November 30, 2023

Exchange Experience in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Hi, my name is Raushana Amira Zuraida. I am a fourth year medical student in Universitas Airlangga. During the semester break, I got an opportunity to participate in the SCORE exchange program that is held by CIMSA to Ljubljana, Slovenia for the whole month of July 2023. Before I went on the exchange, I did not know much about Slovenia, it was not even one of the countries that I choose for my exchange. But after searching up on the internet and discussing with my family, I decided to take the opportunity and go on the exchange.

The exchange journey began on the 30th of June, 2023. I left Indonesia with three other friends that are going on the same exchange, but to Slovakia. After taking three flights with a total flight duration of around 15 hours from Surabaya, we finally landed in Vienna on the 1st of July. We parted ways in Vienna. They went to Slovakia and I went to Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia, by Go-Opti which is similar to a shuttle.

The first day of my exchange was on the 5th of July. During the previous days, I went strolling around Ljubljana, moved to the dorm, and meet with other incomings that are also going on the exchange there. I went around the city center and met my contact person there. She showed me a little bit around the city center. The city is small but beautiful and relaxing because it is not too crowded.

In the dorm, I stayed on the 4th floor with a lovely roommate from South Korea. The dorm is really nice and cozy. We had the laundry room that we have to list our names before using it on the basement. There is also a kitchen for us if we want to cook some food. In Slovenia, the students have this benefit of getting a discounted price for a meal in several restaurants in the city using the student coupons from an application that we could open in our phones. This is a lifesaver for students here in Slovenia, because we usually get a full healthy meal by paying an affordable price if compared to the original price at those restaurants. For muslims, it is not hard to find food to eat because there are some kebab places and most restaurants offers vegetarian menus.

The exchange that I was accepted in was a research exchange program. The program that I was accepted in was an internship at the Institute for Biostatistics and Medical Information which is under the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana. During my time there, I learned about biostatistics and how to use it in research papers under the supervision of doc. dr. Nataša Kejžar and her colleagues. On the first day, she showed me around the department and introduced me to everyone there. For the few first days, I was told to read a book about Epidemiology and Biostatistics. After that, I presented about what I have read to my supervisor and discussed with her if I have questions or something that I do not understand yet.

On the second week, I was given a dataset by my supervisor’s colleague. She explained it to me and told me to make some research questions from the dataset that she gave. I later then picked what type of statistical tests that is suitable for each of those research questions I have made and discussed it with her. On the third week, I learned to apply those tests using a statistical software or application called R commander. But before that, I have already tried using R commander with some exercises that is written in a book that my supervisor gave me to learn with. On the last week, I made the report of the tests that I did and how they are read or the conclusions. I also learned how to make a proper conclusion for a research paper. On the last day of my exchange, she signed my certificate and we said goodbye. I also gave them some souvenirs from Indonesia.

This exchange was a new and very fun experience for me. It was my first time in Europe and being the only Indonesian between all of the other incomings was quite a challenge for me. But there are some Indonesians in Slovenia, I met some Indonesians that worked at a restaurant where I ate, I also met the leader of PPI Slovenia, and while I was at the Ljubljana Open Kitchen, someone greeted me and he turned out to be Indonesian.

For any of you that want to go on an exchange, Slovenia could be a good option. It has the student coupons that most countries do not have, it is close to Italy, Austria, and Croatia, and we can travel there easily because they use the same Schengen Visa, and most of the people in Slovenia, especially in Ljubljana, understand and could speak English, so language would not be a problem there.

By : Raushana Amira Zuraida