My student-exchange time at HMU (27-12-2014)
Mrs. Marica Riuttaskorpi, Student of HAMK , Finnland shared about her experiences during the time studying exchange program at Hanoi Medical University( HMU ),Vietnam

"I arrived to Vietnam on the last day of August and started my nursing exchange studies at HMU at the beginning of September. At first everything felt very strange; the amount of people and traffic, climate’s warmness and even the food were all very different than in Finland, where I come from. The staff at the university received me however very kindly, and I soon learned that the Advanced Nursing Program is taught in English at the university. It made me happy because I was worried that I would face some communication problems, but when I started my lessons, my worries were relieved. Everyone spoke quite understandable English, and I could understand what’s going on.

In addition to the theoretical classes I had the privilege to do clinical training as well. I studied at the HMU Hospital, Viet Duc Hospital and at the National Pediatrics Hospital. At those hospitals I learned the importance of family in Vietnam. It was very inspiring to see the family members playing part in the care of the patients. It is indeed very different from my home country, Finland, where the nurses do almost everything for the patient.

I feel that life and studying is very communal in Vietnam. I got to be a part of it as my classmates took me in very well and they were very interested about me and the ways of my country. I didn’t feel lonely because no matter where I went, there were always people to guide me and to talk to me. It is perhaps something we need to improve in Finland, as Finnish people are quite introverted.

Now that I look back, I have learned quite much during my time in HMU. I want to give praise to the students who are extremely busy yet still they arrange amazing events and clubs after the school day is over. For including me into those events, I would like to express my gratitude.

From an outsider’s point of view, I must say that the traffic here in Vietnam first scared me to death, and it didn’t make me feel very safe. After one month I learned to endure it, and how to squeeze my way into it without getting hurt. For most of the European people the traffic chaos here is something totally unseen.

The whole hospital system here in Vietnam differs greatly from the system in Finland. I see that many things still need to be improved, but with time I believe anything can be achieved. It is great that the nurses get to work beside the patient’s family.

My student-exchange time here has been successful, exiting journey for 3 ½ months. I got to visit many interesting places like Halong Bay and Da Lat. Now, nearly at the end of December, it is time to go back home to my Christmas land, Finland



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