https://www.daad.org/

DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service)

Research Assistant

May - August 2019 • Darmstadt, Hesse

What I liked

Cultural immersion and the variety of programs available

What I wish was different

Stayed longer and found out about it sooner

Advice

Everyone should take advantage of this opportunity
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RISE Intern

June - September 2018 • Oldenburg, Lower Saxony

What I liked

The German culture, especially its love of biking. I also enjoyed watching the World Cup in Germany, even though the team did not do too well.

What I wish was different

I wish I'd have gone to the country with a friend or two; while I did make friends (especially within my biochemistry lab group), it was a bit lonely at the start of the summer.

Advice

Make sure to plan your travels far in advance! The train and flight prices increase drastically with time.
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Research Assistant

May - August 2018 • Freiburg im Breisgau, Baden-Württemberg

What I liked

Working in a BME research lab in Germany. Living in another country. The flexibility of the program. Ability to expand my network. Meeting other DAAD RISE scholars. Getting out of my comfort zone. Traveling during the weekends. Getting paid a stipend.

What I wish was different

I wish I got started much quicker on doing work. The first 3 weeks were spent reading research articles while I waited on safety trainings and understanding the research topic. Easier time finding a apartment.

Advice

Be ready to put a lot of work into the application and preparing for the internship before going (finding plane tickets, housing, VISA, and banking). All the work was totally worth it
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Research Internship

May - August 2017 • Hamburg, Hamburg

What I liked

I loved being able to immerse myself into another culture while pursuing my interests in research. In fact, I was given a paid-for 2 week intensive course in Berlin, and later weekly continuing courses in Hamburg to supplement my integration, even though the internship was all English-speaking.

What I wish was different

I wish that I had been able to plan a project better with my supervisor before I arrived. It took several weeks to dig in and be trained for some of the equipment, and with such a short time to study there, it was difficult to get a major chunk of work done. Good communication is very, very important to having the best experience possible.

Advice

Well, I have two. My first is to make sure you have good relations with your professors and upperclassmen. They can give you the inside scoop on some really great experiences, and maybe even help you find references and funding opportunities. My next one is DO NOT PROCRASTINATE YOUR PREPARATION!! I repeat, do not procrastinate. Overseas trips can be super stressful if you're not prepared. Start (many) months ahead to take full advantage of funding and other things, like whether or not you're expected to have a preliminary project prepared, or if you need a visa, or what lifestyle your budget will allow, etc.
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Research Assistant

May - August 2017 • Cottbus, Brandenburg

What I liked

It was a great opportunity to travel to Germany and experience the culture like a local. Being paired with a PhD student was really nice because she was a good guide while abroad.

What I wish was different

Advice

Sign up for the free 2 week language course offered by DAAD RISE. It's a great way to meet other interns, who make great travel buddies over the summer (as the program places interns at universities all across Germany)!
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DAAD RISE Intern

June - August 2018 • Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia

What I liked

I learned a lot of new techniques while being submerged in another culture. I grew professionally as well as personally.

What I wish was different

I wish I had been there for longer.

Advice

It is an opportunity that any STEM student should apply for and take advantage of. Not only is it fun to be abroad, but learning to be a part of the global community of science is important.
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