Life here in Osijek has been surprisingly very nice, when we first picked Croatia for our exchange country, we thought that we would be on the coast, doing our traineeship by the beach. I did not know at that time that we would be farthest from it. (Should have paid more attention).
But all is well now, after all, Osijek turned out to be the right place for us. We landed here thinking that we would get bored, and that we would only visit one sightseeing, that one Museum that Google offered us. But halfway through our time here, we have surprisingly still not visited that Museum. Turns out Google does not do justice for Osijek, it did not mention, for example, the many festivals they have here, the cute farmers markets, the monthly Antique fairs, the vineyards and most importantly it did not mention that, Osijek too, has a nice beach by the river Drava. (Also, it’s not just one museum, there are multiple here!).
To sum it up, today, Osijek feels like home, locals are very kind and warm, always willing to lend a helping hand and wanting to chat for a while. I haven’t smiled this much in one month than in a year in Finland. On our free time, we have had a change to travel to different coast cities, we have seen the beaches we so badly wanted to, relaxed under the sun, partied with the locals and shopped at cute little shops. (Currently trying to figure out how to bring everything back). Our little mistake has made us experience both sides of Croatia, the authentic, real Croatia and also the touristic Croatia. Silver lining!
Our traineeship here is mostly nice. We have seen many procedures, we have switched wards frequently, way more than in Finland, so we have seen a lot of different things in a little time. Every day we see something new, however that also means that we don’t have time to settle down. In Finland where you are in one ward per traineeship, you get time to get comfortable. You start to know the basic things and feel like you belong there. Here it feels like every day is the first day. You need to be on your toes all the time, and you are always figuring out the customs of that specific ward.
As an Erasmus nurse student here, we find ourselves standing a lot, doing nothing. We don’t have our own mentors and often need to find someone who is willing to speak to us in English. Funnily enough doctors and younger students have been often our saviors, they have been able to explain to us patients’ diagnosis and prognosis. Sometimes even the patient has explained better their situation. However, we are not too mad about this, everything can be explained when you motion with your hand strongly enough, or use google translate.
The biggest differences in health care are, lack of sliding sheets, slightly lower standard of hygiene, nurses can wear nails/jewelry, lack of patients’ privacy during delicate procedures (changing diapers etc.). Also, here nurses study way longer than in Finland and they can’t specialize for anything, rather they study everything from every topic. (That’s also why Croatian nurses are greatly respected abroad). But other than that, the nursing work here is very similar. We have bonded with local nurses with problems we face when working. It’s funny and kind of comforting to share these thoughts and have a little joke regarding our profession.
Anyways, I’m glad that we didn’t read carefully and ended up here, cheers to that! Živeli and hölkyn kölkyn! Or how our Croatian friends would pronounce it, höitytöyti!