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This was it!

This will be my last post. Now I have been in Finland three weeks and life in here starts to feel like  “normal” (if I can say so..) I have started thinking about and doing some of my school works those I’m supposed to do this autumn. I have also been working and getting a rutine and strukture in my life. This feels good because the spring was pretty much staying up late and waking up late, without any rutine..

I really like it here, even tough some of my closest friends are not here. I have my family and my grandparents living almost next to me, so I can spend some  time with them.

I have been waiting for the shock to come, but guess I survived from my exchange semester without any. Though I don’t think I’m an easy acclimatized person, I guess I’m.. The last thing I want to say in this blog is, that I really recommend everyone to go and do their exchange semester! You will learn so much of your self and also of all the other people and cultures you come across! You will get memories and friends, those you won’t ever forget!

Back in Finland!

Now I have been one week back in Finland. My flights last week went like planed, I had to change the plane in Copenhagen and there, when waiting my flight to Helsinki I had sort of the first “shock”. I hadn’t really heard anyone speak Finish in almost half a year and now I was surrounded of people who spoke Finnish and looked like Finns…

This last week in Finland has been full of program! I have been seeing my friends, unpacking a lot of boxes to my new apartment and arranging things. I have been in KELA to tell I’m back in Finland and in a job interview. I still need to go to school next week to give all the papers I got. Then I think all the most important things are done.. I think because my week has been full of program (and it’s still going to be until next weekend) I haven’t really realized I’m in Finland. I have a totally new city to live in and a lot of different people around me then who I have been used to the last months (and last years in Jyväskylä). So, I’m still waiting for the “coming back home shock” to come.

When I try to think back my time in Esslingen it feels like a dream. Half year went, but still things in here haven’t really changed. People I met there don’t feel real anymore. Of course I can keep in contact with them on Facebook etc. but still, it’s not the same. I guess I have to start planning a trip somewhere to meet them..

I will try to write next week my last blog post, I think then I would have more to say, hopefully!

Last moments in Germany

5 months went really fast and now it’s time to say goodbye to everyone. Many exchange students have already left back home and German students to their home places. It has been terrible to say goodbye to everyone. We were almost a half a year part of each others lives and no it’s time to go. I think many of the people i met here I won’t be seeing in the future even though I would like to. Because there is simply not enough time to keep in contact with more than 100 new friends i did here! Some of them I’m sure I will still meet and keep in contact with!

Why did I actually come here to Germany?

I came here because I wanted to have something new in my life.  I have always  been interested in different cultures and travelling and coming here was a thing I have always liked to do but not had the chance or right time.

And what am I bringing with me to Finland?

During these five months I think I have grown somehow myself, but it’s hard to say how… There has been a lot of time just to myself and my independence has grown, I didn’t have those close friends from Finland to see everyday and to talk with, I had to manage at my own and build relationships with new people. Already the thing that I came to another country without anyone I know well was a great thing and a  challenge. I think it shows I have courage.

At least those stereotypes I had about people of some countries have been breaking of during my time here. I made friends form several countries and I got to realize that deep down it doesn’t matter where you come from. Of course you have your own culture and personality that effects but those are just side issues. I think in the future I will benefit of being here in many ways. I will have a bigger picture of the world and the people and also about the cultures we come across. Besides I think living half a year aboard is a good point in your CV, it shows maturity.

Because there were not many Finnish students I had the possibility to train my language skills. I mostly spoke English, but also German. These languages have really been improving during my stay. At the moment I’m  afraid of going home and only speak Finnish with everyone. I think it will be a real challenge.

Here is a list of courses i took here in Germany:

Intercultural Communication: As I already have told you it was from another faculty and not direct anything what I’m studying. But I think it’s important to know about different cultures when working in the field of social work. I will be meeting a lot of people of several countries and cultures in the future and now i have something already in my pocket for that. The course was really interesting and I would recommend it to everyone whatever you study!

Landeskunde (auf Deutsch): The class about German history… I have never been a big fan on history, and during this course I sometimes had some problems to concentrate because of that. But finally after the exam I was surprised how much I have really learnt. I don’t know if I will benefit anyhow from taking this course in the future, but it’s good for the all-round education.

Deutsch 4 SS : I was in the most developed language group and I had some serious problems there. The group in the middle would have been much better for me. In the group I was in some students spoke almost fluent German when I was just trying to remember some word those I haven’t been using in almost five years.. This course was good for my language skills. I don’t think I can say I learnt a lot of German on the course, but at least during my stay here. And knowing languages is always a benefit in my opinion.

