General description of SCOI in Benin
Arrival to the country
- Two representatives of SYTO-Benin pick you up at the airport in Cotonou, the country’s economic capital.
- You sleep the first 2-3 nights with a temporary host family where you will be accommodated and fed. You will stay with the other interns who arrived at the same time as you in Benin.
- During the first days, there will be a guided tour of the capital and its surrounding region. The organization’s representatives will help you purchase cell phones (approximately $20 CAD) and/or calling cards. An insecticide-treated net will be given to you for free. A motorcycle helmet, already included in the SYTO-Bénin fees, will also be given to you.
Arrival in host families
- After the first days of visit in Cotonou, the organization’s representatives will take you to your host families in the city where you will live for the next six weeks.
- Arriving in families may vary from case to case, but it mainly involves unpacking your luggage in your room and getting to know the family members.
- The day after your arrival, the local SYTO-Benin representative will take you on a tour of your city to get to know important places such as the hospital and the market.
Organization of the clinical internship
- The clinical internship’s organization is specific to each hospital. The necessary information will be given to you on the day of your arrival. However, no matter what city you are going to be in, the clinical immersion is engaging and stimulating. You will have the opportunity to see several departments such as pediatrics, obstetrics, internal medicine, surgery, the emergency, etc. Choosing which departments you visit will depend on your preferences, but also on the availability of the hospital. Observing the roundings and asking questions to various speakers are key parts of learning in the immersion.
- You go to work in the morning according to the schedule given to you by your hospital.
- You may be able to go home to eat during lunch break depending on where you live. If this is not possible, you will eat at the hospital.
- After work, you are free to do many things! You can go for a drink with work colleagues, go home to spend time with your host family, visit some of the city’s attractions, go to the market, have dinner with other interns, read under a tree in the courtyard, organize group activities with other interns and hospital colleagues, etc. The possibilities are endless!
- The same goes for weekends. You can stay with your host family, visit other cities in Benin, plan activities with friends and colleagues, etc.
Safari in the Pendjari National Park
- Interns usually organize a safari in a nature reserve in northern Benin in the Pendjari region. The safari lasts 4 to 5 days depending on the year. The weekend is very fun because it’s the only time in the immersion where all the interns from the different cities meet. It is also interesting to talk with other students about the reality of their city and their internship experience.
Suggested reading: Le Petit Futé – BENIN (the most recent English version)