Erasmus + Success Stories

Prof. Takemasa Sakaguchi, M.D., PhDDepartment of CardioIncoming LecturerHiroshima University

Takemasa's impressions from Medical University Sofia


Erasmus+ Period: 15/05/2017 – 19/05/2017

Academic exchanges by the Erasmus+ Programme between Medical University – Sofia and Hiroshima University have started in this commemorative year. Three professors of Hiroshima University, Dr. Sueda, Dr. Sakai and I, visited Medical University – Sofia in May 2017 and gave lectures in a long-standing auditorium that had a stone dissecting table in the center. Our lectures were also honored as a part of the lecture series, 2017 International Workshop, for the 100-year celebration of Medical University – Sofia. In this occasion, we visited a pharmacology laboratory and a biochemistry laboratory that were equipped with cutting-edge analytical ma-chines. We also attended a scene of medical student education in one of the university hospitals. We had an opportunity to talk with brilliant and active students.

The medical education system in Medical University - Sofia, which may be common to other EU member states, is different from ours. Students concentrate on one subject for a period of several weeks, and students have lectures and clinical clerkship alternatingly. The learning unit is called a “cycle”. This system was new for us.

Before being dispatched to Sofia, I must confess that the location of Bulgaria was somewhat obscure for me. However, after staying in Sofia, I was fascinated by Bulgaria. I could experience the European atmosphere and I enjoyed delicious Bulgarian food and wine. I was overwhelmed by the solemnity of Alexander Nevski Memorial Church and Rila Monastery of the Greek Orthodox as well as many other churches and remains. After coming back to Japan, I became member of the Hiroshima-Bulgaria Association, which is a historic private exchange organization, and started to work for friendship between Hiroshima and Bulgaria.

Three staff teachers, Prof. Girchev, Dr. Ishkitiev and Dr. Apostolov, came to Hiroshima from Sofia in July 2017. We have just sent three excellent students from Hiroshima to Sofia who are taking “cycles” at the Medical University – Sofia. One medical student and two dental students from Sofia will be coming to Hiroshima. The medical student will arrive first in January 2018. We are now preparing to accept the student. These efforts will bring rich fruits to the EU and

Japan. I am happy to be involved in the staff and student mobility Programme of the Eras-mus+, and I sincerely hope for further development of our mutual relationship!