England and the Final race

Hei there!

I keep wondering about whether I should say hello in the beginning or not, humm… Feel like a weak attempt to catch attention of anyone walking by, I mean anyone 😛 But not saying hello is impolite, and England is the land of politeness, so I guess I should follow the tradition, hah.

Let’s pass the not-making-much-sense opening.

It must have been 6 months since my last whiny lines were written, I feel like ages! I’m really sorry (mostly to my teachers who are responsible for keeping track of my existence throughout this period)! Now that I finished off my Dissertation, I finally find sometime to let myself flee a little bit. So I decided to write these bits, to perhaps tell you about how my last 6 months have been, and how England in my eyes has changed overtime.

 

The study:

ahem, this is never a fun part, so let’s me get over it first. In case you are planning to go to England for an exchange and wonder how long your stay should last, I am begging you to consider really careful about your motivation and your actual goal. If you want to taste the sweetness & craziness of the legendary Erasmus Exchange which have been told like a million times by the previous students, then go for a 3 to 6 months period. 6 months are enough for the fun, and never ever go beyond that point. From that point forward I doubt if you can escape have mental breakdown due to stress and anxiety. Which literally describes a large part of my study year here. I mean even if you’re really eager to learn and so committed in enhancing your knowledge, you still have to prepare yourself, mentally, really carefully. Before coming to BU, I never thought that there would be the day where I spend 10-12 hours of my day sitting in the library, the rest 12 hours is either in front of the computer or on bed. Sound exciting?

 

But hard work always pays off, that I can promise you. Now that I look back at my current work and compare it with the one made 1 year ago, I feel both surprise and proud that I was able to get to this day. Not giving up is a success to me, so to say 😀 It also gives me a weird confidence that from this day onward, I can do anything, as long as I’m determine and keep on trying.

 

School of Tourism of Bournemouth University is one of the best in the UK in term of hospitality and tourism education, you get so many chances and support from the school to experience and develop your competences in a very competitive and updated environment. So if you’re that ambitious one, then I will wholeheartedly recommend this school for you. (2nd year only, never ever ever ever ever try the 4th year program, it’s just way way too much for anyone. 2nd year on the other hand is awesome! ).

 

JAMK is still great in my opinion, the studying approach of JAMK is in a rather commercial and operational level, while the one in BU is much more about academic and R&D direction. So instead of trying to say which one is better, I would say each one has its strength, and really happy that I have had the chance to try out both!

 

The ‘Tourist’ side

Well I must say England is old and charming. I haven’t seen much of her tho, only a bit of Birmingham, Swanage and tiny bit of London. I am aiming to go to 2,3 cities more after I finish the last exam in May. So far, from what I heard from others, Oxford, Cambridge, London and Edinburgh are few of the ‘must see places’. Hope I will have enough time to really ‘see’ her in the beginning of summer :D!

The weather these days are lovely! With sun shining, wind blowing and flower blooming everywhere! Few months ago it was bloody depressing… I was silly to believe that if I went a tiny bit further to the south, my life in winter would be better. No it ain’t, so save yourself the winter – expectation thingy and stop complaining about winter in Finland! I miss Finnish winter and my dear Finnish friends and the weekend drunk talk in o’malley’s bar incredibly much! ‘Ripuli’ is my most fav word of all time 😀 :D, and that’s exactly how my Finn buddies taught me to speak the letter “R” in Finnish 😀 I swear I can speak it out loud with no same, no same at all.

Down there are some pictures I took during my Swanage visit. It was a really lovely small tourist town, small but memorable 🙂 never kid with this beauty!

And cheer for now! I will come back ‘soon’, probably with my last entry for this blog 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And everything is gonna be ok

 

I have exactly 7 hours more to finish 1700 words for my process report. My visa card got swallowed and destroyed in the beginning of the week so now I’m literally bankrupt… Hah, but life is good, babe!

 

I mean, really, life is so much better when you start making friend(s). Can you believe it, after 3 weeks staying here, I finally managed to make friends. Most of you might think it is obviously easy for an “Erasmus exchange” student to make new friends, because after all this program is meant for making friends and cultural exchanging. Well think again… especially when you came late for all the exciting events in the induction week, let alone the stressful future assignment that get thickened everyday, humm. Few days ago, in the beginning of this week I got asked by a classmate “So you just arrived yesterday? I have never seen you before…” Oups, I happened to be here for 3 weeks, just mostly invisible, hahahaha. I have been traveled quite a lot recently and somehow I still find it hard to make friend in every beginning, is something wrong with me 😕 o.O

 

I got a little bit of depression, I admitted. Though I am not trying to make any excuses for my low mood… but REALLY, it’s hard to make friend when you have only 1 or 2 hours everyday at school, you have your own little class schedule that matches with no other, group works are really limited since you’re gonna sit through 1 or 2 hours listening to lecturer. And the constant cloudiness over here is just over the top, I left the land of ice and snow to come to the foggy kingdom, duhh.

OK I’ll stop the muttering right here, before it becomes another episode of dramatic television program.

