Intern Abroad

Hospital internship in Cyprus

January 19th, 2024 | by
  • Medicine
  • Cyprus, Nicosia
  • General Hospital of Nicosia
  • 09/2023 – 12/2023

Application/Finding an internship:

Where to begin and where to end describing this amazing journey, all thanks to the Erasmus+-Internship program. Well, I know how, I am going to take it from the start. Upon deciding that I wanted to pursue this route, I knew I should start contacting the right people at key positions that would help me start the process. One of those Administrators included the person who is responsible for all exchange programs that concern the medical school at the RWTH University in Aachen. Together we put a roadmap down to catch up with the deadlines in the application process. Next stop was getting in touch with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Cyprus and selecting an academic Mentor/Professor at the Nicosia General Hospital, who would oversee my education and training and provide me with the all the valuable feedback to overcome every challenge. I wanted to do a surgical internship in Cyprus, because I felt it would benefit me the most. I contacted  a renowned surgeon in Cyprus, who is at the same time Professor of Surgery at the medical faculty. I was quite surprised by how quickly he responded to my emails, knowing how the bureaucracy makes it a painful process to get something done sometimes. He pointed me to the corresponding Administrators, and we all signed the Learning Agreement, noting down my responsibilities and duties as an Intern at the hospital. The next part of the process consisted of applying for the grant, which was actually straightforward.

Accommodation & Living expenses:

I arranged my accommodation as soon I got an acceptance offer from the Erasmus+-Program, which consisted of renting a small apartment in a private student dormitory intended for students at the University of Cyprus. Albeit small, the apartment covered every need and came with the added benefit of providing ample socialising opportunities, like several common areas, a gym and study halls. These four months I am proud to say that I have built strong relationships and friendships even with many fellow students and roommates, with whom I share many blissful, never-to-be-forgotten experiences. Cyprus is a cheap country to live in, so one would expect to pay less for groceries and rent as the main expenses compared to central European countries like Germany, where I am currently studying. All utilities were included in the rent, which was about 500 Euros per month.

Everyday life/ the internship:

My everyday life comprised taking the bus to the hospital, arriving sharp before 8am. At 8am a hand-over meeting takes place at the General Surgery Department at the Nicosia General Hospital, during which the on-call Physicians receive all relevant information regarding new patients admitted in the ward or seen by surgeon specialists and any important updates concerning existing in-ward patients. This meeting was also the perfect opportunity for senior physicians to partake in medical discourse relating to patients’ treatment plans and imaging findings. What followed next were ward-rounds. Me, as well as the other medical students from the University of Cyprus regularly got the chance to present our patients during rounds and answered questions regarding their medical history, current presentation, clinical and radiological findings and take care of any tasks concerning our patients such as prescribing and administering medications. We were asked to perform clinical examinations and elaborate on symptomology and to came up with an optimal treatment course for them. This course of action has been crucial in providing me with much-valued feedback from esteemed medical professionals and improving my communication and decision-making skills. Upon completion of the rounds, we were all assigned numerous tasks related to our patients, for example requesting consultations from other specialists, collecting blood samples or cultures, arterial blood gases (ABG) and of course documentation of the ward round. Some of us were included in the OR Scheduling, so we had to be ready before the hand-over meeting and to assist in surgeries. Words cannot describe the amazing experience of the Operating Theatre. It is truly quite a different word, especially for someone like who, due to the Covid19 pandemic, had only little exposure to surgical specialties. There, I was able to perform some basic suturing under the guidance of residents of the department. Due to my choice to follow Neurology as my specialty, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to explore the interesting world of Surgery and I am proud to say I grew fond of it over time, something I never expected. As part of our academic plan, we were also able to shadow consultants and residents in specialized centres like the breast cancer and thyroid cancer centre and thus deepen our understanding of the concerning complicated diseases and their treatment. I got to practise performing ultrasound examinations as well, a skill crucial to every Doctor. Apart from that, I should note that the staff on ward was quite helpful, always willing to lend a hand, especially the first few weeks before I got accustomed to the setting. The internship also provided opportunities for active participation in clinical research. My Involvement in a project aimed at improving patient care expanded my research skills and deepened my interest in evidence-based medicine.

Free time/tips:

After the hospital, I was dedicated to fully experience this beautiful Mediterranean island with quite a lot to offer. Getting to the beach from the capital was an easy feat, with regular bus service connecting the busy hub with dreamy seaside destinations like Protaras, Ayia Napa, Larnaca and Limassol. As it is known, Cyprus boasts one of the mildest climates in Europe so a swim even in December was possible and really enjoyable. As far as history and culture are concerned, Cyprus has also quite a lot to offer with ancient monuments, cites and castles. When I opted to stay in Nicosia for the weekend, I was busy exploring the capital and its old and new counterparts and attending happenings all around the city. Nicosia is truly one of kind as it is sadly the last remaining divided capital in the world. A walk around the barricades and fences leaves you with an uneasy feeling, curious and eery enough to spark some interest in exploring the history of the division of the Island and the suffering it has inflicted on its people. One should not miss the plethora of restaurants that are popping all over town, I personally recommend Picnic and Tocayo with their excellent wine and cocktail menu as well as their delicious food offerings. Another restaurant I consider a must-visit is Zanettos tavern in the old town where one could indulge in the rich Cypriot cuisine as well as enjoy lovely traditional live music. Just don’t forget to put your dance shoes on, cause a night in a traditional tavern always guarantees quite a lot of dancing!


In conclusion, I would gladly recommend the General Surgery department at the Nicosia General Hospital for any medical student, who wishes to experience this island-country that I personally believe could also be called a paradise on earth and wishes to gain some much-needed insights about the medical profession! My Erasmus internship at the NGH was truly a life-changing experience and I am deeply grateful for the support from Erasmus+, which provided me with this unique opportunity, and I look forward to incorporating the gained experiences into my future medical practice.

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