MY IFMSA EXCHANGE IN SPAIN – TENERIFE We have chosen Spain with my boyfriend because we wanted to spend our summer practise somewhere sunny and by the sea. We were lucky „bastards“ as we got our first choice – Tenerife, which was our dream. Our second choice was Valencia and third, Malaga. I was accepted for pediatric surgery and by the coincidence (I will write about it later 😃)I was able to spend the practise on pediatrics as well in University Hospital Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria. We bought flight tickets straight after we got to know where are we going. We flown from Vienna with WizzAir to Tenerife South Airport. Both ways with 20kg luggagge per person cost 360 euro. From airport we needed to get to the north – to San Cristobal de la Laguna were we stayed. We used buses. It is worth to buy the card of the bus company which cost 2 euro, then the bus tickets are less expensive. And for the transportation in our area we used monthly ticket through the mobile app. It was 38 euro. And it was definitelly worth it cause we used the buses/tram a lot, to get to hospital, beaches, another towns around in the surrounding area. We lived together in a house with other 5 exchange students, which was amazing. It was situated in a nice location, we had all we needed in the close surrounding. The house was nice and big with two floors. On the second floor there were three rooms with beds for two each and one bathroom, On the ground floor we had a big living room, kitchen with all equipment we needed, bathroom and big terrace. So the living conditions were really amazing. The house was half an hour from the hospital all in all travelling and walking with the tram. We didn´t have meal per day as I was always used to get while having an Exchange, but we got the pocket money – 50 euro. I prefer having meal included, but at least I got more experienced in cooking skills as we had kitchen, so we cooked a lot 😃. The hospital was pretty amazing I liked it there a lot, doctors were chilled and friendly eager to teach and show and they let me do lots of stuff. I was lucky as our first day we were searching for our proffesors, I didn´t find mine, we just got to know prof. from pediatrics, where my boyfriend was accepted. He was nice and despite the fact that I told him I was accepted to pediatric surgery he wanted me to stay on his department as well. So next day I found my prof. from pediatric surgery I asked him if it was possible to stay on both departments and it was no problem for him at all for what I am thankfull a lot as I was able to get a general picture of pediatrics. On pediatrics I stayed on general department. There I stayed with a team of two young doctors, and one older specialist. They were kind and they tried to explain me and show lots of stuff. In the morning we always had the meeting with all the doctors from pediatrics, afterwards we went to their office prepare stuff about patients and did the morning round. Afterwards we did admissions and discharges and it was pretty much about the paperwork. On surgical department I stayed with young resident (which was in 3. out of 5 y. of specialization). Typical day started with the morning meeting of the surgeons and then we went to the OR/department/emergency room to admit children. My doctor was amazing she tought me and let me do a lot (only barrier with patients was spanish language for me 😃 -so I would be able to do much more if I spoke spanish better) and let me assist on surgeries. Pediatric surgery was amazing department with great team of pediatric surgeons. They did diverse operations as appendectomies, reparation of hernias, complicated thoracic surgeries (deformities of thorax, for which they called specialized surgeon from Barcelona), some plastic surgeries, tumor removals (I saw operation of the biggest teratoma in my life 12 y.o. girl- tumor had 5kg and 4 liters of ascites in belly – she looked like in twin pregnancy) and many more. About the social programm and CPs, I don´t really know what to say as they were many (15-20) and probably they were all so sure that somebody will take care that in the end nobody did 😃. And many of them e.g. mine was not even on the island or were studying. So nobody took us from the airport, nobody show us the hospital and find our tutor on the first day. The social plan they prepared was nice, but at the end we followed it on our own. Couple of them came with us to two cities for a visit – La Laguna and the capital Santa Cruz. They were nice and told us lot about the history and show us nice spots. Then one girl took us to Siam Park the no.1 adventure park in the world (it was amazing – there were the craziest tobogans i have ever tried and it was so much fun!). The same girl took us for Canary jump – trampolines it was nice too. For the international food and drink party just two of them show up. So at the end the most trips we did, was on our own. We rented a car two times. Once for going to South-explore beaches and party life there for one weekend. And second time to visit Teide (the highest mountain in Spain) and the Teide national park. It is definitelly worth to rent a car there cause its cheap and the gas is cheap as well and the island is small so u can explore many beautiful natural spots, such as beaches, rural parks, monuments, towns and many more which are quite complicated and time consuming by bus or even not accessible. Spanish people are friendly, open-minded and they love to have fun and eating food, but who wouldn´t love the food there on Canary islands. Its so tasty I gained on my weight 😃 It is different then in the rest of the Spain – it is really big deal to order typical sangria with tapas. They have their own – e.g. typical there are Mojo sauces which they are eating with Canary potatoes (a bit sweet), Canary bananas are the best I have ever eaten – small and sweet, cheese Almogrotte with special spices, Arepas which is originally Venezuelan food and many many more. The nature there is magical and so amazingly diverse you won´t find any place in Europe, it is so green on the North (there are many natural reserves and parks and hiking spots u can do, botanical gardens, as well as many beaches) the South is more dry and touristic and has many nice beaches. Beaches on the island can be wild with big waves ideal for surfing,but u will find a spot with calm ocean as well. Most of them has volcano (black) send/rocks, but there are couple with white sand, e.g. Las Teresitas with a golden-white sand imported from Sahara. At the end I can just say that it was perfect experience both profesionally and personally and I had always have only positive experience with this type of IFMSA Exchange so I recommend to do it on 150% cause it is UNDOUBTEDLY AMAZING 😊

Diverse beaches of Tenerife Food and culture Nature, trips and us

Zuzana Javorská 😊