We went to IPCA of Portugal on 25th November for internship exchange studies. In these five weeks, we had a lot of experiences and made friends with a lot of Portuguese students. IPCA arranged good accommodation and meals for us, so that we all had a very comfortable living environment.
Our first internship place in Braga is called Unilabs, which is a big company about clinical laboratory in Europe. In Portugal, they have 13 points to collect patient samples and then send them for lab analysis. Although we stayed in this lab for only one week, we had a chance to see a lot of different laboratory equipment and operations. The lab structure is similar to Macau's. They have different sections such as chemistry, immunology, homology, microbiology, etc. In the Microbiology section, we saw many different samples and learnt what they would do for the next step. The staff were friendly to us and explained everything patiently. They even gave us Portuguese tarts while chatting with us. This really touched our heart.
The second lab is near our dormitory in Barcelos. We stayed there for 2 weeks. The lab is similar to the first one. They do not have a lot of patients and samples. The staff told us that the patients were their friends, because they had stayed there for more than 2 years already. Some parts are the same as the first ones but they have special equipments to do special tests. They were very patient to explain the reports to make us understand. Though two weeks was a short period of time, and we did not know Portuguese, they tried their very best to explain everything clearly to us.
The third lab is about Public Health. It means that the lab mainly carries out analysis about food and water. The lab is separated into two part: Chemistry and Microbiology. In our course we have just learnt a little about Public Health, through this opportunity we knew better about this topic. We had the honour to learn about their operations too.
I still remember when we arrived in Portugal for the first day, we were afraid to speak to others and communicate with the teachers, because we didn't know Portuguese. Although some Portuguese didn't speak English, everyone was kind and very helpful. When we encountered difficulties, people were eager to help us, it made us feel so warm. I will not forget these days. This is a lifetime memory.