Medical, Peru Arequipa

Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

My placement with Work the World was amazing. It truly exceeded my expectations.

I chose Peru because I really wanted to practice my Spanish and to travel through South America after my placement.

Work the World offered a great service and guidance through the whole experience. In the weeks before my placement I received detailed information about everything I needed to know and what I should expect. On arrival, they waited for me at the airport and brought me to the house.

The house my housemates and I lived in was amazing. It had a huge living room, garden and rooftop terrace. The Work the World team in Peru were really nice, and we became great friends. They were so helpful and nice to us! The catering team were lovely, and made the best food. Everyday we had so many options, and it was all delicious.

I could already speak a little Spanish when I arrived, but I was anxious that it wouldn’t be enough for the hospital. Work the World’s Intensive Spanish Course really helped to improve my medical Spanish. After completing it, I was managed perfectly in the hospital. Even roommates who couldn’t speak Spanish before could do so after this course.

I chose OBG and surgery for my placements in the hospital. I spent my first two weeks in an obstetric clinic, and after that I went to OBG and surgery in the main hospital.

The clinic was so different from the clinics we have in Holland. I will never forget the first birth I saw—The woman didn’t have anyone holding her hand (it wasn’t allowed) and she didn’t make a sound! In fact, all the women we saw giving birth were equally strong.

The Peruvian interns really helped us out, and it was fun to discuss the differences between our hospitals and education systems with them. They made us feel part of the team, and we even went to one of the resident surgeons’ birthday party.

One of the things that made my time in Arequipa as special as it was were my housemates. We did so many great things together. Almost every weekend we travelled Arequipa together—we hiked through Colca Canyon, went to Puno and Lake Titicaca... the whole lot.

Every Thursday after our BBQ night and salsa lessons at the house we went out into Arequipa to find the best happy hour. I will never forget the great karaoke nights and the dancing at the plaza at night. I’m still in contact with them and hope to see them again soon.

After my time in Arequipa I traveled to Cusco, hiked the Salkantay trail to Machu Picchu, went horse riding to the Rainbow Mountains and climbed El Misti—one of the three volcanoes looming over Arequipa.

My placement was the perfect beginning of a six month adventure through South America.

After Peru I also backpacked through Ecuador, Colombia and Panama. The Spanish I learned during the course really helped me in the rest of my travels, and I will never forget the wonderful time I had in Peru.

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