IFMSA Exchange has been an unforgettable experience for me. I chose Egypt and went to Exchange in July 2023. Egypt is a country with thousand of histories and stories. I chose Egypt because it was suitable for my first-time exchange experience. From the medical side, Egyptians have studied medical science from ancient times, especially anatomy and surgery. From the practical side, Egypt is a Muslim country, so I don't have to worry about my daily life and the halal food there. From the cultural and social programs side, Egypt has an Arab culture that I want to know more about, and the famous destination, the pyramids.
To make the exchange experience perfect. I tried to prepare the necessary things before traveling to Egypt. The most important thing is to fulfill all the documents requested by IFMSA, arrange VISA, and buy the plane tickets. It is crucial to find information about the destination country, such as the season, the state of the city, the clothes that should be used, information about where to live, the estimated costs needed for one month, and the items needed.
I chose the general surgery department at Benha University Hospital. I chose general surgery because I was interested in the subject, and wanted to learn more and see different types of surgery. Entering the operating room, especially in another country, is an extraordinary experience. During the exchange program, I saw various kinds of surgeries, saw examinations at the clinic, saw patients in the emergency room and wound management, attended MDT (an activity to plan treatment and therapy for patients), and attended workshops on how to suture wounds.
During my one month there, I was accompanied by a very good local committee and exchange team. They help in professional exchange activities, provide information about places of need, provide recommendations for places to visit, and accompany each social program activity. The contact person also always answers questions and helps with any complaints that are given. I couldn't ask for more from the Benha exchange team, the people there are very kind and considerate, they are perfect!
Making friends with other incomings is one of the best things about this exchange. This month, Benha local committee has 8 incomings, including me in it. Coming from different countries and cultures, we got to know each other and spent time together. This one month has changed us, who initially did not know each other, to become as close as a family. From them, I learned that the world is vast, and there are many new and unique things out there, including medical science.
The social program is the best thing here. We went to different cities and visited different places. Starting from Cairo, Alexandria, Marsa Alam, Luxor, and Aswan. I learned a lot about the history of ancient Egypt and its culture. Here, I also spend a lot of time chatting and exchanging ideas with other people, with other incoming or with Egyptians. The National Weekend at Marsa Alam is one of the best social programs, meeting more than 70 incoming people from all over Egypt is an unforgettable memory for me. We talked about the culture of our respective countries, exchanged traditional food from each country, and told each other about the medical system in our country.
Overall, the exchange program is a golden opportunity to gain valuable experience. There are many new things to learn in this country. Meeting colleagues in medicine from different backgrounds and cultures and exchanging ideas is one of the things that can be obtained from this exchange activity. Seeing how the health system and hospital conditions are in other countries, as well as introducing our country's culture to other people is a great experience. Thank you IFMSA, SCOPE, and CIMSA for this great opportunity.