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Master's degree Šárka Linhartová, UCT Prague,ročník 5
About the country
Location of the place
Macau SAR, China
Surroundings (possible trips, ...)
There are plenty of interesting places to visit in Macau (e.g. in Macau peninsula or in Coloane) and you can also head to Hong Kong (a ferry ticket costs around 160 MOP and the journey takes around 1 h 15 min), Mainland China (visa needed), Taiwan, Singapore...
Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences (ICMS), University of Macau
I joined a group of students working on research of nanoparticles as potential drug carriers for targeted solid carcinoma therapy. I got access to many papers from this area and learned about different types of nanoparticles (such as micelles or golden nanorods) and their preparations and I conducted a few experiments myself. However, no special project was prepared for me so I couldn't see the results of my own work at the end.
Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)
6400 MOP was more than enough to live off for a month. Of course, the salary didn't cover our trips outside the country, we had to pay for them ourselves.
English level "good" was required and it was more than sufficient.
Accommodation (price, who provided it)
We were given free lodgings at the university dorms. At the end of our stay we had to pay for water and electricity in case we exceeded the free limit (which everybody did - I highly recommend to charge everything at your workplace if you have the opportunity). Rooms were shared with another intern and, except for the possibility of ordering a bathroom cleaning once every two weeks, nobody cleaned them other than ourselves. We were living on the first floor near the kitchen so cockroaches and other insects were quite common. There was a security guy at the entrance 24/7 in case anything happened.
Meeting IAESTE members (pick-up at the airport, organised events...)
I arrived on Friday afternoon so my first encounter with the IAESTE members was on Monday morning. They were really very nice and always ready to help with everything. The IAESTE organised quite a few events for us including official meals with other interns and our supervisors. We also had a traditional Chinese tea ceremony where we could try to perform it ourselves.
Meeting other foreign students
Those of us who arrived on the same day went on a trip to the city on the first weekend and after that we basically organised something for every weekend, be it a walk on a beach or in the historical part of the city or a trip to Hong Kong and Taiwan. It was great that there were around 12 of us so most of the time it wasn't hard to settle on something big for all of us or simply hang out with a beer in the evening.
Sport and culture
There is a gym and plenty of basketball/tennis/badminton courts everywhere that are for free and also a university pool (for a small fee, swimming cap needed), table tennis tables, a fitness room, a football field.. The only thing that might prevent one to try all the outdoor sports is the heat and murderous humidity.
Food, local specialties
Macau is like the whole world stuffed into one tiny city, you can try literally everything here from Portuguese cuisine through Japanese food to Korean barbecue. Definitely don't miss famous egg tarts (No.1 bakery is in the Coloane Old Village) or almond cookies, both of which can be bought pretty much everywhere. Also try the Chinese restaurant at the university campus, the dim sum there is marvellous.
Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic
Unlike Mainland China, Macau isn't limited in terms of internet censorship. Facebook, Gmail, Skype, WeChat.. everything works here as long as you have internet connection. The university Wi-Fi isn't very stable but you can always buy a local phone card (100 MOP for 1 month and 1 GB data). The 6 hours difference is the main problem in communication.
Recommendations for students who will go to the same place
Macau is small so it will feel like home in no time. Everyone at the university is very helpful, just remember that Chinese people are very shy and it takes time for them to open up (meaning to overcome shyness and start speaking English). It's a good idea to come armed with WeChat since most students here are from Mainland China and WeChat is the main social platform there. For local public transport get a Macau Pass in any convenience store asap.
What not to forget with you
A British adapter, fast-drying T-shirts, fast-drying towels and, in fact, fast-drying everything. Sunscreen and an umbrella are must-haves. There are NO pillows, blankets or bedsheets in the dorms so consider bringing something from home since it'll probably take a few days to buy proper stuff.
Benefits of the internship
I met a lot of friends in Macau and got to know the Chinese culture and traditions. I found out that living and working at the other side of the world is not a problem for me and I really appreciate I had the opportunity to come to such a great place!
Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country
IAESTE members at the university were extremely helpful and whenever any intern had a problem, they would do their best to help.
Overall experience with IAESTE
The IAESTE internships was an amazing experience for me and I highly recommend to everyone to try it, too!
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