Monthly Archives: October 2015

Learn by doing mistakes

When you come to the Netherlands you see bikes everywhere but still there is strict rules where can you leave your bike. It is hard to be sure about that, because Dutch themselves don’t follow rules or is it just hard to see it as a foreigner? Well I have spend time with thinking where is it ok to leave the bike when the place is full (mostly in the city center and railway station). But then came the day I was in hurry. I left the bike in place near railway station/the shopping center which is the same building. Afterwards I got the feeling maybe now I didn’t follow the rules. When I came back from lovely day trip to Den Bosch  bike was gone..

Bikes are stolen in this country of course, but my bike was with 2 locks, the other around traffic sign. Bike is old looking and who would saw that lock if not the municipal bike depot who takes care of that bikes are in the order. I also did mind the opportunity bike is stolen. I walked to this town’s bike storage where they store this illegal parked bikes. I had to look photos and describe my bike. And there were about 20 different black womens bikes collected that day. 

Hurray my bike was also there!

Small fee, 13,40e because I didn’t follow the rules.  I chose to walk everywhere for two days, because it happen to be this storages days off. Now I know I live close by the station and walking is also nice in this city, even though I choose the bike because it’s faster. And this all happened because I was in a hurry and taught it’s more important to be on time than follow the rules.


I believe I have learned to read the map while here.When I visit a new place I must take extra time to be early or on time, still I have been late -road block, roadwork can come on the way. I will be very happy when again at home, because I know the roads. Oh, and also the language. This time here makes me appreciate what I have and what is Finland. And what is to live abroad and in the home country.



I haven’t wrote about the price level yet. For a Finn, I think basic things are ok or affordable. I´ve been discussing about it with other international students (different nationalities) and most think it’s expensive here. But it’s true that living in Finland it’s expensive when comparing. I haven’t really eaten out. I can’t really tell about that but some restaurants ask the same in Finland, some cheaper. 5 euro pizza is seen also.


Supermarkets, groceries in stores are on average a bit cheaper. Like vegetables, bread, meat and milk products. But some basic elements in my almost everyday meals are prized higher – surprisingly oat flakes (havermout in Dutch), potatoes (aardappels) and apples (appels) are more expensive. Now is the season for apples I believe, and still they are expensive. Potatoes cost 2-3 times more than in home! Maybe that effects that potatoes are usually sold washed. But I spend less money on food here than at home with similar choices. Plus here I buy stroopwafels, the national goody quite often.
Ps. If you really miss Finland and lovely Finnish blueberries, I found a place where they cost 12,5 kilo frozen, package is 300g. It´s a lot, when I live in a country where it takes only 5 minutes to pick that amount by hand, for free. This story I have told to Dutch, for most of them it’s exotic.  

after 1st month

First month in Utrecht went fast. During the weeks I study and now more and more organise placements for my internship part here with teachers/coordinators and contacts. Studies are interesting, but more I wait all the field visits and getting to know Dutch Health Care and rehabilitation in practise.


I’ve held two individual presentations so far. Other about Finnish health care system comparing to the Netherlands and  other about my learnings & observations attached Dutch culture. While studying in Finland I used to think that presentation in English is horrible and if possible no-no.. But here those went quite fluent without extra pressure. Atmosphere in lessons has been easy going which helps. It must also help that I speak English everyday. And more and more, spoken & used vocabulary grows. Let’s see if I have Dutch accent afterwards.


As a hobby, I study Dutch for beginners. I think it’s interesting to know and learn a bit the country’s own language. At the moment pronunciation horrifies me. I can read and deduce some Dutch. Some say its German and English mixed. I do speak Swedish (if necessary, at the moment so rusty) and have studied German in primary school. It’s absolutely interesting to study this, but somedays I think why on earth I study Dutch, isn’t studying in English challenging enough? And I miss studying Russian, because that language I’m a bit more than a beginner, also it’s more useful for a Finn in general. More and more I begin to understand spoken Dutch.

In the University campus area is sportcenter called Olympos which offers sport possibilities like gym, group lessons really reasonable price. There I have visited on my free time. Also area Bunnik after campus area is beautiful place to go jogging or walking. Usually I go after school, because I live 6-7 kilometres from the campus. So when it comes to biking, somedays I bike more than 14 km, which is the amount if I go to school only.

Cycling is truly common in NL, the best way to more around and love it!


Now it’s time for weekend, in Dutch Goed weekend!