Spain (IFMSA-Spain) - Bilbao
Anatomical pathology, Anesthesia and resuscitation, Gastroenterology, Allergology, Biochemistry, Cardiology, Cardiovascular Surgery, General and Gastroinestinal Surgery, Maxillofacial Surgery, Paediatric Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Dermatology, Endocrinology, Infectious Diseases, Pharmacology, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Hematology, Microbiology, Internal Medicine, Nephrology, Neonatology, Neumology, Neurosurgery, Neurology, Ophtalmology, Oncology, Otorhinolaryngology, Paediatrics, Psychiatry, Radiology, Radiotherapy and nuclear medicine, Rehabilitation, Rheumatology, Traumatology and Orthopaedics, Urology, Emergency medicine, Thoracic Surgery, Home hospitalization, Laboratory
Once a day
Student flat
White coat, stethoscope and health insurance are COMPULSORY. 

Department may vary due to disponibility (following student's order choices)
Isabel Criado, Carolina García, Imanol Esteras,Nerea Izaguirre .
Bilbao is the heart of a metropolis. It is the capital of Bizkaia in the Basque Country, Spain. The city is surrounded by a fertile landscape with forests, mountains, beaches and steep coasts. Besides, the weather is milder than in most other parts of the peninsula.

Bilbao is an internationally-recognised town planning landmark because the strength of its cutting edge is based on respecting and integrating its industrial past. The icon of this transformation is the Guggenheim museum with its stunning architecture, the work of Frank Gehry, of which you have probably heard already. You have to come and see for yourself how design and architecture impregnate the whole city, starting with the Paseo de Abandoibarra, very close to the museum itself, an undeniably charming area where tourists and locals, joggers and families, mix and meet every day. From there you can see new buildings like the Isozaki towers and the Iberdrola tower, the highest in the Basque Country. Another design classic is the city metro, the work of Norman Foster, and La Alhóndiga, a former wine warehouse converted into an arts centre and meeting place by Philippe Starck.

During your visit to Bilbao you can take as your point of reference La Ría, the estuary, an artery along which ships used to arrive and which today remains a key part of city life. Following its course you’ll come to the Puente Bizkaia, a jewel of industrial architecture and a World heritage Site.

Discovering La Ría and its bridges is a journey through the city’s history. El Zubizuri (Basque for white bridge) and the Arrupe foot bridge are icons of the new Bilbao, while others like the San Antón bridge, which has been there for over 700 years and features on the city coat of arms, are important representatives of its past.

La Ría also takes you to the Casco Viejo, or Old Town, a lively area which is very close to the hearts of Bilbao’s inhabitants. Take a walk around its bustling “seven streets” and before you know it you’ll be trying pintxos and wine or “txikiteando”. As well as colourful, tempting pintxo bars, the Casco Viejo offers you countless shops to browse, old shops packed with charm and also the latest trends in fashion and accessories.

Our university is called Universidad del País Vasco and the faculty of Medicine and Odontology is located in a smaller village near Bilbao. 

There are four main university hospitals in the Basque Country and two of them are located in Bilbao: Basurto and Cruces. Actually, we have an agreement signed with Basurto Hospital and there is where our practices use to take place.

Basurto Hospital is a general hospital with approximately 800 beds. It is one of the main hospitals of the Basque Health Service (Osakidetza). As an university hospital all the departments are available and during the practices students only have to bring their Stethoscope and their white coat, as teachers in the hospital will explain them everything.

Microbiological diagnosis of infectious diseases in a hospital. 
  • The student will stay in the Microbiology Service of the Basurto Hospital learning about clinical microbiology tests of value in establishing an etiological diagnosis of infections.
  • Department: Department of Immunology, Microbiology and Parasitology 
  • Role: The student will take part in the diagnostic process with the tutorial of an expert, from the usefulness and management of clinical specimens processing for the microbiological diagnosis of infectious diseases either acquired in the community or hospital-acquired to the interpretation of microbiology tests results.
  • Practical skills and the knowledge the student will acquire during the exchange program:he student will learn which tests are valuable and in which contexts, and tests that add little or no value for diagnostic decisions, including Bloodstream Infections and Infections of the Cardiovascular System, Central Nervous System Infections, Ocular Infections, Soft Tissue Infections of the Head and Neck, Upper Respiratory Infections, Lower Respiratory Tract infections, Infections of the Gastrointestinal Tract, Intraabdominal Infections, Bone and Joint Infections, Urinary Tract Infections, Genital Infections, and Skin and Soft Tissue Infections
  • Techiniques and methods that will be used: 
    1. Basic and conventional methods for microbiological diagnosis of bacteria, virus, fungal and parasites. The techniques employed include: aerobic and anaerobic bacterial culture and identification, viral culture and identification, fungal culture and identification, antigen detection. 
    2. Immunological techniques: direct immunofluorescence, indirect immunofluorescence, serological diagnosis. 
    3. Molecular methods for laboratory diagnosis of infectious diseases applied to the diagnosis of tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, hepatitis, VIH infection, parasitic infections

