Chronicles of a medical student's life

My life on paper

Friday, October 13, 2006

Strategy to learn a foreign language

I took the Sorbonne 2 exams last year, which correspond to the proficiency exams in english. That means that they are very difficult exams that test not only the knowledge of the foreign language, but aslo the intellectual level of the examinee. You have to show that you master the language. Here is the triptych I followed in order to succed:
1) Listen to native people speak in the foreign language you are studying through the television or the radio and try to understand what they are saying. It may seem a little difficult at first, but later on you will find out that it help you very much in your oral exams.
2) Read model essays and compositions that you have written with your tutor or from your textbook and notice the linking words and expressions used at each occasion. Make notes about your observations and try to memorise them. Moreover, try to learn by heart essays and then say them out loud ( however DO NOT COPY THEM when writing your own compositions!). This way will help you get used to speaking the foreign language.
3) Try to write your own compositions and essays based on your previous observations. The tutor will them correct them and discuss with you your mistakes. Try to create your personal writting style.
After you have followed all the previous steps you will find out that it will be easier to express yourself oraly and in written language.

My favourite links

I visit these links quite often and I find them very informative:
Our university sites
Student sites
Other sites

My Diary

Today I reviewed neuroanatomy which was taught by our university last semester. I used High Yield Neuroanatomy, a consice book which emphasises the most important points. Neuroanatomy is a very difficult course with immense amount of detail so I think it is important to learn the basics first and then try to memorise as many details as possible. Using the recommended textbook by our tutors, an atlas and the plastic models that the university provided, I am now confident that I have solid foundations concerning neuroanatomy. Tomorrow I am going to tackle the neuroscience questions contained in the Pre-Test Neuroscience book and I will update about my progress.

Trip to Switzerland

Switzerland is a country with immense natural beauty. I was impressed by the Swiss architecture, the beautiful scenery and the organisation of this country.
We visited Interlaken, Troumelbach waterfalls, Zurich, Bern, Lausanne, Gruyere and Lucerne.
During the trip we crossed the border to France to visit Chamonix which was breathtaking. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to go to the top of the mountain by the cable car.
Here are some pictures.

My cats

Today I am going to talk about my cats and I am going to post some pictures. Later on I am going to talk about my trip to Switzerland, strategies of learning a foreign language, my favourite sites and my daily program.
My favourite cat was Aphrodite. I named her this way because she is very beautiful. Unfortunately she abandoned our yard. She gave birth to three very beautiful babies, but the two of them died. The third one was female and I named her Harmony, because, according to Greek mythology, she was Aphrodite's daughter. She ended up beeing run over by a car.
Before Aphrodite, I had adopted a black and white female cat which I named pussycat. She died due to pneumonia, according to the vet.
Afterwords, I took care of three baby cats that were abandoned by their mother. They were doing very well at first, but they finally passed away maybe due to the lack of their mother's milk.
One orange and white male cat in our yard is very agressive and it has chased away all of the other male cats. He even attacked a dog! As a result all our newborn cats except of one are white and orange.


Hi! I am a 3rd year medical student at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece. It is a 6 year curriculum: the 2,5 first years are the preclinical years and the last 3,5 are the clinical years. The academic year is divided in two semesters. The courses taught during the 5th semester are Microbiology and immunology, Pathology, Pathophysiology, Hygiene and Medical justice. I have done three internet based research projects entitled 'Transposition of the great vessels', 'Pathology of diabetes mellitus type 1' and 'Leukemia and Down synrome'. Moreover, I did a register of the medical books in my hometown published before 1930 for the course History of medicine taught in the second semester.
In my free time I like taking care of the 23 stray cats that live in our yard for which I am going to talk about in a future post.