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Masters Anna Kosinova, UCT Prague, ročník 5

Faculty Faculty of Food and Biochemical technology
Field of study Microbiology and Genetic engineering
Field of internship Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Specialization of InternshipBiochemistry and Molecular Biology
Internship period (from - to) 6th September - 12th August
Internship duration (weeks) 49
Transport (means, price) Ryanair PRG-Dublin 6638 CZK + 4553 CZK, bus cca 450 CZK
Insurance/Insurance company Allianz 6654 CZK
Visa/Work permit (yes/no) Yes
Price of Visa £259 + £624 health surcharge
City of Internship Zobrazit místo na mapě  United Kingdom, Antrim
Internship reference number UK/2021-NI-207

About the country

Location of the place

Antrim, where I worked, is a town near Belfast accessible by train. I was commuting daily from Belfast as it is rather difficult to find accommodation in Antrim. Antrim has a nice garden located next to Randox Science park where I worked and a very nice lake.


Belfast, where I lived is a city the size somewhere between Brno and Ostrava. Public transport is not as good as we are used to in Czechia but fortunatelly Belfast is quite good for walking too. The city is relatively safe. Locals will tell you to avoid certain parts sometimes but I personally never had any troubles. Only 12th of July is a bit wild and you will see a lot of drunk people every Friday and Saturday evening. It is not a very pretty city but it has all you need to live comfortably. There is quite a lot of affordable gyms and swimming pools, you can get to the sea within half an hour (depends where exactly you live) and in the South there are some nice places to walk (Lagan meadows, Giant s ring). Plus you can go for a small hike to Black mountain or Cave hill.

Surroundings (possible trips, ...)

If you do not have a car, you will be quite limited. You can go by bus to Dublin, Giants Causeway (a lot of people take a bus tour), Portrush. I also recommend Glenariff. From Belfast you can easily get to Bangor by train and have a nice walk by the sea to Helens bay or further. Whitehead is relatively close as well. If you do have a car and are a good driver or adventurous, I highly recommend visiting county Donnegal (Slieve League, Glenveagh National park). If you like hiking, visit Mourne mountains (but take really good shoes and a map).



Randox is a large company, that grew further during Covid. I worked in Molecular R&D departement, which is based in Antrim. Some laboratories are also in Crumlin. The company is what you would expect from a large company - a lot of procedures you need to adhere to and a lot of rules, sometimes it is hard to get through to the person you need and solve an issue. I highly recommend reading Glassdoor reviews - whoever your employer is, as long as it is a large company.

Work description

I worked first in Covid labs, 12 hour shifts 4 on, 4 off, days and night, which is of course exhausting. Then I worked in Molecular R&D which had normal working hours, with lovely colleagues and interesting job to do. I was optimizing multiplex PCR, so most of the day I spend doing lab work, the rest planning experiments, writing reports etc.

Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)

Salary was perfectly sufficient to live on and travel around Northern Ireland. I did find a relatively cheap rent though.

Language requirements

You need good english. No need for correct grammar or pronuntiation but you must not be afraid to speak and you need to understand english very well. Northern Irish accents are pretty difficult to understand.

Accommodation (price, who provided it)

IAESTE was supposed to help with accommodation but in the end it did not help us at all. I spent about a month in an AirB&B before I found something (on the other hand it was not that expensive either). I was however rewarded by finding a flat for 480 pounds + electricity and gass (cca 50, might be more now). It was not very pretty and rather old and moist but in a good location. I originally wanted just a room but could not get any. Two other girls on IAESTE internship found a nice flat in the center paying a little more each. If you are staying less than a year however, it will be way more difficult to get something. However, note that as a foreigner, it will always be difficult to find accommodation. Also, it is hard to get a flat for more than two people due to different rules for such apartements.

Social life

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

An IAESTE member picked me up at the bus station, where I arrived, which was very nice. There was only three of us at an internship (Covid...) we met other IAESTE members couple times, one of them more often.

Meeting other foreign students

As there was only three of us, we met often.

Sport and culture

It is easy and cheap to get a gym membership or swimming membership. It is on the other hand pretty difficult to find a dance class or a yoga class even... There is a nice bouldering place in Belfast. For culture, you should deffinitelly go to a Trad session (traditional music), if you can, get a local who plays something to take you to one:)

Food, local specialties

Fish chowder is my favourite. Generally, you can get good fish easilly. Also butter and milk are very good. I was also happy to find a lot of Asian cuisine in Belfast. I recommend Chinese bakery on Donnegall Pass.

Other information

Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic

Whatever you wish...

Recommendations for students who will go to the same place

Read glassdoor reviews before you apply, download if you ever go outside the city. I recommend Monzo bank account (it is the easiest) and Giffgaff SIM card (a lot of data and no contract).

What not to forget with you

If you ever go hiking, good hiking shoes. Whatever clothes for windy and rainy weather. Adapter

Benefits of the internship

More ease communicating in English, interesting experience for your CV, making new friends and finding a new place that feels like home:)

Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country

IAESTE was helpfull when it came to getting the visa (or at least answering all possible questions). It was also good to have their support for resolving some issues with the internship.

Overall experience with IAESTE


Student's website

IAESTE Northern Ireland ceased to exist, so I have no link to provide.

Employer's webiste

Other useful links


Other comments


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