Erasmus + traineeship field report ?· Erasmus + traineeship – field report ... I was very positively…

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<ul><li><p>1 </p><p>Erasmus + traineeship field report </p><p>My name is ____and I studied at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich Geomaterials </p><p>and Geochemistry. Toward the end of my master's degree, I went to my supervisor of the </p><p>master's thesis and talked to her about a practice-oriented further education. I inquired </p><p>about prospects to make an internship abroad and in the best case directly through the </p><p>LMU and found the Erasmus + program. I informed myself online about the office hours of </p><p>the career service office and was personally advised there. </p><p>I was looking for the possibility to find an internship of my study orientation in the English- </p><p>speaking area within Europe. The literature research of my master thesis revealed that the </p><p>University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom is one of the leading research institutions in </p><p>the field of materials science worldwide. My supervisor offered me to ask her former </p><p>college, who is now an affiliated lecturer at the University of Cambridge. She asked, if they </p><p>would need a trainee during the summer and so I got the vacancy there. I expected a very </p><p>professional environment in an international science group with the ability to improve my </p><p>experience of laboratory work and material analyzes. Besides, I would have the opportunity </p><p>to participate different projects and thus to gain another field of view of my study areas. In </p><p>addition to deepening the well-known analytical methods, such as SEM imaging, I have now </p><p>got the chance to learn new investigation methods, such as thermogravimetric analysis </p><p>(TGA) and morphological bio-material characterization techniques. The scientific work in this </p><p>research environment was exclusively in English and I gained an overview of the different </p><p>research departments within the university complex. My high expectations were not only </p><p>fulfilled, but even far exceeded. I was very positively surprised that after an introduction to </p><p>the respective projects I was able to carry out all experiments, as well as preparation steps </p><p>myself. Dr. Harper and her PhD students, Emma and Luca have given me a lot of trust and </p><p>enabled an effective and concentrated work flow through clear tasks and constant feedback. </p><p>The labour was very diverse and I was able to develop project areas independently from </p><p>start to finish. I was trained to operate with the equipment for the material analyzes and </p><p>learned the handling of the thermogravimetric analysis and scanning electron microscopy by </p><p>myself. </p></li><li><p>2 </p><p>The stay abroad in the UK was not my first, so I was familiar with the habits and social forms </p><p>of daily interaction. The research work, on the other hand, required a certain degree of </p><p>preparation, so I spent some time preparing and discussing the subject areas. I read a few </p><p>scientific papers about the different research topics and got familiar with an image editing </p><p>software, I would use for analysis purposes. Before the internship started, I had a frequent </p><p>correspondence with Dr. Harper, so I could adjust my duties there. Some of the tasks were </p><p>already known to me through my experiments during my master program and it only took a </p><p>short repetition of the required techniques. In addition, I have intensified myself with the </p><p>English language, in order to improve through books and movies my linguistic usage. </p><p> My tasks at the internship were to assist within three different research projects: </p><p>I. Morphometric studies and shell characterization of Notosaria nigricans </p><p>over a century of changing sea water conditions (ocean acidification) </p><p>II. SEM imaging of the bivalve shell microstructure of Notosaria nigricans </p><p>III. Studying dissolution patterns of Mytilus edulis and comparing samples </p><p>over a century of changing sea water conditions with TGA measurements. </p><p> Each individual scientific project involved sample preparation, experimental execution, as </p><p>well as subsequent analysis, evaluation and discussion of the results. </p><p>I could implement practical experience of operating a scanning electron microscope and </p><p>basic laboratory procedures, which I learned during my master program. Furthermore I </p><p>applied my know-how of scientific work and data analysis to edit the tasks. The definite 30 </p><p>working hours per week were ideal to accomplish the targeted goals. The work with my </p><p>team was flexible and was adjusted to the particular duties during the week. I have learned </p><p>new investigation methods, as thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), aspects of morphological </p><p>characterization and working in a different scientific environment. The additional material </p><p>examination techniques improve my understanding of bio-materials and will enrich aspects </p><p>of my scientific career. </p></li><li><p>3 </p><p>I definitely enjoyed the internship at the University of Cambridge and also the cooperation </p><p>with my supervisor, Dr Harper and her students Emma and Luca. They were always very </p><p>supportive and helpful, and also showed me besides the work life, the social facets of the </p><p>city. Cambridge is a very traditional and proud university city, so you get in touch with a lot </p><p>of different rituals depending on the time of the academic year. In my case the summer </p><p>semester was nearly over, so graduation balls and several ceremonies took place all over and </p><p>enchanted the whole city. </p><p>There were no problems or other issues during the internship, since there was a constant </p><p>consultation with the supervisor and the PhD students. I communicated with my supervisor, </p><p>Emma and Luca frequently about the organization of experiments and the weekly schedules </p><p>of my tasks. We texted via Email