My name is Saša and this is a report on my summer exchange in Bucharest, Romania. This was my first IFMSA exchange ever and I can say now that I hope it wasn’t my last one. Romania wasn’t my first choice but why not? And now I can say I had the best time ever!
I arrived in Bucharest on 30th of June, a few days before the beginning of my internship. My aim was to arrive sooner to see the city just by myself and to meet other incomings. I met some amazing people from all around the world. Thanks to my stay in Romania, now I have friends not only from Brazil, Mexico, Malta, the Czech Republic, Greece, Russia, but also from, for me quite exotic countries, like Uzbekistan or Kazakhstan.
We also spent a lot of time with volunteers from Romania, too. They were great! They picked us up from the airport, showed us the city centre and made the best social program all month.
My internship started on 5th of July. I attended the Nephrology Hospital Dr Carol Davila, which was located in the centre of Bucharest but also quite far away from my dorms. I had to use public transport to get there and it took me around thirty minutes to get there. The first day of the internship was quite stressful for all incomings as we didn’t know what to expect. However, from the moment we met the doctors, we knew that everything would be fine. We usually spent six hours a day at the hospital on the General Surgery Department and it was really worth it. We had a great deal of opportunities to participate on operations, to ask whatever we wanted to, the issues we didn’t understand and, of course, to get to know each other. I assisted in quite a few operations – total parathyroidectomy, cholecystectomy, hemicolectomy, mastectomy, hysterectomy etc. Additionally, I learned how to do knots and sutures, wash my hands or wear sterile clothing. All the doctors taught us as much as they could and I appreciate it a lot.
I didn’t spend the whole of July in Bucharest only. We went on two national trips, on which I met a couple of students from other parts of Romania. The first trip was to Sibiu. We spent there three days and we had the opportunity to do some hiking. The second one was to Brasov, a city located in the middle of Transylvania. Brasov is, from my point of view, the most beautiful city in Romania. On this trip we visited two castles – Bran Castle, which is also known as Dracula’s Castle and Peles Castle, which used to be a residence of the King Carol I. At one of the weekends, we travelled to the seaside, to the city of Constanta. It was the first time for me to see the Black Sea, so I was really excited.
I also have to mention the National Food and Drink Day, which was one of my favourite days in Romania. All incomings had to prepare their traditional food or something typical for their country to eat. We spent the whole day just cooking and laughing and at the end of the day we had a big party with our handmade food and drinks.
In conclusion, I really enjoyed my time in Romania and I definitely recommend everybody going somewhere abroad, even if it’s not one of the world´s most visited countries or best known for their attractions. You can gain a lot of experience, meet some fantastic people and get to know the world. It is worth it and you won´t regret.