My name is Ioana Purice and in the month of August 2016 I went on a SCOPE exchange ,on the cardiothoracic surgery department, in the city of Cairo, Egypt at the Ain Shams  University Hospital. On this exchange, but not specifically on the same department, participated also 7 other students.

It all starts somewhere: you pack your suitcase, you say goodbye, you forget at least 3 things that are important, and you get on a plane to fly away to your destination. On the 30 of August, after 6 hours and 2 flights I finally arrived in Cairo. My contact person was already waiting for me there and he took me to the university’s dorms, where I was to stay for my time there .The rooms were for 2 persons, each room having its own bathroom. Lunch was provided daily at the hospital cantina and during our stay we also had access to a laundry room.

The doctors in the department were all willing to make me part of their daily activity. As of such I got to assist on surgeries such as: coronary bypass, mitral valve replacement and even scrub in on a few and perform some stiches at the end. Any questions I had, my tutor answered and tried to make sure I understood each step of the surgeries I attended.

With regards to the social program, the local team of contact persons made sure that all of the incomings, including myself, didn’t miss on the opportunities Cairo and many other cities had to offer. When in Cairo, it’s imperative to see a pyramid or two, so one weekend we went to Gysa to see the pyramid of Cheops. We also browsed the wonders of the Egyptian Museum and shopped at the stalls of the Khan al-Kalili Market. Alexandria, Luxor, Aswan offered us the opportunities to admire the riches of the Egyptian culture, through the places we got to visit: the Library of Alexandria, the Valley of the Kings, Karnak Temple.

With all of this in mind, I can honestly say that the exchange has managed to provide me with a wonderful set of memories that I can only cherries from now on.

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