Monthly Archives: September 2015

Starting to settle

Last week went super fast because there was Introduction week for new international students. From Monday to Thursday every evening was happening with some activities like group competitions, beer Cantus (Oktoberfest like happening with “free beer” and sign songs), international kitchen (everyone brought traditional dish or sweets etc. from their home countries), pool playing and of course; getting to know with the mentor group. It was loads of fun, but because I had so much to do on a week some assignments I did on the weekend.

Also studying took a lot of my time after the first week, just yesterday I gave my first presentation about Finnish and Dutch Health Care in general, comparing those. In this course, I’m the only international student and Dutch students compared The Netherlands to their becoming destination countries where they are going to travel to do their internship after 5 weeks. I fit well in the group and it’s nice that teachers always ask how is this in Finland? So I´m the country expert which is really nice, I like that people are interested my home country. In the other course there’s other international students so I´m not that special.

Recycling is different here, in my area on Monday mornings I take the ordinary trash out and put them in front of the house near streetlight- and the trashmen take them to the car from there. And Wednesday is the same thing with biotrash except there is a bin for those that day only? Paper and glass I can take anytime I want to the recycling point nearby. With batteries and electronics the system is same here, which I haven’t use yet. And here is no pledge in plastic bottles and aluminium cans, so they go to ordinary trash. That was hard to believe for me, because in Finland we are use to take them back to the supermarket. So after asking it bytheway style from several people and google it -I can do so also. I found the information that they separate those later. I´m environmentally friendly so this is important issue for me. And often I check things from many people if I want to be sure.

Dutch culture is really punctual, and they will tell you that. Of course it’s not a problem for a Finn. One day I was lost and a bit late, but it seems that’s something what can be forgiven. Maybe it is not so forgiven if you have a private meeting with someone, you steal the time if you are late.

What a problem or worry sometimes might be, the lunch is more light than I am used to my whole life in school and at home. In Finland its common to eat warm lunch and it´s always been the biggest and most important meal for me + breakfast + dinner + usually snack on afternoon.. Now at school eating sandwiches for a lunch is something I get used to more and more.. I knew it beforehand, so bigger breakfast keeps me going very well!

I learned today from different concepts of culture; food, time management and how do we think the illnesses and how treating them comes from the culture. According our study material –

when asking how to explain culture? -here a quotation/ citation:

“Cultures compromise systems of shared ideas, systems of concepts and and rules and meanings that underlie and are expressed in the ways human beings live”

Keesing and Stathern, retold by Helman 2007. Book named Culture, Health and illness.
Couldn’t agree more!

First week

First week was full of new things and I was tired after it, of course. Here are some special points and notices.

  • + Dutch are really welcoming and nice people. Example there was Finnish flag on blackboard to welcome me on the first day. My Dutch home was just ready to live in, (found it from private market in facebook) I didn’t have to buy everything from salt to toilet paper because there were some left. I´m absolutely happy with my dutch home! Everyone speaks English so far.


  • – My Finnish Debit card doesn’t work in grocery stores, like Albert Heijn or anywhere else. But all the other services like buying the OV-chipkaart, Museumkaart and in one clothing store and in music store it was fine so far. So I need to prepare myself with cash when buying food.


  • + I´m excited about all the happenings I can do on my freetime- Like I bought the museum card which gives free entrance in 400 museums in the Netherlands, still it’s not free in all. Lots to do and see. And I was lucky to get the last ticket in Introduction week organised by ESN Utrecht. Its local Erasmus Student Network, non-profit international student organization. Actually tickets were already sold out once, but they posted that there is some extra tickets for the first who come and buy one. It was a rainy day and after all my study things I went there thinking maybe none is left, and I asked about other happenings they have. So next week I’m going to participate in introduction week. There is a group of international students with 2 local students, which are called the Dutch parents. On monday we start with meal together.


  • + Studying started and my programme looks interesting. I was happy to start my last semester with these studies here. All lessons are in English, and later when I do my practical training/internship I cope with English. I’m the first student from my field of study here. At the moment organising my internship part is in process. That takes place after 6 more weeks “normal studying in school”, so there is time to plan. I´m excited about all the options and possibilities I´ve heard. Now with studies and contacts with  Dutch people I will learn about Dutch health care system and culture.


  • + Its easy to study abroad nowadays. I´m happy with internet, skype whatsapp.. Because Finland is not so far away with those!

And if you wonder the name of my blog, here is a link which gives some info about cycling in the Netherlands:

First impressions

First nights in Utrecht I stayed in B&B called Oorsprongpark. The bus stop is named the same so it was easy to get there with bus. The hotel was not the cheap (cheapest at the moment I booked)  but popular among students. Cheap hotel can be hard to find if it isn´t bed in a dorm.

First cultural difference I met the in the hotel, the thing I’ve heard about but never really thought about how is like- Dutch stairs. Those are really tight steps somethings only 20 centimeters… Travelling with 20 kilos bagbag and another bag is sporty already, so that’s hard sport to climb on second floor with these circumstances. Of course in my Dutch home is tight stairs, someday I will get use to it and run through them like the locals…?

Steps continuing; On the first weekend we visited in Dom tower which is the pride and sign mark in the center of Utrecht. Tower is 112 meters high and people can visit in 95 meters its -465 steps. It was amazing view from 95 meters which a small history parts besides. 

So steps are hard here, but cycling is lovely. Here is tracks for bikers almost everywhere in the whole country.