GEMx Elective Reflections – Student Network Organization (SNO) Exchange at University of Tunis El Manar (Tunisia)
GEMx has had the pleasure of not only extending travel grants to students going on GEMx system elective exchanges but has been an active supporter of student developed and led competitions and exchanges. We have aided CiCoM and IQMU, and more recently supported the Student Network Organization of The Network –TUFH to implement the 2017 pilot, GEMx-SNO-International Exchange Internship, which occurred in conjunction with the World Summit on Social Accountability Conference in Tunisia
GEMx provided funds for Alejandro Avelino Bonilla of Juan N. Corpas University (Colombia) and Vishnupriya Vijayalekshmi of Kerala University of Health Sciences (India), two SNO member students, to cover their roundtrip airfare to Tunisia, accommodation fees and daily budgeted meal allowances while they undertook their internship experience at University of Tunis al Manar Faculty of Medicine. ECFMG and its GEMx program appreciated the opportunity to partner with SNO in this pilot and is honored to share their experience with all of you here!
Post by Vishnupriya Vijayalekshmi, Medical Student at Kerala University of Health Sciences (India) who completed a GEMx Elective at University of Tunis El Manar (Tunisia)
As a medical student,it was my dream to go for an exchange program and to experience the culture and to learn about the health care system in a different country.From my high school days,Tunisia has always fascinated me with its diversified culture and tradition.I was really excited when I received the mail,mentioning that I have been selected for the exchange,that too in the University of Tunis El Manar.But the initial excitement later became confusion and sadness when I had some unexpected trouble with the visa.Till the last moment.l was not sure if I will be able make to it.But finally,everything ended up well and I could attend the World Summit on Social Accountability and fulfill my long cherished dream of an exchange program.
Accomodation and briefing about internship:
The essence of an internship program is team work.I was quite sad when I came to know that the other 2 selected winners couldn’t make it to the exchange.But finally,it was my pleasure to have Alejandro from Juan.N. Corpas University,Colombia as my companion .Though we have known each other for the past one year,the internship was the beginning of a friendship for a life time and a couple of beautiful memories.
The next day,we were taken to the Hospital La rabta,department of Infectious and Communicable diseases.As I hail from Kerala,a state in the southern part of lndia,where infectious and communicable diseases are quite prevalent,I was really curious to learn about the cases here , make out the similarities and differences and learn the treatment modalities.
After a quick and brief introductory session,we joined the case presentation session in the morning.Though it was in French,the interns (Aziz and Ousama) did a great job translating it to English and making us feel comfortable.After the session,we were given briefing about the internship timing and the activities we were supposed to do in the department.
Afternoon session :
In the afternoon session,there were seminars and case discussions.But since everything was in French,we attend a few sessions and then decided to utilize the time to explore the beauty of Tunis and savour the diversified Tunisian cuisines.In spite of the busy schedule,our Tunisian friends spared their time and made sure that we visited the historical places in Tunis ,and enjoyed the traditional Tunisian dishes.As someone who is allergic to egg,I was worried regarding the food,but I was really happy that my friends were all very understanding and took care of it very well and never made me feel that I am all alone in a foreign country.
Altogether,the exchange program has been the best thing ever happened in my life. lt was a great opportunity to learn,to observe and explore,but above all it was a wonderful chance to make friendship which would last for a lifetime and take back a bunch of indelible memories.Not even a single moment,we felt that we were far way from India and Colombia and were in a different country in a different continent./ had to leave early,and I was literally in tears when I said bye to Alejandro and left him alone ,as in those 2 weeks,we had really become best friends.
Its hard to bid adieu to people and places which gave us so much to remember.The country,the people,the food ,had already taken away a piece of my heart and saying bye to my friends who gifted me the best few days of my life was so hard and I tried my best to hold back the emotion and promise them that I will come back to Tunis .….. ...……......….
POTENTIAL RESEARCH PROJECT IDEAS:
Church Medical College,Kerala,lndia which is in partnership with the Indo-US Health & Medicine Collaborative.The department is really interested to receive students from around the world and give them first hand experience in trauma care.The outline for a 3 week training programme,dividing trauma care into 3 phases: pre -hospital,in-hospital and post-hospital care is in process and will be sent soon for approval from the Kerala University of Health Sciences. The SNO Team 2017 is looking forward to work on this,with the continued support and encouragement from GEMx and believe that just like the amazing experience we had in Tunis, this would widen the horizon the students and will be an asset in their career as the future health professionals.
” From the deeper recess of my heart,I express my sincere gratitude to GEMx and SNO for giving me this wonderful opportunity”
Tags: Faculty of Medicine-University of Tunis El Manar