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Barbora Charvátová, UCT Prague, ročník 5

Faculty Faculty of Chemical Technology
Field of study Drug Production
Field of internship Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Specialization of InternshipBiotechnology
Internship period (from - to) 15.9.2018 - 30.11.2018
Internship duration (weeks) 11
Transport (means, price) Airplain, 17000 CZK
Insurance/Insurance company AXA
Visa/Work permit (yes/no) YES
Price of Visa 1750 CZK
City of Internship Zobrazit místo na mapě  India, Manipal
Internship reference number IN-2018-0521-MU

About the country

Location of the place

Manipal is located 1 hour North from Mangalore airport. 20 minutes from small town Udupi.


Manipal is a small town which consists almost nothing else but Universities. Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT, how they call it :D) is a private and very expensive University, which only the wealthiest Indian people can afford (1 year of studies costs 80 000 - 100 000 czk from what I've heard). In conclusion, it means that the town of Manipal is very clean and developed. It is a great safe place if you feel overwhelmed, but you need to travel outside the city to have a true cultural experience.

Surroundings (possible trips, ...)

Udupi for start is a city full of markets, great temples, good local food... And you can be there in 15 minutes by bus (10 rs) or 10 minutes by riksha (about 100 rs). Surrounding beaches are must! Malpe, Kapu, Delta (You can also surf there :))
Other must-see places:
-HAMPI_ Unesco heritage, full of temples and history. I recommend taking a guide, otherwise it will be just a lot of old buildings without real meaning. Spend there at least 3 days! There is an awesome Hippie village and I strongly recommend to stay there at least for one night so you could absorb the atmosphere ;).
-MUMBAI_17 hours by train (great experience itself, you can choose from a lot of levels of comfort and don't worry, trains look better than in Czechia and the service is unbelievable ), 1 hour by plane. You definitely have to go to the Sums over there.
-KERALA- famous for backwaters (Alleppey), but you have to see tee plantages too (Munar), and much more



Manipal Institute of Technology, Department of Biotechnology

Work description

- Optimization of the synthesis of Acyclovir prodrug
- Preparation of PLA/PGA nanoparticles, drug encapsulation
- Essential methods in cell culture (changing media, cell counting, passaging of the cells, cryopreservation, thawing of the frozen cells, et al.)
It was very easy going. I spend most of the time waiting. So I planned trips during my working hours (there is usually no problem to take a day off)
Most of the projects sound exciting, but in reality, it is usually no good! So if you want to go to India because of the project, don't go! You would be probably disappointed. But if you want to see how science can work in an absolutely different culture, go! Just remember that you are there to OBSERVE, not to judge too much. Sometimes it can be really bizarre :), I laughed really hard every day because of the surprising things I saw there.

Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)

It was 6000 rs per month. Which is not enough even if you wanted to stay only in Manipal.

Language requirements

There is no need to have excellent English. Honestly, much more important is to be able to communicate nonverbally. It is true what they say about Indian accent and also they use different syntax, but you will get used to it. My trick was to pick up a few words, try to repeat what they tried to say and then listened to them again. If you are asking for a direction, you should always ask at least two different people anyway. In their culture is considered impolite to say: I don't know, so they might give you false direction instead.

Accommodation (price, who provided it)

We had an amazing accommodation at the International hostel and it was for free. There is no kitchen, so you don't have to bring your own pots and stuff as I did. You don't have to even clan by yourself, there is room service. There is also laundry in the hostel (and around the city), but we mostly did our laundry by hand ourselves, it is much quicker, cheaper and also they sometimes lose some clothing item. And also they don't usually use washing machines, they do laundry by hand.

Social life

Meeting IAESTE members (pick-up at the airport, organized events...)

Everything went as planned for me. There was a cab at the airport which gave me a ride to the Iaeste Office. I had a room prepared, everything. But honestly, it is 50:50. I arrived after the summer, so Iaeste members had their responsibilities. That means that there weren't a lot of organized trips or events, which I consider as a good thing, because we could plan our trips as we wanted, which is usually much quicker and more efficient than to depend on the local people. And Iaeste people were more than happy to help with anything we needed.
But if you are coming to Manipal during June, July or August there will be a lot of events! They love to organize something to do for fun :).

Meeting other foreign students

When I arrived I was added to the group Whats-Up chat and joined the group dinner the same day :). You will definitely not be alone. We did everything together: Breakfast, Lunch, dinner, trips, surfing, drinking, there was a great group of people and I consider most of them my good friends. I Arrived in the middle of September and there was 20 of us at the top, but if you are going during summer, there are much more people. About 50, I heard. If you have an opportunity, I would go to India after the summer. I think it is a much more authentic experience and also during June, July and August there is a monsoon season, which means heavy raining and also closed beaches due to strong currents.

Sport and culture

You can do everything if you are adventurous enough (And if you want to come to India, you should be adventurous a bit). We did a lot of hiking, I learned how to drive a scooter (It is a good thing to be able to ride a scooter over there), I did yoga almost every day (Great ashtanga yoga classes in Perrampali, 30 minutes walk from the hostel) and you can also surf there_ Kodi Bengre-the closest surf camp, You can go surf in the morning and be at work on time afterward, or Mantra Surf club- I liked the atmosphere there more and you can also do Stan Up paddle over there.
There are two cinemas in Manipal, so you can go watch a movie whenever you want and another culture is of course all over the place. Just talk to the people! This might be one of the few places where is actually more efficient to talk to people instead of googling it.

Food, local specialties

I cannot start to talk too much about the food, because I would never stop. It is simply really tasty.
You have to try: Masala Dosa, Gobi Manchurian and much more, of course.
The food is spicy, but you will adapt. The only problem is that you eat spicy food all the time: for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It means that it will mess with your stomach sometimes and it is normal over there even for local people. Normal is even the conversations about your stomach problems, so don't be ashamed when your boss will ask about your diarrhea.

Other information

Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic

When I came, they gave me a local sim card with 1,5 GB data per day for 200 rs (70 CZK) per month, so you don't have to worry about wi-fi. Wi-Fi is available at the hostel, but it disconnects pretty often, which is quite annoying.

Recommendations for students who will go to the same place

Don't be afraid of anything. In my experience, Indian people are lovely and happy to help you. For one creep who is making you feel uncomfortable, there are ten people who are protecting you. Don't plan too much, plans are falling apart over there. Just have an idea, get into the train and ask people. that is the best. Overplanning doesn't work over there.
Few things to remember:
- Go with the flow (Great motto for surviving India)
- Accept and move on (Especially when you see children asking for money)
- Just observe (Especially at work)

What not to forget with you

You can buy almost everything in Manipal, but...
- A big package of chewing gums
- Coffee (You cannot get proper coffee over there, not even in good coffee shops)

Benefits of the internship

- You will have a great opportunity to travel a lot for a small amount of money
- I've never lived so much before in my life
- I've met great people who will stay in my heart to the rest of my life
- You will have a chance to get to know yourself and completely different culture

Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country

It was great, they were always there for us if we needed.

Overall experience with IAESTE

The best, The best, The best! I cannot say that it made me a better person, but I can tell you that it showed me who I want to be.

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