Welcome to everyone who is interested in an exchange in the Netherlands! As the National Exchange Officer on Incomings for IFMSA-NL I would like to give you an idea of what you could expect from a trip to the Netherlands in general as well as of what an exchange in one of our outstanding hospitals would offer you. So on this page you will find and overview of our program and I hope you can find all the information you need! Please visit the Explore Pages of the Local Committees to find more specific information about their professional and research exchanges.
The Netherlands is a country in the North of Europe and it is 41.526 square kilometers big. It is a constitutional monarchy and King Willem-Alexander van Oranje Nassau is Head of State. The Netherlands has about 18 million inhabitants and Amsterdam is the capital. At an average of 480 people per square kilometer, it is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. A large part of the population lives in what is called the randstad, which is in the west of NL. It covers the whole area between Amsterdam in the north to Rotterdam in the south and even a bit further.
According to the Health Consumer Powerhouse (HNP) the Netherlands had the best health care system in Europe. For more information on this European assessment and the score of our country go to: http://www.healthpowerhouse.com/. 6 of our 8 Local Committees (LCs) are SCOPE/SCORE active. The two LCs in Amsterdam have been united considering SCOPE and SCORE. In all LCs you will have an internship in the university hospital.
The Netherlands has a well-developed public transportation system, it can take you everywhere throughout The Netherlands. You can use one card for all types of transportation, whether travelling by tram, subway, bus or train. It is called a OV-chipkaart.
Everybody knows The Netherlands because of its drug policy, windmills, clogs and tulips, but don't be fooled The Netherlands has way more to offer.
Working hours depend on the department and the hospital you are in. In general they expect you to be at the department from 8.30 am - 5.00 pm, just like other Dutch interns. If you want a free day, if you want to come a couple of hours later or if you want to leave earlier there is always a possibility, but you will have to discuss this with your tutor! Otherwise your tutor will call the LEOs to ask where you are! So don't just leave or don't show up, but call the department to ask them for permission! Also if you are sick, you should contact them.
Language in hospitalsMost Dutch people can speak English, but the main language in the hospitals is Dutch. Doctors will explain things in English to you, but most of the time they will speak Dutch with their patients. This is to be sure that there is no misunderstanding between the doctor and the patient. So prepare yourself that you probably won't understand everything that is going on in the hospital. The doctors will take you into account as much as possible, but it is not always possible for them to talk in English.
Obviously we hope you won't have to use them, but just in case:
112 for police, ambulance and fire-fighters