One of the nice things about being the Placement Co-Ordinator for Research Abroad students is reading cultural reports written by Imperial students to reflect some aspect of the local culture that has struck them. Here’s one that fits into the very frequent category of “I did not know that”. It’s written by Justine Courty who did her placement at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and I thought it was rather good.
“Can I see your ticket please?” asks the man at the entrance, toddler in one arm and barcode scanner in the other.
After this 8am Creative Morning lecture among Stockholm’s hipster crowd, I head to the climbing wall for half an hour of exercise before work.
One of the exchange agreements that we have is with the Université Paul Sabatier in Toulouse. This year we don’t have any students visiting “la ville rose” but last year we had two. Toulouse has a very high student population and so it’s quite lively. When I visited our students last March, I was impressed by the beautiful city centre and I had a really good dinner at a restaurant near the train station, as you can see from the picture. The University is quite like Imperial as a campus (i.e. modern and functional) and the research projects that our students worked on were topical and interesting.
When I was finishing my PhD in London it was natural to expect that the next phase of my career would take me abroad. That might be showing up my age now, but back then I had no hesitation in writing to PIs in Berkeley, Boulder, Harvard and Yale in the U.S. I was lucky enough to be accepted and having won an EMBO fellowship, for the next five years I lived in Connecticut and worked at Yale. Living and working in a different culture was a fantastic experience and fortunately, our undergraduates have a much easier path to this opportunity than I did back then.
This blog has just been created. Come back soon to read more.