|Slovak Medical Students' Association|
|Participating cities (LC's)||Bratislava, Kosice, Martin|
|Time zone||CET = GMT + 1|
|Number of Doctors and beds per 1000 people||8.1 beds for primary care and 3.69 doctors per 1000 people|
|Member of IFMSA since||1994|
|Number of incoming students per year||160|
|Who are our NEO's||Alena Bohmerova (Incomings) and Veronika Bakicova (Outgoings)|
|Our official website||www.slomsa.sk|
- 1 "Ahoj!"
- 2 Basic information about Slovakia
- 3 Cities offered for exchange
- 4 Health care system
- 5 Medical education
- 6 Exchange conditions
- 7 Your exchange in Slovakia
- 8 Social life
- 8.1 Get to know Slovakia trip
- 8.2 Language
- 8.3 Sports
- 8.4 Theatre, Opera, Ballet
- 8.5 Traditional Folk Art
- 8.6 Traditional dishes
- 9 Feedback
- 10 Contact
Welcome to SloMSA exchange page!
We offer to our students the opportunity to travel around the globe to experience different health care systems, to extend their medical knowledge and to meet new people.
Besides, we gratefully welcome students from all over the world showing them our culture, country and way of life. Join us and spend four weeks with us in the hospital and as a part of great international group of future doctors.
On behalf of whole SloMSA team, we wish you to enjoy your experience. We do our best to improve it every day.
Basic information about Slovakia
Official name: Slovak Republic (SR)
Independence: 1st January 1993
Political system: Parliamentary republic
President: Ivan Gašparovič
Prime Minister: Róbert Fico
Membership in international organisations: EU, NATO, UNO, UNESCO, OECD, OBSE, CERN, WHO, INTERPOL, etc.
Area: 49,035 km2
Human development index (HDI): 0,818 (very high)
Capital city: Bratislava (population 431,061)
Border countries: Hungary (679 km), Poland (597.5 km), the Czech Republic (265 km), Austria (127,2 km), Ukraine (98 km)
Ethnic groups: Slovak (85.8%), Hungarian (9.7%), Romani (Gypsy) (1.7%), Czech (0.8%), Rusyn (0.4%), German, Polish and other (1,6%)
Religion: Roman Catholic (68.9%), Atheist (13.7%), Evangelic (6.9%), Greek-Catholic (4.1%), Reformed Christians (2%), Eastern Orthodox (0.9%), other (3.5%)
Time zone: CET (UTC+1), Summer - CEST (UTC+2)
Drives on the: right
Electricity: 230V/50Hz (European plug)
ISO 3166 code: SK
Internet TLD: .sk
Mobile operators: Orange, T-Mobile, Telefonica O2
Calling code: +421
There are four somewhat different climates in Slovakia, owing partly to the mountain region. These areas include the cities of Bratislava, Kosice, Poprad and lastly, the mountain village of Spis.
The average annual temperature is about 9 to 10 °C (48 to 50 °F). The average temperature of the hottest month is about 20 °C (68 °F)and the average temperature of the coldest month is greater than −3 °C (27 °F). This kind of climate occurs at Záhorská nížina and Podunajská nížina. It is the typical climate of the capital city Bratislava.
The average annual temperature is about 8 to 9 °C (46 to 48 °F). The average temperature of the hottest month is about 19 °C (66 °F)and the average temperature of the coldest month is less than −3 °C (27 °F). This kind of climate can be found at Košická kotlina and Východoslovenská nížina. It is the typical climate of the city of Košice.
The average annual temperature is between 5 and 8.5 °C (41 and 47 °F). The average temperature of the hottest month is between 15 and 18.5 °C (59 and 65 °F) and the average temperature of the coldest month is between -6 to -3 °C (21 to 27 °F). This climate can be found in almost all basins in Slovakia. For example Podtatranská kotlina, Žilinská kotlina, Turčianska kotlina, Zvolenská kotlina. It is the typical climate for the towns of Poprad and Sliač.
