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Dino Alferi, UCT Prague,ročník 2
About the country
Location of the place
Belarus is placed in Eastern Europe and it’s country without any sea and there are lot of forests in the country.
Minsk is capital of Belarus. There are about 2 millions people. The city is quite huge and there many interesting buildings and city is very clean.
Surroundings (possible trips, ...)
Unfortunately the closest interesting city near Minsk is about 250 km away so it’s quite far away. But nice trip is to Minsk sea which is big lake and it looks like real sea, there are lot of sand’s beaches and it’s possible to do sports there, such as beach volleyball, football or table tennis.
My employer was Belarusian Technician State University. It’s smaller University in Belarus with 4300 students. At this University is possible to study a lot of chemistry fields like electrochemistry or material engineering or biological fields like microbiology.
I was on department of polymeric and composite materials and my work is to measure mechanical properties of some kind of thermoplasts and rubbers.
Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)
Salary was about 150 BYR which was not so much but still it’s enough for food and some tickets to museums for month.
Almost nobody could speak English in Belarus so it’s much better to speak Russian.
Accommodation (price, who provided it)
Accommodation was provided by University and I don’t know the price.
Meeting IAESTE members (pick-up at the airport, organized events...)
Unfortunately there is no event which is organized by IAESTE and guys who picked me up at the airport don’t know English so I was bit confused at the beginning.
Meeting other foreign students
I spent a lot of time with girl from Austria and last week I met guy from Brazil and girls from Germany and Chile. I also attended couch surfing meeting where I met people from Israel, Germany and from another countries.
Sport and culture
Hockey is very popular in Belarus, so there are lot of hockey arenas. The second sport which is very popular is football. There are so many outdoor gyms in Minsk and it’s very popular too.
Food, local specialties
Food in markets is quite cheap, but in restaurants it can be 3 times more expensive. Potatoes are very popular in Belarus, so the traditional meal is called Draniky which is mashed fry potato filled with meat or mushroom and it’s very common to eat meals from Russia such as Pelmene.
Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic
It’s possible to have unlimited internet if there is someone with Belarusian passport who will buy Belarusian sim card so it’s quite easy to communicate with Czech Republic than.
Recommendations for students who will go to the same place
The biggest recommendation from me is to learn Russian alphabet or Russian letters because signs in the streets are written in that letters so it can be tricky. It’s also good to take some utensils and cooking pot because there is nothing like that in the dormitory.
What not to forget with you
As I wrote before it’s good to have some utensils. Then it’s important to have Russian dictionary.
Benefits of the internship
The main benefit is that I saw labs in another country and saw working process in such as interesting country. Another benefit is that I met a lot of interesting people.
Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country
Unfortunately the cooperation with Belarusian IAESTE was not so good because in Belarusian IAESTE don’t work any students like in Czech Republic so sometimes it’s bit harder when you want to communicate with IAESTE members there.
Overall experience with IAESTE
I really like how IAESTE internship program works and I appreciate that at the beginning of the internship someone took care of me and helped me.
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