From Real Estate to Nursing at CEU UCH… that’s quite a career change! We sat down with Martine, a first year Nursing student from Norway, to have a chat about making that change, life at CEU UCH and how she ended up studying here in Valencia.
So, you are on the Nursing degree here at CEU Valencia, what attracted you to nursing in the first place?
I like working with people and not being in an office all day. Before, I studied Real Estate, so I just wanted to do something totally different and be able to help other people.
During the summers when I was still at high school, I worked in an elderly home and I really liked it, but I was young and I guess I had other values at the time. I got my bachelor’s degree and worked as a Real Estate agent for two years, but did not like being in an office.
Nursing is more down-to-earth, which is why I wanted to change; it means working with people, but in a different way. Also I think it is very positive that you can work on an international level – nursing is nursing all around the world.
And on that note we are a very international campus here at CEU UCH! What brought you to study here?
I’ve always wanted to live in another country, especially a warm one, and learn Spanish. Since they offer English in the first year here, it was easy to choose Valencia and CEU UCH!
And what were your first impressions of Valencia?
My first impressions… very, very warm! Also the city is beautiful, and full of people who I find very open-minded. I was also surprised that a lot of young people know English, so that was a nice surprise! The fact that the city is really flat makes it easy to take my bike and explore the city. Plus, there’s the beach, which is really nearby!
Has anything surprised you about studying nursing here in comparison to healthcare studies in Norway?
I was positively surprised when I got here because of all the new facilities and equipment they have here in the Health Sciences department at CEU UCH; they have a lot of things we don’t have in Norway. I feel they go more in depth here than they do back home too. Demand to go into Nursing is high in Norway, I guess because we know that in the future we will need a lot of nurses…
And how about your future? Where do you see yourself and in what sort of role?
I think I want to become a school nurse and work with children but I’m still not sure. Hopefully I will be fluent in Spanish so maybe I’ll end up working here or in another Spanish-speaking country. Or maybe I’ll move back to Norway.
Norway is so far away from us! When people here think about Scandinavia they think about Stockholm and Sweden….so tell us more about Norway, make us fall in love with your country!
Oslo has everything: the ocean, the mountains, and the city itself. Of course there are also the Northern Lights, it is just so different. I would recommend you visit in spring, because it is beautiful. Norway is very green and there are flowers everywhere, so in spring it’s perfect with all the colours. There are lots of fjords, good hiking options… it is just a very beautiful country!
And now to Spain… Before coming to study with us, had you ever visited our country? What image did you have of us?
Well, I had been to Spain a couple of times, to Nerja (Málaga) and Barcelona for a short weekend, so my impression was very good. Of course, I hadn’t interacted much with Spanish people, only in stores and restaurants. I feel everyone is very open which is something that is very different to Norwegian people.
When I finished my Real Estate studies I backpacked in America and I can really tell that Spanish culture is close to that of Latin America; it is maybe the only country in Europe where I have seen that, which is cool.
When I went to South America, I wanted to learn Spanish. Now I can see it is a bit different to what I thought, a bit more difficult at times, but I still like it! I’m looking forward to continuing my studies in Spanish here at CEU Valencia so I can meet more locals!
So you are ready to face your second year here in Spanish then?!
I have a lot of work to do before my second year; I’m sure the first months are going to be a challenge but I will make it. I feel that I‘m starting to understand a lot more Spanish, it’s just I need to get out of my comfort zone and speak a bit more now!
Thank you for chatting with us Martine, we wish you all the best with your studies here with us!