Greetings from Down Under!

G'day mates!

My name is Emmi and I am a paramedic student from Finland. I study at Tampere University of Applied Sciences and I am doing a student exchange program in Sydney. My student exchange includes 4 weeks of studies at Western Sydney University and then 5 weeks of placement in Haberfield Superstation in an emergency ambulance.  Let me tell you a bit more about my exchange here down under!



Firstable I’d like to tell you a little bit about my studies here in Sydney. I was studying at WSU for 4 weeks prior to my placement which is a practical training that I am doing in an emergency ambulance here in Sydney. I was attending to different kind of courses with the 2nd and 3rd year paramedic students.


In here they have two different kind of lesson types. They have tutorials which are basically lectures about certain subject and then they also have practical lessons. During practical lessons students get to practice their skills first under guidance and then on “real-life” situations which are called simulations. In sims the students are divided into smaller groups and then there are different kind of patient scenarios that the students have to treat like they would in real life.


I got to take part in both, the tutorials and the practical lessons. In practical lessons I got to act as a bystander and a patient and I also got to be a paramedic and actually treat the scenarios. In tutorials I got to learn for example about different kind of medical conditions and their treatment in theory which I found very helpful. During these 4 weeks at uni I also learned a lot about the australian paramedicine system.


Paramedics do many things very differently in here and the protocols/medicines/equipment are also a bit different compared to Finland. For this reason I found the uni lessons very helpful and it felt much easier to go to the placement when I had been able to get a bit of an insight on how they do things in here. I wasn’t that familiar with all the medical terminology in english either so those 4 weeks at uni really helped me with that too. The Aussie accent is also something to get used to so being in uni first helped me to adapt to the language which was great. One fun fact also about the differences between the paramedicine studies in Finland and Australia is that in here they study 3 years when in Finland we study 4 years. In here however they have to work as a trainee paramedic for one year after graduating uni until they get qualified as paramedics when in Finland you’ll be qualified as a paramedic straight away when you graduate uni.


After 4 weeks at uni it was time for the most exciting part; the placement. I was placed to Haberfield Superstation which is one of the biggest ambulance stations in New South Wales. I was very happy about being placed there because everybody had told me that it is a very busy station which means many calls which means many great learning opportunities for me. So I was beyond excited about the placement.


In my placement I did the following shift pattern for 5 weeks; 3 day shifts (5.45-18.00, 6.45-19.00, 9.45-22.00) + 1 night shift (17.45-6.00) and then 5 day offs. Every shift lasted 12 hours (if we finished on time). I liked this shift pattern because it allowed me much time to explore Sydney and Australia in my free time. It was also great to get to experience both day and night shifts because in previous ambulance placement that I did in Finland I was only allowed to do day shifts.


The placement has been and it will be the best placement I’ve ever done. I have learned and seen so much that I can’t even explain how thankful I am for this experience. During the placement I’ve done multiple jobs and treated so many patients/medical conditions that I’ve never done before. I have gotten very good experience and exposure out of this placement so I’m very lucky to come back to Finland with all of that with me. The paramedics that I’ve got to work here with have been the best. The way the paramedics encounter the patients in here is so beautiful. The way they talk to the patients and make them feel safe and comfortable is amazing and it’s something I wanna learn and take with me back to Finland. They are so good with the patients that it’s truly admirable.


During my day offs I’ve been exploring Sydney and Australia. There’s also another Finnish exchange student here with me so during our time at uni we did a lot of things together. We for example hired a car and did a road trip down the grand pacific drive. We got to see many different towns and places which was incredible. Some of the places we went to during our road trip were Royal National Park, Kiama, Shoalhaven, Wollongong, Shellharbour and Jervis Bay. We even saw wild kangaroos which was a dream come true!! We also went to Blue mountains one day which was a very nice experience. It was so beautiful out there. During placement we are in completely different rosters so we won’t have any day offs together. Now I’ve been exploring the city and Australia by myself and with some friends I’ve made during my time here. I like to do coastal walks and hikes because they are incredible out here. I’ve also been traveling to other cities and places during my day offs. The beaches are incredible over here and I love swimming and sunbathing so I’ve also spent a lot of time exploring different beaches and spending days there swimming and taking in the sun. I also love going to different kind of markets around Sydney which happen every weekend in different locations. I also tried surfing for the first time ever in here a while back and it was so much fun! I will definitely do it a lot more during my stay here because I found it so fun.


Here’s some pictures that I’ve taken while my stay here. I can say that Australia has truly won a place in my heart. I’ve had the best time ever in here and I will definitely miss this culture, country and the people a lot when I leave. If you ever get a chance to come to Australia, I definitely recommend doing it! I promise you won’t regret it. Oh, and if you happen to be a paramedic student in TAMK and you are thinking of doing a student exchange in Sydney, I can’t recommend this enough. You’ll get very good experience out of this and it is very learnful to get to work as a paramedic in another country and culture.




Thanks for reading!






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