First week in Northampton

We are two occupational therapist students from JAMK doing our autumn semester 2015 in the University of Northampton. We are supposed to be the first three weeks in Northampton studying basics for the placement. Then we move to Leicester to do our placements in hospitals. Sanni-Maria is doing her placement in renal & surgery department and Mirva in trauma and orthopaedics.

There are many reasons for our student exchange. We wanted to go on an adventure, learn more from ourselves and the world, get to know British culture, improve our English skills, learn more from occupational therapy and make new friends (and of course find British men). We’ll update our blog and tell you when something happens, stay tuned!

Today we’ve been here for one week and we’re still settling down and getting to know Northampton. We’ve mainly been just running from one place to another to catch a bus, get prepaids, see our teachers or international coordinator.. We also got an appointment with an occupational health nurse who checked we have all the necessary vaccinations etc. Because the buses haven’t been arriving in time, we’ve had to take taxis to the University (of course we took MayFair taxis – the most expensive). Or it could have been that we’re the ones who don’t arrive in time, go and figure.

We’ve had some sort of cultural crash with the British culture. We find everything much more difficult and expensive compared to Finland. It’s funny how the phone firm Three advertises their prepaids: Everything sucks. Let’s give you a few examples:

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1. The faucet. The picture tells more than thousand words. Also the shower was quite interesting before our landlord gave us a few tips how to not burn ourselves in the hot water or get freezed in the cold one.

2. Can openers. Again see the picture.

3. Got our prepaids from Three. We can’t call to Finland without doing top-ups and paying extra.

4. The adaptors we bought from Finland weren’t suitable for our laptops. Searched adaptors from various places and finally found them. Thanks Tesco!

5.The doors are difficult to open and close. Can’t get out without a key, can’t lock the doors properly. Still learning..

6. Different kind of food. The small quark selection in ASDA gets empty when three Finnish students arrive in Northampton. It’s called soft cheese here – yep, we eat cheese. “Ideal for cooking and baking.”

Apart from these little troubles we’ve enjoyed our time here and have found the British people very friendly and helpful! Especially our landlord, teachers and classmates have been awesome and they’ve been solving our problems whether it’s about the bus timetables or finding the cheapest hairdresser. Someone’s always helping!


We still have things to learn…


With love,

Mirva and Sanni(Sunny)-Maria