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Ing. Iveta Kršková, UCT Prague, ročník 5

Faculty FCHI
Field of study Chemical engineering
Field of internship Engineering, Other
Specialization of InternshipEngineering, Other
Internship period (from - to) 10.6.2019 - 1.9.2019
Internship duration (weeks) 12
Transport (means, price) flight (Prague Dublin-237euros), bus (DublinBelfast-20pounds)
Insurance/Insurance company Allianz
Visa/Work permit (yes/no) no
Price of Visa -
City of Internship Zobrazit místo na mapě  United Kingdom, Belfast
Internship reference number UK-2019-419-01

About the country

Location of the place

My placement was in Belfast which is the capital of Northern Ireland. It lies in the north-east of island Ireland, but it is part of the United Kingdom. The whole country is really beautiful. Everywhere in the nature or even in many parts of the city, everything was really green :). There are mountains with randomly wandering sheep, beaches (but more for walking than swimming as the water is really cold) and also cliffs with wonderful views.
The irish culture can be felt especially in irish bars with traditional music, whiskey and Guinness.
People are quite friendly, especially people from local IAESTE committee are really nice and helpful. I had also the best colleagues I could wish. :) It is not problem to meet new people in bars or accommodation.

City

I was living in Belfast. It's not very big port city, which lies on the river Lagan.
There is lot of things you can do there. Every weekend there is St.George's Market event, where you can buy fresh food and also taste the traditional specialities.
It's worthy to visit Titanic quarter with film studios (some scenes of GOT were filmed there)
and Titanic museum (Titanic ship was built in Belfast).
The main monumentum of the city is City Hall (it is possible also visit the exhibitions in the interior). On my way to work I was crossing everyday Botanic garden. I recommend to visit Ulster museum, which is for free :). Best place for nightlife is bar Points with live traditional irish music every night.
The Belfast city is partially characterized by armed conflict from the late 20th century and
we took Black cab tour to get more acqainted with the political british/irish ( or religous protestant/catholic) conflict. We visited protestant/catholic areas with typical paintings on the walls.
There is CaveHill mountain right above the city. We hiked to the top for nice views (Belfast Castle is on the way to CaveHill).
The location of the Ulster University, where I was working, is Jordanstown. You can get there by train in 20 minutes from Belfast. It is small city and of course there is not as many opportunities as in belfast, but LoughShore park (with beach) is 5 minutes on foot from school and it is perfect place for relaxation.

Surroundings (possible trips, ...)

The city lies close to sea, so there are beautiful beaches as Helen's Bay Beach, Whiterocks beach close to Portrush.
There are interesting cities in NI to visit: Bangor (vintage festival), New Castle, Galway (Ciffs of Moher with most beautiful views I've ever seen), Dublin (where is Guinness factory), Bushmills (where is whiskey factory), Derry/Londonderry.
We had trip to Mourne mountains and we hiked to the top of Slieve Donard, which is the highest mountain in NI. We also hiked in Glendalough (Wicklow Mountains in Ireland). We visited Marble Arch Caves and one of the must see places - Giants Causeway.
For the lovers of architecture I recommend to visit Mt.Stewart and Castle Coole.
I visited several Game of Thrones filming locations: Rope Bridge, Dark Hedges, Strangord + Portaferry where is castle Ward (Winterfell - but it is just one tower :D).

Employer

Employer

My placement was at Centre for Sustainable Technologies - Ulster University (CST). The head of the department is professor Neil Hewitt who gave me contact to 2 researchers at CST. They showed me all the ongoing research at CST and then we chose with who I would cooperate. I started to cooperate with Inna who works on the energy market modelling.

Work description

- processing of questionaries about heat decarbonization in NI. Applying Q-methodology (extended factor analysis) on the data and find the perceptions and ideas of experts about the heat decarbonization in NI
- concatenation of files containing energy consumption data measured every minute,cleaning of data and summation per hours/in total, visualization,....
- clustering of energy consumption profiles of many consumer during winter decade and looking for the relation between the socio-economic conditions of the consumer and the typical energy-consumption profile of the consumer

Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)

The salary was 270 pounds per week. I think it is on the edge - you can survive, but it is not much if you want to go for trips and to irish bars every weekend.....

The price of accomodation was 110 pound per week. If you work at Jordanstown then you should also buy a ticket for transportation. I bought monthly ticket on iLink card for 67 pounds (you can travel in zone 0 and 1 - it includes Jordanstown). If you work at Queens University, it is possible to walk everywhere in Belfast so then you don't need ticket at all.

Language requirements

The requirement was English at good level. I think it was sufficient. Although it takes a while to get used to accent.

Accommodation (price, who provided it)

I stayed at Grant House, which is part student accomodation provided by Queens University.
It was recommended by the IAESTE in NI.
The advantage is that almost all trainees stay there so you can participate at all the social events.
The disadvantage is that it has shared bathrooms, it is quite expensive and it is far from Jordanstown. My journey to CST usually took 50 minutes (15 on train, 35 on foot).
I think better alternative might be Ulster accomodation in Belfast as there is bus stop for
Jordanstown in front of the accomodation, it is much nicer, cleaner, almost for the same price and as it is in the city centre you can still participate in the social events :).

Social life

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

I was picked up at bus station by IAESTE member. He took me by taxi to my accomodation for free.
Sian from British Council helped me to create my bank account.
There was lot of events/trips organised by local commitee (almost every weekend). All the places I mentioned above we visited with local IAESTE volunteers or with Mary and Sian from British Council.
There was also Belfast/Dublin/Galway weekend with international dinners, quiz, events in the cities (e.g. Belfast Pride), visits of museums, irish bars and trips that we could participate at.

Meeting other foreign students

Almost all IAESTE trainees lived in Grant House. It was easy to ask for help/party/play games or just go out together.

Sport and culture

sport - it is possible to buy ticket for gym with student discount or ride bike in the city for low price
culture - cinema (cheap Tuesday), opera

Food, local specialties

Food is quite fatty. The chips (sometimes with fish and mashed peas or only with vinegar or other sauce) are very popular. Typical are also baked beans, pancakes, potatoes (mashed, baked,.....).
What I really like and is specific for Northern Ireland are potato farls (I ate them instead of bread).

Other information

Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic

Since there were no problems during my internship I didn't communicate with IAESTE in Czech Republic.

Recommendations for students who will go to the same place

You must be active and ask for work to get some really interesting tasks. Otherwise it could be a bit boring. :)

What not to forget with you

waterproof clothes and UK plug adapter (but staff at the accomodation was really nice and lended me one for the whole internship)

Benefits of the internship

I hope it helped my English. I'm definitely more courageous to speak and I'm a bit more able to understand native speakers. I met really nice people from the whole world, I made some really good friends. I'm still in touch with them. I also really enjoyed my worked and I'm in touch with my supervisor Inna from Ulster University.

Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country

The cooperation with IAESTE was without any problems. They always tried to help as much as possible with all the troubles I had (e.g. late payment from employer). All of them were really nice and they organised many events and trips :)

Overall experience with IAESTE

My experience has been very positive.

Student's website

-

Employer's webiste

https://www.ulster.ac.uk/

Other useful links

-

Other comments

I had really wonderful time in NI.
I want to thank IAESTE for the opportunity to travel abroad.
I also want to thank all the people in NI that made my time spent there special. :)

Photo gallery


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