Remember to wave when you want step on the bus

Two German girls having a work placement period in Turku

Minna Vainio

There has been a busy summer for Nova Talent’s work placement services. In August two German girls arrived to Finland for their internship period. I was asking how they feel about their trip to Turku.

In their home country Ina and Marie are apprentices’ (confectioner and carpenter). Both girls got their work placement places with the help of their local organizations for the Erasmus exchange. Girls told that it is a practical way to find suitable work placement abroad. They would have had a possibility to find the job option by themselves, but it would have been a huge effort to find one. With the help of their local Erasmus organizer, they were provided work placements in Turku, where Nova Talent have a list of open work placements available for sending partners (login needed).


Fig 1. Ina and the cake 

Fig 2. Marie's wood work at the factory

The both girls have wanted to have work placement in Nordic Countries and thus they end up in Turku where Nova Talent had open work placements for carpenter and baker. Marie arrived for her 6 weeks period two weeks before Ina. They are from different locations and from different sending partners, but they ended up living in the same apartment arranged by Nova Talent. Marie thought that it would be more fun to have room mates also from different countries. Then they should use English both at work and in the free-time. However, it is nice to have company when exploring foreign country. 

Nova Apartrments

Fig 3. Shared apartment

 Ina and Marien in Helsinki

Fig. 3. Ina and Marie visiting world heritage site Suomenlinna (Helsinki)

Together the girls visited Helsinki, the Capital of Finland, and enjoyed the trip very much. Marie have also had time to visit Archipelago Sea and its beautiful places like Hanko and Bengtskär light house. Ina has a shorter work placement period than Marie, but both girls have still some time to find interesting places in Finland. From Turku you have only two hours train trip to Helsinki and Tampere (one of the big cities in Finland). One previous exchange student have even visited Lapland during her work placement period (bus trip over the weekend). From Turku you can also take a ferry to Stockhom (Sweden) or Marienhamn (Åland, autonomous territory between Turku and Stockholm). 

 Fig. 4. Bengtskär light house

Even if both girls have strict working hours, starting early in the morning, they have found Finnish working life more relaxed than in their home country. This doesn’t mean that Finns are lazy. Of course you should fullfill the expectations in quantity and quality, but in Finland workers are more independent and not under strict supervision. You have a freedom to choose the best way for you to do your work, even if it’s not the same than all the others have, the girls concluded. In Finland we like to call it innovative working culture

When asking what you have learned about Finns and Finnish culture, I was told that you should remember to wave your hand when you want step on the bus. I think this is a good reminder, that in every country we have our own ways of doing things. It’s called internationalization, when you know things like this.  

Here we offer you some "tastings" from Ina: