Exchange committees (SCOPE & SCORE)

One of the main duties of AMSB is to enable future doctors to enrich their knowledge of the healthcare system worldwide, to get in touch with new cultures and to become specialists with comprehensive outlooks on global health issues. This is mostly done thanks to the exchange committees SCOPE and SCORE.

What is IFMSA, SCOPE and SCORE?

  • IFMSA (International Federation of Medical Students` Association) – The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), founded in 1951, is one of the world’s oldest and largest student-run organizations. It represents, connects and engages every day with medical students from 135 NMOs in 125 countries around the globe. This is mostly acieved thanks to the exchange commitees. AMSB is the Bulgarian association, member of IFMSA.
    Official site of IFMSA: https://ifmsa.org/
  • SCOPE (Standing Committee on Professional Exchange) – SCOPE is the first committee created in IFMSA and it forms its  structure. It gives medical students worldwide the chance to get in touch with the healthcare system in other countries, providing opportunity for participation in a one-month professional exchangе for students who have finished their 2nd year (pre-clinical medical education).
  • SCORE (Standing Committee on Research Exchange) – SCORE enables future doctors to improve their knowledge on research methods’ diversity in countries all over the world. Only students who have finished their 1st year have the right to participate.
  • The tasks of SCOPE and SCORE include:
    • To provide hospitals and departments for clinical internships or projects on which the exchange students will be working;
    • To provide boarding for the exchangers;
    • To negotiate and sign the exchange terms and conditions with the foreign associations, which ensures the departure of the Bulgarian students on exchange in a particular country;
    • Organizing information campaigns for those interested in the exchanging programs and addressing specific issues concerning those students leaving for an exchange abroad;
    • Preparing a ranking of the Bulgarian students who are members of the organization and have applied for exchanges abroad and to assist their departure.

What is an exchange?

Students take a four-week internship in a selected clinical or preclinical field of medicine in the country concerned.

  • Those of them, who are on a Professional Exchange, join the team of a ward/clinic, where they are assigned a tutor to take care of their training. Medical students are given not only the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills, to become familiar with medical practices in different countries around the world, but also to communicate and connect with other students from different nationalities, which enhances intercultural communication, understanding and unity among medical students worldwide.
  • Those who are on a Research Exchange join a team for conducting a certain science project, where they have the chance to deepen their knowledge in a specific science field. This program is run by a mentor through the core principles of research such as literary studies, gathering information, writing scientific articles, lab work and statistics. At the end of the project, the student may be required to write a brief essay on the results of the studies conducted for the project. The main purpose of SCORE, is to offer prospective physicians the opportunity to learn about research methods in different countries around the world.

During the free time of the internship, the student is able to get acquainted with the city where their internship is taking place, to participate in various social programs, organized by local SCOPE / SCORE, to build strong relationships and contacts with other exchange students. Both students participating in research exchange and those on a professional exchange are appointed a so-called contact person (CP) who is a member of the local student association and is engaged  with providing everything needed for the student who is related to his or her stay – e.g. to accompany them to the appropriate hospital ward and present them to the doctor responsible for it; to place them in the space provided for their stay, provide them with a temporary telephone number and the necessary means of free use of local urban transport; and be their social connection during the internship.

What are the exchange conditions?

Every year the Exchange Committees consider and update the rules and conditions. The main rules are:

  • The applying students must be medical students and members of AMSB.
  • Students, who have an average grade below 4.00 from the previous two semesters, do not participate in the first ranking.
  • Candidates, who do not have at least 30 points in „Contribution to the AMSB Committees”, do not participate in the rankings.
  • Only students who have completed first semester are allowed to apply for a research exchange, and students who have completed third semester are allowed to apply for a professional exchange.

It is very important for the student, when applying for a certain country, first to read their exchange conditions (EC), which can be found here: https://exchange.ifmsa.org/exchange/explore/nmo/list

How can I go on an exchange?

Every year the National Exchange Officers on Professional and on Research Exchange consider, expand and update the exchange conditions. The ranking is based on points, which are given according to the conditions. Your language skills and your grades from the previous two semesters determine the majority of your points. Many students are being ranked only on those points. Students conferences, AMSB campaigns, participation in some other projects also give you points, so participating in the AMSB campaigns is good for your final score.

Applying for an exchange is held in October, after the list with the quotas for the new exchange season is updated. The candidates can choose up to five different countries to apply for. They must fill in a Google form in which they declare their wish to participate in the rankings. Then the candidates must send their documents to the Exchange Committees via email. The required documents are listed in the exchange criteria. Obligatory documents include:

  1. Proof of records for the previous two semesters.
  2. Language certificate (An official document proving adequate knowledge of the language or a high school diploma with listed tuition hours).
  3. Assurance that you are a member of the Local Legal Entity (LE), e. g. AMSB – Varna – member of AMSB.
  4. Certificate from a previous IFMSA exchange program.

The list is drawn up by the standing committees on Professional Exchange and Research Exchange (SCOPE & SCORE) to AMSB, in accordance with the exchange criteria. After the first draw-up often there are free positions remaining! They are the subject of further draw-ups until all free positions are occupied.

The list is usually announced by the middle of December. This is the time when you must decide whether you are going to keep the traineeship position. If you no longer wish to  participate, you free it and it is available for the second draw-up, and so on until all positions are occupied. When you confirm your position you are going to receive an e-mail consisting your password for the IFMSA data base. There you are going to fill in your personal information, your preferred faculties in different cities in descending order, preferred clinics or projects also in descending order, motivational letters and recommendations. In this way the receiving organization is able to process all preferences and distribute all applicants.

Notice:

Some cities and clinics are particularly popular. Sometimes it is impossible for our partner organizations to fulfil all wishes. The rare occurrence of you not being distributed in any of your desired positions, due to them being already taken, is not a legitimate reason for you to cancel your traineeship. As previously mentioned, this is a rare occurrence, but you should be prepared for the possibility! If you need to cancel due to other reasons, you must do that until the beginning of March next year, so a suitable replacement can be found. The procedure consists of a declaration in which you must confirm that you are canceling and describe your reasons for canceling. In this way you’ll be able to be refunded. If you cancel after the beginning of March you will have to pay the remaining half of the fee, because there is already a contracted position and we need to take care of the arriving person.

What are the point criteria?

http://amsbulgaria.net/обмени/criteria/

 

What does the exchange fee cover?

Exchange agreements are signed between two national member organizations of IFMSA:

  • Bilateral agreements: The participating countries exchange two students (one of each country) with each other.
  • Unilateral agreements: A participant only from one country participates in an exchange in the other country.

The amount you pay for exchange under a bilateral agreement is announced every exchange season (for more information about ASMB-Varna fee please contact to Local Exchange Officers or other members of the managing committee) and is used for the student who comes to Bulgaria in exchange. With it, we provide food, local social program and more. The person who comes to Bulgaria, in your place, often pays even higher price in his own country,  so that you can be welcomed there. This system helps financially disadvantaged students benefit from internships abroad. You don’t actually pay for your internship but you pay for a student arriving in return.For your internship payment contact your Local Research and Professional Exchange Officers, which are at your disposal.

The partner organization in the respective country provides you with accommodation, internship and one meal a day (in some countries a pocket money or public transport card is given). Depending on the host country, different social programs provided for leisure are organized. For more information read Exchange conditions of the particular host country.

The fee includes:

  1. Accommodation for 4 weeks
  2. At least one meal a day or pocket money equivalent to one.
  3. Hospital / Lab Internship.

The fee does NOT include:

  1. Transport fees to and from the exchange country.
  2. Any additional fees and taxes.

What is a CP?

It is important to notice that students who have been CPs have a huge advantage than other candidates!

CP is a student, who helps to the exchange student before and during the exchange. Every incoming has a CP who takes care that he/she orientates well and enjoys his/her stay in Bulgaria. Respectively, you will also get your CP when you go on a exchange in the foreign country.

Being a CP gives you a huge advantage when you`re applying for an exchange. Every student can be a CP to up to 2 students. The CPs get 50 extra points for an exchange (100 points if they were CP both of the months) and on the first ranking they are ranked before the non-CP applicants (the contracts are first distributed to the applicants who were CPs and then to the other applicants). Any student who wants to be a CP can apply when the CP-call is announced.

Obligations of the CP:

  1. To establish contact with the incoming and keep it through the month.
  2. To welcome and get the student from the airport or bus/train station.
  3. To help him/her settle in the dormitory
  4. To guide incoming student to the hispotal and introduce them to heir tutor
  5. To show them the city, the hospital
  6. To participate in the social program
  7. To provide additional communication and help if needed.
  8. To monitor the completion of the Evaluation Form.
  9. To send promotional pictures and videos to the LEOs/LORE.

Notice! Points are awarded for fulfilling at least 6 of the 9 CP obligations. Students who have enrolled to be CPs, but haven`t performed their duties won`t get any points for CPs!

