France 2019

My summer exchange was about being lucky at the proper moment. I missed the the day for English grammar test, which you have to pass for attending an exchange when you do not have a language certificate. Luckily for me, KZA team was looking for somebody who speaks french, because there was an open spot in France and since I have my B1 certificate, I applied immediately. I got Marseille, my first choice, the second largest city in France after Paris with the population of 861 thounsands. It is located on Mediterranean coast, which was the reason I chose it for my summer exchange. Marseille also has a largest port for in France.I came to my destination 4th of august, one day before the start of my exchange. I had a direct flight from Prague to Marseille and it took just about 1 hour and a half to get there. My host was waiting for me at the airport to take me to her appartment by car. She was even holding a sign with my name written on it, it was very sweet of her. From my point of view, the biggest disadvantage of exchanges in France is that you are living in your host’s appartment alone, not with other incomings. But it can be a plus for people who like to have their own privacy and also like this, you are forced to talk in french. My host contacted me couple of weeks before my arrival and she was very helpful with everything. The appartment was a a really nice place with 2 balconies located only 10 minutes walk from my hospital, La Timone. I even had the whole place just for myself, because her roommates were spending holiday in their hometowns. In France, there is a really good medical school system, they have a big national exam after finishing the first and the sixth year of medicine. When you do not pass the first exam, you have to retake the first year and you can do so two times maximum. After the sixth year exam, depanding on how many points you got, you are on a certain position in the table and you are choosing from the medical specialties and the city where you will be doing your speciality. It means, if you did well in the national exam, you have the largest selection of medical practice and the biggest cities in France to choose from. The most-demanding specialties are neuro and cardiosurgery, ophtalmology and dermatology, because you don’t have nightshifts.I was in the dermato-venerology department which wasn’t my first choice, but at the end I was satisfied. I was considering it as an advantage in the future, because I will have a dermatology exam in my fifth year. During the first days I had a problem with their really fast french but when I asked, the doctors were speaking to me more slowly, sometimes even tried to find the word in English. Although, I was on the department with some french students and they were trying their best to make me understand the diagnosis. The hospital was clean and with AC, every patient had his own private room and bathroom and overall there is a better relationship between doctors and nurses than I can see in Slovak hospitals. They usually have a breakfast and coffee everyday together and the atmosphere is more easy-going so you really feel welcomed.We were group of 10 incomings in August from all-around the world. It was really nice because with such a small group it was easy to meet or arrange some trips. We had a social program which consisted of trips to Aix-en-Provance and Arles, international dinner, some museums and churches in Marseille. We visited Calanques with some friends, and it is a must-see natural wonder around Marseille with the most beautiful beaches even it is quite complicated to get there, but it is certaily worth it.To sum it up, I would highly recommend everybody to go somewhere abroad for an exchange, it is a very enriching experience and you will make new friends from all across the world.


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