The average annual temperature is less than 5 °C (41 °F). The average temperature of the hottest month is less than15 °C (59 °F) and the average temperature of the coldest month is less than −5 °C (23 °F). This kind of climate occurs in mountains and in some villages in the valleys of Orava and Spiš.
Cities offered for exchange
Health care system
The healthcare system in Slovakia falls under the competence of the Ministry of Health. In Slovakia there are state and private health care providers. An initial medical examination is provided by state or private general practitioners. Everybody can choose a GP who usually provides basic health care and can refer a patient to an appropriate specialist for further medical examination.
There are two types of health insurance: public health insurance (statutory or voluntary) and individual health insurance. Public health insurance covers the following benefits in full or to a partial extent, depending on specific conditions: diagnostics, treatment and preventative care, outpatient and inpatient care including rehabilitation, compulsory vaccination, provision of drugs, medical aid and dietetic food, spa treatment can be provided upon the recommendation of a doctor, where such care is an inevitable component of the treatment procedure.
General practitioners and specialists have their consulting rooms in hospitals or in health centres. In every university town there is a hospital (“nemocnica”in slovak) with an Emergency department(“pohotovosť” in Slovak) and many specialised clinics. If you need emergency services (“pohotovosť” in Slovak), dial telephone number “112”. Ambulances are well staffed and equipped with life‑sustaining apparatus needed to safely transport patients to hospital. You can buy medicaments only at pharmacies (“lekáreň” in Slovak), located in every town and in most villages (they are marked with a green cross). Every town has to have at least one emergency pharmacy (“pohotovostná lekáreň“ in Slovak) open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The standard course of study lasts six years. Each academic year starts in September and lasts till the end of August of the following year. The academic year is divided into winter and summer terms.First to third year’s courses provide theoretical and pre-clinical lectures, labs and practical classes, next years include diverse clinical experiences. After passing the state examination the graduate is conferred the degree MUDr. - Medicinae universae doctor (Doctor of Medicine). Since the academic year 2001/2002 the credit system has been introduced from the first year of study at our faculty. This credit system is compatible with the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
In Slovakia, there are three medical faculties as parts of the Universities (Comenius University with medical faculties in Bratislava and Martin and the medical faculty of University of P.J.Safarik in Kosice) and Slovak Medical University in Bratislava created by law in 2002.
Level of studies: Clinical - means after 3rd year, Preclinical - 1st and 2nd year of studies
Bratislava: Clinical, Dentistry, Medical Faculty of Comenius University, only 1.-31.july, 1.-31.august
Kosice: Clinical, Preclinical students and departments - limited places, Dentistry, Medical Faculty of Pavol Jozef Safarik University, July, August, January
Martin: Clinical - students from 3th year, Dentistry, Jesenius Medical Faculty of Comenius University, August, March - maximum 6 places without social program, July - maximum 10 places
Cardiovascular Surgery (only in Kosice), Cardiothoracic surgery (only in Bratislava and Kosice)
!!No Family Medicine and Acupuncture!!
Placement in the desired field is not always possible, so be sure to fill in more than one choice (at least 2). If you fill in only one choice, this means that you agree to any department if the department of choice is not possible.
We will not accept any AFs where a student has not studied any of the fields he/she has chosen.
For more see Exchange conditions of SloMSA
Your exchange in Slovakia
Slovakia is part of the Schengen Area – territory of 23 countries of the European Union + 2 associated countries of the European Economic Area, which agreed on the abolition of border controls between themselves.
By applying to Slovak Visa, foreigner applies to so-called Schengen Visa which allows him/her to travel inside of the Schengen Area without any restrictions. Schengen Visa holders do not need aditional special visa for Slovakia.
