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Bachelor Viet Nga Tranová, UCT Prague, ročník 4

Faculty Faculty of Food and Biochemical technology
Field of study Microbiology and genetic engineering
Field of internship Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Specialization of InternshipBiotechnology
Internship period (from - to) October- April
Internship duration (weeks) 29
Transport (means, price) Plane, one ticket 25- 50 euros
Insurance/Insurance company Všeobecná zdravotní pojišťovna České republiky
Visa/Work permit (yes/no) No
Price of Visa -
City of Internship Zobrazit místo na mapě  Belgium, Ghent
Internship reference number BE/2023-049-UGE

About the country

Location of the place

My internship was located in beautiful Belgian city Ghent. I lived almost at the centre. The city was perfect for my first internship abroad. Very safe city offering a lot of opportunities for doing sports, cultural events and good food. It has the perfect size to get to know the city in short time and at the same time it’s big enough to still explore new locations every week. I would say middle sized city.


The city was named Ghent. Very lovely city with lot of young people. People there where very educated in languages. I had no problem with speaking english. It was very easy to adapt to the new environment. I didn’t expect that cycling would be so popular, it was a very pleasant surprise. Very easy to get around the city.

Surroundings (possible trips, ...)

From Ghent it’s possible to get quite quickly to almost all Belgian cities. Half an hour to Antwerps, Brussels or Brugges. Outside of city centre it’s possible to visit lot of natural parks. I visited Blaarmeersen park in Ghent.



Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant. It’s middle size company that is growing very quickly. Very well structured and offers a lot of experience for their employees and interns. Friendly, open minded, people working there are very ambituous, hard-working and supporting.

Work description

During my internship, my primary focus was working in the lab. At the beginning, I familiarised myself with the project's concept. I also gained proficiency in preparing defined mediums independently, handlings in anaerobic conditions, and working with acetogenic strains. As time progressed, I was entrusted with more responsibilities and given the opportunity to train new students. The description on o-form more or less corresponded with the content of internship. because of the complexity of the project, I would not be able to clearly understand how the internship is structured with further explanation from my mentor it got more defined.

Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)

Salary I got from the company was enough for covering food and living expenses.

Language requirements

Proficiency in english of Belgian people was excellent. I didn't have any trouble communicating at work or within the company. Not even with older generations.

Accommodation (price, who provided it)

Housing around 500-900 euros per month. I would definitely recommend house sharing. Apartment was own by very kind man that also owned one more apartment in the same building. I lived with my partner.

Social life

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

I was not connected to local IAESTE members. Luckily I was surrounded by big group of inters in the company so we organised events together.

Meeting other foreign students

Interns in Bio Base were from various countries such as Brazil, Portugal, Germany or Spain.

Sport and culture

In Ghent in particular is cycling and bouldering/climbing very popular. Overall people of all age groups are very active in sports.

Food, local specialties

I tried brussels and liege waffles, fries with special meat sauce very similar to goulash.

Other information

Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic

There was no problem with internet connection. So all possibilities that are available in Czechia are also available in Belgium.

Recommendations for students who will go to the same place

Definitely book accommodation many months beforehand and really take time to find cheaper options, otherwise living can become very expensive. Ask your mentor if they know about someone in the company who is looking for a flatmate. Be prepared for belgian weather, very fluctuating, very windy and rainy. High chance of catching cold.

What not to forget with you

Bring various kinds of clothes. Warm and waterproof. Umbrella, waterproof jacket or poncho. Clothes for sports.

Benefits of the internship

Compared to internship in Czechia, internship in Belgium certainly gave me much more experiences, better bond with my colleagues, better understanding of work structure and mentality needed for being ambitious.

Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country

IAESTE in Belgium never contacted me.

Overall experience with IAESTE

Very good experience I would say, very quick and professional.

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