“Go with the flow” is the motto of Carlos Almas and it has given him the right kind of attitude to face new situations.
Carlos is originally from Portugal but has lived in Finland over five years. Now he is studying in a vocational upper secondary school to become a practical nurse. Carlos has enjoyed studying in Sedu. He and his classmates form a multicultural group that has also helped them to understand how to work together with people from different backgrounds.
Carlos began the studies in August 2018. Before moving to Seinäjoki he lived four years in Kuopio and run his own fitness based company. During that time, he learned the basics in Finnish that helped him to meet the required knowledge of the language for the practical nurse studies. Although most subjects in this study module are taught in English, you need to know Finnish to be able to take part in the working life. Carlos feels that he is sometimes a bit shy to use Finnish because the pronunciation differs so much from Portuguese and English. However, he also thinks that that is just a challenge he can overcome. Overall Carlos likes living in Seinäjoki. – Home is where I feel good; he says.
Experiences from Africa
Carlos has recently arrived from Uganda. He was there for on-the-job learning with another student and a teacher. They stayed in the region of Tororo, which is situated approximately four hours’ drive away from the capital Kampala. This trip was a different experience for him because he was there to work and learn instead of a vacation.
For Carlos being in Uganda felt almost immediately quite homely. Of course, there were some cultural differences and, for example, the working conditions in the local hospital were not similar to those in Finland.Carlos feels that the best thing to do in this kind of situation is to adopt the right attitude; you do what you can with the resources you have. He really admires the locals and the way they always smile. – You get more than you give; he says when he sums up the journey and all it has taught him.
Carlos thinks that everyone, not just students, would benefit greatly if they had an opportunity to go and see with their own eyes how people live in other countries. Not everything is gold; there are also other metals in the world. It is nice to return home from a trip because then you can truly appreciate what is good in your own country.
Raising awareness since 2009
Sedu participates in the Keva project, which is a network of 11 Finnish vocational education and training (VET) institutions. The object of the network is to raise awareness of global development issues and that is why students have the opportunity to travel for on-the-job learning placements in Tanzania, Namibia, Uganda and Nepal. The Finnish National Agency for Education has funded the network since 2009. As of 2019 Sedu has been responsible for the coordination of the project.