For more see Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic
Travel by train
Trains in the Slovak Republic are safe and agreeable way to travel. There exist basically 6 different types of train:
- Os Passenger train (“osobný vlak” in Slovak)
- Zr Accelerated train (“zrýchlený vlak” in Slovak)
- R Fast train (“rýchlik” in Slovak)
- Ex Express
- IC Intercity
- EC Eurocity
Tickets can be bought at the train station ticket office or it is also possible to buy tickets on‑line. Iternational trains run from Vienna (1 hour), Budapest (2,5 hours) and Prague (5 hours) several times a day. Trains from Krakow (Poland) stop in Bratislava (5,5 hours). EURail pass holders must buy a supplement. All major cities within Slovakia are serviced by train on a daily basis.
Travel by coach
While the trains are more comfortable, coaches are sometimes more direct, they connect most of the towns and villages, and are reliable and satisfactory. The first thing is to check out the website at http://www.cp.sk. Tickets can be bought when boarding. It is possible to buy a ticket with a seat reservation (“miestenka” in Slovak) for long‑distance coaches at the ticket office of any main bus station. Eurolines which provide passage to several European cities (http://www.eurolines.sk).
Travel by plane
There are airlines that provide connections within Slovakia and to foreign countries, such as Slovak Airlines http://www.slovakairlines.sk. The biggest airport in Slovakia is in Bratislava (“Letisko M. R. Štefánika, http://www.airportbratislava.sk), in Košice (“Medzinárodné letisko v Košiciach” http://www.airportkosice.sk) and in Poprad (“Medzinárodné letisko Poprad‑Tatry” http://www.airport-poprad.sk).
Travel by car
All foreign national driving licences are recognised in Slovakia. The current traffic regulations are the same as in other European countries. Seat belts are compulsory. The use of a mobile phone is forbidden while driving. All accidents must be reported to the police. It is prohibited to drink any amount of alcohol before or while driving. No level of alcohol in blood is tolerated. A car must have the appropriate lights from 15 October till 15 March.
On a motorway: 130 km/h (80 mph); On a motorway in built‑up area: 80 km/h (49 mph); On an open road: 90 km/h (55 mph); In built‑up area: 60 km/h (30 mph)
For the motorways, yourautomobile must have a motorway sticker valid in the given calendar year. They are available at border crossings, petrol stations and post offices. The sticker must be placed on the right‑hand side of windscreen and you must always have the second part of the sticker with you and show it to a police officer upon request. Any sticker not fixed is not valid. Motor‑bikers don’t need toll stickers on motorways.
Travel by ferry
A scenic ferry along the Danube is a convenient and pleasurable way to travel from Bratislava to Vienna or Budapest.
Public transport system
The public transport system in towns is quite reliable. Operating hours are from 5:00 to 23:00. After 23:00 there are a few night bus lines. Schedules can be found at every stop and in Public pootransport stands. Tickets are usually not sold on buses. In such cases they can be bought at newsstands, automatic ticket dispensers, some bus stations or public transport kiosks. However, it is dependent on the particular town, check it upon arrival. Tickets vary from town to town. There are time‑tickets (you can change means of transport within a given period) or single‑use tickets (every time you change means of transport, you use a new ticket). Fare depends also on tariff zones given by the town area. There are usually also tickets valid for several days upon validation after entering the vehicle. You must also have a ticket for large pieces of luggage and animals. To get a pass (1, 3, 6 or 12‑month passes) you need a recent photograph (ca 3 × 3.5 cm), your ID card and a completed application form. It is always helpful to consult with local people. Children and students travel for reduced fares (ask for details as conditions may vary from town to town).
Student hostels usually apartments with 2-3-bed rooms with bathroom and small kitchen corner. Laundry, internet and other equipment available.
Boarding conditions depend on local committees. You can be provided with dining vouchers, which you could use in many restaurants across the city - one meal per day (4.00 EUR equivalent). Or you will get pocket money. Other possibility is to have pre-paid lunches in hospital or dormitory canteen. There are also shared kitchenettes in the Student Halls. Attention: cutlery & crockery is usually not available there.