 

But I made friends, friends not friend, hahaha, it’s numerous. (Damn, it sounds a bit so pathetic here) It kinda fun and coincident how I made the first friend. It happened to be that she also exchanged to JAMK and I somewhat have exchanged to her country, Lithuania, few months ago. So just like that we kept going on about how small the world is and about things we found similar. At the end I went to the “Global coffee”, this is the event that my university holds every Wednesday at 17.00 o’clock. I should have gone here earlier! I met plenty of international people there, and I started making friend with plenty others, sweet German and French girls and guy. I love the chocolate cookies there so I will definitely come back next week and weeks after. Kidding, it’s not the cookies that keep me coming back, it was so interesting being able to talk endlessly with others! Gonna get rid of my laziness soon, 😀

 

Another bright side for this week that somehow I manage to figure how I will do my dissertation (bachelor thesis) in both UK and Finland. Thanks to my tutor teacher here in UK, I finally ‘identify’ my favorite topic and a ‘realistic’ way to do it. Even better that I might be able to graduate in Finland much sooner than I thought! Oh it just keeps getting better everyday!

 

Final words, every time a hardship suddenly appears in your life, keep calm and carry on while remembering “every things is gonna be alright”, ‘cos it always is, just as long as you can keep yourself together till the end of the storm 🙂

 

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Let’s get it all started!!

Oh yeah, it’s all started, at exactly the same time!

 

Ha, 2nd week and already I feel like at the edge of joining in the rush hour in New York Time square. The fact that you know exactly how many and what kind of assignments you’re gonna get throughout the year is convenient, yet so stressful. As I has signed up for the final year of Hospitality Management bachelor degree, it has been decided that I will have to write another dissertation as any of final year student of this program. I have been trying to escape from it but doesn’t seem like it’s gonna work… God, what can be more “exciting” than inventing two thesis in less than two years plus several of exams and assignments ahead, just so fascinating! Your position and attitude as well as the whole mental preparation can differ a lot between coming for exchange for less than 6 months and more than 9 months. The term “failed” is alarmed in my head quite frequently lately.

However, there are somethings extremely awesome I noted while doing the assignments, which is the enormous information resource you can utilize from BU’s library. Being BU’s student, you can get access to a huge variety of books and e-books, as well as journal, and more importantly, the researches about UK and Global market, UK companies annual reports and so much more. I mean with so much tool in your hand, it is easy to understand why teachers demand so much from you…

But set aside the stressful education, life has been quite good actually. Comparing to Jyvaskyla, Bournemouth, which is well-known as a tourist town, has a lot of entertaining and tourist attraction points, tons of shop and supermarket that you can easily get access across the town make me feel much more convinient.

On sunday, me and my roomate decided to “hangout” in a real meaning for the first time after two weeks staying here (already??!!), mostly just sightseeing and window shopping 😀

 

Lucky for us, sunday was an amazing day with sun shinning and bird singing! Bournemouth’s beach is really beautiful, just like what people have been praising about it. The town center was crowded with people lying on the grass sunbathing. If you want something more breathtaking then paying 8 pounds for 10 mins on giant air balloon is quite recommended :). Following are the pictures we took during the tour since I realized that I haven’t put any pictures up here yet, so let’s have a bit of color for this cloudy blog :).

 

See yah all next time!





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Horrible trip, Rainy England and Different Bournemouth

 

Hei there,

So I guess I can say that I already and officially started my UK life.

I have been crying for almost the entire town, particularly the ones who are interested enough to ask “So how was your trip”, about how I survived the most horrible trip in my life. But guess that it wouldn’t kill anyone if I cry again over here (I warned you, I will whine a lot in this blog, hahaha)

As I said before, I had my flight on Monday from Tampere airport so I must travel from Jyvaskyla in an early morning. By some miracles I missed my bus and terrifyingly changed to plan B which is moving by train from City travel center, I swear I was running around like crazy with more than 45kg of luggage. And by the time I got to the airport, I only had 10 minutes to finish my check-in procedure. Of course when you think that your life cannot get any worst, it does. One of my suitcase is overweight so I had to move my stuff from one to another, when the gate was closing in TWO MINUTES!!

 

The following events of the trip didn’t seem to be better either (got off at the wrong bus station, raining, starving…); however, I survived.

So 2 lessions: always have plan B and Weigh your stuff carefully (and pack it nicely also, just in case you might have to open it in the public…)

 

 

Some might wonder how I manage my accommodation; well it’s pretty tricky for UK. In short, I was really lucky to have a travel mate, who is also  exchanging to Bournemouth this year. In August, we received an email from UK school advising us how to search for new accommodation and also giving the website where we can find available flat. In UK, you can find several real estate websites which are: rightmove.co.uk ; gumtree.co.uk, etc… But the hard part is you need to check the real condition of the house to see if it meets your expectation and then negotiate the price as well as term and condition of the contract. So my friend got the visa 1 week earlier than me and she took care of the house searching right after the arrival. Finally the “lucky – me” just have to bring myself to the front door (A very HUGE HUGE thanks for her!!!).

