Hi, I am a third-year student in biomedical laboratory science, and I am currently having my practical training in Bergen, Norway as an exchange student. Our education in Turku University of Applied Sciences offers an opportunity to apply elsewhere to carry out your practical training, so I thought why not and applied. Since I am from Finland my exchange semester here in Norway and in the University Hospital is similar in terms of how the overall healthcare works in Finland as well.
My practical training consists of observing, learning, and participating in the different routine work carried out in the different laboratory departments inside the Haukeland University Hospital. I have been lucky since I’ve literally seen almost every single department big or small inside the laboratory building. I think my overall favorite place was cancer genomics since the department is growing the fastest in terms of new methods and overall, how medicine is individualized in the future.
Even though the healthcare system here in Norway is pretty much the same as in Finland there are some minor differences between the biomedical laboratory science education. I think the biggest difference is that the Norwegian biomedical laboratory science education is only for 3 years, and they don’t have clinical physiology or neurophysiology as part of their studies.
People here are extremely welcoming and eager to learn about the education back in Finland. I’ve had a great time learning about Norwegian culture and comparing it to the Finnish way of living. There’s also no need to worry about speaking Swedish since everyone here speaks good English.
I am happy that I applied to have my practical training elsewhere since it’s a great way of networking and as well widening your views between the differences and similarities in healthcare and laboratory work between Finland and Norway. Even though I am occupied with the training during weekdays the whole exchange feels like a small vacation since I am away from my home country and have a chance to roam around during my free time. Considering my whole experience, I truly recommend applying for an exchange as well.