¡Return to Finlandia!

Five months in Sevilla, done. Practice at surgical ward, community nursing, pediatric- and neonatal wards, plus plenty of more. Visited the firefighters, emergency call-center and SAMU. Learned so much according to my future career, but most of all, learned so much about humanity and cultures.

Almost 2000 visits on my blog. Now the blog, my practical training report, and this period of being “spaniard” is about to be done. I also add few things here to sum up what you have to do at the end of your practical training, if you’re planning one.

  • from the host University, get a signed document of the dates and context of your practical training or studies.
  • return all the paperwork of your host University, and have an evaluation meeting with your professors.
  • after your arrival to Finland, make sure you send your Erasmus papers to JAMK international office on time.
  • check the possibilities to tutor the exchange students coming to Finland during next semester.

Few things about leaving the country: If you have too much luggage, you can buy a shipping for example by postal service; and for pretty huge box of 30kg’s max, you pay about 100€’s. It comes to your home address in Finland, more likely in 10-15 days. Great system. If you have to ship a bike, reserve a place for it in forehand and swift the handling bar sideways so the bike is completely flat. For bike, it’s about 30€’s/flight.

When I arrived to Finland, it was about 23:30 pm, and sun was about to go down. It was so green everywhere, and so peaceful. But the green, and amount of trees and forests it really was stunning. Going far makes you observe what’s close, as they say. And by the time I had gotten my luggage at Helsinki Vantaa Airport, hopped into a car and started my drive to Lahti, there sun was rising. I couldn’t believe my eyes… like, really?!? Is that the sun already? What’s the time??

Farewell party

I’m so happy that I had this experience. I got so many good new friends, and learned spanish, which opened plenty of new doors for my future career. Thank you JAMK and Universidad de Sevilla. Thank you Armi, and thank you Ana. Also thanks to all the teachers, students and kollegs who supported and taught me during this time. And thank you also to my fantastic roommates. I hope I’m meeting you all in the future again. Welcome to Finland for a visit! :)

Last week of practical training in Sevilla

The last week of nursing in Sevilla has started. I’m having a bit of an stress about all the paper work, if I have now done it all, checking and double checking things. Is there any more questions to make? I have some random photos, which I now wanted to attach here, to sum up the five months so far.

T as the medical handwritingDear fellow finnish nursing students; when you have learned your spanish, at least some decent level, you may take your intensive  course of medical handwriting, since in hospitals here you can’t rely on computers, everything is on manual paper versions. Good luck. This could be 8 ECT’s, right? ;) hehe.

Surgical Nurse ?

I guess what surprised me at the surgical ward, is that how much preparation you have in the actual theatre. You always have to check that all the machines are working, prepare all the medications and anesthesia, make sure there’s all the material and equipments needed, etc. etc. I blame the television, for that I thought surgery works as quickly as a fast food restaurant. But as you’ve learned from telly, the doctors do prefer classical music while they’re operating. ;)

Carpentery at the surgical theatre ;)

I love these surgery pictures. Isn’t the hardware gorgeous? Maybe I’m just hopeless gear fanatic, but to work with nurses and doctors who handle all these high tech tools and repair human bodies with man made spare parts… wow. I have been the instrumenting nurse, too, but in a bit smaller operations.


Oh yeah! Memorize this too. It’s combinations of painkillers used in recovery ward.

UCI new ward

I got a tour in the hospital, and got a chance to peak the new intensive care ward, where everything was new and shiny, high tech and untouched.


And this is the recovery ward, at the surgeries area. Here we treated them all, unless the patient didn’t go to intensive care. In the mornings it was a lot of waiting, and when I realised that, I started coming to work later and leaving around 17.00. It was better, since then I got to see all the morning operations patients and I didn’t have to sit down and wait during the mornings, when the first patients just had gone to their operations.


It’s always a photo time!!!!!! :D Daily, all the students having their practical training, have non-official reunion at the staff cafeteria of the hospital. This was one of our breakfasts, with Fran, me and Valle, and Valle was snapping some photos. Fantastic people, all second and third year student’s I know.


Feria – 2.-6. May. One of the things you can’t experience nowhere but here. So traditional, so “grande fiesta”, reward of yet another long preparation. I was lucky to get some invitations to private tents, and were enjoying of the rebujitos / traditional drinks with really sour white wine and sprite, fried fish and sevillanas dance with some good friends. The party lasts whole week, from early morning and through all night. People say, that they’d need a one week vacation after feria, since everybody’s so exhausted, as you can imagine.



I was meeting my classmates at the Feria area too. Valle was the only one of us wearing the traditional flamenco dress. ( I learned a secret, that there’s a hidden pocket under the lower part layers in the dress, so the girls don’t have to carry purses while dancing their sevillanas dance. How handy is that! ).


This is the main gate for the Feria. They change it for every year, and on the first night of Feria they light the hundreds of light bulbs in the gate. And as you can see, everybody’s dressing up, women wearing their dresses and flowers in their head.

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the Holy Week of Sevilla

While many of my classmates in Finland had their skiing vacation (hiihtoloma), I was doing my practical training. This week of 18.-22.April how ever is a vacation for me, because It’s the catholic feast called Semana Santa, Holy Week. I was lucky to get a good guide, Valle, my classmate from faculty of nursing. She is coming to study in Jyväskylä during the next autumn, so I can then be her guide. The rain spoiled most of the week though, and because of the weather several “pasos” of the Semana Santa were cancelled. For a people who prepare the whole year for this one week, use hours for practice and  use loads of money for the outfits, it’s a great sorrow when the weather spoils their program. But what I were able to see, it was all so beautiful, decorated with gold, glass and flowers. Gorgeous fabrics, people in their best clothes, everybody feeling respectful and touched. I was lucky to experience something like this!

Semana Santa

Semana Santa / Calle Eduardo DatoI was snapping some photos from my balcony. Can you believe for this week, all the streets are packed like this, traffic is quite dead and metros and busses are full of people. It was strange. Marching bands are keeping the spirit up, and people on the rooftops and balconies are having flags to participate to the festive decoration.

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1,5 months left in Sevilla, Andalusia, Spain.

Yesterday it just hit me. The fact that I only have 1,5 months left here, then it will be a time of returning back to Finland. Getting settled into a new place isn’t normally difficult, but the return is. And it isn’t just difficult, it’s shocking. I was a bit sick yesterday, so I stayed at home and had plenty of time to think, and yes I know, I shouldn’t think too much. ;)

Every each one of the 1440 minutes of a day, seems to be so rich and full. When you get settled, used to the barking dogs and noisy birds of the neighbourhood, the scent of an orange tree flowers and the strong perfume that people pour on themselves, the music and dance you can see in every street corner, returning into something less vivid seems a bit harsh. I do admit that there are days, when the occasionally cold and rusty shower water, eating tapas once again, without using knives and forks, makes you miss the northern pure, hygienic and independent life. Of the 1440 minutes, that thought usually doesn’t steal more than a one minute.

I know there’s a risk that my words are too much of an praise, but I just had to write it down.

I have decided to be “unemployed” this summer. Just spend some time with my friends and family, because I am afraid that my bouncing from town & country to another, is growing the distance with my childhood friends, and, my family just can’t survive without me ;). Without any bigger tragedies, the locations remains as they are, and you can reach some new points later – people on the other hand, are more harder to reach and remain. My grandma said though, that if I can stay in Lahti for a month, that’s already an achievement. Well. We’ll see. Let’s live in the moment. Poquito poco!

061 and SAMU the School of Emergencies


Part of my practical training here, is to have some visits with the third year students. Last week we had a 4 hours evening lecture, after work, at the 061 which is a local public Ambulance company, that takes care of all the most critical cases. In case of emergency, you call to 112. But if you know the situation is really critical, you can call straight to 061. Or, if you call to 112, but they think your situation is too critical, they’ll connect you to 061, which has the most high tech ambulances and also control of medical helicopters in area. Andalusia has total amount of 5 medical helicopters.

Must say I was quite impressed. It seemed the they are so well prepared to everything. And we even got to see the call center, and follow the work of nurses and doctors, taking the calls. Fast and effective! The difference with Finland was, that here they had few doctors in the room all the time, ready to be consulted, while in Finland the call center consults the doctors in hospital where the patient is to be sent. 24 Hour shifts in ambulance, 8 hour shifts in call center; and after every 50 minutes you should have 5 minutes break of the headphones.

