Hello there! I’m Muhammad Zulfikar Defianto but you can call me Fiko. I am an outgoing from CIMSA Faculty of Medicine Universitas Airlangga (FK UNAIR) in July 2023. In that month I was participating in the student exchange program in Verona. Verona is a small city located in the northern part of Italy. The university I was in is the University of Verona, and the hospital is Ospedale di Borgo Trento and Ospedale di Borgo Roma, located in the northern and southern part of the city sequentially.
Before getting to the exchange program part, I will tell you about my effort in getting a visa for this exchange program. From March to April, I had contacted the embassy of Italy inquiring how to get the correct visa, but they didn’t reply to me. So late in April I contacted many visa advisor services, and all of them but one told me that it’s too late to get a visa appointment now. The only visa Advisor service that will help me says that I have a week to prepare all the documents to get an “emergency visa appointment”. And after back and forth from Surabaya to Jakarta, I finally got the Italian Schengen Visa!
I am the only outgoing from the University of Airlangga in this program but not the only Indonesian, I have one friend from Universitas Pelita Harapan too. In total there are ten people participating in this program from all over the world in Verona for a month. We are all good friends! and until now we still checked each other on how each of us are doing!
So this essay will be divided into two parts, the hospital experiences and the social and traveling experiences.
So unto the first part, the hospital experiences!
I really really enjoyed the hospital experiences very much!
I applied into the urology Department and was accepted there! so I was very excited for my first day. I was greeted warmly by my supervisor, Prof.ssa. Maria Angela Cerruto, She’s a full time professor in Urology, Dottore Alessandro, who became my good friend and mentor, and Dottore Giula. The first day is Ambulatorio or the clinical day, so because I’m in Urology. I met many interesting cases that I have never seen before. The first day is Andrological day, so I was met with many cases of Erectile Dysfunction, Premature Ejaculation and so on.
On the second day I was coming to the Ospedale di Borgo Trento, and met my supervisor for today, Dottore Giovanni. Today I learnt about Prostate, from Prostate Cancer to Prostate enlargement. These two days are very full with many patients per day.
On the third day my supervisor was Dottore Lorenzo. Today I learnt many things about Urinary Retention, Catheterization, and so on.
The fourth day is a very exciting day! I was as excited as my first day because today is my first day on the operating rotation. I saw three operations on kidney tumor removal with robotic surgery. This is very exciting because the technology is still very rare in Indonesia. How the operator interacts with the robot and how the robot moves and changes direction are fascinating and mesmerizing.
Long story short, I met many kind doctors who taught me many things and even let me do some things that I never would have expected! I learnt about Urinary Tract Infections, Erectile dysfunctions, Premature Ejaculations, Penile Prosthesis, Hydrocele, Varicocele, Overactive Bladder, Electrical stimulation, circumcision, and many other things. And I even did Suturing, Wound Management, Changing Catheter, which is a first for me.
All and all I really love my Hospital part of my program and everyone involved in it, I even kept a list of all of the doctors who taught and helped me in this program.
Unto the second part then, the social part of my program.
I met my friends from all over the world, from South Korea, from Poland, from France, even from Canada. We really bonded in our time there and all of us really like travelling so we travelled together many times. We visited Lake Garda 2 even 3 times, we visited Bologna, we visited Venice, even some of us visited Florence and Padova. We really tried to make as many memories together as possible.
Lake Garda is one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy, up there with Lake Como. There are many small satellite towns near lake Garda, and you can visit any of them to have a swim, to sunbathe or even just to have a good time. The water is really clear and because it is summer and the weather is so nice, the water temperature is perfect for a swim too.
In Bologna, we visited the oldest university in Europe, which is University of Bologna. We visited many of the city’s tourist spots and it is so nice, but when we visit there, the weather is very hot.
Venice, one of the most iconic and romantic cities in Italy. We visited Venice when Venice was having a festival so it’s very crowded there but it was really fun. I went a got into one of the gondola and they took me to see all of venice, which is very nice but the gondola is a little bit expensive, we stayed here until midnight because we wanted to see the fireworks of the festival, and while waiting for the firework we visited the festival and had a good time.
This is just my story of the program. I even visited many different countries with my friend from UNAIR. So this is just a small part of my story.
All in all, I’m very grateful for the opportunity given to me by this program to immerse myself in another country’s culture, health system, and health education system.
So go apply yourself for this program!
Oleh : Muhammad Zulfikar Defianto – 012011133132
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