Jennifer Durey – Podiatry – Level 3

Athens, Greece

To say I was excited for this academic visit would be an understatement! After weeks of packing it was finally the day to head off! With a conveyor belt of snacks and conversation between the students and lecturers on the plane, along with hearing the ABBA classics in Mamma Mia blasting from a student’s I-pad (plus the whole plane having a sing-along too!), the 4-hour flight certainly flew in!

At AMC on the Wednesday and Friday I found it really interesting to see a whole new clinical environment, especially as the university clinic was a private clinic as opposed to the NHS clinic I was familiar with at QMU. The students and staff at AMC were lovely and really made us all feel welcome. After the clinic all morning on Wednesday, a few of the students from AMC offered to take us on a tour of some of the sights and culture in Athens. On Thursday we visited a gait lab which was really interesting to see how the process is carried out and the intricacies involved, especially if a camera gets knocked out of place! It was a very informative day and as I have an interest in biomechanics I found this experience very beneficial.

After our morning activities a group of us headed off to view the historical sites in Athens. We went to see the Panathenaic Stadium which was huge! We visited the Olympic Temple of Zeus, Roman baths and Hadrian’s Gate- these were all sites to behold. We finished up at the Acropolis that afternoon which was just beautiful- the white marble was perfectly glistening in the sunshine. Of course, no site seeing is complete without the coveted selfies and pictures!

On our last day in Athens we had no classes scheduled, so the day was ours to explore Athens further.

The morning started with a group of us hiking up Mount Lycabettus. This was definitely worth it, the views from the top were unbelievable. After a well-earned milkshake and fruit salad we headed off to explore more of what Athens has to offer. The Ancient Agora offered beautiful views of the Acropolis and Mount Lycabettus, plus hidden amongst the trees was the Temple of Hephaestus. After a browse of the souvenir shops in the Flea Market and a few ice-creams as well, we headed back to hotel to start our journey back to Edinburgh.

So how could I summarise this trip in a few words? It was a brilliant, enriching experience, that allowed me to develop my podiatry knowledge further, to meet new people and make new friends at AMC. It was great to be on a trip with my classmates and lecturers, as we were able to share our knowledge and clinic experience with the students and staff at AMC, we were able to bond and work as a team, both in clinics and navigating the busy streets of Athens! And every night we were able to have a laugh with each other over great food, sharing what we did during the day and what we learned from our activities at AMC and podiatry in Greece. So, for now it is back to Edinburgh but after this great academic visit to Athens, I’ll definitely be back some day!

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