When I decided to participate in the IFMSA exchange program I knew I wanted to spend my four weeks of clerkship in Spain because I love the country and their culture and I was really curious about the people. When I received my Card of Acceptance I was thrilled, I couldn´t believe that I was going to spend one month in Seville. Because of COVID-19 situation I didn´t expect that my exchange would come the true. I got accepted to the department of Anaesthesiology in the Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocio in Seville.
Seville is the capital and largest city of the Spanish autonomous community of Andalusia. Seville is old town and contains three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Alcázar palace complex, the Cathedral and the General Archive of the Indies. Seville has a Mediterranean climate, featuring hot, dry summer with high temperatures with daily maximus routinely above 35 °C in July and August.
I lived in a flat with four other exchange students from Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Croatia. The house was located near the city centre, but it was far from hospital and it took me thirty minutes to arrive to the hospital with bus. Traveling by public transport in Seville was an interesting experiance because there is nothing like a timetable, so we never knew when the bus would leave in the morning.
From Monday to Friday I spend half of the day at the hospital. The hospital was amazing and everybody in hospital were very friendly and even though my Spanish is very poor, people were very willing to help me and teach me as much as it was possible. My supervisor was a great doctor and I could always ask him for help. I spend each day under the supervision of another doctor and alternated between different operating theatres, I was a great experience both from the anaesthesiologic and from the surgical point of view. All the doctors treated me as if I were part of their team, explaining every single patient to me. The moment they found out I was a medical student, they were willing to teach me and tried to involve me in the running of the department. Many times I also had the opportunity to assist during the surgery, despite the fact that my departure was anaesthesiology, but the doctor wanted to offer us as many opportunities as possible during that month.
Everyday after leaving the hospital we had a Siesta because in the afternoon the temperature in Seville reached 40 degree and almost everything was closed until six in the evening. But of course I tried to explore as much as possible from Seville. Good advice for future interns in Seville, entry to almost every Sightseeing’s is for free or at a greatly reduced price during Mondays. Seville is in the Mediterranean and has no beaches, so on weekend I tried to visit various cities, especially the seaside ones.
The month I spent in Seville went by so fast and I can´t wait to go back and enjoy all the amating things that Andalusia has to offer. Although Seville is a beautiful city with a rich history and offers many beautiful places, but if you do not speak Spanish, you would have quite difficulty with communication in English, often even in restaurant waiters don´t speak English.
The IFMSA clinical exchange was one of the best experience of my life and I am very grateful that I had opportunity to spend one month in that beautiful country and city, learn so many new thing and meet all the amazing people.