Everyday life in Turku

I’m going to tell something about my life here in Turku. I’m an exchange student of The Netherlands and I’m studying nursing. I live in the student villages, together with exchange students. I have really nice neighbors and we’re doing nice things with each other, for example we prepare a secret birthday party for someone’s birthday of we’re visiting a nice place. Okay, this happens not every week, but regularly we organizing something nice.

But how looks a normal day for me? Well, the first weeks I had my internship. My first internship was in the Turunmaa hospital, a Swedish speaking hospital. It was interesting to see the different wards. My second place was in the University Hospital in Turku, on the children ward. It was an interesting but busy time.Charlotte5

The second part of my semester consists of following the courses. It depends every time if I have courses and if I have, how many courses I have. I have to go by bus, because the university is on the another side of the city.

After school and internship, I like it to relax. Nearby the student village you can walk along the Aura river. It’s a nice walk, also for running. Or I watch movies. We have sometimes movie nights with our neighbors in the kitchen.

During dinner it’s quite funny, because I’m used to eat around six in the evening. I have some French and Spanish neighbors and they were laughing when we told this. It’s normally for them to eat at 8 or 9 (sometimes half past 9) pm. During that time we drink a cup of tea and go to bed earlier. And of course in the weekends, we have really good kitchenparties 🙂Charlotte6

In my opinion, Turku is nice to live.It’s a city, but not that big. There are many places where you can enjoy the weather. For an example Ruissalo or nearby the Aura river. There are also some shops, but the way in Hansa is really difficult. I’m here since the beginning of January, but I still lost the way in this shopping Centre.

Text & pictures: Charlotte Huetink

Finland and Turku

After three weeks in Turku, I went with my neighbors to Ruissalo, an island nearby Turku. Our neighbors told us that it was a nice place to visit. We went by bus to the place. There was a lot of snow and the weather was nice. We walked around the island and say how the suns goes under. It was a nice day.Charlotte3

One time, we visited the cathedral. We already made some pictures outside of the cathedral, but we want to see it from inside. We open the door and saw a real wedding, yes a Finnish wedding. It was wonderful to see. After the wedding we could visit the church. It’s a big church with a lot of embellishments. In my opinion it’s an interesting building and it’s on a nice place in Turku.

An another nice place in Turku is the Aura river, especially in the summer. With nice weather it’s nice to sit next to the river and enjoy of the weather. It’s nice when the boat season opens and you can drink something on the many bars on the boats.

I think that Turku is a really nice place during the summer. It’s a town, but there are many nice places where you can find the rest and you can enjoy of the weather. There are many parks where you can walk and sport.

A couple of weeks ago we visited Helsinki. It is easy to take the bus from Turku to Helsinki. We saw many churches and other famous buildings of Helsinki. And of course, we went to the Kauppahalli. Besides that, we visited the Modern Art museum and the Temppeliaukio-church. This is an interesting church which is made inside a rock with a dome of glass and copper.Charlotte4

Text & pictures: Charlotte Huetink

Travelling in Finland

One of the things what I wanted to do during my exchange time here in Finland, was to visit Lapland. And yes, in the beginning of March arrived that time! In the evening left the bus from Turku to the Arctic circle. It was a long night in the bus. The first morning we went to the Snow Castle. It was fun to see the ice sculptures. After that we went to Rovaniemi. There we visit Santa Claus. We went also to the Arctic circle. Then, our travel continued to our final place, Inari. I was really tired of the long travel and went to sleep early.

Charlotte1The next morning, I had a lazy morning. We had only one activity during the evening. In the afternoon we took our sledge and went to a hill. In the evening we had the activity aurora hunting, we had to walk with special snow shoes in the forest. There was a chance to see the wonderful Nordic lights. And we had luck! We saw them for 2 times. It was beautiful.

On Friday we left early Inari to visit Norway. It was a long travel with the bus. During the drive, there was a strong wind and we got stuck for one hour. It was a real experience. Norway was really nice. We did swimming in the Arctic ocean. It was very cold, but probably it’s the only change in my life to do it!

Saturday it was Saami day. We visited a reindeer farm with many reindeers. First, we could feed the reindeers, and they were hungry. After that, we could make a ride in a sledge with reindeers. It was fun.Charlotte2

The last day was on Sunday. First there was a change to do downhill skiing. And I had the honour to give ski lessons. It was really funny to do. In the afternoon we went to the husky farm to make a ride with the huskies. It was one of the best experience ever. Riding through the wonderful snow landscape. Unfortunately, after that, leaves the bus back to Turku…

This was my experience about traveling in Finland;)

Text & photos: Charlotte Huetink

Student life in Turku 3/3

Besides being the tourist and doing internship in the hospital, I also take courses at Turku University of Applied Sciences. The classes I follow are with Finnish students, and are about different health subjects, given in English. Sometimes there are some difference in school then in the Netherlands. The lessons I have are normally a couple of hours a day, so not to long and sometimes I have some days off (I am not complaining about that! ;)). In the Netherlands I had most of the times long days of school and sometimes a day off.

The start of finding the information about the courses was not so easily. The internet program was totally different than in my own school and a lot of things were in Finnish, of course, so it was a little bit hard to find out how it worked.


Another difference between my own school and TUAS is the way you can see your timetable: Here you can find it on the internet, but without the classroom. You can find the classroom number written down on the paper in school. In my own school we can use an app. You can find your timetable and if there are any changes you can see it directly. I think the Finnish way is a little bit old fashioned (but don’t understand me wrong; maybe there are good reasons for it!)

The last difference I noticed is that a lot of Finnish student are using pen and paper to write down thing about the lesson. I am used to use my laptop and almost all my classmates.

There are not a lot of big differences between my school and TUAS, but it is nice to have lessons in another language, with other nationalities and in another environment.

Text & photo: Anne Beens

Student life in Turku 2/3

After ‘being the tourist’ in the city centre and the neighbourhood I had to start my internship. Internship at a Finnish hospital! I had my internship at two different hospitals in Turku, so I could get a lot of experience. Before I start to write about my internships: if you have the chance to do an internship in Finland, do it! It is really nice to see the difference between Finland and your own country. There were already a lot of differences between the Netherlands and Finland:

Costume: Almost all the workers in the hospital wear sandals/Birkenstocks. In my country it is not allowed to wear ‘open shoes’. Your shoes must be closed, so when you drop a needle it would not touch your toes and you can clean your shoes easily.

Besides a lot of hospital-workers wear accessories such as earrings, also that is not allowed in the Dutch-hospitals, because of the hygiene.

Necessities: it was very nice to see that other resources are used. For example: the nurses use special filter needles during preparation or drugs from glass bottles; To make sure that the potential glass does not come into the drug. I have never seen it in my country, but I think it’s very good.

Medication: Patients get a lot of medicine or care supplies from the hospital for free. I was really surprised about that! For example; patient can get a cpap-set, diabetes medicine and a hearing aid. In my country you have to pay (an amount) for everything. I thing this part of the healthcare system in Finland is really good.


Which country is better? What has a better development? I think both countries have good things and things that can be better.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t understand the conversations with the Finnish patients. But when there were Swedish-speaking patients I understood a lot more where they were talking about. Luckily, I have met a lot of really nice nurses, who translated everything for me in English and gave explanations. So I have seen a good part of the health care in Finland and it was a great experience.

Text & photo: Anne Beens