The first two weeks I spent abroad involved interning at a private Albanian hospital called “Spitali American II”. In this hospital I completed a two-week fellowship program focusing primarily on Cardiology, Orthopedics, Radiology, Otorhinolaryngology, Ophthalmology, and General Surgery. The doctors and other staff members were very welcoming and they were immensely interactive with everyone who participated in the hospital internship. The doctors would be caring for patients while taking pauses to make sure I was following along. After each patient would leave the room, the doctor would briefly explain the patient’s history and explain why each step of the procedure was taken. I realized during the internship that you cannot compare learning from lectures or books to an actual hands-on experience at a hospital. During my internship in Albania, I was able to perform EKG tests on patients, stand next to patients undergoing various surgeries, and engage in conversations with patients. This all taught me the basics of interacting with patients which will be very helpful in the future. My favorite part about the first few weeks in Albania was getting to know some members of our group who would become my best friends and travelling around the Balkan region with them.
After visiting several countries prior to Albania, our group arrived in Casablanca, Morocco so we could teach for three weeks at a summer camp. Every child in this program was very unique and many of them were very gifted. I was amazed by how many languages some students knew and how musically talented some of them were. I believe this part of the trip developed our planning and organization skills. This is because every day we would have to plan out an agenda to keep our students busy from the morning until they had to leave in the late afternoon. The best part of this trip was visiting two popular cities in Morocco: Fes and Marrakesh. I would have to say the journeys we took to reach seven different countries were the most unforgettable experiences of this Summer. I will always be grateful for being given the opportunity to build bonds with the people I travelled with from Michigan and back.