Leaving Finland…

Hola everybody!

I’m Laura, a third year physiotherapy student from Jamk, and I travelled to Barcelona to do my practical training in neurology. My exchange period began on 6th of January and continues until the end of April. Here in my blog I’ll tell about my working experiences but also about my adventures and obsevations in Spain. Here we go…  or should I say: Vamos!


First, some feelings before leaving: I was in a panic because I haven’t ever travelled abroad alone. Another thing that terrified me was the language; I’ve never studied spanish in school, just some phrases like “Gracias”, “Que tal?” by myself but that’s all. And what I’ve heard, the level of the english isn’t very high in Spain. So, how will survive in Barcelona without spanish? – Well, that’s the risk I had to take and so I left from Finland…

… and arrived in Barcelona. After a quick bite at the airport and an expensive taxi ride I arrived in Vila Universitaria in Bellaterra, which locates about 35 km from the airport. I share a student campus-apartment with four Catalan girls, who are really nice and helpful. Three of them speak english quite okay, at least we understand each other most of the time. 😀 I feel myself a bit outsider while they talk each other (of course) Catalan but I’ll try to stay positive and think this is how I’ll learn. According to my flatmate some words of Catalan are more similar to French than Spanish.

My practical training will start on next Monday, so this first week has been mostly just arranging; paying the second deposit of the Vila rent, opening the Spanish bank account for the rent, getting myself food, renting kitchen utensils and sheets, and just getting to know the campus area. I won’t have any studies in here so I won’t hang around on campus much during the days; my practical training places are in Barcelona (city centre) and in Sant Cugat. Because I don’t have any studies, I won’t meet people so easily… That’s why I want to join to the exchange student group’s happenings so I get to meet people. What I’ve heard, there’ll be social evenings, sport happenings, cultural trips, and so on… even a trip to Camp Nou -stadion to watch FC Barcelona’s game!!

I still want to tell a bit about the weather: outside there is about + 5 – 15 degrees and sun is shining; actually the weather is like in April or May in Finland, in sun it feels even hotter, BUT what it comes to inside temperatures… it’s quite cold! Especially the floors are ice cold… that’s why I had to buy a pair of slippers (tohvelit) so my feet wouldn’t freeze. I wouldn’t have thought that first outfit I bought in Barcelona was warm slippers! But it’s okay because they’re really cute. 😀

But enough for this time, I’ll write more soon!


Saludos, Laura

PS. I couldn’t get any photos attached to my blog this time 🙁 … maybe next blog will include some photos!

PPS. If you want to check out my Finnish blog about my time in Barcelona: laurahavelin.blogspot.com.


  1. Warm slippers are a MUST-HAVE, as the houses are quite cold in winter! I would love to hear catalan language and find out how different it is from spanish 🙂

    Great to know you are doing the blog in English, you’ll end up mastering two languages this way! Cheers, Salud!

    • Yeah, they’re really a MUST HAVE 😀 For me, spanish and catalan sound same… but maybe I´ll learn the difference. 😀
      My spanish is quite poor but I’ll try my very best to learn even some regular conversation skills.. 🙂

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