If you have any additional questions do not hesitate to get in touch with the local officers:

SCOPE: E-mail: leo.varna.official@gmail.com

Local exchange officer – outgoings (LEO-out): Aleksandra Nedelcheva
Local exchange officer – incomings (LEO-in):  Ivan Angelov

SCORE: E-mail: asmb.varna.score.official@gmail.com

Local officer on Research exchange (LORE): Bilyana Peneva

Tell us about your exchange!

Incomings 🛬

“My travels in Bulgaria were truly an experience of a lifetime surrounded by the most amazing people in a place that never seized to surprise me! This trip was about personal growth and self-discovery and I truly could not have asked for better people to accompany me on my journey! I`m gonna miss you all very deeply but you`ll always have a place in my heart”

Xxx – yas

Yasmine Khouzam, Canada
“A month of my exchange was an amazing experience, full of new international friends, different cultures, laboratory experiments, drinks on the beach…I have learnt so much about Bulgaria. I have tried banitza and rakija. I wanted to thank all Varna CPs and my exchange friends because of them I had one of the best months in my life. Love you guys!”
Aleksandra Marczyk, Poland
“If I had one word to describe my experience in Varna it would be “unforgettable”. This exchange was more than just an internship. I met wonderful people who became my family in a place I used to call my home. I did not only learn things at the hospital, but also from every person that I met. I am so grateful for the chance I had to be in Varna for my internship. I would recommend it to everybody! “
Marie-Sophie Pepin-Blanchette, Canada
“My experience in Varna was amazing. I did not only learn a lot about the lab stuff, but also I met wonderful people with whom I shared unforgettable moments. All the CPs were really nice, and they developed activities that improved our relationship as a team. If I had to come back to Bulgaria, I will definitely visit Varna again!”
Raquel Schiff, Spain
“This month with you was fantastic! I learnt a lot about anatomy and medicine but not only that. I had the chance to discover this beautiful country which is Bulgaria! Also, thanks to all my friends, who share this experience with me, it was the best month of my life. I miss you.”
Nathan Dulac, France

🛫 Outgoings

South Korea (Seoul)
Irena Mircheva

For me, it was and will always be a dream, but now it’s one that has come true. Even 11 years ago, when I was drawn to this culture, I always dreamed and secretly hoped to have the chance to visit this country. And now that I’m a medical student, I had the chance to learn and see new things, that probably wouldn’t be able to see otherwise.

If I have to speak about the country, a whole day won’t be enough time, I’m really impressed by these people, by this nation. About my internship – I was in colorectal surgery department at one of the best Korean hospitals in Seoul. The hospital… It was just WOW. From the very first day I was already in the operating room and what is more – with a DaVinci robot, for which I had only read in the textbooks.

The team, the students, everyone was extremely caring and kind to me – probably I was interesting to them. And even though that we weren’t a lot of exchangers in Seoul and the surviving in Korea was kind of hard for a list of reasons, the people who I met there and the friendships I made – they changed my whole world.

Hope one day I visit Korea again!

사랑해요

South Korea (Seoul)
Irena Mircheva

For me, it was and will always be a dream, but now it’s one that has come true. Even 11 years ago, when I was drawn to this culture, I always dreamed and secretly hoped to have the chance to visit this country. And now that I’m a medical student, I had the chance to learn and see new things, that probably wouldn’t be able to see otherwise.

If I have to speak about the country, a whole day won’t be enough time, I’m really impressed by these people, by this nation. About my internship – I was in colorectal surgery department at one of the best Korean hospitals in Seoul. The hospital… It was just WOW. From the very first day I was already in the operating room and what is more – with a DaVinci robot, for which I had only read in the textbooks.

The team, the students, everyone was extremely caring and kind to me – probably I was interesting to them. And even though that we weren’t a lot of exchangers in Seoul and the surviving in Korea was kind of hard for a list of reasons, the people who I met there and the friendships I made – they changed my whole world.

Hope one day I visit Korea again!

사랑해요

South Korea (Seoul)
Irena Mircheva

For me, it was and will always be a dream, but now it’s one that has come true. Even 11 years ago, when I was drawn to this culture, I always dreamed and secretly hoped to have the chance to visit this country. And now that I’m a medical student, I had the chance to learn and see new things, that probably wouldn’t be able to see otherwise.

If I have to speak about the country, a whole day won’t be enough time, I’m really impressed by these people, by this nation. About my internship – I was in colorectal surgery department at one of the best Korean hospitals in Seoul. The hospital… It was just WOW. From the very first day I was already in the operating room and what is more – with a DaVinci robot, for which I had only read in the textbooks.

