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Catalonia - Spain
Associació d'estudiants de Ciències de la Salut / Catalan Health student's association (AECS)
Senyera2.jpg Logo AECS.png
Location Mapa catalunya .jpg

Participating cities (LC's) Barcelona

Reus / Tarragona



Sant Cugat

Languages Catalan, Spanish
Currency (how much is a Bigmac?) Euro (€). Bic Mac costs 3.62€
Time zone GMT+1
Number of Doctors and beds per 1000 people 3,7 doctors and 4,69 beds per 1000 people
Member of IFMSA since... 1984
Number of incoming students per year 210 (SCOPE), 80 (SCORE)
Who are our NEO's Inés Moraleda
Who are our NORE's Eva Fontanilles & Julia Melia
Our official website / Forum / Facebook group AECS Website

Facebook page

Come for exchange!

Welcome Note

Welcome to AECS Catalonia SCOPE and SCORE page!

As SCOPE and SCORE we are trying to offer to our students from all the health branches an oportunity of expanding their knowledge about Health in all over the world. We believe that this is a great opportunity to form better health professionals giving them experiences in other healthcare systems.

Also accepting students from abroad is an unique opportunity to show our culture and our country and make them coming back soon!

Hope you will choose us to have such a great experience! "Benvinguts a Catalunya"!

Turisme de Catalunya


Costa Brava - North Catalonia

Catalonia (Catalan: Catalunya; Spanish: Cataluña; Aranese; Catalonha) is an Autonomous Community in northeast Spain. The capital city is Barcelona.

Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an official population of 7,210,508. It borders France and Andorra to the north, Aragon to the west, the Valencian Community to the south, and the Mediterranean Sea to the east (580 km coastline). Due to it's situation you can enjoy beautyfull mediterranean beaches, great mountains where you can ski during winter, and also an ancient and rich history that you can apreciate all over the region.

Catalunya Tourisme: Welcome to catalonia

Catalonia World Heritages

Guide to Make the Most of Catalonia

Our health care system

Catalan healthcare system (included in Spain's national healthcare system “Instituto Nacional de la Salud”) covers 100% of the Spanish nationals, regardless of economic situation or participation in the social security network. Also non-nationals who participate in the social security system – and their family members – are also covered by public healthcare.

The national healthcare system is decentralized in order to provide greater and equal access to the population, thus avoiding the concentration of health services in urban areas. Recent reforms have regionalized the system to provide improved response time and increase the participation of the target community in the development and management of the national healthcare system at regional and local levels.

While Spain's healthcare system is recognized as one of the best public health programs in the world, it also has its flaws. Most people in Spain who can afford to purchase private healthcare choose this option. The preference for paid, private healthcare is not caused by a lack in quality of the public system but mainly due to the long waiting periods patients are often faced with.


Now, we are working with 11 hospitals around Catalonia.

  • Barcelona: Hospital Clínic, Hospital de Bellvitge, Hospital Vall d'Hebron, Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol, Parc de salut Mar, Hospital de Sant Pau and Hospital CS Parc Taulí
  • Lleida: Hospital Arnau de Vilanova and Hospital Santa Maria.
  • Reus: Hospital Sant Joan.
  • Tarragona: Hospital Joan XXIII
  • Sant Cugat: Hospital General de Granollers

(More information in LC pages)

In our hospitals you will see how our departments work but most of times active participation is not allowed. All the doctors working with us are suposed to be capable of speaking English. But it won't occur with patients that rarely know how to speak or understand English.

Most important Hospitals in Catalonia

Our medical education

In Catalonia our medical studies last 6 years. The access is very difficult as medical students need extremely high marks in High school and the preuniversity state exam. During this years the student goes throw basic medicine subjects during his 3 first years, and then most of specialities are studied during the last ones.

To become a Resident you need to pass an state exam (called MIR) for all medical graduated students in Spain. After it, you obtain a position in an all country list. One by one, students choose their speciality and hospital where to do it in strict order of punctuation.

Our period as Residents lasts between three and five years more (in which you are paid by the state) and at the end you obtain the speciality which lets you work wherever in Spain.

Medical studies

Cultural differences

Colla castellera

Catalans are not famous for their hospitality in Spain but you will feel the Mediterranean warm as soon as you will arrive. In big cities like Barcelona you can find people from over the world so multicultural presence is something usual.

Catalan society is not a very religious one, even old people. You will see that we are a very open minded society.

