Megan Horne – Podiatry – Level 2

Athens, Greece

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to partake in this trip to Athens, I had a brilliant time. It was really interesting getting to work alongside the other 1st and 2nd year students and to discuss with them the differences and similarities between how things work in our respective countries.

While in the 2nd year clinic on our first day there I met Filippos. He is a 2nd year podiatry student who is coming to QMU next year to join my class for 3rd year. He was so relived to meet myself and Emma, the other 2nd year student on the trip, as he was nervous about moving and not knowing anyone. We all got on really well straight away and we managed to get to know each other a bit and calm some of Filippos’ nerves around the move to Scotland. He is moving to Edinburgh a month before we go back to university to do a months’ course perfecting his English, we have arranged to meet up when I move back to Edinburgh after the summer and I can’t wait to show him all of the sites. I have included a photo of myself, Emma and Filippos below.

After we spend the day in the 2nd year clinic seeing patients with them Filippos and some of his friends showed us some of the sites around central Athens. We watched the changing of the guard outside the Parliament building which was amazing to see. After a few more stops off to see some of the other university buildings and sites we went to a lovely rooftop restaurant for drinks to chat and get better acquainted with the Greek students.

The next day we visited a gait analysis lab run by the course leader of Podiatry in their university. We got to observe a gait analysis being done on a 16 year old boy with cerebral palsy. This was one of the most interesting parts of the trip by far and I feel the discussions we had around this afterwards were really beneficial to my learning.

At the end of every day all of us from QMU and our lecturers, Carla and John, got together for our evening meal. I knew quite a lot of the other students on the trip but not very well, so this time together was lovely to make new friends and get to know each other better. It was also great to get to know Carla and John a bit better out of a university setting, we got some good tips from them and the 3rd/4th year students for our years ahead too.

On our last day in Athens we didn’t have any university time. Emma and I spent the day on the Hop-on-hop-off bus seeing the sites of Athens. These included the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and the Temple of Zeus. We had a brilliant time soaking up the culture Athens has to offer and both agreed we would love to go back and spend some time in Athens as it’s such an amazing city.

I am so glad I got the opportunity to go on this trip and see a place I have never seen before and to experience podiatry in a country so different to our own. Podiatry is still developing as a profession in the UK but they are at a much earlier stage in Greece with only one university course in the country it was amazing to see the start of something that is just beginning to take off.

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