Irina Balieva
Current Position? 
Resident Global Health and Tropical Medicine (Dutch Specialisation, MD). I’m working in Berekum, Ghana, for 6 months from August 2023 as part of it. 
Education and work experience?
School in Norway 
2012-2019: Medicine at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands (BSc and MSc) – Internships in Curaçao and South Africa (2017-2019)
2019-2020: Social host and surf instructor at Rip Curl School of Surf in Bali 
2020-2021: Medical doctor at the Surgical department, Uden, The Netherlands 
2022-2023: Medical doctor at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, The Hague, The Netherlands.
Previous Volunteer Work
2015, October-November: Rehabilitation and Orthopaedics Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (helping as a student) 
2019, September-October: Assisting during cleft lip surgeries with the Smile Foundation in Bali 
2023: I am setting up a project with menstruation cups in rural Ghana after a GoFundMe campaign. The main purpose is to see if the cups can be implemented in this setting to reduce period poverty, which currently affects many young girls and women. 
Medical interests?
Emergency medicine, surgery, trauma, global health, humanitarian medicine 
Local surf spot?
Jæren, Stavanger, Norway 
What is your favourite surf destination?
Sumbawa, Indonesia
Travel experience?
Living in Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Curaçao, South Africa and Bali  
Interrailing through Europe
Travelling in Vietnam, Colombia, USA
Surf trips to Portugal, Los Angeles, Nicaragua, Indonesia, South Africa
Best surf trip ever?
Road trip with the scooter from Bali to West Sumbawa and a few weeks in East Sumbawa 
Worst surf trip ever?
Possibly searching for waves on the Dutch coast.
What is the best thing about surfing? 
The thrill, being in nature, feeling present, pushing myself, surfing with friends.
Best advice you were ever given with regards to surfing?
Paddle, paddle, paddle and commit.
Who is your favourite surfer in the world, and why? 
Carissa Moore is a powerful and progressive surfer who stays humble, inspires more girls to surf, and inspires everyone to do good. 
Current go-to surfboards? (make and dims)
Channel Island Rocket Wide, 5”6, 27L. With thruster or 2+1 fin setup 
Native SX3, 5”8, 26L
Any other information you would like to add about yourself?
I also love hiking, climbing, and just being outdoors 
I speak Norwegian, English, Dutch and Bulgarian