My exchange country was Slovenia. I spent a month in Ljubljana and I have to say I am never going to regret this. Slovenia is a small country, not far away from Slovakia and lots of you visited it for sure. But this exchange gave you a completely different point of view to Ljubljana or Slovenia overall.
I came to Ljubljana on June 30th by car. Travel to Ljubljana is very easy and there is a direct bus line from Bratislava to Ljubjana. I spent one night in a hostel and the other day I went to our dormitory. We had one CP for three students and they had contacted us earlier with all the information we needed for our arrival. In dormitory our CPs were waiting for us and helped us with checking in to dorms. We had one room for 4 students with one bathroom and a small kitchen. Our dorms were quite far from our hospital and city centre but you could always choose between walking, going by bus or cycling. Ljubljana is a very bike-friendly city and you can borrow a bike for 3€ for a YEAR!
On our first day after we checked in to our dorms, our CPs helped us with bus cards (Urbana card) and subsidized student meals. In Ljubljana, you as a student get an app and when you want to buy a subsidized student meal you have to use this app. For us strangers it was weird but after time we got used to it. The only disadvantage was that you have these tickets only for the first two weeks of July, after that you have to cook or buy a meal in restaurants for full price. This was quite expensive but you could always find some fast foods for better prices.
As I said the hospital was quite far from our dorms. It took 40 minutes walking, and 20 minutes by bus. My department was a paediatric surgery. I had my own mentor who took care of me for a whole month. She was very nice and friendly and she was trying to show me as much as she could. I participated in rounds every day, and after a time they let me assisted in operations. Not everyone was speaking English but there were some doctors and sometimes even nurses who spoke English. After a time I had no problem understanding the Slovenian language.
I have to say the social program in Ljubljana surprised me in a nice way. During a week we had our own programme but sometimes our CPs helped us with it. We tried most of the bars in Ljubljana, paddleboarding, bowling, picnic in Tivoli park, sightseeing, cinema under the stars, food market. During weekends we have been on trips across Slovenia. Our first trip was to Velika Planina which is a beautiful mountain pasture in the Alps with a tasting of local food (for usSlovakians their local food is very similar as ours) at the end of the day, we had the opportunity to attend a local beer tasting. The second weekend was an adventurous one. We went to Slovenia’s most famous attraction – lake Bled. The next day we spent on (or in) the river Soča. We went for canyoning and rafting. This trip was full of fun, laughter, water, adrenalin and I’m never going to forget the river Soča and our little adventure. The third and unfortunately the last one was a seaside trip when we had wine tasting, visited the town Piran with a party boat and dinner.
I have to admit, the exchange in Slovenia crossed all of my expectations. I spent one of my best month in Ljubljana and I m never going to forget it. I met such amazing people from all over the world and made beautiful memories with them. I saw how the medical system works in Slovenia, got to know how medicine is in different countries and reached lots of useful knowledge. If you have the opportunity to go for an exchange to Ljubljana, GO! You are not going to regret it.