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Paraguay flag.jpg
Logoparaguay 2012.jpg
PRY orthographic.png
Participating cities (LC's)
Languages Spanish and Guarani
Currency (how much is a Bigmac?) Guarani, and Bigmac is 23.000 gs or 4,5 $
Time zone UTC-4 UTC-3 summer
Number of Doctors and beds per 1000 people 10.200 beds, and 8 to 9 doctors per 10.000
Member of IFMSA since... 2011
Number of incoming students per year 13
Who are our NEO's Rebeca Granada
Our official website / Forum / Facebook group [1] [2]
Come for exchange!

Welcome Note

HELLO future incoming students! Mba'eichapa as we say in guarani! We invite you to live this unique experience and we assure you will have a really great time and so much fun. So, continue reading and you'll find a very useful guide.


Paraguay, officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America, bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the country from north to south. Due to its central location in South America, it is sometimes referred to as Corazón de América ("Heart of America"). Multiculturalism in Paraguay makes a quirky and different country in continue evolution. Indigenous populations and the presence of immigrants from various countries around the world, contributed to the first Spanish-Guarani mixture, an extraordinary wealth of cultural manifestations.

Our health care system

Average life expectancy in Paraguay is rather high given its poverty: as of 2006, it was 75 years, and the 8th highest in the Americas according to World Health Organization. Public expenditure on health is 2.6% of GDP, while private health expenditure is 5.1%. Infant mortality was 20 per 1,000 births in 2005. Maternal mortality was 150 per 100,000 live births in 2000. The World Bank has helped the Paraguayan government reduce the country's maternal and infant mortality. The Mother and Child Basic Health Insurance Project aimed to contribute to reducing mortality by increasing the use of selected life-saving services included in the country's Mother and Child Basic Health Insurance Program (MCBI) by women of child-bearing age, and children under age six in selected areas. To this end, the project also targeted improving the quality and efficiency of the health service network within certain areas, in addition to increasing the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare's (MSPBS) management.

The hospitals

The "Hospital de Clínicas" is a teaching hospital located in San Lorenzo,Paraguay. It belongs to the University of Asuncion (UNA), currently the best ranked university in Pagauay. It was open in october 14 of 1877.

The hospital was on Asuncion untill 2011 but on the last months of 2012 it move to a new building in the city of San lorenzo. A new building, bigger, with more beds, new technology and a nicer structure.

It is a hospital mantained by the goverment, and the medical care is for free, except some of the medicines and surgerys that the pacient has to pay, but at a very low cost. That is why the hospital is called "Hospital de los Pobres" (poor people´s hospital). The hospital also offers a wide span of residency programs for medicine, biochemistry and pharmacy graduates from UNA and other universities as well as foreign graduates, mostly from other countries in Latin America.

The Instituto de Previsión Social or IPS is responsible for social insurance in Paraguay and was created to protect the health of employees. Currently the number of insured is 1,195,525 and approximately 15 to 30 thousand people per day attend any of its hospitals. The IPS also works as a teaching hospital to students from the Catholic University “Nuestra Señora de la Asunción”.

Other hospitals in Asuncion are: Centro Materno Infantil Centro Médico Bautista Centro Medico La Costa Centro Médico Pro-Med Cruz Roja Paraguaya Hospital Adjunto de la UNA Hospital Barrio Obrero Hospital Central de las FF.AA. Hospital de Tuberculosis Hospital Francés Hospital Militar Central Hospital Neuropsiquiátrico Hospital San Jorge Hospital San Pablo Instituto de Medicina Tropical Policlínico Policial Rigoberto Caballero Sanatorio Adventista Sanatorio Americano Sanatorio Español Sanatorio Italiano Sanatorio Migone-Battilana Sanatorio Professor Doctor Juan Max Boettner Sanatorio Santa Clara Sanatorio San Roque

Our medical education

After finishing high school, all the Paraguayan students who want to continue studing in a National University have to take an University Selection test and considering you score in the test you are admitted to the National Universities. You may also apply to private Universities but most of them do not have a selection test. We have a lot of faculties where you may study Medicine in the country. They are 18 in total and 3 are members of IFMSA but so far only 2 are SCOPE active for incomings. In Paraguay we have Public and Private Universities in both you have to pay but the prices are differents; in a public one you pay around 500 $ per year meanwhile in a private one you pay over 3500$. Medicine is the longest career to study in the country, it takes 6 years to get your Medical Degree diploma. The first 3 years are mostly theorical and since fouth year you have to go and attend to both theorical and practical classes at the hospital. After the 6th year, when you are a freshly new doctor you have one year of internship, where you rotate through different specialtys for a few month, Pedriatrics, Internal medicine, general surgery, Ginecology, etc. After that year you have to decide wich specialty you want to do for the rest of you life. And then you take and exam on that specialty and according to your score on that exam and the grades you made through all your years as a medicine student you get in.