There are many restaurants in Slovakia ranging from cheap to expensive. Larger cities usually have restaurants with national and international cuisine, the most common being Italian, Chinese, Balkan and also Czech and Hungarian. Beer and wine (domestic and foreign) are good and usually consumed with both lunch and dinner. Lunch is the main meal and Slovaks are more used to eating out for lunch than for dinner. Most restaurants in town centres have special lunch offers “denné menu” in slovak, usually consisting of soup and a main course), which are cheaper than other meals served there.
Unless the menu states that service is included, tipping is expected. Five to ten percent is a standard tip ina restaurant with waiter service. Waiters usually give the customer the total of the bill and the customer, as he hands over the money, says how much he is paying inclusive of tip. In restaurants and bars it is usual to round up the price, the tip being roughly 10 %.
It's difficult to say what your daily program will be like ; it's very much up to you ! If you ask questions actively, you'll find more answers, and you'll get a more enriching experience. Incoming students are often surprised by the fact that if you want to do or see something, you always have to ask. That’s the way it works here, you’ll never find a doctor saying ”come, you have to see this or do that”, you’ll have to be the one asking.
Slovakia is rich in natural and historical inharitage,
Exact program depends on each Local committee and also your and group preferences but you can look forward the best places to see in Slovakia: Medieval castles, caves, national parks, mining medieval towns.
In the vicinity of cities, sport activities, water areas, music festivals, local cultural events (especially in durying the summer). For more specifications please seach each local committee part.
Get to know Slovakia trip
The idea of the project is to show our foreign colleagues the most beautiful and remarkable regions of the eastern part of Slovakia and to allow exchange students from all around Slovakia, to meet and get to know each other for a few unforgettable days.
Spiš Castle is the one of the largest castle sites in Central Europe. The castle is situated above the town of Spišské Podhradie and the village of Žehra, in the region known as Spiš. It was included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1993 (together with the adjacent locations of Spišská Kapitula, Spišské Podhradie and Žehra). This is one of the biggest European castles by area (41 426 m²).
Belianska cave is a stalactite cave in the Slovak part of the Tatra mountains, the largest and the only one open to the public in the Tatras. It is located above the settlement of Tatranská Kotlina, which is a part of the town of Vysoké Tatry. The cave was discovered in the 18th century, although it is presumed that it was used by pre-historic people. The cave was opened in 1884 and electrically lit in 1896. Entrance to the cave is located at an altitude of 890 metres. The cave is 3,641 m long, with two circuits available to the visitors, with the longer one having the length of 1,752 m.
The High Tatras are the tallest mountain range in Slovakia. We will take a cable car to Skalnaté Mountain Lake under the peaks of our largest mountains and row a boat around the beautiful Štrbské Mountain Lake.
Aqua city Poprad is built in the town below Tatras - Poprad, over the place of a geo-thermal spring, which provides the energy source for resort. In its complex it covers the best accommodation facility and the most modern spa facilities with an unique offer of relaxation therapies and innovation therapies for the bold ones.
The National Park of Pieniny (PIENAP) is the smallest of the Slovak National Parks. It is the second oldest Park in Slovakia. It stretches on the border with Poland; the river Dunajec passes through it. We will hire a traditional raft and admire the wonderful scenery of the Park navigating down the canyon river.
Slovak is the official language and belongs to the West Slavic subgroup of the Indo‑European language family, and uses the Roman script. It does not differ significantly from Czech and comprehension in both languages is rather common.
The majority of the population (86 %) speaks Slovak as their mother tongue. The second most widely spoken mother tongue is Hungarian. The most widely spoken foreign languages are English,German, Russian and French. The young urban population is generally considered to be the most linguistically proficient.
Some phrases for you practical use:
Hello – ahoj
Yes – áno
No – nie
Thank you – ďakujem
My name is… - Volám sa…
Can you show me the way to… - Mohli by ste mi ukázať cestu do…
How can I get to - Ako sa dostanem do...
I have got lost – Stratil som sa.
Ticket – lístok
Hospital – nemocnica
Help – pomoc
I don’t speak Slovak – Nehovorím po slovensky.
I don’t understand – Nerozumiem.
