Going on exchange as a medical student has always been one of my aspirations since starting this long and hard journey to become a doctor. I was in cloud nine when I got the nod that I was going to be placed with the cardiovascular department in Iceland for one whole month. Little did I know how life changing this would be !
Roger, just landed !
It was the 1st of July 2016 as I landed after flying for nine hours which seemed like a never-ending trip. Right after I started walking out of the arrivals terminal, I could hear someone calling me from afar. I was startled, but who might this be ? As I turned round, I gazed upwards, literally like a child, to find this seven-foot giant, greeting with the brightest smile I have ever seen. Nothing short of what I expected ! (I know I need to stop it with these puns !).
He said that he was meant to take me to my residency, and I was thrilled to have found him so quickly. Off we went for a fifty kilometer drive from the airport to our residency. As shortsighted as it may sound, this was one of the best memories of my trip. The scenery was jaw-dropping and just breathtaking. Fields of grass, skies of blue and the infamous volcano of Katla majestically staring at us. There was also something about the air, so immaculate and unblemished. I could see flocks of sheep lying flat on the ground, so harmonious and unfazed by the flashing cars.
Home Sweet Home !
There we were at Kleppur, a rehabilitation center for mentally ill patients in Reykjavik. Nothing to worry about ! I was too distracted with everything else going on around me. Shortly, I was shown to where I would stay. A make-shift apartment, that literally is meant to be a lecture hall, please don’t mind if I do !
There, I met a Taiwanese and two Indonesian medical students. All were convinced that we were so lucky as to have so much space and comfort. We had an en-suite bathroom and kitchen with a microwave and stove. Oh so important ! Not only that, but facing our beds was a huge white screen with a projector, where we would be watching so many movies before we sleep at night. Simply flawless !