Viva Barcelona!

Physiotherapy practical training in Barcelona

Category Archives: Yleinen

Back home

It’s good to be back home!

The exchange was a great experience but home is always home. And christmas is coming so I like to be with my family again. The snow storm on Tuesday was crazy and it was a little weather shock first. I have not experienced any other cultural shock or anything. I have once before returned from an one year trip back home so this was quite easy!

Now I have taken care of the last paper work of the exchange. I got good evaluations from the practical training and the receiving university was really understanding and nice to giving my credits really fast. Normally it takes about 5 weeks but I got them in 2 days! That helped me to get paper work done with JAMK and now I have made a requisition for the examination certificate. All done, all good!

I’m really thankful for the UAB and JAMK for the fast work with my credits and papers. Now I will graduate! I’m almost a physiotherapist! I really recommend to go exchange if you think that at all! It’s a great chance to meet new people and develop your professional skills! Go abroad!

Time flies

My last week is getting it’s end very soon. I’m looking forward to go home even I have had great time in Barcelona! It was quite hard to be abroad on Finland’s 100th independence day and that was the day when I missed my home the most. Luckily I spend the evening with my friends and that helped to homesickness little bit.

I finished my practical training last Thursday 7.12. in Toni Bové Fisioteràpia. The whole practical training was an instructive experience. During the practical training I managed to achieve learning goals partly and fully. I achieved partly only the learning goal of making physiotherapeutic diagnoses. The reason was that the clients already had physiotherapeutic diagnoses when they came to physiotherapy. The coordinator of the center usually make the physiotherapeutic diagnose and determines the client’s treatment. So, I didn’t have opportunities to practice making physiotherapeutic diagnoses. But with my supervisor we went through many diagnostic tests in theory and in practice together, so I got some practice about making the physiotherapeutic diagnoses.

I have improved my skills in combining injuries / pathologies with right exercises and I have been more active to guidance the exercises to the clients. I have made sure that the clients understand what I want them to do because I needed to guide in English. I showed examples and then I wanted that the client will do the exercises too, so I could guide more the position, the direction of the movement, the stability and control of the movement etc. And in that way the client got right feeling about the exercises and I was sure that the client has understood me. I have also improved more my mobilization skills during the last part of the practical training. I have learnt how to affect to the certain direction of movement and how to combine the right mobilization for a specific motion limit better. To sum up I can say that I have achieved fully these learning goals during the practical training.

The whole practical training was very instructive experience and I’m happy that I used my chance to exchange during the studies. Even the shock was quite big about the working tempo, the amount of the clients and the difference in operational habits, and in the beginning and language barrier have been sometimes really high, I’m pleased with my practical training in Toni Bové Fisioteràpia, Barcelona. Integrating to the work place and the operational habits took little bit longer from me than usual but eventually I integrated well. The longer time for integrating was due to cultural differences and the language barrier.

As soon as I was integrated I became more brisk and brave. That helped me to take care of the clients independently and I started to learn more and develop myself as a physiotherapist more. I learned a lot new mobilization and manual therapy skills, develop myself little bit of making physiotherapy diagnoses and learned to work in a really different culture and place as a real part of the working team. I’m happy and pleased all the new things what I have learned in physiotherapy and I will use many of them in the future when I’m operating as a physiotherapist. As well as I learned new thing, I was able to use my old skills and knowledge during the practical training and also develop / update my old skills and knowledge. I didn’t achieve fully all my learning goals and that vex me little bit. But at least I know something that I still need to improve when I start to operate as a physiotherapist and I can develop myself more and more a lot in the future.

The whole practical training has developed my professional image and I have learned new things from myself as a physiotherapist. I think that one of the most important aspect of this last practical training is to develop the professional image of the student. I think that I got to develop my professional image even more here in Barcelona, in different environment, with new operating habits, with the clients who don’t speak same language and with co-workers who have done their studies and got their knowledge in the country who has little bit different influence of how physiotherapy should be done.

In the summary, the last practical training has developed me as a physiotherapist, I have learned new skills and updated my old skills and I feel that I’m more ready to work and operate as a physiotherapist in work life.

During the exchange I have met many new people and saw many great places. I have had time to be a tourist and also live like a local people. The language is still a problem sometimes but the language barried have came much lower during this two months. It a pity that local people too many times say that they don’t speak English or that they are too shy to speak in English even that (in both cases) they speak good or passable English. Also it is a pity that I don’t speak Spanish or Catalan because many times I have just sat quietly at the table when other people have had good and fun conversations in Spanish or Catalan and I couldn’t participate. I totally understand that people talk with their own language in their own country but sometimes I have felt that I haven’t given the best impression about myself or Finnish people because we haven’t a common language.

But, but, but! My exchange have been a good experience and I’m happy that I took the chance and I left to this trip! Here are some pictures from Barcelona and places where I have visited during my trip.

Camp Nou

Park Güell

Barcelona skyline

Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

Font màgica de Montjuïc in Catalan

La Sagrada Familia (sorry that the picture is sideways)

Next Tuesday I’ll go back to Finland!