or also with WhatsApp, if there were some rapid time </p><p>changes. After the summer semester, basically in the beginning of July most of the student </p><p>left the University of Cambridge to stay at their original homes for the holidays, so it was not </p><p>that easy to meet local people or students from the UK anymore. I spend a lot of time with </p><p>my roommates though, which was also very international with two American and two girls </p><p>from Hong Kong. Furthermore I have met a few other PhD students at work in the inter- </p><p>national office or at lunch in the University Department, mainly other interns from India or </p><p>the States. The most common meeting points in Cambridge are the lovely parks along the </p><p>small river, watching the punting and enjoying warm summer evenings. On the weekends </p><p>you can see a lot of people having a picnic on the grass or doing a cross-country bike trip. </p><p>Cambridge is a bike town, so my advice, get a cheap bike and explore the surroundings! </p><p>One of the most important factors for each trainee is the accommodation in the foreign city, </p><p>how to find it and where The Cambridge University website helps a lot! Since I stayed just </p><p>for two months at Cambridge, I couldnt apply for a hall of residence, because it is restricted </p><p>to full time students or long term internships. The website leads you to a second option, so </p><p>you see private renting. It shows a list of different private offers, which are spread all over </p><p>the city. You can compare the different accommodations, read reviews and make your own </p><p>choice. I stayed with four other students / researchers in a house in Arbury in the north of </p><p>Cambridge. We all had our own rooms (furnished, nothing special) and shared a bathroom, </p><p>toilet, kitchen and living room. Since Cambridge is such a well-established university you </p><p>have to expect comparably high rents in the surroundings; therefore look around early! </p></li><li><p>4 </p><p>Arbury is well connected to the city center, as well as to the research departments in West </p><p>Cambridge by several bus lines with an interval of 10 to 15min. The other two options were </p><p>to walk 30min or get a bike, which just takes roughly 15min. I would definitely recommend a </p><p>bike, since Cambridge is a very bike friendly town and it is the best way to get around. </p><p>The shopping facilities in Cambridge are limited, so I made enquiries where the big grocery </p><p>stores (ALDI and Tesco) are located. I did not want to take a bus ride just to do my weekly </p><p>provisions, so check in advance (google maps helps). </p><p>The internship thought me about the everyday life in the UK and I was able to gain a lot of </p><p>impressions about the country and its residents. The UK is differs in many respects from </p><p>Germany, but is more European than the citizens would ever admit. The speed limits are </p><p>given in miles per hour and they drive on the left side, but the daily work from 9 till 5 or the </p><p>rest day on Sundays is still noticeable, although the shops are open until 5 o'clock. The </p><p>international environment in Cambridge, however, distorts the impressions strongly, so that </p><p>this is not considered an example for the whole of the UK. In the summer an abundance of </p><p>tourists from all over the world visit the small town every day and ensures a lively activity. </p><p>Cambridge is very cosmopolitan, friendly and a beautiful little university town, which is full </p><p>of tradition and English flair! Look and see!! </p><p>The stay abroad improved my English skills and especially my confidence to speak in a </p><p>scientific environment as well as in daily life situations. Being surrounded by native speakers </p><p>increased my vocabularies significantly. In addition the different reports and data discussions </p><p>enhanced my writing competence and my written structure. </p><p>The internship at the University of Cambridge in the UK confirmed my endeavored career as </p><p>a scientist and the decision to make a PhD in the near future and work in the scientific field. I </p><p>highly recommend every graduate student to gain experience abroad and to expand your </p><p>own horizon. The experience of working and studying in a foreign country can change a lot </p><p>and will show you, in your personal development, new possibilities and facets of your own </p><p>abilities that were otherwise hidden from you. Go abroad! </p></li><li><p>5 </p><p>In the last part of my field report I will suggest you some leisure time activities in Cambridge </p><p>and the surrounding areas: </p><p>1. The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge </p><p>located near the city center and exhibits a variety of sculptures and paintings. </p><p> 2. Botanic Garden in Cambridge </p><p>located close to the Cambridge station and shows a fascinating flora. </p><p> 3. Ely, small town in the northeast of Cambridge </p><p>possesses an impressive cathedral and many lovely, small cafs; is also </p><p>an ideal destination for a bike tour along the Cam river of Cambridge. </p><p>4. Newmarket, small town in the east of Cambridge </p><p>an idyllic town with a great tradition of horse racing </p><p> 5. And of course London! home of the queen </p><p>cosmopolitan city, with all kind of attractions </p><p>Last but not least a few tips on arrival and departure: </p><p>The city of Cambridge is located in the north of London and is well connected by bus and </p><p>train lines as well as the London Airport Stansted (STN). The easiest way to travel from </p><p>Germany is getting a flight to Stansted and taking a train to Cambridge station (30min train </p><p>ride). If you travel from London you can take trains from Kings Cross or Liverpool Street </p><p>(~every hour), which reach Cambridge in around an hour. The cheaper alternative is a bus </p><p>from Victoria station in London to Cambridge, which takes around two and a half hours. </p><p>I hope my experiences help you with your internship abroad, good luck and all the best!! </p></li></ul>


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