This summer I have spent a month in the beautiful city of Barcelona. I took a flight from Vienna to Barcelona. It was not possible for the contact person to pick us up at the airport. Also it was not possible to stay in the dorm if we arrived sooner than on the 1st of July, not even to rent a room, so one night I spent in the Airbnb in the city.
My first contact person was quite unhelpful. He didn’t have a clue about anything, and he couldn’t accompany me to the hospital on my first day, because he was working. Then I got the second CP, who was able to go with me to the hospital, but arrived 1 hour late. That’s the one thing about locals, their perception of time is different and they always have time.
I chose the Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics in Hospital Clinic. First week I stayed in the gynaecology department, with the most wonderful doctor. She taught me how to examine the patients, took me to surgery and consultations and explained everything to me very thoroughly. Then for the rest of the month I was assigned to the maternity hospital, which was located in another part of the city. There I spent time with the residents in the emergency. I also attended the C-sections and a natural delivery.
Patients and the other medical staff mostly didn’t speak English, but doctors did. It was amazing how open, friendly and caring they were towards their patients and towards colleagues. The approach to the pacient and the relationship between the doctor and the pacient seemed better than in Slovakia. The whole organisation of work seemed to be better and the staff looked happier and not so stressed. Also the hospitals, although in historical buildings, were very modern inside and very well equipped.
We didn’t get any meal in the hospital, not even some meal tickets. Instead we got 70 euro back as a pocket money, but only at the end of the exchange.
The accommodation was quite nice. We were staying in a flat in the dormitory Vila UAB in the small town Bellaterra. It was about 1 hour by train and bus from the hospital. My flat was for 5 people, with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a big living room with a kitchen. The accommodation was much better compared with dorms in Slovakia. There was also free swimming pool, volleyball and other sport activities available.
The social program wasn’t very rich, and some of the best events were cancelled. It wasn’t planned very carefully by the local students, for example we were supposed to go to one of the museums, but the meeting was planned too late. When we arrived at the museum, it was half an hour before closing, and they wouldn’t let us in.
The whole group of exchange students was great, and I had the best roommates. We explored the city mostly on our own, but also we were on other trips near Barcelona, like a beach hopping trip to Costa Brava, to the towns of Sitges, Badalona, Sant Cugat etc. Barcelona is a beautiful city, and a month is too short to see everything.
The city, the department, and the hospital were all my first choices, so I was very happy about that. There were some problems, sure, mostly not good organisation from the local students, but all in all, I really enjoyed the time I spent there and I would go back anytime without thinking.