Savonia article: Study trip to Prague


While working and studying in international environment, we two Master students of rehabilitation participated in the study trip to the Prague in the Czech Republic.

Marja Äijö, principal lecturer in gerontology and rehabilitation, was our teacher in this course.
This study trip was carried out for the first time in master’s degree program in rehabilitation. In the future this might be an annual event, if the experience and feedback from the trip is good.

It was quite exciting to wait the meetings with students in Prague, because one of our tasks were to give presentation of our own workplaces in English. The topics of our presentations were Autism foundation, my life, different, yet similar and Vihanti’s day activity center, Kaveritupa. The presentations went well despite the excitement.

The program was very intensive throughout the trip. We visited the Savoy Spa Rehabilitation center in Karlovy Vary, belonging to Karlova Sports University. Spa Chief Physician Dr. Ladislav Spisak, MD, PhD presented us with the rehabilitation methods and equipment of the spa which were very interesting. The services of the spa were divided into wellness treatments and spa therapy. In our opinion, quite special and interesting methods were used in the rehabilitation like radioactive water, mineral water gas, radon, climate therapy, laser therapy and drinking therapy.

Physiotherapy students led by Doc, Ph Dr Kamila Rasova presented research results related to their final work, as well as presentations related to the development of virtual rehabilitation for people with multiple sclerosis. In that study, we were very pleased that it had included an ICF framework. ICF allows us to assess the impact of rehabilitation also through environmental, social and individual factors.

With these factors we can better address the root causes of why the effectiveness of rehabilitation and the motivation of the individual do not carry in the long term. We listened a lecture on function and imbalances of the muscles, that can be influenced by physiotherapy. Because we were professionals in different field, we got a lot of new information.

At the Sports University, physiotherapists were trained at the Bachelor and Master level, as well as athlete research was conducted. They had e.g., a long tradition of research cooperation with the football teams. The university’s approach was also to study its own students, and thus the students gained first-hand experience in both the field and research. In our opinion, what was special, was that each student had their own interests, e.g., the climbing they focused on. There was a climbing wall on site, which was used to benefit from the studies.

There was also time to explore Prague’s sights and life. We got a lot of information about Prague’s history and had plenty of time to explore the sights, and even a little shopping. Of course, when we are in a strange environment, we were not spared the fuss; Jumped on the wrong bus and ran back at the stop to find that we were at the wrong stop in the first place. We almost got hit by a tram, we crashed into a pole and a wall, we were lost at times. We competed with the battery resistance of the phone so we could reach the hotel before the battery runs out. However, we survived everything, even though our feet were screaming in pain for the last few days – I must have walked several ten kilometers.

The Czechs seemed to be very proud and enthusiastic about what they were doing, and it was evident in every location visited. Their English language skills were good, although some of them underestimated it. We felt ourselves welcome by the school, the teachers, and the students. The study trip was a success and we got good practice in communicating in English. We recommend similar visits to everyone, go if you get a chance. On a normal tourist trip, you do not get this kind of experience we had.


Tarja Pelkonen and Mira Sainila, Master`s degree program of rehabilitation. Savonia University of Applied Sciences.