Money – peniaze
Gazified water – voda bez bubliniek
Water with gas – voda s bublinkami
Beer – pivo
Wine – víno
Food – jedlo
Bus - autobus
Tram - električka
Trolleybus - trolejbus
Stop - zastávka
Schedule - cestovný poriadok
Single (one‑time) ticket - cestovný lístok
Monthly travel pass - mesačník
Here are some useful links where you can find translation dictionaries from and to Slovak:
In Slovakia there is a wide range of facilities for summer sports. The most popular are cycling, water sports and hiking. Large reservoirs such as Zemplínska šírava, Oravská priehrada, Liptovská Mara, Sĺňava near Piešťany, Ružín at Hornád, and Domaša at the River Ondava along with artificial lakes like the Slnečné jazerá near Senec and Zlaté piesky in Bratislava offer visitors a chance to enjoy water sports. Many Slovak rivers are navigable and canoeing is very popular amongst young people. Horse riding is becoming more popular, with stables for public existing in many towns. Mountaineering, hill-walking, white water rafting, adrenaline sports, and paragliding are only some of the ways to spend a weekend in the mountains. Another very popular activity is camping or renting cottages, and hiking (trekking) in the mountains. For those who prefer green lawns and white sport dress there are many possibilities to play tennis at tennis clubs, at public courts or golf in clubs.
Thanks to its mountainous nature, the country offers great opportunities for downhill and cross-country skiing, as well as snowboarding. The mountains enjoy over 80 days of snow per year which often reaches a level of 2 m in the “Nízke” and “Vysoké Tatry”. In these high mountain regions, there is snow on the ground for 130 days each year. Ice hockey and ice-skating are very popular sports that can be practised in closed stadiums, as well as outdoors.
Theatre, Opera, Ballet
The theatre network consists of four state funded professional theatres in Bratislava, Košice and Banská Bystrica, 20 theatres under the competence of self‑governing regions and municipalities. The list of theatres with addresses can be found at http://www.theatre.sk.
The oldest professional theatre is The Slovak National Theatre (“Slovenské národné divadlo” — SND) in Bratislava (www.snd.sk). It comprises drama, opera and ballet sections, each with a permanent professional company. The SND is a repertory company with a season running from the beginning of September to the end of June. Performances are staged every day except Sunday (opera and ballet) or Monday (drama). In April 2007 new building on the bank of the Danube became the seat of SND in addition to the historic building.
Other state institutions are The State Theatre (“Štátne divadlo”) in Košice, The State Opera and Ballet in Banská Bystrica and Nová scéna in Bratislava specialising in musical repertory, http://www.nova-scena.sk. The theatre also offering different types of performances during the summer break is the Aréna theatre in Bratislava, http://www.divarena.sk
Theatre performances usually begin at 19.00 and whilst tickets can be bought an hour before the start, it is advisable to reserve them several days before at the ticket office of the respective theatre. Tickets may be also reserved on‑line at http://www.ticketportal.sk.
Traditional Folk Art
Folk art and crafts, which include woodcarving, fabric weaving, glass blowing and painting, pottery, ceramics production, blacksmithing, have a long tradition. The tradition of folk art and crafts has been handed down through
Slovakia became famous for “majolika“ pottery already in the 14th century (especially the town of Modra). Modra’s ceramic tradition was heavily influenced by the influx of Haban craftsman in the 16th century. The Habans, also known as Anabaptists, were a religious sect that arose during the Reformation. The pottery is characterised by gentle curves and bright colours, particularly blue and yellow. Contemporary Modra’s majolika factory is a direct descendant of this tradition. (http://www.spectacularslovakia.sk see the section Crafts, http://www.modra-ceramics.sk, http://www.majolika.sk/indexenglish.html)
Examples of folk architecture, such as wooden churches and brightly painted houses, are to be found throughout the country. Interesting open‑air museums presenting folk architecture can be found in Martin (The Museum of the Slovak Village — “Múzeum slovenskej dediny”), Bardejov Spa, Zuberec, Výchylovka in Nová Bystrica, and Pribylina. If you are interested in “living museums” (folk architecture reservations), you should visit villages like Čičmany, Vlkolínec, Špania dolina, Ždiar, Podbiel, or Sebechleby.
