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ing. Lenka Fialová, Brno University of Technology,ročník 5
About the country
Location of the place
Minsk is capital of Belarus, it is in the middle of country. Belarus is in the Eastern Europe.
Minsk has 1.9 million inhabitants. There is not so many tourist attractions.
Surroundings (possible trips, ...)
You can visit for example castle Mir, castle Nesvizh, monument Katyn and museum Dudutki. It is about one hour by bus from Minsk. But I have to say, that traveling in Belarus is really complicated. For example nobody can tell you if some bus will come to Minsk from the place where you go.
Belarusian state university, Faculty of Physics, Research institute for Nuclear problem, Laboratory of NanoElectroMagnetics. Old building and equipment, cold inside, no canteen. 20 minutes by foot from my dormitory. Only a few people from laboratory little bit spoke with me, Belorussian people are not very mild. But my boss was very kind to me.
Experimantal study of electromagnetic response properties of nanocarbon composite materials. Interesting description, but in fact, I was just sitting all day and waiting for the end of proccess of producting composite and then I inserted the product to the measurement device and saved the results. I was at work every day at minimum 6 hours, but often 10 hours. In my "form O" paper, there were written, that I will be at work 6 hours per day. Nobody told my employer that I will come! I knew about it from March. They just phoned to my leader one week before my arrival. Nobody had time to explain me everything in laboratory, because they had plenty of work. They did not have a chance to organized their time to show me everything beacause they did not know about my arrival. So I have to say, this intership did not give me something new in my branch.
Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)
100 € per month. It is definitely not enough. Kitchen in dormitory didn´t work good, so I had to buy food in bistro, it was about 4 € every food, so my salary was only for my lunches. If I count all costs (bus, some trips, food, visa, registration, fee for IAESTE, internet, sim card...) this intership became 600 €. I tried to save money as much as possible. And another information - it was possible to have free visa, if IAESTE made better invitation letter.
Russian, only few people in Minsk speak english, so if you do not know russian language, you are lost.
Accommodation (price, who provided it)
It was free, but it was horrible. Mold was everywhere. My room was very dirty. I spent much money to tidy up it after my arrival. I lived with five girls, we had one bathroom. Kitchen was on the floor but it did not work good.
Meeting IAESTE members (pick-up at the airport, organized events...)
I did not have any information from IAESTE. No mail or message from them. Nobody contact me. It was really difficult at the start of my internship, because I had to sign many papers, go to police to get a registration, go to bank to get an account etc. and there were nobody who can help me. Big thanks to my boss who did not have a time but he tried to help a lot.
Meeting other foreign students
I lived in room with girls from: Russia, Germany, Slovakia and Hungary. There were many students from China in dormitory.
Sport and culture
Nothing from university or from employer, but in the city, there are some fitness centers, theatres and cinemas.
Food, local specialties
Specialities are similar to russian food. Borsch, pelmeni...
Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic
I had a special sim card (free calling worldwide, 26 €) and I bought internet connection (15 GB, 3 €), but it didn´t work well if I wanted to use Skype.
Recommendations for students who will go to the same place
You have to speak russian, at minimum know the alphabet. Try to get a connection with your employer to get him know that you will come. And ask the Belarus IAESTE to give you free visa.
What not to forget with you
visa, warm clothes (really cold in autumn), some dishes (cup, fork...)
Benefits of the internship
I met a new culture and new place.
Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country
Overall experience with IAESTE
Other useful links
Thanks to IAESTE for organization of accommodation. But I expected something more. Big thanks to my boss who helped me a lot. At the end I want to say that someone changed the month of my internship after I bought tickets to bus, signed all the papers and organized my time. I really do not know who, but it was difficult for me to REorganized everything. In my "form O" was written period 01.06.2016 to 31.07.2016 and I had to start my internship 24.08.2016.