Not all those who wander are lost

Two rehabilitation counselor students doing an internship at school teaching Balinese children.

Monthly Archives: November 2015


What does it costs to do a practical training in Ubud, Bali ?

I think that the next ones are compulsory costs.

I don’t know if I wanna write this because then I really realize it’s gonna be so much money πŸ˜€ But let’s try..

Flights about 870 euros. (We flew from Helsinki to Bangkok, it was 260 euros + flight from Surat Thani (Thailand) to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) 70 euros + flight from Kuala Lumpur to Denpasar 70 euros. When we are leaving, we’ll fly from Denpasar to Singapore (70 euros) and from Singapore to Helsinki 400 euros.) Of course it might be cheaper if you don’t visit Thailand but it really was worth for every cents πŸ˜‰ And our flight from Helsinki to Bangkok was reaaally cheap!!

Vaccinations: 290 euros. Hepatitis A & B. School paid hepatitis B so we only needed to pay for A. It was 55 euros per vaccination and you need to take two of them. In addition we also took Japanese encephalitis vaccination. It was 90 euros per each vaccination and you need to take two.

Travelling insurance: 90 euros. I tendered out all the insurance companies in Finland and got the cheapest one from Pohjola.

– Visa: 35 euros. Now we just need to extend our visas because our first visa was only for 60 days and now we need 30 days more and it costs 55 euros for us. = 90 euros.

– Program fee 1100 euros. This includes accommodation, breakfast, pick up from airport and drives to school.

So 2440 euros…. πŸ˜€ Much money!! But luckily we got a “stipend” from school (about 1000 euros) and of course we get student money and it is also possible to take student loan that is more when studying abroad than studying in Finland (700 euros per month).

Living (food etc.) here is really cheap and if you really want to live cheaply here, you can easily live for 100 000 IDR (about 6 euros) per day! Including lunch and dinner in a restaurant and still you have money to do something else. Today I ate indonesian food for lunch and paid for that 18 000 IDR (1,24 euros) πŸ˜‰

My teaching (Kerttu)

I have been teaching now for 6 weeks. It sounds like a lot but still the weeks have gone by so fast. My first week I taught with another volunteer from Germany but after that I was on my own. It took me many weeks before I got the feeling that I can handle it and got the confidence also. Before I came here I never thought that I’m going to teach alone but now I’m pretty glad that I needed to really push myself out from the comfort zone and that’s why I believe that I have really learned a lot.

I have three different classes. One class I have everyday and that’s with the little ones ages 7-11. They are so cute and every time they’re full of energy (sometimes little bit too much). What surprised me was that even if they’re so wild and energetic they still listen to me and really try their best to do all the assignments, as long as they aren’t too easy and boring for them. That’s why I need to plan every time something new and more creative for them so they stay interested. Usually I have 6 to 10 kids so not too many but you can really see when there’s more kids than usual because it gets much harder to handle the big group. The biggest challenge is definitely make all of them learn the same things, which is very hard because they are different ages and their level vary a lot also. Some kids know all the subjects already when others struggle more with them.

In the rice fields with my little ones :)

In the rice fields with my little ones πŸ™‚

In two other classes I have older kids with ages 13-17. One class I have every Monday and Wednesday and the other every Tuesday and Thursday. In other class I have about 10 students and the other one usually almost 30 students. At first it was very hard to work with a such a big group but now when I’ve got the confidence and I have got used to it I think that I’m doing pretty well. I like my older ones very much and it so fun to teach with them and when they can understand English better than the little ones the communication is easier also. With these students I also love their enthusiasm to learn. Let’s not also forget that the kids come to the school voluntarily in the afternoon after their “real” school day. The challenge in these classes is also the different English levels between them. Especially the boys are always little behind the girls so it needs extra work to get them all to learn the subjects properly.

My student's drawing. We were learning word on the beach and building sentences about the picture.

My student’s drawing. We were learning words from “on the beach” and building sentences about the picture.

