In a Completely Different Continent

Marta Palma, a fifth-year student of General Medicine, spent her summer internship in Monastir, Tunisia. She sends an essay and pictures.

This year I decided that it was time for an adventure, so I joined the IFMSA program and I chose to go to Tunisia for an internship during the month of July.

There were several reasons why I decided to take part in this program, I wanted to do it not only to improve my knowledge but also because I thought it was time to try something new, and it ended up being the most amazing experience of my life!

I was placed in Monastir and I couldn't have chosen a better place. Monastir is a smaller city on the East of Tunisia, famous for their incredible Mediterranean beaches, friendly and always helpful citizens and especially their unique cuisine.

Everyone that I encountered throughout my journey was kind and thoughtful and the members of the organization were always attentive and caring, from the moment we arrived to the last day of the internship.

For a month I worked at the Fattouma Bourguiba Hospital, in the center of Monastir. My internship was focused on Internal Medicine which is a specialty that always fascinated me for its complexity and diversity.

What I liked the most about my stay in the hospital was that I got to experience the difference between two distinct countries, as I am familiarised with the European medical system but never had the opportunity to see up close how things work in a completely different continent such as Africa.

Besides the work itself, I was able to participate in several trips around the country. They included places such as Tunis, the capital, where I was in contact with the cultural side of Tunisia and visited its typical markets (or ‘Medina’). I also visited Mahdia, the paradisiac area of the country, and had the opportunity to visit the Sahara desert.

In summary, the whole experience was unforgettable, and I strongly advise anyone that is looking for a productive but at the same time fun internship to do it. It was without a doubt something that I will keep forever in my heart, not only because of all the memories but because of all the people that shared this time with me.

Published: 2. 1. 2019 / Responsible person: Mgr. Petr Andreas, Ph.D.