I’m Salvatore Gigantino, an Exchange Erasmus student from Italy who spent 4 months at the Department of Nursing Science, University of Eastern Finland in 2021. My experience in Finland, even though so short and I’d have liked to spend more time, was phenomenal: I met a lot of other Erasmus students like me coming from a lot of parts of the world and we shared each other a lot of study’s moments and fun times. I really appreciated that the University with its associations has offered numerous chances to participate in a lot of events: the visit to Koli National Park, the trip to Lapland, the disco parties and more.  All of that has enhanced and made this experience so global and complete.  

I want to say thank you to the Department of Nursing Science with a lot of special people are working in it; I couldn’t have desired more. Everyone guided me to plan and achieve my goals, gave me the chance to have an internship in line with my desires and showed how much important is our nurse profession and how it can involve and be useful in every setting. They offered me an extension of the view that I could not have earlier because I knew only the Italian setting. 

Studying was satisfying because it was always possible confrontations among us as students during the lessons or to make assignments- I had some group assignments so sharing with others was essential- and also, not less important, the confrontations with the teachers. I found kind and friendly people every time who not only have made my staying here easier but also more interesting and more stimulating. I learned a lot through them and also, learned more about myself.  I’m still in love with all the lakes, the rivers, woodlands, and forests that I looked all around sightseeing in Finland, particularly I amused more with the landscapes of Kuopio where I spent more time. The nature and the chance to be so in contact with it keeps giving me goosebumps; I remember that, even when it was cold, every day I felt that have to go outside, there was something amazing to discover, to see, to live- every time.  


I considered myself very lucky until now, but my fortune was more because I was capable to admire the boreal aurora three times and it was spectacular, I saw three different types of aurora in different places but seeing this event left me every time breathless just like the first time. It was my dream to be able to see it and its realization in front of my eyes was awesome, I didn’t believe to make it. 

I’ll never quit being grateful for what I experienced in Finland, for the process of growing up – in a professional and personal sense- that this experience gave me to have and to have made me a better person. What I lived in Finland went over my expectations and sometimes it was incredible to see life surprises me with experiences like this.  

Thank you for all!  

Salvatore Gigantone, Exchange Erasmus student from Italy

Department of Nursing Science, UEF