Zastanawiasz się, gdzie w tym roku pojechać na praktyki? Program IADS oferuje tak wiele różnych ciekawych miejsc, że trudno podjąć decyzję. Być może moje doświadczenia z Budapesztu pomogą w podjęciu tej właściwej?
Like many stories, this one starts with a twist. I applied for an IADS internship in the Czech Republic – a neighbouring country with a language I more or less understand. Instead, I got a phone call: „There’s a place for you in Budapest. Take it or leave it?”. I could either choose boring old Cracow (because, you guessed it, I didn’t get the spot I applied for) or a slightly exotic two-week stay in a place I’ve only heard of from all those ghost stories that my father used to tell. She said, „Budapest this… Budapest that….”, followed my complaining. However, Budapest turned out to be insanely fun! Our team of four: Magda, Karolina, Lukasz and I set out for the capital city of Hungary on a hot July morning. Ahead of us was a five-and-a-half hour drive to a city far away, most of it leading through scenic mountainous areas and desolate plains of Slovakia. As we arrived at the dorms quarter past five, we had our first encounter with native Hungarians. As the four of us walk up to the front door, we were greeted by the typical guard sitting in his little room and watching tv. I knock on his window and start telling him who we are and what are we here for. He responds with a blank stare and some mumbled Hungarian. Great! He doesn’t speak English. He won’t open the door and we have no place to go. To make things worse, we naturally didn’t write down Eszter’s phone number. Eszter is the LEO, she’s the one in charge of everything. Luckily, she didn’t forget our approximate time of arrival, so she’s already there waiting for us. Ester will be our guardian angel throughout this whole Budapest experience, having everything perfectly planned and on time, helping us out whenever there’s trouble. She’s basically our mom. We got the keys to our rooms and filled out the paperwork. It’s time to meet the rest of the team. There’s Nela from the Czech Republic, Youssef from Egypt, Laura and Diana from Armenia, and Marta and Monika from Poland. They’re the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. They’ve all got beautiful smiles. The lingua franca is English – English connects people. Well, English and Palinka to be precise. The dorms are near the Nagyvarad Ter metro station, the clinic is just two stops away, and if you happen to go one stop more, you’ll be where the clubs and the best parties are. That’s what you call a good location. There’s enough free parking space in front of the dorms, just don’t forget to park your car with the hood facing the right direction (I got a 30 euro ticket for not doing that). Each room is newly furnished, houses three students and is equipped with a refrigerator. There are bathrooms and kitchens on each floor. For the next two weeks Semmelweis University was to be our temporary alma mater. The Dental Clinical and Training Centre is located in a recently completed building on Szentkiralyi Street. Our hosts carefully planned shifts and rotated our schedules so that everyone would get a chance to visit every department. And, if you happened to be a fan of any specific branch of dentistry, you got to go wherever you wanted for the whole duration of the stay. The Oral Surgery Department and Orthodontics Department were unanimously deemed the best. For example, I spent most of the time shadowing Dr George Avraam, at the Orthodontics Department. He took good care of my friends and me, he answered all our stupid questions and showed us everything he could. He speaks English, German, Spanish, Greek and Hungarian, so I’m sure you’ll find a common language with him if you’re into orthodontics. The Oral Surgery Department provided an opportunity to see dental implant placements, root resections, tissue sampling and extractions, extractions, extractions! But it wasn’t all work and no play. The local crew made sure that EVERY SINGLE DAY was filled with sightseeing and partying. The NEO Karolina Rado provided us with her personal and professional guidance around the city for a few afternoons. We saw the neo-gothic Parliament Building, the Castle Hill and Dungeons, spend some time at the beach on Margaret Island, at the baths and many more. I think I left Budapest having visited every part of it that was really worth a visit. The hospitality of the local crew was amazing. We had an international foods party near the end of our stay. The Polish team made pierogies and gzik. There was delicious Czech beer, Armenian Whisky and sweets, as well as Egyptian Shawarma. The whole Hungarian team did their best to let us taste the best of Hungarian food – homemade, of course. The whole experience had a huge impact on me. For sure this is one of the best exchanges I’ve ever experienced. The overall organization and social program were of first class quality. I would recommend everyone to choose Hungary this year. I’m sure you won’t regret a single moment – I certainly don’t. To the whole IADS team at Budapest- girls, you did a great job! On behalf of the entire Krakow team, I would like to thank you and hope to see you soon!