Local culture and how it suits me


Now I’ll write about local culture and how it suits me. I use term local culture because I don’t like to use Spanish or Catalan culture now in this political situation. So I call it local culture.

Before I came to Barcelona, I had some understanding about local culture. But of course I have learned new things and realized many new things for me what you just can’t learn without living in Barcelona. I have integrated well to local culture but there is still things that I miss from Finland. One thing what I have had troubles to integrated is lack of discipline of people here. Like at work, when we are almost out of a detergent, nobody from the workers doesn’t do anythinig before we really are out of the detergent. And couple times we couldn’t be able to wash towels in a day because we didn’t have the detergent. Also at the work people don’t bring things they have used to the place where they have taken them, electrodes are not treated with care, cleaning heads of ultrasound or deep warm machine is lacking and if people use last paper towels from a ultrasound cart, they won’t get new roll. Those things drive me nuts sometimes. And I know that the people at work know that they could do better with organizing, cleaning and handling the machines, but the always say that they don’t have time. And it’s partly true. If there are 215 clients per day, it is basically impossible to take care of everything.

I have to admit that working habbits were quite a shock for me first. But I have integrated to them pretty well. Except those organizing, cleaning and handling things. That is why I try to do my best with them and show some example for the other students and as well for the employees. But I have integrated to the used passive treatments, the amount of the clients and the tempo of the work. I normally do 7 – 12 clients per day by myself and I also help the other students or employees if they need help with the treatments of the clients. Even most of the treatments are passive, I have started also do more active exercises with the clients.

I haven’t participated to the universitys international freetime programs at all during my exchange. I haven’t feel that I would like to and the university is quite far away. And I like to have some own time here now, when I don’t have all the resposibilities that I have in Finland. Still I have got new friends from the other students from the work and I have meet people who also play american football. Sport always bring people together all over the world. On my freetime I go to the gym, to the city center, meet my friends and I also have gone to the american football practice now.

Now it’s little bit over two weeks left here. I wait to get back to home but it have been a great joyrney so far!

Cultural collision

I have been in Barcelona one month now. I have noticed some cultural differences between Spanish / Catalans and Finnish, and I think all who have visited here have noticed some of these things too. First of all, local people are really helpful and community is really big thing here. People gather together on day offs / holidays with family / friends and have dinner, beers etc. together at someone houses or at a restaurant. In the evenings of the weekend or restaurants are full of people who are enjoying each other’s company with class of wine or beer and tapas. Also very local habbit is kind of brunch on Sundays when people gather together in a restaurant or before midday and have drinks and tapas until afternoon when they go home for siesta. And about siesta. It is one of the weirdest thing for a Finnish. In a normal week day, most of restaurants and shops are open from 9am then they closes about at 2pm and open again about at 5pm. There might be many reasons for the siesta but I really don’t understand it.

The local people also have different meal times. Breakfast is almost at the same time as in Finland, especially if you are still working, but lunch is so late. The local people here eat lunch about at 2-4pm and it is just too late for me. 😀 Then the local people have dinner also very late, about at 8pm when I’m already eating a night snack.

Also different sports are a community thing here. Especially football is really big sport and it brings people together, kids, youths and adults. I have seen a junior football game and a junior american football game here and it was nice to see how parents and other adults are volunteering to do different things for the kids sport during game days. I think it is really important for the junior sports.

Also the political situation have brought people together. The people who want the independence, they organize demonstrations where lot of people are involved. Even from homes. In one evening people started to drum on their balconies and windows all over the city because of the Spanish covernment issued an arrest warrant for former regional leaders.

In the other hand, I have found some things that are not so good from my opinion. The local people are not so discipline and that irritates a Finnish who is really stirct with the rules if there are rules. The traffic is great example about this. With a motorbike it is normal to weave between cars and drive on a sidewalk a block or two if the street is one way and you need to go to “wrong way”. Speeding is normal here everywhere and it’s also normal to drive against “old yellow”. Another example about this is that during the junior american football game paramedics were smoking next to the juniors bench on a half time… It really annoyed me! But for the local people it was just normal…

I have used a lot of public transport here. And I have noticed some cultural differences in there too. Here you don’t queue to the bus or the metro, you just push through from the crowd. And it’s more normal than an exception to sit down on the bench next to the aisle, not next to the window. Of course you can go sit next to the window if someone is sitting next to the aisle but that person hardly give way for you. And you hardly hear “perdon / perdona” if someone is trying to get past you, people just walk through you. One of the most weirdest thing what I have noticed on public transfer is that lot of localt people bite their nails…

Language have been a little problem for me here. At my work place I can manage and ask easily help from my workmates. People always say here that they are shy to speak English and that their English is so terrible. It’s a pity. Sometimes when I say that I don’t speak Catalan or Spanish, people just say same thing again in Spanish or Catalan louder or slower. And I still don’t understand. BUT! I have started to understand phrases and short sentences in Catalan and Spanish, I just can’t really answer more than sí or no. 😀

Even all of these cultural differences my life have been good and fun here. Working is fun and instructice, I go to the gym again after my knee injury, I have met new friends and spend fun time with them. I have one month left here and I’m looking forward every day!

