Viva Barcelona!

Physiotherapy practical training in Barcelona

Category Archives: Yleinen

Cultural collision

I have been in Barcelona one month now. I have noticed some cultural differences between Spanish / Catalans and Finnish, and I think all who have visited here have noticed some of these things too. First of all, local people are really helpful and community is really big thing here. People gather together on day offs / holidays with family / friends and have dinner, beers etc. together at someone houses or at a restaurant. In the evenings of the weekend or restaurants are full of people who are enjoying each other’s company with class of wine or beer and tapas. Also very local habbit is kind of brunch on Sundays when people gather together in a restaurant or before midday and have drinks and tapas until afternoon when they go home for siesta. And about siesta. It is one of the weirdest thing for a Finnish. In a normal week day, most of restaurants and shops are open from 9am then they closes about at 2pm and open again about at 5pm. There might be many reasons for the siesta but I really don’t understand it.

The local people also have different meal times. Breakfast is almost at the same time as in Finland, especially if you are still working, but lunch is so late. The local people here eat lunch about at 2-4pm and it is just too late for me. 😀 Then the local people have dinner also very late, about at 8pm when I’m already eating a night snack.

Also different sports are a community thing here. Especially football is really big sport and it brings people together, kids, youths and adults. I have seen a junior football game and a junior american football game here and it was nice to see how parents and other adults are volunteering to do different things for the kids sport during game days. I think it is really important for the junior sports.

Also the political situation have brought people together. The people who want the independence, they organize demonstrations where lot of people are involved. Even from homes. In one evening people started to drum on their balconies and windows all over the city because of the Spanish covernment issued an arrest warrant for former regional leaders.

In the other hand, I have found some things that are not so good from my opinion. The local people are not so discipline and that irritates a Finnish who is really stirct with the rules if there are rules. The traffic is great example about this. With a motorbike it is normal to weave between cars and drive on a sidewalk a block or two if the street is one way and you need to go to “wrong way”. Speeding is normal here everywhere and it’s also normal to drive against “old yellow”. Another example about this is that during the junior american football game paramedics were smoking next to the juniors bench on a half time… It really annoyed me! But for the local people it was just normal…

I have used a lot of public transport here. And I have noticed some cultural differences in there too. Here you don’t queue to the bus or the metro, you just push through from the crowd. And it’s more normal than an exception to sit down on the bench next to the aisle, not next to the window. Of course you can go sit next to the window if someone is sitting next to the aisle but that person hardly give way for you. And you hardly hear “perdon / perdona” if someone is trying to get past you, people just walk through you. One of the most weirdest thing what I have noticed on public transfer is that lot of localt people bite their nails…

Language have been a little problem for me here. At my work place I can manage and ask easily help from my workmates. People always say here that they are shy to speak English and that their English is so terrible. It’s a pity. Sometimes when I say that I don’t speak Catalan or Spanish, people just say same thing again in Spanish or Catalan louder or slower. And I still don’t understand. BUT! I have started to understand phrases and short sentences in Catalan and Spanish, I just can’t really answer more than sí or no. 😀

Even all of these cultural differences my life have been good and fun here. Working is fun and instructice, I go to the gym again after my knee injury, I have met new friends and spend fun time with them. I have one month left here and I’m looking forward every day!

To the next post!

 

The beginning of living in Barcelona

Hola!

Now I have been three weeks in Barcelona and I have started to integrated to local living. In these first weeks my neighborhood and Barcelona generally have gotten familiar, I have learnt the public transport system well and I have learnt some Spanish and Catalan.

I live in L’Eixample area with a local lady and her cat. Our co-housing have been unproblematic and I can freely use the kithen and it’s eguipments and laundry machine etc. I have nice little room for myself and the lady cleans it once a week. Luxury! The cat is funny and nice company. The area is nice and quiet and all services are in walk distance, like grocery store, post office, bank and many cafeterias and restaurants. The train / metro station is close also and the stops of different bus routes are all in walk distance. The ATM-card for one month was 52,75€, which include busses and metros. Pretty cheap price and really easy wasy to go around the city!