So because I have three classes I really need to do my planning every day before school. After school I also have three diaries that I need to report the summary of what happened in my classes. That is actually very good system so I can also check what did we do for example last week and what do we still need to practice etc. I believe it is also very useful to the stuff in the program so they can see what all the volunteers have been up to and what could they do to make the classes better and more beneficial for the children.

The time surely flies here and even though now the 3 months feel too less I’m happy that I had at least that. I think you only get to know the children, school, teaching and the system when you’re here long enough time. I am already counting days when this is going to end because I know it’s going to be too soon and definitely too hard. For now just need to enjoy the rest of the time and try to make the best out of it.

Living in Ubud

We are living in homestay in the center of Ubud. All the other volunteers are living also in the same homestay (or in the homestay that is next to our place). Now we have here nine volunteers in our homestay and four in the other homestay. I think that it’s nice that we are all living here because you always have friends here!Β If you wanna be alone, then you can just go to your own room. We are living in the same room with Kerttu but it’s not a problem.Β All the volunteers who are living downstairs have own terrace and then we have a nice yard where we can hang out together.

Because this is homestay, here lives also Balinese family. They have so cute almost two years old son! The Balinese family make us breakfast (you can choose between omelette and banana pancake), drive us to school and clean our rooms. I don’t have any photos of our homestay but I can show later.

We don’t have much in our room. We have two beds, wardrobe, chair and toilet where is also a shower. Sometimes you can only get cold water but usually you get two minutes hot water, and it’s sooo hot that you feel like your skin is burning πŸ˜€ Then it’s lukewarm.

What I miss here is a kitchen (so I could make food) and air conditioning. When we came here the nights were sometimes even cold but at least for two last weeks the nights have been really hot and I hate to go to sleep when it’s hot and I’m sweating too much!

We have animals also here; birds, dogs, geckos and near in our homestay are also cocks so the mornings are always really noisy here. All the animals + Balinese family wakes up reeeeally early, about 6 am and our walls are like paper so you can hear everything to your room.

Everything in Bali is really cheap compared to Finland. Usually a meal in restaurant is about 3-4 euros (you can also eat cheaper especially if you eat balinese food) and if something costs more than 6 euros we always think that it’s too expensive and wanna find a cheaper place πŸ˜€ One of my favorite pastas here costs 1,6 euros. What else about the prices.. One night in cheap hostel is about 5 euros, 1,5L water bottle is 0,3 euros, etc. Everything is reaaally cheap! But that’s just good for our budget as a students πŸ˜‰

Ubud is cultural center of Bali.Β Here you can find for example temples, balinese dance shows, paintings and statues, museums and galleries, balinese cooking classes etc. I think it’s good that we live in Ubud instead of for example Kuta. Here is kinda safe and you almost never need to be scared here. This feels like home! And if you get bored in Ubud, it’s always easy to travel to other places. We often do weekend trips to other towns.

I really like this place and I’m so happy that we chose to come here to do our practical training!!

Quotes from my diary

We need to report about our lessons in our “diaries.” We need to write there that what we have done in the lessons, if we have played a game, we need to write what game we played, we need to write what kind of exercises we’ve done there etc. We are writing the diaries of course in english so our coordinators and the teachers who are coming to teach our classes after us can also read that what we have done there and what should teach more.


I have three diaries that I’m writing to. One for every class that I’m teaching.



I think that here the reporting takes more time than in Finland because we can’t report with the computer.




I also write in the diary if I have had some problems with the class. This was when I got 9 new students in my first class and they were much worse than my other students in the class. The new ones didn’t even know the alphabets and my old students can form sentences. After couple days the new kids were moved to another class (Kerttu’s).

Now I have same kind of problems. I got two new students in my second class and they don’t know anything that we are considering. We are almost finishing one topic (On the beach) so I think that it really would be waste of time to start the topic over again just for two students because the other students are already good at it.



I also do wordtests with my students so I can know that when it’s time to move on. I had these wordtests with my classes last week and they did it really good. This week I’m going to have a bigger test about the whole topic.


– Essi