In the early morning of my first day I was trying to discover the surrounding, as I came very very late the night before. I was fascinated by the lake view and the quite nature that I will see every morning during my stay.
“Congratulations! We are happy to inform you that you have been selected as an Erasmus plus exchange student to the School of Pharmacy at the University of Eastern Finland for three months.”
That was the start of a stunning experience in Finland during autumn 2018. I am Dalia Yehia Abozahra, a PhD student and an assistant lecturer in the Faculty of pharmacy, Pharos University in Alexandria, Egypt.
I truly enjoyed this great experience being on a one-week staff mobility at Kuopio campus of UEF, together with two colleagues from our home university, the Pharos University in Egypt.
The host university is gorgeous, I loved all the surroundings. Academic staff we met are so kind and amazing. Hopefully my pictures tell more.
I am Sherihan Salaheldin Abdelhamid an Assistant Lecturer of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Pharos University, Alexandria, Egypt. I came to Finland as an Erasmus exchange PhD student and this was the first time for me and my son who is 1 years old to visit Finland. I enjoyed everything here starting from my apartment, the beautiful nature surrounding us everywhere and the weather although it is sometime very cold.
I also liked the daycare so much as they really did great effort for taking care of my son so I would like to thank all of them.
Having a connecting flight, I had already been traveling for several hours when I heard an announcement that we would be landing soon to Belgrade. After looking out from the airplane window I could easily recognise the land being different beneath us. Everywhere the landscape was totally flat and covered by fields. Then for my own surprise I realised that the amazingly clear and sunny weather opened a line of sight to a lonely mountain covered by trees. Next to the mountain lies a city that would become my home for the next six months: Novi Sad.
It is not only the countless natural and cultural treasures of the French Riviera that entices people to visit this region, but in addition to the prestigious festivals of Antibes and Cannes there is an increasing number of international conferences that brings thousands to this sunshine empire, the world-famous capital of Côte d’Azur,Nice. Nice’s “bohemian” district is crowded with VIP luxury shops: Vuitton, Chanel, Cartier… whereas the old town offers a multitude of historic mosaic pieces. Around the thousand-coloured walls enclosing the narrow alleys, the white window frames and arcades, adventure seekers can breathe a particular atmosphere. Near Place Masséna, Acropolis Convention Center can be found in this Janus-faced environment where from the laboratory associated with the name of Professor Kai Kaarniranta I had the chance to deliver a presentation at the EVER Conference as a returning participant to demonstrate our most recent results also published in Redox Biology (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213231718306050?via%3Dihub ). Owing to the vicinity of the place (our accommodation was near the old town) and for my own curiosity, I visited the port of Nice on a few occasions, as well as the “la promenade des 100 antiquaires”, “the promenade of 100 antique traders”, where I had a real “kirputtori” feeling, I could immerse in a quest for truly desired “treasures”. While the agenda of the EVER Conference (www.ever.be) was highly tense, and I would not claim myself to be a real “conference tourist”, I still perceived the call of the unique and many-coloured Maritime Alps, lying just a short hour away – besides, obviously, the deservedly famous beaches of Nice, which always dazzle the strollers in the promenade –, and therefore on a leisure afternoon I hit the road to unveil the natural beauties of the mountains near Côte d’Azur alongside the cultural and architectural traditions of the small villages I passed by during this short (30–40 km) trip. By showing you the photos taken in these places, let me share some of the images reflecting the two kinds of faces of Côte d’Azur: both grandeur, gleam and undisturbed nature.
As a biologist, exploring tropical rainforests have been my dream as far as I can remember. So, when I heard about a university in the very lap of the great Amazon rainforest, I knew I had to go. As it happened, my University of Eastern Finland (UEF) had a two-way exchange scheme with Universidad Regional Amazónica Ikiam (or just IKIAM for short) with funding from the Erasmus+ program. As I was in my 6th year and nearing my graduation, this was my last chance to go on an exchange. Continue reading Amazon, a biologists’ paradise
Moi (hello)! Approaching the end of my stay in Joensuu a lot faster than I would like to, it is time to recap and tell you about all the great experiences I have made in Suomi (Finland) during the past four months. And while I must admit that my language skills in Finnish are still embarrassingly small, there are some nice, beautiful and curious little words that I would like to share with you.
At the moment, my favorite Finnish word must be kesä: summer! After months of cold and icy, yet exceptionally beautiful winter-wonderland-weather, the temperatures have turned around and Finland has put on it’s pretty green summer dress. Within only a few days the ice melted off the lakes, the piles of snow disappeared (there were trucks helping with that), and the leaves started to grow. And yes, in Finish there is a unique word for the first, tiny, bright green leaves, and it’s adorable: hiirenkorva (literally: mouse ears). Walking in metsä (forest) and among the koivut (birches) now feels like a completely different world. Sometimes I can’t believe that it is only a few weeks ago that it was talvi (winter), and I was in those very same forests pursuing murtomaahiihto (cross-country-skiing) – one of the great Finnish hobbies I had never done before and came to love so quickly. Continue reading My favorite Finnish words. An incomplete guide to my perfect time in Joensuu
Before coming to Finland, I’ve had a few conversations about what’s it like there in the far north. People’s opinion were different and I came to a conclusion that I’ll either hate it or love it. And I was right.
To be honest, for the first few weeks, the dark, wind, cold and the process of getting used to a new culture left me a bit depressed and thinking about home. For someone coming from much warmer regions it is a natural thing I suppose. As time went by I started to become more and more comfortable with the visuals and life pace here. Continue reading A land of hidden gems
It was my first visit to Finland and it started in Helsinki with such nice and unobtrusive Nordic design where ever you take a look. The train ride from Helsinki to Jounsuu, then, was a very nice opportunity to enjoy the beautiful landscapes.
Our first meeting at UEF started as it was written there really: “state of smart”! In the “middle of knowhere” I met such nice, polite and great colleagues. In their company all five of us (3 teaching and 2 administrative stuff) enjoyed our time so much.