IFMSA Clinical Exchange, Porto – Portugal, July 2016

Olá! Here is my report about one month spent in the one of the most beautiful  cities I have visited. I hope I won´t forget anything important, because this month was crazy and busy…like Portuguese 🙂

I chose this country and city because  some of my friends were there and they told me that this is the best option if I want to stay for the Exchange in Europe, that the social program is great and the city is beautiful… And they were right!

So…where to start..from beggining J Surprisingly, we, as exchange students, were inform about everything really soon. They looked they were looking forward to us, they organized youtube session where LEO, LORE and CP answered every our question. Talking about them – they were great, kind, funny and really helpful – they picked us at the airport, showed us the hospital, our department, introduced us to doctors… They like to party, have fun as well, participated every social program, they did their best that we had awesome summer.

The official reason for the Exchange – clinical clerkship. My first option was cardiothoracic surgery, because in Slovakia students aren´t allowed to observe this kind of surgery. And I got this department. Atmosphere there was familiar, everybody calls each other with first name, there is no strong hierarchy. Everybody was curious, they asked me if I like Porto, how is Slovakia etc. I could observe at operating theatres but I wasn´t allowed to assist operations, of course. Every doctor speaks English, so communication was with no problem.

Another reason for Exchange was social program J. As I mentioned, it supposed to be great, and it was. There was no time to get bored. We enjoyed beach with ocean and surfing, their wine cellars, cheap coffee, nightlife, we travelled to another towns – Braga, Coimbra, Aveiro, Guimaraes, and Lisbon, of course. Lisbon was part of national social program, it was combined with Sintra – a magical town near Lisbon. But I have to say one weekend isn´t enough for this trip, to enjoy atmosphere and everything what these cool places offer you need much more time…

Important part of the Exchange is accommodation. We lived in the dormitory „Residência Alberto Amaral“. Everybody had own room with bed, table and wardrobe. The rooms were small, but we didn´t spend many time here, so it was enough J. We were eleven girls on the hallway, and we shared kitchen with dining room and two bathrooms – together it was four showers and four toilets. The residence is situated little bit far from the hospital Sao Joao, where I had the clerk ship. It took approximately half an hour to get there. But to the city center we used to go by foot, so the location wasn´t so bad.

There was lunch included in the price. It was in the hospital canteen. The food was, hm..eatable :). No gastronomic experience, but it fulfilled the purpose. We could choose meat or fish, we got soup and dessert – something sweet or fruit. Portuguese are proud of their cousine. I liked only codfish and pastel de nata – egg tart pastry.  For Porto is typical francesinha – sandwich with ham, sausages, steak or meat covered with melted cheese and hot thick tomato and beer sauce. I ate it once and last time. If you are wine or coffee lover, Portugal will be heaven for you. Prices of it are really low :).

The weather was whole month, because of location, hot and windy, it rained only once in the night. So I surely recommend to use sun cream! Some of us didn´t respect this fact and then really regretted it :).

It was my first Exchange and I am afraid that also last, because it was after fifth year. So I am grateful for this opportunity to meet many interesting people, cultures. I got an experience to my life and I will never forget this amazing month. I totally recommend another students to take part Exchange project in this country :).

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