Social protection systems in the EU Member States: This was the only course I had from my own faculty. We were not many students on the course but it was also a good thing, because we had the chance to discuss more. I learnt about how the social system is organised in some European countries. It’s something I might be able to use in the future in my work when I meet people coming or going in different countries in Europe.

Internationale Summer School: Gesundheitsförderung und Reproduktive Gesundheit: This was the one week summer school in Poland.  Health is important for everyone and thats why I think the Summer school was something really useful for me also. We had the possibility to talk about issues and different topics in multicultural and multiprofessional groups. This gave a special touch in it and I’m so happy I had the possibility to be part of it this year!

Practical training: I also did my optional practical training here in a kindergarten. As i have written before it was interesting to see how things work in here how different but also at the same time similar everything is. I got a lot of small useful things I think I will have a use of while working in a kindergarten in Finland.

 

 

 

Poland and Bavaria

Two weeks ago I had the Summer School in Poland from Sunday till Sunday. Before leaving to Poland I was a bit worried about how it will go, because i didn’t know the people so well, whit who I was going to travel and spend the week with. But it was so nice, and I’m sad that i learn to know these people so late..

During the Summer School we heard about 30 different presentations! Everyone had made a presentation (mostly in pairs) about a topic concerning Reproductive Health Promotion.I really enjoyed the presentations, even though I’m not studying Nursing (like most of the participants in the Summer School) but as a social worker the topics were also interesting. In Poland we also had a lot of nice program organised by the University of Poznan, whose quests we were. We had a welcoming from the city Mayor, a guided city tour, a dinner and a lot of evening program with the polish students.

I have always tought that the Finnish railway company VR is bad with timetables, but I got to find out that the German one is even worse! On the way to Poland we missed our connection train in Berlin, and the next one was going first next morning, so we got a free hotel night in Berlin! And on the way back home the train was almost 2 hours late…

Last week was nothing special. The beginning of the week we just spend time in Esslingen and did nothing special. On Thursday I left with another exchange student and a German student at his home place in Bavaria. It was a small town in the North of the Alps. Unfortunately we had mostly a bad weather, cloudy and raining, so we couldn’t enjoy the outdoor activities those are the nicest thing over there. But still we had a good time. We went swimming, bowling, watching football, partying and ate good. Finally on Sunday afternoon it was sunny and we climbed(!) on one of the mountains, Alpspitz, that was 1575 meters high! So even higher than any point in Finland! It was a bit hard to climb there, but certainly worth it! The view from there was beautiful, we could see many other mountains and the small city down. 

I only have one week and some days left here in Germany. On Wednesday I will leave with 7 other students to Prague and come back on Saturday. Then I guess I have to start packing my things etc. I’m already now excited (and worried) about going back home. How is everything going to be there? I have been away more than 5 months, so I’m sure many things have changed!

Less than one month left!

I guess I have posted too many fotos, because I can’t see the fotos from the last post and I can’t up load anymore :/ It’s a shame because I think fotos make the post look so much nicer and they also tell so much!

The exam period is over; for me at least. The last exams will be, for the unlucky ones, next Friday. For me it was already last Thursday :) It was pretty easy for me because I had only three exams and in one course a paper to write. Tomorrow morning I will leave to Poland, where I have a Summer School with 10 other German students and at least some Spanish, Dutsch and Polish students. There I will have a presentation which I still need to improve a bit..

A friend was visiting me last week. She came on Wednesday evening (which was also birthday, so it was a great birthday present!) and left on sunday evening. We had great time together, I showed her all the nice places here and introduced her to my new friends. On Saturday we went to Heidelberg, as I had said before I needed to go there once again. We went to the castel and walked around the beautiful old city. In the evening we had planed to go to Stuttgart to make some party, but on our way a terrible thunderstorm came! We had to go in a recess and stay there for almost half an hour and wait for the storm to calm down. Finally it did, but we didn’t feel like doing anything special after that, it was the most terrible thunderstorm i have ever been in. She left on Sunday and it was sad, I had the feeling I would also like to go in the plane with her and go home.. But I will in less then one month..

This Wednesday I went for the last time to an extra visit in the Kindergarten. I spent the whole day in the forest with the group. The forecast had said it would rain and thunder, but luckily for us the weather was sunny! In the evening we went eating with the employees, and leaving from there was hard, once again (I just hate leaving people behind). But I promised I will try to visit them when the new Kindergarten is build, it would be so interesting to see it!

