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Ing. Barbora Ivanovská, UCT Prague, ročník 6

Faculty FCHT
Field of study Biomaterials
Field of internship Chemistry, Material Science, and Chemical Engineering
Specialization of InternshipAny
Internship period (from - to) 4.10.2019 - 13.4.2020
Internship duration (weeks) 28
Transport (means, price) by air (approx. 40 000 CZK)
Insurance/Insurance company Axa assistance
Visa/Work permit (yes/no) visa subtype 408
Price of Visa 310 AUD
City of Internship Zobrazit místo na mapě  Australia, Adelaide
Internship reference number AU-2019-ADE11

About the country

Location of the place

Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia

City

It has around one million people and it is a very calm city surrounded by a range of landscapes and beautiful coastal beaches.

Surroundings (possible trips, ...)

There are so many places to visit, I did lots of camping trips, because the distances in Australia are quite big but definitely go for the Inneston National Park, Flinders Ranges, Kangaroo Island, Goolwa beach (if you wanna try surfing), Eyre peninsula, Mount Lofty, The Grampians, etc. It is good to find a group of people to travel around with and share the car expenses.

Employer

Employer

University of South Australia

Work description

I joined a research team focused on material and surface engineering. The aim of my project was to develop a prototype of a medical device that would enable rapid diagnosis of urinary tract infections using plasma technology. Afterwards I had the possibility to take over another project that consisted in testing antimicrobial properties of lipid coated nanoparticles.

Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)

350 AUD/week - enough to cover rent, food and a social activity from time to time. Take in mind it will not cover any traveling around Australia.

Language requirements

English - B2 at least

Accommodation (price, who provided it)

I overtook the room after another intern that was leaving. I was living in a house with 6 other people (189AUD/week + electricity bills ) in North Adelaide. It was about 11 minutes by train + 15 min walk from the university campus and about 20 min by bus to the city.

Social life

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

There is no IAESTE committee in Adelaide unfortunately, so there was no one to pick me up at the airport - I was lucky enough to have an AMAZING airbnb host who picked me up and showed me around during my first days in Adelaide.
There were no activities organized by IAESTE for the interns. We were nonetheless invited to an event that took place in Melbourne, but did not attend because tickets were quite expensive.

Meeting other foreign students

During my stay I managed to get to know other interns at the university campus, which turned out to be the best travel companions! Also Australia is the definition of multiculturalism so expect to live with students from all over the world. My housemates and neighbors became really good friends of mine as well. Australians in general are very friendly.

Sport and culture

The university offers a lot of sport clubs, unfortunately during my stay students were on holidays, so the clubs weren't opened. Otherwise there are plenty of swimming pools around, the beach, yoga studios, HIIT. In terms of culture I felt there is always something going on in Adelaide - they have many museums and most of them are for free, many food festivals, markets, and specially if your are in Adelaide during February-March do not miss the world-renowned Fringe festival. The city comes to life during this time of the year.

Food, local specialties

There are plenty of cafes and restaurants in Adelaide. I recommend the Central market specially on Saturdays before closing time, that was my place to go for brunches and cheap fresh groceries!

Other information

Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic

Social media (WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook, etc.) - upon arrival I purchased a SIM card in Aldi - 15AUD/month for unlimited calls and 3GB of data.

Recommendations for students who will go to the same place

Start planning everything in advance, it took me about 8 months to sort out everything (from visa, agreements, contracts, etc.) The visa process is quite tedious you need plenty of documents and it can take up to 3 months or longer to get your visa approved.
Upon arrival I did not have any accommodation sorted out, because the Australian IAESTE does not help you with that. Depending on the season it might be harder to find something, but I recommend checking out StudentRooms (https://studentrooms.com.au), if staying in Adelaide.
Also buy the concession 28-day pass for public transport - it will enable you unlimited travel for 50AUD.

What not to forget with you

Proper hiking boots, international driving license and a power plug adapter ! Otherwise everything can be purchased on the spot.

Benefits of the internship

I like to think pushing yourself and getting out of your comfort zone makes you grow as a person and this experience certainly fulfilled my expectations. It was a great transition from studying to working within a highly skilled and innovative team. I got involved in a range of different projects, and acquired skills in plasma deposition, 3D printing and microbiological techniques amongst others. Also managed to get to know so many interesting people and travel around Australia.

Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country

I had some trouble before the internship even started with my contract and visa and the Australian IAESTE was not particularly responsive to my mails. I kept trying to contact them via phone to get a response from them, but it wasn't really helpful either. I must admit I was slightly disappointed with their overall approach.

Overall experience with IAESTE

I would have appreciated more support from the Australian IAESTE and some improvement regarding communication between the two parties. Despite the initial problems around the contract, visa and excessive bureaucracy from the employer's side, I am very grateful for the experience.

Student's website

--

Employer's webiste

www.unisa.edu.au

Other useful links

https://studentrooms.com.au (accommodation)
https://www.gumtree.com.au (accommodation)
https://flatmates.com.au (accommodation)
https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au (visa)
https://www.groupon.com.au (cafes, restaurants, traveling deals)

Other comments

I recommend double checking if you need to be a student when commencing your internship. My offer didn't state this as a requirement, but as a matter of fact it was necessary and that was a sticking point.

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