language. Local people think Finns as a bit mentally cold because they don’t take contact. And its difficult to take contact if don’t have a common language. However, Finns are accepted here because of the money they bring along. Of course, here is also Finns that are interested to integrate into Spanish culture and learn language. I was surprised because I know what is demanded about foreigners who wants to move Finland. There is a saying “maassa maan tavalla”, which means that you must assume the local habits and learn Finnish language if you want to live there. I don’t want to accuse anyone, but I honestly think that it would be more fun and multifaceted live if taken some of the local culture as a part of your own life.

Along with integration I have worked with loneliness and homelessness within my placement. Both issues appear my daily work here. Here are about thirty Finnish with no permanent place to live. They sleep outside, beg money and spend time in parks. We have met them, talk with them and helped them if possible. Often, they are pleased when you give them a moment and listen their story. Most of the people just walk past them with turning their look away.

Loneliness is seen within old people who has become a widow recently. They wheel sadness, tiredness and need someone to be with. There is a high risk that they are not able to get out from their apartment if not necessary. Our small cafeteria in the centre is great place for them to meet other people or even find a new friend. And we try to visit those who can’t reach the café right now.

My eating habits has become totally different here. During Spanish workdays its normal to grab a sandwich etc. after midday and another snack after work. Bigger meal is used to eat after sunset. In Finland I used to eat much more. Warm lunch at school or work and another one at home. Sometimes third meal at evening if needed. I would estimate that I eat less than half here compared to Finland. It must be the body heating due to cold that spends energy up north. Big change for body but it seems to be happy with it.

For me spare time is easy to spend here. From our apartment its only 200 meters to the seashore of Mediterranean and almost all services are as far. I enjoy meeting new people here. They are social and very friendly. Back in Finland I used to watch ice hockey and soccer when possible, but surprisingly here I can do that much more because of the Finnish restaurants and sport channels. I really didn’t expect that. And can you mention a better place to watch live football than Spain? And of course, at the end I must mention the sun. Its always present here, and biggest reason for Finnish people to move here. Maybe for me also.

Kia Ora from New Zealand!

I started my practical training in Wellington, New Zealand in June and the training period lasts for 6 months. I am a fourth-year student and I am studying to be a Bachelor of Social Services, so I am planning to graduate this Christmas. My training placement is called Wellington East Girls’ College and I am an intern in Supported Learning class.

As an intern I am doing the same things as the teacher’s aids in the class. I support the students in their studies both in our own classes and also in mainstream classes, such as Future Pathways, Music and Arts. We also have couple of classes for supported students only, such as Life Skills and Colours of Sexuality. In addition, there are different kinds of therapies for the students in our class, for example Speech and Language therapy, Occupational therapy, Music therapy and RDA – Riding for Disabled.

I would not say that being a teacher’s aid in our class is a same thing that it would be in mainstream classes. It is really challenging, and I can definitely say that my education in Social Services has been a good help for me. In a class of 15 students with mental disabilities every day is different and you can never know when someone has a meltdown or when you have to act as a referee in a fight.

The working culture here is quite the same but quite different comparing to Finnish working culture. People are much more relaxed about things in general even though the rules do not always seem like that. For example, people might take sick leaves from work more easily (sometimes when they are not even sick) and a 30-minute lunch break might be 5 minutes or one hour, depending how the day is going. Lot of things are also just talked through, and many things people should know are not written down anywhere. This sometimes leads to me going to some events in two minutes warning and people forgetting things.

During my spare time I try to relax as much as possible. I also have two holidays during my training period. The first one I spent in South Island. The other holiday I am going to spend in Australia. During weekend I have also made smaller trips to closer towns here in North Island. During mid-summer (mid-winter here) I hiked on a small mountain. I will attach more photos below to show different places.

I’m in love with The Hague

I really had the best time of my life and I wouldn’t change a thing. Everyone should do exchange period!

I spent my August 2018 – January 2019 in The Hague The Netherlands. There are about 500 000 inhibits and it’s an hour’s train ride away from Amsterdam. I really loved the city and there were not so many tourists as Amsterdam has.

I studied in The Hague University of Applied sciences where my specialization was International Business. You could choose one 15 ects minor, I chose Human Resource Management. In addition that I had for example Business English Communication and International Business Law courses. The best thing about my studies were HRM courses. I learned so much! Teachers were all very motivated and inspiring and classes were well planned. I also think student respected teachers more which was nice. A lot of the studies were something I wouldn’t have had a chance to learn in TAMK so I was very happy with my curriculum.

I lived next to the school in this big building in 21st floor and had amazing view of The Hague from my window . I had my own room but shared the rest of the apartment with three others, two boys and one girl. They were also exchange students. We became a one big happy family and spent a lot of time together. Our friends often came to our apartment and we had movie nights, cooked together, sang singstar, talked, drank and partied and played a lot of Uno. So many happy memories. After Erasmus our group has stayed close and we even had our first reunion already!

 

During my free time I traveled to many other Dutch cities as it was very easy by train. I also visited Vienna (where I had two of my friends from TAMK doing their exchange), London and three Belgium cities.

I really had the best time of my life, in school and in the free time. More of my thoughts can be found from SoleMove feedback section and don’t hesitate to contact me if you want to know more. I can warmly recommend The Hague and all Erasmus experience.

Greetings from Antwerp!

Hello!