My home going is not that far away anymore! There is a lot of things to organize before I go back to Finland and also then when I’m in Finland. Yesterday i got a new apartment in Finland, so I’m happy! I have a place to go when I’m there. But I need to do a contract with the electricity, inform everyone of my move  etc. I’m also worrying about all the papers I need to fill in here before I head back home, I hope I remember all of them! There are also many things here in Germany I need to do. I have to go to the city and tell them I’m moving away from Esslingen, I need to arrange with the janitor to check my room, go to the bank and close my German account.. Blaah, we will see what I remember and what not :D

I guess now it would be a good time to start packing for Poland, otherwise I’ll find my self stressing once again….:D 

 

Time to play some football!

Always when I’m writing this Blog I’m thinking about how fast the time flies! Sort of I like it because I really miss my friends in Finland, but on the same time I really enjoy my time in here.. It’s hard to say if I wanna go back or stay here. Back in Finland there will be the daily life again, studying (of course I’m also studying here, but not the same way..). Here I just don’t have to think about anything, I’m just enjoying.. On the weekend I finally booked my tickets back home, late night on 2th of August I will arrive back to Finland, after spending more then five amazing and always rememberable months here in Esslingen..

 

My last post is more than three weeks ago, hups :D So there is a lot to tell! 28.5.-3.6. we had holidays here, Pentacoste break was is called. If i understood right it has something to do with the Katholic church. Many people were travelling on the break but i stayed here and enjoyed my time. It was actually nice to have nothing to do, and just walk around the city. I did some stydying, but right now I think I should have done even some more then, because there is so much to do!

 

In Stuttgart they have a program for exchange students.The idea is to put together german families and exchange students so that they can see and feel the real german family life etc. I have now been two times in a German family together with a Hungarian exchange student. It has been really nice to get to know them and spend time with them!

Two weekends ago I and three other exchange students (one Hungarian, French and Brazilian) went with my roommate at her place at the Lake of Constance. There we had again the possibility to see German life very near. We spend the whole weekend there and on Saturday we did a trip to Austria and Switzerland. I really enjoyed my time there also!

The same Saturday evening Germany had the first game in the European Football Championship 2012!  It’s just unbelievable how big thing football is here in Germany! In every store you can see something with the German colors and there is hanging a German flag from almost every car. And when Germany won a game everyone goes driving with their cars and honks their horn. In fact I also bought a scarf with the colors of the German flag, because Finland is not playing its easy for me to choose the side :)


13.6. I ended working in the Kindergarten. It was interesting to see how things work in here. In the beginning of my internship i tought there is a lot of differences in the system and the way how the daily life in the Kindergarten in, but in the end I can say, it was not that different. As in Finland, here also the kindergarten is for the children and that’s what around everything works.

 

Others there is nothing special. Only couple of more weeks school, so a lot of homework and studying in exams to come.  I have my first exam this evening, it’s on the German language course.. We will see how it goes, I have to say I’m excited about it!

 

Enjoying my time

 

I have bee so busy with everything these couple of weeks. I started in the Kindergarten 7th of May and I really like it in there! It’s a bilingual kindergarten with only one group, so it was pretty easy to get to know everyone, both the children and adults. My fellow workers are amazing and so are also the kids. The problem has only been the early mornings i have, I must wake up 5.30 everyday to get to the kindergarten on time. It’s almost one hour train journey, but fortunately  I can sleep in the train, I just need to remember to put my alarm on, so that I don’t miss the stop.. 

Last couple weekends I haven’t been doing anything special. Just hanging around with friends. Last Saturday I was watching the Champions League Final: it was the first time I saw an whole football game! And it was not as bad as I had been imagined.

Two Sundays ago we were on an excursion on Bodensee, it was once again great. It was a really beautiful place, even tough the weather was not the best one.. I will go there again in the beginning of June, because my roommate is from there and she invited me, hopefully it will be sunny then. We were in Zeppelin museum, in a castle and took a boat trip.

 

The whole next week we will have holiday from the school and i also agreed in the kindergarten that I will have free from there so I enjoy my time with other students. I need to start writing some homework, that I have for the courses I’m taking. We have also been planing to do some day trips with others, I will later tell you what did we do and where did we go! :)

Summer is here!

Summer has already arrived here! Atleast last week was amazing, I’m burned!

Time has gone to fast, as I allredy said earlier. But I have also done a lot. We had an international evening some weeks ago, where exchanges students represented the countries they come from. I made some Finnish food, Karjalapiirakoita and korvapuusteja. It was nice to see how people liked them. The same evening we had an huge wohnheim party in the dorm! It was nice, but maybe not so nice for them who needed to get up early next mornig :D

Tow weeks ago we were eating Sushi in a all-you-can-eat restaurant. It was great because we had also some chinese students with us, who could tell what everything was. I ate too much and was so tired afterwards. The same sunday we had an excursion with our German history and culture group to Nürnberg. It was the city where Hitlers headquarter were . I’m not so much interested in history, so the trip wasn’t very interesting for me..