 

Bournemouth is considered to be the second most expensive city for housing, but the price is considerably acceptable in comparison to Jyvaskyla, varies around 65 to 100 pounds per WEEK.

 

About the school

 

In one word, I can say: It’s “Different”. It’s really different to what have happened and are happening in JAMK. The subjects are divided into 2 main categories: Core Unit and Optional Unit. As I chose to attend the 4th year of Hospitality Management program there were some core units I couldn’t take part in, therefore I had to choose some more optional units and it makes me a very special case of exchange student in Bournemouth University (BU). Then come the “multiple usage” student card, the strange library system and the challenging assessment criteria. Even though at the first glance, you might find it quite similar to JAMK University of Applied Sciences; but just when you start experiencing it, you will find out how different it is regarding every single aspect. I missed the induction week as I arrived late, finding my way around is quite difficult at first, but we will see how things go.

 

But yeah, I’ll enjoy the last days of the 1st “enjoyable” week. Obstacles haven’t arrived yet!

 

See yah!


oh come on, finally

Yes, finally!!

I just finished my Spaghetti. Must say that it was the best spaghetti I have ever taste in my life. Not that I just visited the best restaurant in the world nor that I just hired a new talented chef. Everything is the same: small old kitchen, cheap spaghetti bought from Prisma and cranky me being woken up too early at 1 o’clock in the afternoon. But one thing has changed, one huge thing: Bloody hell, I got my visa!!!!

Forgive me for being way too excited but honestly, after running around for the last 3 months worrying about all the documents needed for this exchange period, I think I deserve to be overreacted this time !

 

And sorry for coming back way too late. Guess that the lunch I had from the end of the previous post lasted way too long, hahaha. But yeah, seriously, I have been really busy with practical training and then travelling back to Finland and then travelling back and forth from Helsinki to Jyvaskyla for the Visa thingy. I even have the homework 2 months before I could even put my feet in UK! God, that was way hectic for me and that is probably why I don’t have anytime to put my mind to this blog. But for the moment, I’m back (but not for long ‘cos I have another date with my friend in about 2 more hours).

 

So the whole thing about visa would be quite easy if I had stayed in Finland in the summer and submit all the required document 1 month before my school in UK started. So it means I should have finished everything at around 24th of August. Unfortunately I was stuck in Mallorca till 1st of September. Things got even worse since the visa office only works in Thursday every week and you gotta book your spot soon. So after struggling a lot (with the payment for the one who doesn’t have master card) I finally managed to have my appointment on Thursday, 6th of September. BUT (!!!??) then I realized just one day before the appointment that I need to have the original bank statement , not scanned version like I thought before. AND I need to send it expressly from Vietnam. So AGAIN, I had to cancelled it and book another one on Thursday the 13th. Honestly I almost cried out loud because of frustration.

 

(But don’t worry if you are originally from somewhere in Europe, the policy just becomes really strict for people outside of EU.)

Nevertheless, I’ll have my flight next Monday and start the whole exciting UK journey from there!

 

Now I should start packing and finish off all the remain documents for JAMK before departure.

All the best for me!

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So let’s be serious

Hola Amigos!

 

I am really wondering if starting my blog now is somewhat too early?! But nah, never mind; I’m really bored right now so let’s start the foggy blog with boredom!

 

Haha, just kidding, don’t runaway, not yet!

 

So here it is, my blog. First of all, welcome anyone who is spending time reading some awkward lines made by me. This would be my blogging place for the next one year, I could be a bit whiny sometimes (which is typically normal for a girl, right?) but most of all I would try my best to bring you helpful information about my trip.

 

So my name is Trang, there is a whole other middle and surname but let’s just call me Trang at the moment :D. I’m from Vietnam but I am studying my 3rd year of Facility Management in JAMK University of Applied Sciences. I will have my exchange period for the next one year in Bournemouth University in UK concerning Hospitality Management and this is the reason why you are reading these lines from me. At the moment I am spending my practical training in Palma de Majorca, a hot island with beautiful beaches and beauties all around :DD! Don’t be jealous, not yet, try to stay here for 3 months and you’re gonna miss Finland like hell.

 

Honestly I am quite exciting about the whole trip but the preparation phases are so complicated and tiring. And who am I kidding with? It’s UK, not just a public garden that you can come and go anytime you like, it’s just UK babe. Since I’ll be stuck on Robinson Crusoe’s Island till 2nd of September nothing can be done before that day. I’ll have very limited time to get the Visa tier 4 for student so I’m quite afraid that I’ll be late for the orientation week, which is bad because Bournemouth University keeps emphasizing that I have to be there on 24th of Sep. Arggg, I’m really frustrated about that!! So the 1st tip ever: don’t joke around with the paper work, do everything as soon and as fast as you can possibly do, time is never enough and you never know what could happen in between.

So yeah, that’s pretty much everything for the entrance! I’ll need to grab my  lunch now but I’ll be back later and murmuring again about the other preparation that I might deal with. Cheers for now buddies!

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