Escuela de Emergencias SAMUThe second visit according to ambulances were in SAMU, School of Emergencies. Again 4 hours evening lecture, where we had intensive course of machines in ambulances, and then a practical training of immobilisation. I don’t know if I would have ever had this kind of opportunity in Finland, so I am very happy that I got to experience it here.

SAMU educates also doctors, firemen and other groups, but for example nurses who want to work in ambulances have to apply after finishing their degree of nursing, go through a 3 phase tests, and then pay total of 6 591 €’s for this one year of education worth of 105 ECT’s, to be able to work for ambulances, for example in 061, or stay and work for Samu itself.

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Visiting Córdoba with my teacher Katri

Córdoba 2016

My teacher Katri is visiting me from Jyväskylä. I have practiced my guiding skills as well, since we’ve been totally tourists with her, and this Saturday we took a train to Córdoba, which once were the capital of Al-Andalus.


The legendary Cathedral of Córdoba.




There’s always something so fascinating and magical in the pipe organs.


And the architecture… wow.



In the treasury of the Cathedral, is this magnificent Corpus Christi monstrance by Enrique de Arfe.


You can really sense the Islamic touch in the architecture, especially in the walls and arch like doors and gateways of the Cathedral.


Because the weather was awfully hot, the time was running and we did like these horses – we thought to go for a ride with this horse wagon.


More churches…


You can find loads of these cafeterias and restaurants, hidden to some small alleys or patios, surrounded by colourful flowers.


Churches, churches…


The “sights” weren’t so bad…


Ramo, the horse pulling our wagon, was very pleased of the attention that he received.


And believe me, here in Andalusia where people are more or less fanatic about the flamenco and the culture around it; where less certainly isn’t more, you can find the most bling bling of any shine you’re ever seen. And all just for to decorate yourself. Before entering these stores, make sure you have your best friend Visa or Mastercard with you.

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Community Nursing Practice

I spent the March in community nursing, in a community health care center of Dos Hermanas. It’s a bit more far than Bellavista where I normally have my practice, but the smaller place – the more I usually like it. Nurses have quite a lot of work there, but the work is more interesting than working daily on a same ward. The building doesn’t look so welcoming from outside, but from inside the facilities were pretty good and new. As I started at 8 in the morning, I were taking some blood examples until 10, (that was normally around 50 tubes of blood). Then we took off our white jackets, and went to the cafeteria close by for a breakfast, and afterwards grabbed some supplies and went to see some patients in their homes. I was taking loads of blood pressures, and putting im. injections, filling several types of health questionnaires and creating a picture in my mind about the state of community health in this area. I liked the way how often the whole family gathered around the dining table, and we were chatting with all of them, not only with the patient. Don’t know if it was about the authority my colleague nurses had in their voice, or then the patients just generally listens really what the community nurses tell them. …Although, there’s always exceptions. After “domicilio”, visiting patients houses, we had some consulting nurse hours, or then vaccinations and check ups for children under 5 years.

Community Nursing

I loved the people! We had so many laughs together – and I often made some silly mistakes because of not being a native speaker of spanish, and I believe I made days a lot more funnier for the staff too. :) Some nurses and doctors gave me a small farewell party when I had my last day there, and everybody bought some small tapas. Nobody had knives to cut the cheese, tortilla de batatas or chocolate cake, so we improvised and used some surgical knives… I will miss these people! Also because in the hospital I’m always changing from ward to ward, it’s often hard to get to know people, or to get real friends among the staff.

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Mid evaluation

During this week, the weather was like this.

Forecast for Sevilla, a week ago:

wind: 9mph

humidity: 92%

pressure: 1004mb

lowest: 6°C, highest: 14°C.

The weather was like this for few weeks in February...

But the weather can also be like this.

I thought to sum up some of my experiences so far, since it’s the half way of my practical training. Couldn’t believe I’ve already been here for 2,5 months. Time goes fast when there is loads of things to do. From next weekend on I will have some friends visiting me from Finland, and also a teacher of mine coming here from JAMK (Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences). Will be nice to see some familiar faces, and sum up all my experiences when sharing it with them.


When I came to the Erasmus Exchange, my thought was that I am gonna try to live like a Spanish person for next five months. After all, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for that. Time goes awfully fast. I am settling into new places quickly, and don’t usually feel homesick. This place hasn’t been an exception.

