Monthly Archives: March 2014

Study plan

Today was our first actual study day. We met NYMU’s international cordinator Yi-Fen and she gave us our schedules for our time here. In first two weeks we will have some classes about assesment of upper and lower extremities and classes about gyrokinesis and pilates. In addition to that we might take some classes on Chinese medicine, if that is possible. With that course we had a bit of confusion. In Finland our cordinator told us that if we want to take any other courses we can choose them when we get here and local coordinator told us that she would have needed info beforehand to be able to discuss with the teachers. We might still be able to have that course if the schedule is okay for us.

For the actual clinical training we will have Orthopedic bedside training, Orthopedic practice, some Clinical practice with the musculosceletal department (I think..) and Hydrotherapy. Out tutor took us to the hospital today to see the enviroment. It was really different than in Finland. There were more people in less space. There was also some different instruments and machines than those we usually use. All in all it seemed really interesting and staff were really friendly.

I’m actually a bit surprised that I’m not as stressed about this clinical practice as I was with the Finnish one. Maybe now I feel that is more okay not to know everything from the beginning. Everything will be strange and new and I feel that there is not too much expectations. We’ll see if that changes in couple of weeks.

Hi readers!

Would be nice if you would write some comments to my posts. Ask questions if you have any and correct me if I’m wrong. (Correcting for the locals especially!)

First day in Taipei

People here are amazing! We had a really nice day yesterday. One local girl showed us the school cafeteria. It even has some food we can eat.

One of the local students who had his exchange period in Finland met us aroung noon and showed the campus area. I even felt a small urge to study. It was interesting. It seems like the facilities are quite okay here. The library is big and there is a huge activity center. Even the university president lives in the campus (in his own house) and he invites some students to his house for dinner every month to discuss about how to improve university.


The main gate. Name of the university is written from right to left, in “a old way”.



The campus area. I live in the top part of the blue area.

We used the MRT for first time. It seemed easy and we got an english version for the MRT map. Inside the MRT they have all stops in chinese and in english, so finding the right place is relatively easy. Although all the places sound similar..


Our nice lunch place. Nomnom food!

Later we went shopping and tried to find thicker blankets. We were really lucky and bumped into two other students familiar from Finland. They helped us to communicate with the salespersons. Actually we were in one a bit pricy place at first and then Alice and Jerry showed one other place for us. It was closed though. That seems not to be a problem here, because some women who had a small food booth at the street started yelling to one stairway to the shops owner. I couldn’t believe my eyes when the owner came to open the shop just for us!

After walking back to the uni we agreed to meet later for dinner. The cafeteria closes already at 7PM and so we agreed to meet at the Family Mart. Couple hours later a surprise waited for us when we met Jerry and Alice. Jerry has a scooter so he had driven to the night market to buy a lot of different foods for us to try. So amazing! Food was good and we had fun evening.


Nightmarket food including some fruits, shrimp omlet, chicken soup, tofu etc..

Only problem for me at the moment is jetlag. I still don’t fall asleep easily and time is usually past midnight before I can sleep even if I feel really tired. But that should fix itself in a week or so. I’m feeling more excited and less scared all the time. This will be a great adventure!

First expressions

After badly slept night I can tell you that it’s really humid here! That means when it gets dark it gets also really cold. I could sleep after I put my wollen socks on and took a extra shirt plus my jacket on too. Today I need to buy a thiker blanket.I also need to buy indoor slippers. The floor of my room is not the cleanest one and other floors are most likely a bit wet. It also rains all the time, or that is what they tell me.

The corridor outside my room.

The corridor outside my room.

Surroundings of the uni are great. We are located on a hill, so view is great and there is forest all around us. The buildings are really different from Finland. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is quite a bit of mold in here. The toilets are different. Seems like you have to have your own paper with you (wherever you go..) and people don’t dry their hands after washing them. I was wondering why my tutor asked me several times if I had some “tissues”. Well, now I know. 😀 I heard that in some places they don’t have the western type of toilet either, but a squat one. Basically that means a hole in the ground.

The dormitory

The dormitory

There is a Family Mart about 100 m from my apartment and buss stop other 100 m away. On the grocery store, there is much you can drink but not that much I can eat (I eat only food with no gluten in it). So I guess I will be eating a lot of bananas.. If I want to eat anything else, I deen to take a buss or walk down the hill (locals tell me it is a 20 min walk) to the MRT (mass rapid transportation) station where all the other stores are. Yesterday I ate stinky tofu. Not that bad, but not my favourite.

