I have learnt about IFMSA exchanges some time ago but I decided to undergo the language test in my fifth school year. For a long time I hesitated whether to go or not but finally I chose an exchange to the Germany. Some people said me, that the intership in Germany is not so good, that there is not good social program and so on. But for me was this decision one of the best choices in my life.
Before arrival to Germany my contact person Veronica contacted me and she told me important information about my intership in Dusseldorf. She was also waiting to pick me up at the airport and then she drove me to my accommodation. I lived in a small flat of German medical student Miriam. It was two-room flat with small kitchen and bathroom. The flat was small but very cute. I had there everything I needed.
I spent the whole month at the Department of General Surgery of University of Heinrich Heine in Düsseldorf. Originally, I chose Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, but due to the fact, that my language skills of German are not so good I’ve received a place at another department. But I was satisfied. The doctors at this department were very nice and helpful. They have spoken English, so there wasn’t any problem with communication. In addition, when they’ve seen that I tried to speak German, they tried to help me improve my language skills. Doctors explained everything and I learned there a lot. At this department I was with one another incoming and also with German medical students. They were also very nice to us and they tried to taught and showed us everything what was important. In Germany is common, that students in their last year have obligatory practice and they work like real doctors. We helped them with taking a blood of patients, also with changing the bandages and we assisted in the operations. We were a part of the doctors’ team and it was really cool feeling when you know that your work is appreciated and you are important. I’ve received skills which I could not acquire if I had my practice in the General Surgeries Department in the small local hospital in the town where I come from. In the complex of the hospital was also canteen, where we could have our breakfast and also our lunch. Every day we could choose of three foods or when the opportunity of food was not good for us we could mixed our own salads. For the buying the lunch we got the money.
It was 5 international students in my city. Everyone live alone with another German student and everyone had his own contact person. The distance between us was not so big, so we were meeting every day. Our contact persons tried to make a program for us and they took a great care of us. There were evenings when we only went somewhere for a beer and we were talking all evening, sometimes we went to the parties, we were just walking through the city or we were cooking the dinner all together. In every weekend there was a special program with students from surrounding cities. It was really amazing, because we could meet other people, we could change our experiences, our culture differences and at least we could make new friends. Whereas has Dusseldorf really good localization we visited really cool places and attractions. In this time when I was there, there was a „Kirmes“ what was fun-fair and we had a lot of fun there. We also visited Cologne, Bonn, Essen and also Amsterdam.
All told, the exchange gave me only the good feelings about. Certainly I feel benefit of possibility to do a practice in hospital abroad and that I could meet so many new people and now I have so many friends all over the world. I can only hope that we will stay in touch long time and we will meet sometimes somewhere again. I’m really thankful for this experience and I only regret that I didn’t try clinical exchange earlier.