My name is Alexandra and I am studying at Comenius University in Bratislava in Slovakia. I spent all July in Nicosia in Northern Cyprus for my summer medical exchange. I always wanted to go to this island and it was my best decision to apply for it.
At the beginning I was very nervous because I did not know what to expect. I was worried about all paperwork, my flight and all conditions because of COVID19. It required vaccination and also PCR test what I had to show at the airports. Before my journey, I talked with my contact person and I had a lot of questions about everything, mainly about covid-conditions in the island, entry forms and also about what to pack and bring. She picked me up from the airport and took me to the dorms where I lived for 4 weeks. In dorms, I met with others girls and we talked about everything important for this exchnage, about us and our expectations.
I spent 4 weeks at General Surgery department in Near East University Hospital in Nicosia. The first day, when I saw the hospital I was really shocked. Near East University Hospital and also all campus are very modern, big, beautiful, with modern and new facilities. In the hall of the hospital, there were the art everywhere like paintings, sculptures and different small handmade pieces of art. I was really impressed.
The first day, our contact person introduced me and the other two girls to the doctors at general surgery department. There were three doctors who were really nice, kind and friendly. They gave us questions about different patients and their diagnosis and explained to us everything. We saw a lot of interesting and exciting operations. The doctors allowed to us to assist in some operations so we wore sterile clothes, did surgical hand-washing and made stitches. In the polyclinics, we did physical examination of patient’s neck, chest and abdomen, we removed stitches, did operation plan or treatment and wound management. I have a lot of new experiences and I am really thankful for this all.
I also really loved our social program. We had a plan for each day so we were a quite busy, but it was really nice and interesting. Northern Cyprus, like an island, has a lot of beautiful beaches and we visited the most of them at the weekends. We were just relaxing, tanning and enjoying these moments. At one beach we had a great opportunity to experience a scuba diving. I don’t regret that I applied for it. At the begining I was so scared because I had troubles with breathing under water, but eventually thanks to instructors and my exchange friends I did it. We also went camping, hiking, karting, cycling, for a paintball, to a boat tour and we visited a lot of local bars, cafes and reastaurant with traditional food and drinks. I liked their quisine a lot. I especially enjoyed „the national food and drinks party“ evening when everybody cooked traditional food from their country. We had a great time with delicious food and amazing people.
To sum up, it was a great experience in every way I can think of! I enjoyed every moment of this exchange. I am really thankful for my new friends and all the people I met in Northern Cyprus because they made my exchange so amazing. We will definitely stay in touch and I hope we will meet again.