2022 Summer Student Exchange Programme Experience

Natalia Hromnikova (SPSA_Slovakia)


I was in my second year of postgraduate (PhD) studies when my colleague one day said: „Hey Naty let´s apply for SEP“. I was already so excited about this idea after 2 years of pandemia and my desire to go outside of Europe and meet new cultures and learn about the healthcare system there was so strong. And we could not have made a better decision than to apply to KNAPS Visiting Program in South Korea. 


As the mother of my colleague mentioned one day of our program: „You have seen in 1 week in Korea more of the healthcare system and pharmacy than in 2 years in Bratislava - Slovakia.“ And she was right. During our visit, we had a very busy whole-day program. We managed to visit Community Pharmacy, Seoul National University Hospital, Museum of Medicine, Pharmaceutical Companies such as Korea Pharmaceutical and Bio-Pharma Manufacturers Association, Handok Pharmaceutical Corp., Konect (Korea National Enterprise for Clinical Trials), Boryung Pharmaceutical Corp., Chong Kun Dang Pharmaceutical Corp. and Institutes like the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, the Korean Association Against Drug Abuse, the National Forensic Center, and the National Health Insurance Service Center. At each place, there were activities prepared for us, and we could learn a lot about the working environment.

At Chong Kyun Dang Pharmaceutical Corp.

But that is not all. The Korean students were taking care of our free time too and organised plenty of casual activities during which we could get to know each other and our cultures better. We had a lot of fun and created unforgettable memories and friendships. To mention a few, there were an organised welcome party, social dinners, bowling, and a weekend in the city of Suwon where we experienced a hot air balloon flight, a Traditional Korean Village, a baseball match, karaoke, a culture day with an amusement park, and the farewell party at the end of our SEP visit. What I like is that the KNAPS students were also trying to implement our ideas in the program and spend with us as much time as possible. Once I mentioned I would love to see the Tims´ Burton exhibition and most of the students wanted to join too, which ended in having a great time together. 


The moment I will always keep in my heart is having a picnic on a Friday night near a Banpo bridge on the Han river with beautiful rainbow-coloured jets of water in synchronization with music. We were testing traditional Korean snacks, and drinks while we enjoyed the present moment and had deep conversations about the perspective of life from the students' eyes in other countries and globally. 


It was one of the best experiences of my life, with a very well-organised program to every detail and great and most warmhearted people I have ever had the chance to meet. Thank you KNAPS for making me feel like I am at my second home and always welcomed. Special thanks goes to our SEO Young Eun (Leah) for managing the program but also to all my other Korean friends and the SEP students – 사랑해. 

At Bongeunsa Temple


And for all other students around the globe do not hesitate to join the SEP visiting program in Korea, you will never forget this experience. I recommend you to stay even after the end of the program to explore Seoul and South Korea more with your new friends, you will not regret this decision!