The team, the students, everyone was extremely caring and kind to me – probably I was interesting to them. And even though that we weren’t a lot of exchangers in Seoul and the surviving in Korea was kind of hard for a list of reasons, the people who I met there and the friendships I made – they changed my whole world.

Hope one day I visit Korea again!

사랑해요

Morocco (Marrakesh)
Kristina Petrova

My first impressions of Morocco and in particular Marrakech, where was my stay, were stunning. The Red city, like Marrakech’s other name is, is a place where you can’t help falling in love with the architecture of the buildings, always filled with life Medina, the gardens and the palaces, which are like oases against the backdrop of other parts of the city, and most importantly, the culture and lifestyle of the locals, who can be from people, who take advantage of every opportunity to sell their goods to you, to some of the most hospitable people I have ever met – welcoming guests to their homes with wide open hands and preparing for them with all kinds of dishes and sweets.

To these pleasant emotions contributed also the experience in the hospital – even in my wildest dreams I have never thought how well and warmly I could be accepted by the medical team there. I was able to see clinical cases and manipulations that I could not see in my internship here in Bulgaria.

Nevertheless, the most important part of this unforgettable experience, which is very difficult to describe in a few words, is the rest of the exchangers and the exchange team that I spent this month with. These were the people I felt like my family and with whom I would go on a exchange anywhere in the world!

Morocco (Marrakesh)
Kristina Petrova

My first impressions of Morocco and in particular Marrakech, where was my stay, were stunning. The Red city, like Marrakech’s other name is, is a place where you can’t help falling in love with the architecture of the buildings, always filled with life Medina, the gardens and the palaces, which are like oases against the backdrop of other parts of the city, and most importantly, the culture and lifestyle of the locals, who can be from people, who take advantage of every opportunity to sell their goods to you, to some of the most hospitable people I have ever met – welcoming guests to their homes with wide open hands and preparing for them with all kinds of dishes and sweets.

To these pleasant emotions contributed also the experience in the hospital – even in my wildest dreams I have never thought how well and warmly I could be accepted by the medical team there. I was able to see clinical cases and manipulations that I could not see in my internship here in Bulgaria.

Nevertheless, the most important part of this unforgettable experience, which is very difficult to describe in a few words, is the rest of the exchangers and the exchange team that I spent this month with. These were the people I felt like my family and with whom I would go on a exchange anywhere in the world!

Morocco (Marrakesh)
Kristina Petrova

My first impressions of Morocco and in particular Marrakech, where was my stay, were stunning. The Red city, like Marrakech’s other name is, is a place where you can’t help falling in love with the architecture of the buildings, always filled with life Medina, the gardens and the palaces, which are like oases against the backdrop of other parts of the city, and most importantly, the culture and lifestyle of the locals, who can be from people, who take advantage of every opportunity to sell their goods to you, to some of the most hospitable people I have ever met – welcoming guests to their homes with wide open hands and preparing for them with all kinds of dishes and sweets.

To these pleasant emotions contributed also the experience in the hospital – even in my wildest dreams I have never thought how well and warmly I could be accepted by the medical team there. I was able to see clinical cases and manipulations that I could not see in my internship here in Bulgaria.

Nevertheless, the most important part of this unforgettable experience, which is very difficult to describe in a few words, is the rest of the exchangers and the exchange team that I spent this month with. These were the people I felt like my family and with whom I would go on a exchange anywhere in the world!

Russia (Ufa)
Niya Balgarinova

Hello! In August 2019 I was on a research exchange in the city of Ufa, Russia. This city is the capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan. The title of the project I took part in is “Studying Molecular Genetic Markers for Neurofibromatosis – Identification of Gene Toxicity by DNA Analysis” and it was held in a lab at their uni. Since in our group of exchangers there were people with different projects and from higher courses, I also had the opportunity to go with them and take part in their projects. I had the chance to observe operations in 2 hospitals in Ufa – Paediatrics, Neurosurgery and General surgery. I attended to a hydrocephalus surgery, lipoma removal, laparoscopic surgery, knee replacement and gynecological surgery. We also had lectures held by university professors.

Regarding the social program, the organising committee had taken care of everything. We had different entertainments every week. We were taken out of the city of Ufa, for three days we were in the city of Kazan (the third most beautiful city in Russia, after Moscow and St. Petersburg), we organized an international drink and food party, prepared by us, we had a dumpling course, we went to ballet (Swan Lake). We visited many churches and mosques and dressed in traditional clothing for Bashkortostan. I also had the opportunity to go to Moscow. For three days I visited the most famous sights of the capital and was very impressed with it. Too many experiences for a month to be able to describe everything.