Making friends:

I have started my Spanish lessons at the University, and that’s pretty much my only connection to other Erasmus Exchange students. All my other friends are local. I hang out with my classmates from the 2nd and 3rd nursing class, and got several new friends through the language exchange program, where the language center of the University, combines people who want to improve their English, with people who want to learn Spanish. Then besides this, I have got to know British and Irish people through my flatmate, who is working as an English teacher here. I know 4 finnish girls, and we keep contact through facebook, and meet every now and then. People here uses social network called Tuenti, only some of the people has facebook account.

Homework and tasks:

So I have to write a reflective learning diary of everyday at practice, to my University in Finland. Then I have these evaluation papers from University of Sevilla, for every practice, written in Spanish. I first translate these papers to myself into English, I then answer to the questions, make care plans for the patients etc., and then translate the responses to Spanish. And instead of writing a 10-20 pages exchange report to JAMK, I write a blog during the whole 5 months. Luckily I have always thought that easy way is the boring way, and if you’re gonna cross the fence, why not to climb over from there where it’s highest.

How to spend your freetime?:

I try to go to the gym from Monday to Friday, somehow the control of your body keeps you going, even if you weren’t able to control other things in life. Also I do like the running a lot, but I miss the nature, forests, something else than asphalt under your sneakers. When I have some time, I go to my Flamenco lesson which is held by my Norwegian friend Tanja. The other student in our class is Swedish Erika, so we speak Norwegian/Swedish together. Sometimes I also go to dance Argentinian tango, which is also my passion, but here I think people take it more as a sport as a tango, what it originally was meant for, as a dance. Meaning, that the Milongas are quite hard core, starting from the dressing up. Otherwise, there’s always somebody to go for tapas with. Go to see some museums, or monuments. Get lost in into the María Luisa park. You name it. :)

XII Day of Solidarity “Haiti… and now what?”

Friday the 16th was the Annual Day of Solidarity. The University have had Haiti as a theme earlier as well, but it was important to turn our heads towards the area once again. What has happened during this time, after the earthquake of January 2010? Where does the donated money go to? And what is the work like, how it will change you as a person when you are working among the ruins? Ruins, both human and material.

I am very interested of having the possibility of participate all these events the local students here have. This particularly, to compare the information to everything what I already have heard from Dr. Ilkka Mikkonen in Finland. At the end of the lecture, I thought that would be really interesting to really see how World Food Program, Red Cross, Doctors Across the Borders and Unifef really work together, or do they? Are the people in the crisis area uncertain, which of these associations should they ask for help?

Macarena CampusFrom left to right; Dª Carmen Bazarra Rojas, representative of COVIDE-AMVE, D. Jesús González Zambrana, president of the Doctors across the borders,  of Andalusia. D. Fransisco Cumbreras Santana, general coordinator of Engineers without borders. Dª. Rosa Mª Muñoz Román, director of the support service to the University Community.

Description: (direct translation from the leaflet).

“We recognize the crucial role that has the information in the fight against the oblivion of those areas that have suffered some kind of disaster, mainly the poorest, they are no longer newsworthy as the immediacy of the emergency stop, then step to the challenge reconstruction to a normal one can never be the same. In these cases, the health must go hand in hand with other professionals that make possible the allocationof resources essential to survival, to ensure respect for the rights and the maintenance of the particular idiosyncrasies of the devastated regions,forming a multidisciplinary team which everyone, and especially we as a community college can and must become involved.

Therefore, on this occasion, our efforts will be aimed at support the project currently being undertaken by the Organization COVIDESAMVE,consisting of the Daughters of Charity and Vincentian Pardres, namely the creation of a shelter in Tabarre municipality (Haiti), intended to mitigate the urgent need to provide a space to host and attend, in a comprehensive manner, a group of 50 underage girls, who are at risk andsocial exclusion, many of including orphans and / or abandoned as a result of the catastrophic earthquake which occurred on January 12, 2010, which to we will donate the funds raised in this Day.”

Macarena Campus

Macarena Campus

After the lectures, you could hang out at the yard, play games like twister and win prizes, or buy some non-alcohol beer and soft drinks with tapas from the bar made for the day. Good spirit, nice afternoon. People were talking, eating, playing. I was introduced to several new students, teachers and some principals even. There was even some theatre in shows later in the evening, but I already went home.

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