In Stuttgart there is Frühlingsfest every spring. It  is like Octoberfest, but smaller. I think almost every city in Germany have their own Volkfest or Frühlingsfest on springtime. I was there  two weeks ago with some german students and excahnges students.  Atomsphere there was great and it was alot of fun! Many of the German people were wearing a traditional dress and they looked so cute! I think I will go there once again.. Maybe next week..

Last weekend I was travelling with 5 other exchange students in Düsseldorf, Köln and Heidelberg. We travelled to Düsseldorf on Friday-Saturday night and the trip took about 10 hours! It was because we bought the cheapest possible train ticket and we were not allowed to use any fast trains. But it was anyway nice!  First night we stayed in a hotel in Köln and the second night as well in Köln, but in a hostel. The hostel was really nice; nice staff, good location immediately next to the train station, clean, great kitchen and there was everything you could imagine and need! I would recommend it to everyone who is travelling in Köln, it’s called “Pathpoint Cologne”.

Düsseldorf, Köln and Heidelberg were all so beautiful!We didn’t have much time to spend in Heidelberg and it seemed so nice that we decided we will go there some day again, we just need to make a plan when.. We came back home on Monday evening because we didn’t have any classes on Monday. And we wanted to have some free time before the school, which continued on Wednesday.

Monday and Tuesday was days when I really missed back home. Here people don’t celebrate the First of May the same way as people in Finland… Actually right now I guess I  also miss a bit Finland. No-one in here is interested to look the ice-hockey world championship, everyone is just watching soccer :S

On  Friday I went to the kindergarten, where I’ll work in, for a visit. Just to see how the place is like and to introduce myself. It was a nice looking place with very nice people, I’m looking forward to start working there next week :) Tomorrow we will once again have an excursion, now to Bodensee, a like in the south of Germany. I just have to keep my thumbs up for a good weather! :)

Going around..

 

I already thought the summer is coming, but no.. A couple of weeks ago the weather was great, just like the Finnish summer, but now it’s like our autumn in Finland. It’s cold, dark and rainy. :/

Week ago, on Easter I went to Frankfurt for two days to see my mother. She fly there from Helsinki and we spent a couple of days together there. Frankfurt was a nice city. Different than the other German cities I have seen, there were so many high buildings. Because it was Easter was many places closed but we had enough to do. We went on a cruise on the river Main, walked around the city and of course ate a lot!

We came also to Stuttgart and Esslingen for one night, so that she could see the place where I’m living. We ate in a typical German restaurant and I showed her around. We also went to The Württemberg State Museum, where there were old things from the region.

On Friday I had a totally German seminar which lasted the whole day, from 10 until 17. It was called “Let’s play music”. I had some difficulties with the language, but I think I understood most of the things. We were only 13 students and a teacher, so it was nice to work in the group because it was not that big. We made some body percussion, sang, and played different instruments. From the seminar I got some ideas which I could take advantage of in the kindergarten.. 

On Saturday we had a trip to Neuschwanstein, that is a well-known castle in Bayern. The castle was under renovating and the weather was not the best, but anyway it was a nice excursion. I had imagined the castle would be even more amazing than what it really was.

In the evening we went out to Stuttgart with a big group of other exchange students. Partying in Stuttgart is nice, but it’s so hard to get home from there. We took the night bus and there were just too many people in the bus. Next time I think I’ll wait for the first train to leave… Sunday just went resting. And now I think I should concentrate a bit in my homeworks..

Time goes way too fast!

Already one month has past here in Germany.Now I know all my courses and timetable for my practical training; I’ll start it in the beginning of May und until that I have pretty easy in school :) I could already start doing my presentations to different courses, but it feels still too early, so I’ll leave it later..

Week ago on Friday we did an excursion to Stuttgart with our German history and culture group. Stuttgart is only about 20min away with train, so it’s very easy to travel there. It was interesting to hear something about the city. I had already been there before but didn’t know anything about the buildings, which one is which.

It has been great to meet people from all over the world; many of them have also made some typical food from their country, what have been nice to taste. I would also like to do some typical food from Finland, but I don’t think we have any…

This weekend I left with 9 other exchange students to Munich for a weekend trip. We left on Saturday morning 6.43 and spend the whole day exploring Munich. We came back yesterday evening around 23. We saw the city of Munich, BMW welt and museum, Olympia park and of course we heard the local football fans.


The trip was great, even 
though the people (especially in restaurants) were not so polite! It was weird to come back to Esslingen, when we arrived to the 
train station came the feeling that I’m home.
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