Food is cheaper here than in Finland. That is good for my economy because I don’t have incomes from work now. I normally spend about 20€-25€ for food in one week. That includes all meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Normal restaurants and cafeterias are pretty cheap also, you can eat well here about with 12€-15€. Also in clothing stores etc. the price level is lower than in Finland which is not so good for me and my economy. 😀

Barcelona tourist

The University of Gimbernat is outside of the city area. The metro takes about 20-30 minutes there. I have been there once to meet the incoming exchange coordinator in the second say of my staying. The coordinator was so nice and helpfull with everything that includes in my practical training. We had really good meeting and she contacts me regularly to know that everything is fine.

The University Gimbernat

The University of Gimbernat

My wokring place is Toni Bové Fisioteràpia, Via Augusta center which is a private clinic. I have nice co-workers and there is also 6 other students doing practical training. They all are from the local universities. They have little bit different way to do practial trainings than we have in Finland. They work normally from 9am to 1pm/2pm and they have classes in the evening from 5pm to 8pm. If they work in the evening shift, they have classes in the morning. Long days and no life, I think. 😀 But that’s studying!
My supervisor is nice and cool guy. He have taught me the working habbits of the place, more about using ultrasound, electrotherapy, magnetic, thermotherapy, laser and deep heat as a part of physiotherapy and some manual therapy ways. The work itself is different than in Finland. Everyday there are 130-200 patients which is crazy. The tempo of the work is super fast. One physiotherapist should treat 5 patients in an hour and this is consequence of that the insurance companies pay 7€/patient from the treatment. Crazy and quite sad. If the patients come to the clinic as a private patients, the price is about 45€/hour and the physiotherapis spend whoule that our with the patient. But the physiotherapists in Spain are working on to get this changed because they know that 5 patients in an hour is too much and the results of the treatment might not be as good as possible.

Toni Bové Fisioteràpia, Via Augusta

I’ll write again during next week about the cultur and local habbits!

Barcelona, I am coming

This is really post-posted blog because I have been in Barcelona already little bit more than one week. The reason I didn’t write earlier was that I was too busy with another practical training and my thesis in Finland. But here I’m now, writing this post for all of you who would like to go exchange during studies.

I have always wanted to go to Barcelona. I really can’t explain why. Maybe part of because of football, part of because history and culture what they have here, maybe because of Spain and the language. I don’t know for sure. But life never threw me to Barcelona or Spain but when I started my physiotherapy studies, I had a change. I had heard lot of good feedback about exchanging studies in Barcelona in physiotherapy field from my teachers and already graduated students. So already in the beginning of my studies I decided to go to Barcelona (or Spain) for exchange.

Last autumn I decided that it would be my last practical training what I would do in Barcelona and I contacted our international services right away. The coordinator of the international services told me the process of exhange and we made a timetable when I should do applications etc. for the exchange. She also contacted to Barcelona and kind of reserved the place for me. Last March I filled the learning agreement for exchange and made application for the university. I got accepted to Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB) so it was sure that I would go to do my last practical training abroad!

After that both coordinators of international services in JAMK and in UAB changed so that caused little bit confusing with the papers and other stuff. But in the end, all was good. I got a practical training place from Toni Bové fisioteràpia centrum, from Via Augusta unit. Here is a link to their website: http://tonibove.net/

Last thing what I needed to to for my exchange was get my insurance done (which only needed one phone call to my insurance company), get European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), apply for JAMK’s the Erasmus+ grant, take care of all stuff with KELA and get an apartment from Barcelona. I got all these things done pretty easy and I rent a nice room via Uniplaces (https://www.uniplaces.com). And of course I booked my flights!

During summer we heard bad news about a terror attack in Barcelona at La Rambla and just couple weeks and dayys before my departure about demostrations and violence confrontations in Barcelona because of Catalonia would like to independent country. These new really didn’t scare me or wanted me to change my plans. Of course those things need to be take serious and take into account but not take them too distressing or restrictive cases.

During summer I met two guys from Barcelona. They were playing american football for Jyväskylän Jaguaarit during last summer so I had two friends around already. That really comfort my family members after the news of Barcelona.

Then I just packed my bags on 7th of October and left to Barcelona happy and smiling like always!

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