Tag Archives: China

China the Giant

My exchange studies here in Jinan, China is almost coming to it’s end. Even though I’m really happy to return back to my oh-so-dear home country Finland, there are some things I’m going to miss when I leave.

Library of Qilu University of Technology

The nature and weather here is definitely very different from Finland’s. Parks are full of most bizzare looking plants and flowers and the temperatures are much higher than in Finland. That still doesn’t mean there can not be cold. In the winter we had snow couple of times!


Food is amazing and there is always lots of it. Chinese food is different from what you can get from the restaurants back in home. Here the food is more spiced and more simple. One of the things I need to try when I get back home is cook some real kung po chicken.


During this academic year we had many holidays and great chances to do some traveling. I have seen the Great Wall of China in Beijing, big skyscrapers of Shanghai and shores of Qingdao. In the winter holiday, which is almost 2 months here, I even went to out of the country to Philippines and South Korea and also visited Hong Kong.


The thing I will definitely miss most are my new friends.


Greetings from China!

Hello from Jinan, China!

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I have now lived 6 months in Jinan and this experience has been totally one of its own kind. At first when I arrived here it was a culture shock for me. I knew that I have to prepare myself for this, but this city where I live is totally opposite from Finland. Things go on its own speed like people who live here, slowly. So that is why I have been stressed out about my studies here. At first everything seems to go like it should be, but after a one month there started to came some problems. Sometimes they didn’t find teacher who can teach courses in English for us, so they delecate other students to help us to understand teacher.. So those classes I didn’t learn anything. Also they suddenly informs me that this course cannot be arranged for you, because there is no teacher or the fact that the course has already started one month ago. The information goes very slowly here and you have to ask and ask things you want to know, several times. Even then, you cannot be sure that things are happening as promised.

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When I got used to local lifestyle, it was ok to live and study here. I had some time to travel around China, places such as Beijing, Shanghai and Qingdao. Travelling inside China is little difficult, mostly because it is very hard to find common language here.. So sometimes our classmates came to travel with us exchange students. Also when here in China is winter holiday, it lasts almost 2 months. At that time, I went to travel a longer time. I spend 3 days in Hong Kong, one month in Philippines and 2 weeks in South Korea. I went to South Korea meet my roommate and his friends, who showed us some good places to go in Korea. I would say that winter holiday here in China is the best thing! I had so much time to travel, and meet new people from different countries end experience some amazing stuff, for example swimming with whale sharks and big sea turtles in Philippines.

Because of winter holiday I came back to school in March, and I have now one semester left. The spring semester here ends in July, but I have to get back to Finland in May, they told me that it is possible, but you may never know…

Made in China




Here in Shanghai have been happened so much, so its hard the even try to summarize all in one blog text. So I tell you about trational chinese medicen lessons that I have taken. I have also have lenssons of Chinese Herbs, Taji, Chinese laguage. They have been also interesting but I wonder TCM is something that I can tell you the easiest way.


Pictures for the campus area at the Shanghai institute of health sciences





TCM lessons:

We had told things about Chinese culture. How did the Chinese traditional medicine get started and how they use it in nowadays. It has long roots in this culture and Chinese traditional medicine nurses study it eight years. Its hard because nurses and doctor had to know also western way to treat. Also anathomy have a big role in studies, example when your are going to do acpunction.

The teacher told us about theory of Ying and Yang. Even I have heard it before there was so much new information. The way how they acully use that theory when they interview the patient and treat the patient.

yy_clinical yin_yang


Also the teacher has tell us theory of five element. It wasnt the same that I have seen in the movies or what I have read at the books. It was interesting that we all have a own element and we have certain kind of relationship with the other elements. Example a tree element need water to grow and otherwise fire need tree for burning. So every element need some other element and give something to other element. There are also control relationships too. Metal can control the tree because it can cut it and stop it grow.

So everything affect everything, especially in the long term.

thFive elements circle

We have also inspect each other tongue. In traditional medicen you see patients healthy in hers/hims tongue. The colour in the tongue will change every day and when you inspect it it important that patient havent drink and eat nothing in couple hours, especially dark food products are prohibited.

kkkkooTongue inspecting

We have done acupuncture twice and cupping. Teacher has showed us different kind of needles and instruments. We have learn the different places where to press, massage, injected with a needle or cup and know where it should been helped.

tttttttttAcupunctio needles

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For a shoulder pain



I have been so excited to learn this stuff in here. It is a whole new world where you can easily absorbed in. I want to learn this more, hopefully it is possible in Finland too.


Hello everyone !