To the next post!


The beginning of living in Barcelona


Now I have been three weeks in Barcelona and I have started to integrated to local living. In these first weeks my neighborhood and Barcelona generally have gotten familiar, I have learnt the public transport system well and I have learnt some Spanish and Catalan.

I live in L’Eixample area with a local lady and her cat. Our co-housing have been unproblematic and I can freely use the kithen and it’s eguipments and laundry machine etc. I have nice little room for myself and the lady cleans it once a week. Luxury! The cat is funny and nice company. The area is nice and quiet and all services are in walk distance, like grocery store, post office, bank and many cafeterias and restaurants. The train / metro station is close also and the stops of different bus routes are all in walk distance. The ATM-card for one month was 52,75€, which include busses and metros. Pretty cheap price and really easy wasy to go around the city!

Food is cheaper here than in Finland. That is good for my economy because I don’t have incomes from work now. I normally spend about 20€-25€ for food in one week. That includes all meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Normal restaurants and cafeterias are pretty cheap also, you can eat well here about with 12€-15€. Also in clothing stores etc. the price level is lower than in Finland which is not so good for me and my economy. 😀

Barcelona tourist

The University of Gimbernat is outside of the city area. The metro takes about 20-30 minutes there. I have been there once to meet the incoming exchange coordinator in the second say of my staying. The coordinator was so nice and helpfull with everything that includes in my practical training. We had really good meeting and she contacts me regularly to know that everything is fine.

The University Gimbernat

The University of Gimbernat

My wokring place is Toni Bové Fisioteràpia, Via Augusta center which is a private clinic. I have nice co-workers and there is also 6 other students doing practical training. They all are from the local universities. They have little bit different way to do practial trainings than we have in Finland. They work normally from 9am to 1pm/2pm and they have classes in the evening from 5pm to 8pm. If they work in the evening shift, they have classes in the morning. Long days and no life, I think. 😀 But that’s studying!
My supervisor is nice and cool guy. He have taught me the working habbits of the place, more about using ultrasound, electrotherapy, magnetic, thermotherapy, laser and deep heat as a part of physiotherapy and some manual therapy ways. The work itself is different than in Finland. Everyday there are 130-200 patients which is crazy. The tempo of the work is super fast. One physiotherapist should treat 5 patients in an hour and this is consequence of that the insurance companies pay 7€/patient from the treatment. Crazy and quite sad. If the patients come to the clinic as a private patients, the price is about 45€/hour and the physiotherapis spend whoule that our with the patient. But the physiotherapists in Spain are working on to get this changed because they know that 5 patients in an hour is too much and the results of the treatment might not be as good as possible.

Toni Bové Fisioteràpia, Via Augusta

I’ll write again during next week about the cultur and local habbits!

Barcelona, I am coming

This is really post-posted blog because I have been in Barcelona already little bit more than one week. The reason I didn’t write earlier was that I was too busy with another practical training and my thesis in Finland. But here I’m now, writing this post for all of you who would like to go exchange during studies.

I have always wanted to go to Barcelona. I really can’t explain why. Maybe part of because of football, part of because history and culture what they have here, maybe because of Spain and the language. I don’t know for sure. But life never threw me to Barcelona or Spain but when I started my physiotherapy studies, I had a change. I had heard lot of good feedback about exchanging studies in Barcelona in physiotherapy field from my teachers and already graduated students. So already in the beginning of my studies I decided to go to Barcelona (or Spain) for exchange.

Last autumn I decided that it would be my last practical training what I would do in Barcelona and I contacted our international services right away. The coordinator of the international services told me the process of exhange and we made a timetable when I should do applications etc. for the exchange. She also contacted to Barcelona and kind of reserved the place for me. Last March I filled the learning agreement for exchange and made application for the university. I got accepted to Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB) so it was sure that I would go to do my last practical training abroad!

After that both coordinators of international services in JAMK and in UAB changed so that caused little bit confusing with the papers and other stuff. But in the end, all was good. I got a practical training place from Toni Bové fisioteràpia centrum, from Via Augusta unit. Here is a link to their website:

Last thing what I needed to to for my exchange was get my insurance done (which only needed one phone call to my insurance company), get European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), apply for JAMK’s the Erasmus+ grant, take care of all stuff with KELA and get an apartment from Barcelona. I got all these things done pretty easy and I rent a nice room via Uniplaces ( And of course I booked my flights!

During summer we heard bad news about a terror attack in Barcelona at La Rambla and just couple weeks and dayys before my departure about demostrations and violence confrontations in Barcelona because of Catalonia would like to independent country. These new really didn’t scare me or wanted me to change my plans. Of course those things need to be take serious and take into account but not take them too distressing or restrictive cases.

During summer I met two guys from Barcelona. They were playing american football for Jyväskylän Jaguaarit during last summer so I had two friends around already. That really comfort my family members after the news of Barcelona.

Then I just packed my bags on 7th of October and left to Barcelona happy and smiling like always!