So, with about 2 months to go before I leave I have finally booked the flights I still have some fees to pay with Art in Tanzania and some paper work to send them. Most of my school documentation is ok, so now just the information about where I want to go in Tanzania, what projects I want to participate in and make my visa application. Most of the official paperwork I have received through Art in Tanzania and send back via them. They have been very helpful with my many (many) questions. A three month visa costs about 50USD and you can pick it up at the airport when you arrive.
From the school side, I have now informed my teachers and international co-ordinators about this blog and about the specific dates I will be away and what I am going to do in Tanzania. I still need to think about what things I should prepare, like work shift schedules and the information for the professional practice assignments.
I applied for a grant from the school earlier in the spring, but have heard nothing yet. So, if you are thinking about going on exchange, don’t rely on the grant to pay your flights etc. You might not have time! I also applied for the Kela study grant (opintotuki) and had the decision back already, so at least I will have a little something in my bank account.
I am already looking into what free time activities I could do in Tanzania and also what practical training places might be good for me. One of the medical placement directors has recommended I spend most of my time in Dar es Salaam as there is a shortage of health workers there. They also have an HIV/AIDS awareness programme there which would be an interesting project to participate in.
People keep asking me if I am nervous or scared to leave. Well, yes. A little. I suppose it’s the furthest I will have ever travelled by myself. I have been in Finland so long that it feels like home and to think of going to a new place and trying to be a nurse on a different continent in a different culture is quite daunting…….
…….But I can’t wait!