Wooden church architecture is unique, especially by its construction and interior design. All parts had to be made of wood and no nails were allowed. In the north east of the country you may find mostly churches of Greek Catholic or Orthodox denomination. Most of them date back to the 17th and 18th Century. One of the oldest churches is the Roman‑Catholic wooden church in Hervartovo near Bardejov dating back to the 15th century. Wooden churches and towers in the centre of the country were mostly of Roman‑Catholic and Evangelical denominations (http://www.muzeum.sk/dostol/defaulte.php, http://www.geocities.com/woodchurch99, http://www.remesla.lawit.sk).
Traditionally the main meal of the day is lunch, eaten around noon. However, changing working habits have forced this to be altered in recent decades; today, it is not uncommon for many Slovaks to eat their main meal in the evening.
It is a common custom in Slovakia to bring a bottle of wine or spirits as a gift if you are invited to visit someone's home.
Bryndzové Halušky (in English: Potato dumplings with bryndza sheep cheese and bacon) is one of the national dishes in Slovakia. This hearty meal consists of Halušky (boiled lumps of potato dough similar in appearance to gnocchi and bryndza (a soft sheep cheese), optionally sprinkled with cooked bits of smoked pork fat/bacon.One can especially enjoy bryndzové halušky in a typical Slovak “koliba” restaurant or “salaš”. And what is more, annual competition in cooking and eating of this traditional meal is organised in the little mountain village of Turecká.
Žinčica is traditionally drunk with this meal. There is an annual Bryndzové Halušky festival in Turecká that features an eating contest.
Pirohy are boiled, baked or fried dumplings of unleavened dough traditionally stuffed with potato filling, sauerkraut, ground meat, cheese, or fruit.
Soups and sauces
A good Slovak dinner consists of a soup - kapustnica (made of cabbage), garlic soup (in some places it is served in a bread loaf), a bean soup with a frankfurter or the beef or chicken consommé.
Traditional desserts are pastries of risen dough filled with marmalade, curd, nuts or poppy seeds. Štedrák is the typical Christmas pastry. From the Slovak region of Záhorie comes an interesting pastry called Skalický trdelník in shape of a roll with a hole inside. Wine or beer is usually accompanied by salted cookies (kapustník, pagáč). Goose feasts called "Hody" is a famous gastronomic event organized above all in the village Slovenský Grob situated not far away from the Capital.
Domestic soft drinks such as Vinea and Kofola, and a wide choice of fine quality mineral waters now compete with the world trademarks of soft drinks.
Specific Slovak distillate is borovička , the local variety of gin, distilled of the fruit of Juniperus comunis. Popular distillate is the plum brandy- slivovica and hriatô (a mixture of fried bacon, spirit and honey). Sweet taste has a honey wine medovina. High-mountain hotels and cottages serve distillate called Horec - a stimulating drink after strenuous hiking. The Demänovka liqueur, which contains an extract of medicinal herbs, is a good choice, for instance.
Apart from distillates, beer is very popular. Slovak beers are of good quality and the brands like Zlatý bažant, Smädný mních or Topvar are comparable to the excellent Czech beers. High quality wines are also produced in Slovakia where vine is grown since the Roman era.
Hi! I wish you all that are staying in Bratislava at the moment to enjoy your time at least as much as we did in July! And greetings to everyone I had a chance to meet in Slovakia and are now already at home or on the way home... thanks for a wonderful month!
Polona from Slovenia, July 2008 in Bratislava
Slovak Medical Students' Association
- Adress: Sasinkova 2, 813 72 Bratislava, Slovakia
- Website: www.slomsa.sk
National Exchange Officer for Incoming students
- Email: email@example.com
National Exchange Officer for Outgoing students
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
National Coordinator on Research Exchange
- Email: email@example.com