Shaking hands for man to man or kissing both cheeks between womans or man-woman, are the usual forms of greeting.

Mealtimes are often very late, as we have lunch usually at 2 p.m. and diner at 9-10 p.m. specially during summer when we enjoy many hours of sun.

Casual wear is common even in Hospitals.

There is ban on smoking in all public places as Hospitals, Workplaces, Transportation, public buildings, bars and restaurants.

Catalan and Spanish are both official so you can use both there. As you will see public things like Transport, Institutions, or other services are in both languages. Young people also speak english but you will face more problems with older people, specially out of big cities.

Local & National transportation

How can you reach Catalonia??

By plane:

Catalonia is served by Barcelona international airport. It is the second largest in Spain, and the largest on the Mediterranean coast. It connects the main European capitals but also some in Asia and Norht and South America. More information

During the last years, Low cost air companies have popularized other little airports in the Barcelona surroundings and they now have connections with European cities at very low prices. These ones are:

o Girona-Costa Brava. In the city of Girona, in north Catalonia, it is 1 hour far away from Barcelona. If you are arriving to this airport it will be interesting for you to check the timetable of buses that depart from the main entrance in the airport to Barcelona city centre (12€ o/w, 21€ return). Check for more information at

o Reus. Situated in the city of Reus, very near from Tarragona, and one hour away from Barcelona direction south. There are buses to Barcelona city centre in connection with ryanair flights at the price of 12€ o/w or 21€ return ticket (more information at

Due to the low distances between our cities, arriving to any of these airports it's acceptable (no more than 2 hours and a half from any of them to the other cities.

You can also travel by train to Catalonia comming from France or other parts of Spain (check specific companies to know more about that)

Local Transportation:

To move arround Catalonia, what it is usually recommended is train. There are several trains between all cities and it is easy to move from Lleida or Reus to Barcelona. Prices are not so high (arround 10 or 20 euros from Lleida and Reus to Barcelona). More information on:

Cities transportation:

See each LC


The climate of Catalonia is diverse. The populated areas lying by the coast in Tarragona, Barcelona and Girona feature a Mediterranean climate. The inland part (including the Lleida province and the inner part of Barcelona) show a mostly continental Mediterranean climate. The Pyreneean peaks have a mountain or even Alpine climate at the highest summits.

In the Mediterranean area, summers are dry, hot and humid with sea breezes, and the maximum temperature is around 30 °C. Summer is the rainiest season in the Pyreneean valleys with frequent storms. Winter is cool or cold depending on the location. It snows frequently in the Pyrenees, and it occasionally snows at lower altitudes, even by the coastline. Overall, spring and autumn are typically the rainiest seasons.

The inland part of Catalonia is hotter and drier in summer. Temperature may reach 35 °C, some days even 40 °C. Nights are cooler there than at the coast with the temperature of around 14° to 16 °C. Fog is not uncommon in valleys and plains, it can be especially resilient and with freezing drizzle episodes during winter by the Segre and other river valleys

Social life

Catalonia Music Festival's guide 2009

Exchange conditions

Please read carefully our Exchange conditions prior to apply for an Exchange in AECS-Catalonia in order to avoid problems!

  • Towns:
    • Barcelona: available all year long. Please note that 99% of the exchangees ask Barcelona as first option and it is impossible for us to place all of them in Barcelona!
    • Reus/Tarragona: available during July, August and September
    • Lleida: Available during July and August
    • Girona: Available during July and August
    • Sant Cugat: Available during July and August
  • Documents. MUST be uploaded to the Card of Documents. Necessary documents are:
    • Application Form (AF)
    • 3 passport sized photos
    • Letter of motivation, one for each department
    • Vaccination documents
    • Letter of recommendation from a teacher at your medical faculty
    • Curriculum Vitae (only SCORE applicants)
    • Insurance certificate. Hard copy MUST be given to Local officer upon arrival.
  • IFMSA Academic Quality logbookd is required to attend clerckships in AECS. It must be completelly fullfilled and having attended at least 80% of the rotation to obtain IFMSA certificate.

Link to AECS SCOPE Exchange Conditions

Link to AECS SCORE Exchange Conditions

Link to IFMSA SCORE Projects Database

Need to contact us?

National Exchange Officers (NEOs):

National Officers on Research Exchanges (NOREs):

Inés (NEO), Eva (NORE) & Julia (NORE ASS)

Cities offered for exchange





Sant Cugat