I’m a bit late with this post, so sorry for that. But for starters, China hasn’t been anything I thought it would be. I thought I would have a great chance of practicing my clinical skills such as cannulation, mixing medication etc, but not a freaking chance. Even Chinese students aren’t allowed to do pretty much anything. They are not even allowed to change the IV-bag if it’s empty ! We have so far been in cardiology, neurosurgery and a nursing home, in which I haven’t learned anything. The whole exchange itself has been a huge disappointment. You can check Aurora’s post for more information, I don’t bother to write the same things all over again..

The inside of an chinese ambulance
More insides of an ambulance

We’ve had fun too, couple of weeks ago we went to Mt. Huangshan (The Yellow Mountains) and it was quite something ! Though it wasn’t as breathtaking as I thought it would’ve been, but it was worth it. Luckily we have learned one thing during this stay here, to lower our standards. In China one should never expect much. Chinese people are annoying, rude and  there is waaaay too much of them. And can you imagine, we were considered rude when we asked a chinese nursing student, where she wants to work when she graduates ! But there’s only a couple more weeks left and we will spend them in Shanghai Children’s medical center, so it should be okay, but I’m not getting hopes up ;p And next week we’re heading to the Great Wall of China, so yay !

Mt. Huangshan
Jade-Buddha temple

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Nursing studies in Shanghai, China

Ni Hao from Shanghai, China.

Unfortunately the great firewall of China is blocking my internet access, so no pictures can be downloaded. Wifi at our campus is constantly overloaded and mainly  it works after midnight. Google and Facebook are blocked by the Chinese government. If I want to use them I have to pay for a VPN.

Shanghai is a very busy and over populated city. Everythings designed so that it can handle large crowds.  Im sure the Shanghainese have invented new professions that we don’t have back in Finland. For example they employ people to weigh your fruits,  a person to take care of a  patient at a hospital (NOT A NURSE /PRACTICAL NURSE) , a person to get your pick n’ mix sweets  and a person who only cleans tables.  The people in Shanghai have long working hours to earn some chunky monkey. The Shanghainese nurse works approximately 8 or 12 hours. The work isn’t physical and the job description differs alot from the Finnish nurse.

I’m very sad to say that the nursing culture in China differs so much that I wont be taking any skills back home with me.  The only thing i’m taking back is a suitcase full of fake nike’s. The nursing program in China takes 6 years in total to complete. Our campus is full of 16-year old student ‘s  that study ‘practical nursing’  and after three years they can head off to university and get their bachelors degree. Our campus is located in the suburbs of Shanghai in East Zhoupu, it’s about 40 minutes away from down town.  The campus is situated with the locals, so  it’s interesting to see how poorly some shanghainese have to live. Downtown Shanghai is full of chinese millionaires and forgeneirs who have all the luxuries.

Practical training placements have been dissapointing. The wards that we have been on are cardiology, neurosurgery and a nursing home. A Chinese nurses job is to start iv-infusions and take blood samples, nothing else. All other measures and procedures are done by doctors.  Chinese nurses say they have a lot of patients and they are always in a hurry (not true). The nurses in China have always time to sit, chat with co-workers and play on their mobile phones.  The  hospitals and nurses’ profession in China is truly out of date and would need major renewing. It is scary to think that the nurses don’t know what illnesses the patient’s have and what they are taking care of.

It also amazes us, how poor english language skills the nurse’s have. Basically everyone speaks only chinese to us and we reply in english. Most of the time we don’t understand what’s happening. The Chinese find it very funny and start to giggle when we don’t understand Chinese. Practical training should be changed to Practical stareing. The only things we are able to practice are temperature taking, pulse and bp measuring, blood sugar testing, bed sheet changeing and trolley cleaning. Patient’s basic care is done by family members. If the patient hasn’t got family, they can hire a person to take care of them. They are usually older people in the society that can’t get any other job anymore.  Also nursing homes aren’t for those who really need it. The old people don’t have diseases’ and don’t need any care. They just choose to live in a *hotel* full of activites, that they pay for. When they do get dementia, they are transfered from the nursing home back to their families so that the children can take care of them.

I love the international spirit in Shanghai and all the foods we get to taste. I’ve also enjoyed learning traditional chinese medicine; acupuncture, cupping and herbs. Living, exploring, eating, partying and travelling have been experiences that I wouldn’t change on my trip.

The practice and school aren’t suitable for nursing students. I’ve learnt so far a lot of patients and keeping quiet.

