Oktober 9, 2023

Mahidol Exchange Experience

Hi, my name is Raushana Amira Zuraida. I am a third year medical student in Universitas Airlangga. During the semester break, me and twelve other students got an opportunity to participate in the student outbound program to Institute of Molecular Biosciences, Mahidol University, Thailand. The registration of this exchange program is through the Office of International Affairs in our faculty.

Our program was an internship program where during the first week we attended lectures about topics from each laboratory at Institute of Molecular Biosciences, Mahidol University. The lecture topics are about Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) & Fluorescent Protein Technology, Thalassemia, and Vaccine. After lecture, usually we have some laboratory sessions as well, such as micro pipetting, etc. These laboratory sessions are something new for us since we got into medical school during the pandemic and could not do the laboratory sessions in our university offline.

On the second until third week, we were divided into small groups of two or three students. Each group will intern in a laboratory and do an experiment there. I happened to get the Virus Laboratory with my friend, Farhan. We were supervised and taught by Dr. Wannapa Sornjai. She was really kind and friendly to us.

In the virus laboratory, we did an experiment which is determining the effect of HA-15 treatment on ZIKV or zika virus infection in Vero cells. We learned how to culture cells, extract RNA from cells, and at the end we did a PCR test to test the virus. This was very new for us because at that time, we still does not know much about virus or molecular biosciences. But Dr. Wannapa gave a really clear and well explanation to us and gave us guidance during the lab sessions so we could minimalize error during the experiment.

Mahidol University is one of the best university in Thailand and is located just outside the capital city, Bangkok. It is also really big, we usually go around the university complex using a mini bus that is provided by the campus. It has a huge iconic hall and huge student center for the students to do their student activities. They even have Starbucks in the campus complex.

During the weekends, me and my friends went out to Bangkok’s tourist destinations, such as Wat Pho, Wat Arun, and Chatuchak Market. Wat Pho and Wat Arun is Thailand’s must visit and iconic Buddhist temple with its colorful pattern. Chatuchak Market is a weekend market where we can go shopping for some affordable clothes, souvenirs, and other things.

This program gave me a new view in the medical field which is research in the laboratory. We can explore many things that is in line with our interest and learn deeper and do some experiment that could lead us to innovations, or new findings in science. I learned a lot new things here, especially during the experiments since we had the opportunity to do the experiments hand on.

By : Raushana Amira Zuraida