Cultural differences

Paraguay owes its diverse culture to the mixture of traditional Spanish culture with the native Guaraní culture (the dominant ethnic group in the area. Paraguay has two official languages, since the adoption of the Constitution of 1992: Spanish and Guaraní. The latter is the first indigenous language that has achieved the status of official state language in the Americas. Social life revolves largely around an extended family of parents, children and blood relations, as well as godparents. The Paraguayans' chief loyalty is to their family, and it, in turn, is their haven and support. Family interests determine to a large extent which political party they will join, whom they will marry, what sort of job they will get, whether they will win a lawsuit, and—in some cases—whether they would be wise to emigrate for a time. Even so, Paraguayans are very heartwarming and open to tourists and foreigners.

Accommodation & Boarding

The student will stay with a Host, so the student will be part of his/her family. You might be staying in a student's apartment or a host family with other IFMSA exchange students.This gives a plus to the Exchange because it gives you the opportunity to really realized how the Paraguayans live. At least 1 hot mail per day will be provided. The normal Paraguayan family is with 4-5 members but also you will find families with more. We always try to place the incomings students near where they will attend their clerkships but sometimes is not possible.

Social program

Social programs will be arranged by the Local and National Committee depending on their time and availability.

There are a plenty of things you can do in Asuncion. Shopping in Paraguay

There are some modern shopping centres in the capital. A popular shopping street is the Calle Palma. Special purchases include ñandutí lace, made by the women of Itagua, and aopoí sports shirts, made in a variety of colours and designs. Other items include leather goods, wood handicrafts, silver yerba maté cups and native jewellery. There are often stalls in the main plazas in Asunción, especially the Plaza de la Democracia.

Local & National transportation

Paraguay’s transportation system ranges from adequate to poor, largely depending on the region of the country. The country has a network of roads, railroads, rivers, and airports. Car hire: Cars can be hired at the airport or through local tourist agencies.

Taxi: These are readily available and may be called by using telephone numbers listed in the local newspapers.

Coach: Breakdown service: Touring and Automobile Club provides some assistance to its members. Its Asuncion offices are at 25 de Mayo and Brazil, First Floor.

Documentation: National driving licence or International Driving Permit are both accepted.

Getting around towns and cities: Bus and minibus services are provided by private companies in Asunción, with two-zone fares collected by conductors. The government-operated tramway runs on two routes


Located on the Tropic of Capricorn, Paraguay enjoys a climate that varies from temperate to hot during the majority of the year, with an average temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The Eastern Region enjoys a more humid and rainy climate; the Western Region is arid and dry.

Summers are long, with temperatures that reach 105 degrees on peak days; winters are mild and short, albeit in the months of July and August, some days the temperature can dip down to 0 degrees centigrade.

Social life

Nightlife in Paraguay

In Asunción, there are numerous bars, casinos and discos. The parrilladas (often open-air grill restaurants) offer by far the best atmosphere, especially in Asunción. Paraguay is a great cultural hub that offers a lot of traditional dishes as well as jolly nightlife. It has nothing in common with nightlife in some other countries, but still is pretty nice.

Asunción, the capital of Paraguay counts numerous casinos, discos and bars as well. You may find casinos at the border cities of Ciudad del Este and Encarnación. You may enjoy in local bars and restaurants polcas and guaranias music.

Top places to party:


This a great place with lively and relaxing atmosphere. It can be asuitable place for any taste and preferences. Here, you may enjoy a slice of delicious pizza or some national dish. The most fascinating parties can be found during New Year, Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day. A lot of fun waits for you in Britannia.

Paseo Carmelitos is more a restaurant than a night bar. It has a modern and stylish atmosphere, including entertainment programs.

Café Bohemia Bar:

It is the most popular bar among the locals where you may enjoy the local food. Chipas and Sopa paraguaya should not be missed while you are having lunch at Bohemia.

904 Bar

It is known as a great place to enjoy beer with pizza or any snack you wish. You may have a special offer on Tuesday, when you may get a liter of beer and large pizza almost for nothing, just for $4 or $3. The atmosphere is pleasant with a antiques decoration.

Astoria Bierhaus

It is definitely the best bar for going out at night. It offers both a wide selection of beer and food. The music is fantastic, that's exactly the place where you may enjoy different styles of music. Alstoria Bierhaus can be found in the center of Asunción. Kilkenny is known as Irish pub. Without doubt, it can be the best place for meeting friends and having fun.

Shopping in Paraguay

While you are in the capital of Paraguay a lot of fascinating centers can be found. The hotspot for shopping in Paraguay is the Calle Palma Street, that is usually crowded on weekends. Exactly, here you may buy sport shirts and even ñandutí lace, designed by the women of Itagua.

Such wonderful items as leather goods, silver,crafts in Asunción Calle Palma Street can be found. Apart from this place, you may find shopping centers in the Plaza de la Democracia. When it comes to nightlife in Paraguay, Asunción is definitely the first and the best destination for having wild party.


Cities offered for exchange