XIE XIE, Aurora





The city of the future

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I spent some of the most amazing time of my life this fall in one of the world’s busiest cities: Shanghai. Since I was a little girl, I have develop a deep fascination towards the Chinese culture through the countless stories I’ve heard from family members who have travelled there for business, so I really can’t put in words how excited I was to finally explore the way of life on the other side of the world myself.


And I’m happy I did it. During the 3 month period that the China Program lasted I learned to get through sticky situations with a big silly smily on my face and by only using sign language, not to mention some essential Mandarin for everyday use that I picked up. I got lost in the city more than once, travelled a bit around China, spend a weekend with the NBA organization and met a bunch of interesting people from around the world. I got used to the massive crowds during the rush hours in the metro, teared up a little when I first saw the Great Wall and a lot more once hiking up the never-ending stairs. And of course, lived the regular day-to-day life including lots of rice dishes, taxies, Nihao’s, practicing Chinese characters and pronunciation, misunderstandings and steady flow of glittery champagne. And that’s not even half of it. It’s easy to say that life in Shanghai was a dream: everyday we learned something new and saw things that either amazed or amused us.


I also want to especially mention how kind,helpful and understanding the Chinese were to us strangers. Even though we didn’t have a common language and we might have made some etiquette mistakes along the way, the Shanghainese always took their time to guide us with a big smile on their faces. The professors at the University, especially our Chinese teacher, became a good friend to the group during our stay and was a big support through out the entire stay. I feel so lucky to have met such incredible people as I did in Shanghai!!


I want to encourage anyone who considers Shanghai as a exchange destination to DO IT!!! Go and you won’t regret choosing the exciting city that has something different to offer for each day of your stay there.

Have a great year of 2015 everyone!! 

Oona Vitikainen

Smoggy greetings from the capital of China.

On a very clear day I've seen mountains in the distance.

Hi, how are you? I’m fine, though stuck inside with hazardous smog levels again. I’m doing my training exchange in Beijing, People’s Republic of China. This is my second venture to China. I studied in Shanghai University some years ago and fell in love with the Orient. The one word that can be used to described China is DIFFERENT. Here are some views of the country and everyday wonders of the city, but first let me introduce my workplace.

BeiZ is a mobile game company with studios in both China and Finland. We make educational kids’ games starring our fun and charming character Lola Panda, who teaches 3 to 8 year olds everything from maths to languages. Our vision is to become the market leader in our field. Our latest release Lola’s Pinyin Party, though only available in China, has kept its place at number one of the most downloaded iPad kids’ apps for weeks now!

On the roof of the best marketplace in town, overseeing the Temple of Heaven. Beijing is a wonderful city. Shopping is a sport. You have to bargain hard, but the final prices are ridiculously low. Good for a student!

Here's our office turtle.
Our office pet.

I feel right at home in East Asia and I didn’t feel as scared as I did moving abroad for the first time, but naturally the thick language barrier and overwhelming differences in our cultures do pose some practical difficulties. Luckily the Chinese are extremely friendly and helpful, and my colleagues have taken care of everything. My apartment is practically next door to the office so life is as easy as it can be (after some initial complications of course).

I enjoy working here very much. I take the difficulties I encounter as challenges and learning opportunities, both the professional and the cultural ones. Not always (read: not at all) understanding what is going on is probably the hardest part. On the other hand a game studio is a game studio: a relaxed work environment and not too different from home. But my workload is heavier than expected and I don’t have a lot of time or energy to play tourist or continue my language studies.

Eating is a very social thing here in China. So far I’ve tried frog, squid, some other tentacled animals, loads of new fruits and local dishes. This part of town is bustling with Korean expats and there is enough delicious Korean food available even for my endless appetite. None of the waitresses or shop keepers speak English here, but closer to the center of Beijing you can survive with no knowledge of Chinese language at all. 

Here are some pictures of our first weekend trip together with my colleagues. They took me to the Great Wall, and it was a real adventure! I haven’t been able to travel much during my stay, but everything I’ve seen has been magnificent. Everything is different, wonderful, or at least worth a chuckle if you pay attention and look around you. Appreciating the small things is my theme of this trip.

To demonstrate the day-to-day obstacles I have, let me tell you about my visit to the super market today. I was going to buy shampoo, and I found an aisle that said shampoo, but there was not one single bottle that had a word of any language I could read on it. If I ask the shopping assistants, they will probably not understand me, or go on and on in Chinese, even if I say I don’t understand them (in Chinese). I’ve grown used to it and find it kind of amusing. Even the smallest tasks end up becoming adventures!

I’ll be happy to tell more stories and answer any questions if you are planning to go to China for your exchange!