I can say that I am very pleased with my exchange, with the people I met and became like my family, with the opportunities and things I saw and learned. It is definitely a lifelong experience. The Russians are very friendly, punctual and a lot can be learned from them – not only medically, but also as a nation.

Russia (Ufa)
Niya Balgarinova

Hello! In August 2019 I was on a research exchange in the city of Ufa, Russia. This city is the capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan. The title of the project I took part in is “Studying Molecular Genetic Markers for Neurofibromatosis – Identification of Gene Toxicity by DNA Analysis” and it was held in a lab at their uni. Since in our group of exchangers there were people with different projects and from higher courses, I also had the opportunity to go with them and take part in their projects. I had the chance to observe operations in 2 hospitals in Ufa – Paediatrics, Neurosurgery and General surgery. I attended to a hydrocephalus surgery, lipoma removal, laparoscopic surgery, knee replacement and gynecological surgery. We also had lectures held by university professors.

Regarding the social program, the organising committee had taken care of everything. We had different entertainments every week. We were taken out of the city of Ufa, for three days we were in the city of Kazan (the third most beautiful city in Russia, after Moscow and St. Petersburg), we organized an international drink and food party, prepared by us, we had a dumpling course, we went to ballet (Swan Lake). We visited many churches and mosques and dressed in traditional clothing for Bashkortostan. I also had the opportunity to go to Moscow. For three days I visited the most famous sights of the capital and was very impressed with it. Too many experiences for a month to be able to describe everything.

I can say that I am very pleased with my exchange, with the people I met and became like my family, with the opportunities and things I saw and learned. It is definitely a lifelong experience. The Russians are very friendly, punctual and a lot can be learned from them – not only medically, but also as a nation.

Russia (Ufa)
Niya Balgarinova

Hello! In August 2019 I was on a research exchange in the city of Ufa, Russia. This city is the capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan. The title of the project I took part in is “Studying Molecular Genetic Markers for Neurofibromatosis – Identification of Gene Toxicity by DNA Analysis” and it was held in a lab at their uni. Since in our group of exchangers there were people with different projects and from higher courses, I also had the opportunity to go with them and take part in their projects. I had the chance to observe operations in 2 hospitals in Ufa – Paediatrics, Neurosurgery and General surgery. I attended to a hydrocephalus surgery, lipoma removal, laparoscopic surgery, knee replacement and gynecological surgery. We also had lectures held by university professors.

Regarding the social program, the organising committee had taken care of everything. We had different entertainments every week. We were taken out of the city of Ufa, for three days we were in the city of Kazan (the third most beautiful city in Russia, after Moscow and St. Petersburg), we organized an international drink and food party, prepared by us, we had a dumpling course, we went to ballet (Swan Lake). We visited many churches and mosques and dressed in traditional clothing for Bashkortostan. I also had the opportunity to go to Moscow. For three days I visited the most famous sights of the capital and was very impressed with it. Too many experiences for a month to be able to describe everything.

I can say that I am very pleased with my exchange, with the people I met and became like my family, with the opportunities and things I saw and learned. It is definitely a lifelong experience. The Russians are very friendly, punctual and a lot can be learned from them – not only medically, but also as a nation.

Slovakia (Bratislava)
Nikolay Momchev

The best month in my life – that`s how I can describe my exchange in Bratislava, Slovakia. The friendships that I made will surely remain for a lifetime. We became like a family from the first week. The city is amazing, filled with young people and life. The social program was very diverse. We had something different organized every day. In the lab I learned a lot of things and tried different techniques, that I had never even heard of. I would recommend to everyone, who has the opportunity to go on a exchange, it`s definitely worth it!

Slovakia (Bratislava)
Nikolay Momchev

The best month in my life – that`s how I can describe my exchange in Bratislava, Slovakia. The friendships that I made will surely remain for a lifetime. We became like a family from the first week. The city is amazing, filled with young people and life. The social program was very diverse. We had something different organized every day. In the lab I learned a lot of things and tried different techniques, that I had never even heard of. I would recommend to everyone, who has the opportunity to go on a exchange, it`s definitely worth it!

Slovakia (Bratislava)
Nikolay Momchev

The best month in my life – that`s how I can describe my exchange in Bratislava, Slovakia. The friendships that I made will surely remain for a lifetime. We became like a family from the first week. The city is amazing, filled with young people and life. The social program was very diverse. We had something different organized every day. In the lab I learned a lot of things and tried different techniques, that I had never even heard of. I would recommend to everyone, who has the opportunity to go on a exchange, it`s definitely worth it!

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