International Research Camp – IRC24 Tunisia

International research camp is one of the most important SCORE workshops, a 4-5 day workshop designed to train our members and provide them with basic medical research knowledge and skills and prepare them to start their own journey in science.

Research camp goes beyond the traditional boundaries of research education, an IFMSA workshop where innovation knows no limits. Up until now, 3 versions of the research camp have taken place during the last few terms.

Immerse yourself into the world of science with Anja, who participated in the international research camp in Tunisia:

The International Research Camp 2024 in Tunisia was one of two IRC that took place within the year 2024, the other one being in Romania. It is rare for two IRCs to take place within the same year. I was very lucky therefore, to be able to join this very special IRC in Tunisia in June.

The International Research Camp is a place for medical students interested in doing research, who want to further their knowledge about the world of scientific research. The camp consisted of 4 days, which were spent studying in sessions, eating together, and going for social program in the evening. As a finishing touch, we were tasked with creating our own research proposal at the end of the camp and presenting it.

I first heard of the IRC in April through Instagram, and all I could think was: Tunisia in summer with like-minded people who are also interested in doing research in the future? Sign me up! I applied the same week and received the good news just a few days later. I was going to Tunisia to meet new people, learn a bit about research methods and spent the rest of the day lying on the beach.

I had no idea what I had signed up for. What followed was an intense week of well prepared and crafted sessions, that took the understanding I thought I had about research methodology and study design and completely uprooted it. I discovered new ways to conduct literature reviews, step-by-step instructions on how to formulate a systematic review and the basics of inferential statistics. The instructors did their utmost to make sure the sessions were informative and well thought out. They gave us exercises at the end of the sessions, where we had to apply our freshly learned knowledge, and to consequently make it stick. We even did energizers in between sessions to keep our spirits up. Not that we would have needed it. Our group made sure everyone’s spirits was up all the time.

After sessions, we would have social program, which was organized by the lovely people from Associa-Med Tunisia. My personal highlights included the National Food and Drink Party, where each participant presented food specific to their country, and we could go around and try all the different dishes. I discovered that Tunisian cuisine is quite spicy. Another highlight was the trip to Monastir, the town where we were staying, which included a visit to one of the oldest Ribats in Tunisia, a fortress overlooking the ocean.


As sad as I was when the IRC came to an end, I was looking forward to what came after. I chose to go on the post-IRC, which was a three-day trip to the south of Tunisia, in order to explore the country a little more, before we had to go back home. I had the most wonderful trip. We went to see the oldest mosque in Tunisia, as well as the most beautiful one, which was adorned by many mosaics.

After seeing the mosques and medinas – old towns – we headed for the desert. There we visited a mountain oasis and a date plantation and finished the day with a camel ride and drinking tea, while watching the sunset. We spent a last magical night under the stars. Unfortunately, every good thing must come to an end.

I learned a lot about research and saw even more of Tunisia. Even though the IRC has finished, I know that this was just the beginning of my journey with IFMSA – the organization that brings medical students from all over the world together. I want to say a huge thank you to Associa-Med Tunisia for making the IRC24 an unforgettable experience, and I want to specifically thank our instructors, for the well-prepared sessions and the energy that went into making them:

·       Ahmed Rajoub, SCORE D
·       Ahmed Ahmayda, Research trainer
·       ElAouni Mohamed Feres, Research trainer

Still, all is not over yet, I hope to see the wonderful people I met again soon.
Anja Schiferer