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Radka Skleničková, UCT Prague, ročník 5

Faculty Faculty of Food and Biochemical Technology
Field of study Biochemistry
Field of internship Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Specialization of InternshipMolecular Biology
Internship period (from - to) 6.7.2015 - 18.9.2015
Internship duration (weeks) 11
Transport (means, price) airplane, 6000,- CZK
Insurance/Insurance company UNIQA, ISIC insurance (2000 CZK per year)
Visa/Work permit (yes/no) no
Price of Visa -
City of Internship Zobrazit místo na mapě  Ireland, Dublin
Internship reference number IE-2015-TCD002

About the country

Location of the place

Ireland is beautiful small country at the north-west of Europe. There is very nice countryside and towns with great atmosphere.

City

I have been working in Dublin at Trinity College. Dublin is a beautiful city with calm and friendly atmosphere. Although, there are about 1 million people living there, it is not too busy.

Surroundings (possible trips, ...)

From Dublin there are lots of opportunities where to go. If you are interested in countryside you can get a train to Howth which is very small peninsula about 30 minutes by train from Howth and the nature there is beautiful. Another possibility is to go by bus to Wicklow mountains. Also nice towns are not far. You can go to Cork, Glasgow, Belfast...
You also shouldn´t miss 2 places that are a little further from Dublin: Cliffs of Moher and maybe even more breathtaking Aran islands which are great for a bike tour.

Employer

Employer

I was employed by a principal investigator (PI) at a research group at Trinity College. He was very friendly as most of the Irish people are. He was always willing to give me some advice. I also passively participated at an Irish-Japanese conference which he was organizing, so this was also interesting experience.

Work description

I was preparing Crispr/Cas knockout of 1 gene of THP-I cells replacing it with flourescence mark and antibitotic resistance. The project was interesting. It was collaboration of 2 laboratory groups so I met lot of people and I learned some basics of tissue culture practice, transfection by electroporation. Also I got much more familiar with all other steps needed for efficient Crispr/Cas techniques.

Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)

Salary was quite sufficient for local conditions. I got about 210 euro per week (after deduction by taxes from 230 euro). Of course it depends how many trips you are planning. Also Irish IAESTE is very helpful and friendly almost every weekend they organized a trip for us and I think it was way cheaper and easier than trying to organize your own trips (of which I also went for a few).

Language requirements

I would say very good English level, probably at least B2 because Irish people have a little different pronounciation so it might be tough to understand them. But they are trying to speak better when they see that you don't understand them.

Accommodation (price, who provided it)

Accomodation was luckily found by IAESTE because in Dublin it is not easy to find accommodation. It cost 450 euro per month. I had my own room and we were 3 IAESTE trainees in the flat. It was quite spatious appartment with kitchen, living room and bathroom. But it was about 45 minutes from the centre (so also from the university where I was working).

Social life

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

I was picked up by IAESTE member. She even payed a taxi for us to get to the appartment. There were lots of organised event. Almost every weekend we were going somewhere (e.g.: Glasgow, Cork, Belfast, Wicklow mountains, Howth). Also sometimes we had a coffee together during the weekdays or went to a pub.

Meeting other foreign students

I was living with 2 other IAESTE trainees which was wonderful. Also I met all the other IAESTE trainees. There were about 15 people there. So it was the perfect size for making different trips and another actions.

Sport and culture

With IAESTE we went for one lesson of Irish dancing which was fun. Then in Glasgow I saw a great girl performing Irish dance a capella in Glasgow and this was really very beautiful.
They have four traditional Gaellic games (Gaelic football, hurling, Gaelic handball and rounders). I haven't played any of them but they seem quite interesting.
About the culture lots of museums in Ireland are for free so you can take a look at it.

Food, local specialties

Seafood chowder (very tasty white soup with salmon and seafood), Irish stew, shepherd's pie, Guinness (dark beer)

Other information

Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic

I was skyping home very often. There was wi-fi in the flat. Also sometimes I was sending postcards. (it was a little bit surprising that from Ireland to Austria it to 2 or 3 days, but from Ireland to Czech Republic it took about 5 days :))

Recommendations for students who will go to the same place

Buy a bike and good lock for it. It is the best way how to travel around Dublin and to and from work. My first bike got stolen but it didn't discourage me from buying another bike for 100 euro and lock for 50 euros :D, this one didn't get stolen and I was even lucky enough to sell it to my colleague. The bus system is quite expensive (Something like 2 euros for one ride from my flat to university, which I could do like in 30 minutes on bike and by bus I was even slower). And the car drivers are very empathic so it seemed to me not so dangerous to go by bike eventhough it was on the left side of the road.

What not to forget with you

Definitely don't forget raincoat, umbrella and anything else that might be useful against rain ;), but don't be too scared about it either, sun also often comes around ;)

Benefits of the internship

Getting to know new people from all around the world, getting more experience, getting flexible, learning to adopt to new conditions, learning new things, getting to know yourself better and building your confidence. This internship also helped me to prioritize what is importantt for me in my life.

Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country

IAESTE was trying to help us with anything that we needed. They helped us to do all the administration needed for the stay (except the administration that you need to do directly at the working place). Also if we had any troubles they were always there so we could message them.

Overall experience with IAESTE

Great. I can't complain. :)

Student's website

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Employer's webiste

https://www.tcd.ie/Biochemistry/research/v_kelly.php

Other useful links

http://www.meetup.com/cities/ie/dublin/ (here you can find people that want to do some activity in Dublin- international pub, hiking, dancing...whatever ;)

Other comments

Don't hesitate and go for IAESTE internship!!! :) You won't regret it. For me it was one of the best summers of my life. :)

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