Non invasive prenatal diagnosis 
  • Department: Genetics Unit
  • Role: Stage in the laboratory of Genetics, in the cytogenetics section (cell culture, plain staining, G- banding and distinguish chromosomes, Fluorescence in situ hybridization) and also in the molecular section (DNA extraction, PCR, purificaction and principles of sequencing 
  • Description: The WHO defines prenatal diagnosis as the detection in the fetus of any congenital defect which affects 2-3% of all newborns. Genetic prenatal diagnostic gold standard is invasive (chorionic villus sampling or Amniocentesis). There is a small but significant risk to pregnancy (0.5-1% miscarriage for amniocentesis and 1,5-3% for CVS). The percentage seems small, but its impact is huge (10000 miscarriages per year in Europe). This procedure is sometimes complemented by a Triple Screening (Biochemical tests plus an Ecography) that advises about the risk and whether or not to take the invasive test. 
    The non invasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD) is based on the detection of fetal DNA in mother
  • Practical skills and the knowledge the student will acquire during the exchange program will depend of the results obtained during the period of the stage
Boarding is ensured once a day. Contact people use to do a purchase of basic food once or twice a month for the incomings.
Our incomings usually stay in student flats located in the centre of Bilbao and within walking distance from the hospital. You have to bring bed linens and towels.
Bilbao is divided into eight district areas: Deusto, Uribarri, Otxarkoaga/Txurdinaga, Begoña, Ibaiondo, Abando, Rekalde and Basurto/Zorroza.
If you want to get to Bilbao you have several options:
• By bus: all buses to other provinces leave from the TermiBus terminal. Different bus companies connect Bilbao to many cities in Spain more cheaply and frequently than the rail companies. For going to San Sebastian PESA and ALSA buses arrive at the main bus station and for going to Vitoria-Gasteiz, La Unión Alavesa buses are the most used ones.
• By plane:
 o Bilbao Airport: it is coneccted to the downtown by the Bizkaibus A3247 every half hour. The journey from the city to the airport takes about 25 minutes.
• By train:
 o RENFE: it runs trains to the main cities of the country. All those trains leave from Abando Station.
 o FEVE: it runs regional trains. They are slower than RENFE ones and leave next to Abando Station.
 o EuskoTren: it runs a local service to San Sebastian. It takes two hours to reach the city and trains leave from Atxuri Station.
Once you are in Bilbao you can get around:

• By car: Bilbao is difficult to drive in. Hilly one-way streets and frequent construction projects make it difficult to drive in some parts of the city.

• By public transport:

o MetroBilbao. There is a single line within Bilbao, splitting into two lines after San Inazio station. Line one runs from Basauri to Plentzia and line two from Basauri to Kabiezes. Trains run every couple of minutes at peak hours.

• Bilbobus: City bus service

• EuskoTrain: A green tram from Atxuri Station to Basurto. The single line runs along the river passing the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum. Don't forget to validate the ticket before boarding.

• BizkaiBus: For buses which operate outside Bilbao city limits. BizkaiBus runs a service between the bus terminal and the airport, with several stops in the center.

• Artxanda Funicular: if you want spectacular views of Bilbao you should take it.
• On foot: It takes about 30 minutes to walk along the river between the Guggenheim Museum and the Casco Viejo.
• By taxi: Taxi Bilbao: +34 944 448 888. This single number is used by all taxi operators in Bilbao 24h. Your cab should appear within five minutes.
Our social program is divided in different areas: trips, nightlife, dinners, festivals, sightseeing and free time.
We organize different trips around Bilbao and in the north of Spain: Vitoria, San Sebastián, Castro Urdiales, Santander, San Juan de Gaztelugatxe… During our exchanges there are many typical and unique festivals in many cities in Basque Country. We also organize different dinners and nightlife activities with the incomings, as the typical foods and drinks party. But the most important part of our social program is their total freedom! Our incomings can decide what they want to do and we will help them with their activities.

• Guggenheim Museum: Frank Gehry's spectacular twisting titanium-clad modern art museum is one of the symbols of Bilbao.
• Museo de Bellas Artes (Museum of Fine Art): their collection has more than six thousand works dating from the 12th century to the present day, and includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings and decorative objects.

• Cathedral of St. James , Iglesia de San Antón, Basílica de Begoña, Iglesia de San Nicolás (this is one of the best examples of Baroque architecture in Vizcaya)

Other Places of Interest
• Alhondiga: an amazing building which has recently modernized. It is a complex containing a library, several bars and restaurants, a cinema and even a roof swimming pool with a glass floor! A must visit!
• A flower puppy: Just in the front of the Guggenheim Museum, created by Jeff Koons, it's one of the most famous symbols of modern Bilbao
• Puente de San Antón: Bilbao's most emblematic bridge. Another emblem next to the Iglesia de San Antón is the Mercado de la Rivera. One of the biggest covered markets in Europe.

Finally, Plaza Nueva, Arriga Theater, City Hall, Moyua Square, Zubizuri Bridge, are some examples for visiting.

We receive incomings during the summer time, so it would be recommendable to bring beach clothes, as the closest beaches are only about half an hour away using the underground. Bilbao is a city surrounded by mountains so if you are into hiking bring your hiking boots!