My Antwerp journey started in the last weeks of January 2019, and my exchange is about 5 month long. My expectations from Antwerp were little, since I knew nothing about this city nor Belgium as a country. I was very pleasantly surprised on how nice people are on the streets, and how in a way everything is kinda similar compared to Finland. My school here is AP university, which actually is a bit tougher than I anticipated. We have a lot of work. A lot. Gladly they are done in teams, which takes the load off my back a bit. Even though the studies are tough, I’ve enjoyed the vast selection of very very very good beers.

On my spare time we hangout with other exchange students, usually in bars, go out, do sports and just stroll around the city. I would say one can’t experience Antwerp only during a holiday. The real thing is to live here to actually and truly experience it.

Our exchange student organisation is gladly hosting different kinds of events, ranging from museum visits to pub crawls. I can’t tell much of the museum meets, but the pub crawls were fun! They also hosted a beer pong tournament which me and my team almost won. 😉

If you ever want to visit a very nice city with lovely street architecture and good vibes, you need to come to Antwerp.

city centre

Greetings from Dogmandu

 

My 2,5 month internship period in Kathmandu is halfway through. So I guess it’s time to put my digital postcard out there.

I am working in a documentary production company. Our main focus is to make short promotional documentaries for different kind of social businesses around Nepal. I’ve enjoyed working here, because I’ve had a chance to do many different things. For the most part, I’m doing cinematography tho.

On my free time I usually go wander around places. Skateboarding around streets is pretty fun, because there isn’t that many skateboarders here and I bet they don’t see white scandinavian boi skating in the traffic too often. If there’s no filming trip scheduled for weekend, I have time to go visit other places. I’ve spent two weekends in the tourist area Thamel. Next weekend I am gonna go for a quick one day hike with my co-workers.

Working in this company has been quite different than what I’ve used to. It’s quite a new company, and the people in it are self-educated. We have a very fast and efficient way of working, but that also has a downside; we don’t plan things too much. We just go and do, and try to learn from mistakes. For me it’s sometimes frustrating, because some of the things could’ve been so much easier if they were planned better, but at the same time I’ve enjoyed this way of working. Not worrying too much, just going for it.

It’s been great times here and at this point I’m pretty well settled here, so I’m just gonna enjoy the rest of the time and try to learn and challenge myself as much as possible.

 

After my internship period I’m gonna go for a little Annapurna basecamp hike and after that spend another month somewhere else before heading back to Finland. I’m excited about rest of the internship and my near-future travels!

 

 

 

 

 

 

γεια σας κι γεια μας 

I went on exchange to Cyprus and studied the field of business administration in University of Nicosia. The experience was very pleasant overall. Teachers were mostly very expressive and passionate about their own subjects. The atmosphere was quite chill but students were expected to actively take part in the lectures. I studied two language courses and two management courses and I found that in Cyprus solo work is more common than group projects. In one of the management courses we had to do two case studies and presentations in small groups while in the other one all the work was done solo apart from some in-class discussions. 

Pic#1: Nicosia.                                                                    Pic#2: Nicosia at sunrise.

University of Nicosia was in general way easier than Tampere University of Applied Sciences is. I and another Finnish student scored straight A’s with ease while in Finland neither of us does. However for local students and some exchange students from other countries the exams didn’t seem to be that easy. Often the exam questions would have answers straight from the study material written in the same exact words and we didn’t need to apply the information into practice in any way.  

 

Pic#3: Buffavento Castle, North Cyprus.                  Pic#4: Golden Beach, North Cyprus.

I mostly spent my spare time with other exchange students. There was an organization called Erasmus Society Nicosia (not to be confused with the official ESN) which arranged lots of events for Erasmus students every week, so many of us got together in the evenings, usually multiple times a week. We travelled around both Greek and Turkish Cyprus and the adjacent countries such as Jordan, Israel and Greece. We visited all the cities in Cyprus such as Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos multiple times. We also spent a lot of time sunbathing on the beautiful beaches of Ayia Napa.

 

Pic#5: Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa. Pic#6: Ayia Napa Sea Caves.

Going on exchange to Cyprus was the best decision I have ever made and I strongly recommend choosing Nicosia as one’s exchange destination.

Far, far away

Time here has passed faster than I could have imagined, even though I had very high expectations. I’m studying at the Seoul National University of Science & Technology and the semester is coming to an end. The studies have moved on with good pace, but stressful during the exam periods. For every course there is a high attendance percentage mandatory, what firstly was a shock. At the beginning it was hard to get enrolled for
the courses, but after the beginning things have been moving on well. Every professor of every course speaks good English and the teaching has been good.

Picture 1. Gyeongbokgung Palace’s gate

My time here has been a great combination of studying and traveling the city. Living at the campus is a dream for a student. It is so easy to just get down stairs and walk for five minutes (maximum) to the lecture. The facilities are great too. At the first floor is a cafeteria, a convenience store, a gym and a coffee shop where you can hang out. The campus is located relatively far away from the city center, but with such a good metro system it is no problem to just hop on a train and travel anywhere in the city before you know it.

Picture 2. Han river at night.

There are so many great traditional palaces as there are modern buildings. I have seen lots of things in one semester, since almost every week we have discovered something new from this city with friends. Personally, it was really easy to adapt to the life here in Korea. In here one might feel like been followed, because of the camera surveillance, but most definitely this is a safe place to live in. This city is exciting and full of adventures. I’m going to miss Seoul.

June 14, 2019. Seoul, South-Korea.