I have two roommates. One of them is from mainland China and other is from… Finland! They study nursing. The Finnish one is from JAMK also and we have met before. So small world it seems to be. Other than that I have not located that many exchange students. They might be from around here (other parts of Asia) so I wouldn’t recognise them.. Actually me, my roommmate and the classmate who came with me are the only western looking people I have seen this far.

Tap water is not drinkable, but we have a water vending machine here at the dormitory.

Forest around the dormitory.

Forest around the dormitory.

All in all I feel weird. Everything is so exciting and terrifying at the same time. But the people here are really friendly so everything is going to be okay.

Bye bye Finland

16.00 Helsinki-Vantaan lentokenttä

We are sitting at the airport waiting for the boarding time. Half an hour to go and I’m so excited! I have been grinning for days. Only difficulty is that I have to go through customs in Shanghai. That means that I have to pick up my big luggage, go to customs and then go through check-in again. We have six hours before the plane to Taiwan leaves so I hope that is plenty of time to do everything.


(16.05 FIN) 22.05 Taipei, Taiwan.

I would have liked to update this also in Shanghai, but aparently Free Wifi means free wifi for those who have chinese cellphone number.. 😛 I almost got nervous when one of the staff members in Finland started to wonder why we didn’t have visas to China. I haven’t even thought that we might need one for just passing by. But aparently we didn’t.

So we got safely to Shanghai and got my luggage and went to chek-in again. Only this time we were too early and we had to wait 2 hours before we could even chek-in. But couple of words about the flight. I dislike long flights, I usually don’t get enought sleep. This time we had also one screaming Chinese woman at the middle of the night and after that some really chatty teenagers right behind us. Nice.. I felt like an old grumpy lady who would have liked to hit everyone. To face. With a chair. Also our seats were right at the back of the plane, so there was always quite bright lights for the flight attendants.

I got some sleep on the Shanghai airport and more on the fight to Taipei. The flight was a bit late so more sleep to me! Our tutors found us easily and after that everything has been easy! I will tell more about that tomorrow. But I have to say, that now that I have been flying around more, I’m not that scared about the security checks (even though they always have something to ask me). It feel nice not to be so scared.


Now I don’t have (almost!) anything else to do than post to my blog..

You know that we make up things about what our country looks like if you just draw the lines. Like Italy is a boot. In Finland we like to think that our country looks like a woman. It is called the Maid of Finland. While I was reading about Taiwan I found out that they also have something like this. The island of Taiwan looks a bit like a sweet potato so some of them call themselves the Children of Sweet Potato. I think it is quite abdorable.

Taiwan is not the only name thay have, they are also called The Republic of China. To be clear, the other China is called People’s republic of China. But since this is quite confusing, I just continue to use Taiwan and China.

In Taiwan there is population of 23,373,517 people. That is A LOT of people. In Finland we have only 5,454,444. (Numbers are according to Wikipedia). In Taipei alone there is 2.619 million people. Almost half of all the Finnish would fit in there. To be exact, I live in Jyväskylä and there is 130,816 people here. In Helsinki which is the biggest city in Finland there is 614,074 people. Now I can tell you a secret. I really don’t like big crowds..

Official language in Taiwan is Chinese (mandarin) and in Finland we have Finnish and Swedish. Religions in Taiwan are diverse but about 70 % are either buddhist or taoist. In Finland we have mainly Lutherianism and Eastern orthodoxy and if you compare, there is only 3,9% christianity in Taiwan. This means they have tempels and we have churches. Some similarities are found too! There is freedom of religion in both countries.

The Final Countdown

5 days to go – I packed all my stuff in boxes and bags. Cleaned my apartment in hurry and gave the key to my subtenant. After packing everything to my dads trailer we drowe to my childhoods home and unpacked everything. I also packed and unpacked my luggages couple of times. I met my grandma who was worried and asked if she can call me when I’m in Taiwan. I tried to explain how skype works. A nice and rare stress free evening <3


My old room stuffed with stuff

4 days to go (today) – I trained (with a train you know) back to Jyväskylä to see some friends before escaping from the country. I also had some school stress to work with and tried to prepare myself for tomorrows exams. Paratisizing at my friends place for food and a couch to sleep because homeless for couple of days.

3 days to go – THE EXAMS! Please, pass the exams. Hopefully this will be the end of my stress. Remember to go to the pharmacy! Also go to ask if Forex has the right kind of money for you..

2 days to go – Writing furiously some last school papers. Remember to ask contact info for the person who should come to pick you up at the airport.


Relaxing fire

1 day to go – HELSINKI! If you have been too lazy to buy that adapter, here is your chance!

The Day of Tön-tön-töö! – Go to the airport. Panic.