Ready, Set, Move!

Ana Paulina López (ESR2)

ESR formation involves international mobility in different ways, from short trips to conferences to longer stays during mobility periods. When stepping in a PhD journey, one should be prepared to travel when the time arrives. For us, the 14 ESR, our full PhD journey will consist of living in different new cities.

But what does this mean?

This means flexibility: we should get ready to do scientific research while obtaining travel and resident permits, which most of the time is a time-consuming process. However, there is an advantage too: this experience is a good warming up for everyone pursuing an academic career after the doctorate, which commonly includes changing your residence or traveling.

New city, new research group, new life

Arriving in a new city and embarking a new project are significant changes. There are many aspects to discuss from such a life change; however, I will only focus on the scientific and environmental perspective that I experienced.

As a scientist, the integration into a new laboratory and a new work environment is as well a plus. New introductory courses, working rules and working area organization are some of the novelties. Getting acquainted becomes more exciting and in a different level of difficulty when the activities and surrounding material are in a new language than yours: Safety Data Sheets, reagents, announces, invoices, meetings, etc. You can feel discovering a new sub-world in a new city. Fortunately, most of the colleagues at the Universities can communicate in English to smooth our integration in the research group.

Although learning the local language is not a requirement to graduate, it definitely grants us independence and better social integration. The locals will give a warmer welcome!

What about environmental nuance?

Each country has its own rules regarding environmental topics, such as garbage separation, energy alternatives, and preferred transport. This can become confusing for us as newcomers since a deviation of the rules can lead to expensive fines! Thus, getting informed and adapt to each host city is the key to a successful settlement. Any general recommendations for this?

– Investigate calendars for trash collection and existing sorting system in colored bags.

– If your country has a good cycling infrastructure, maybe give it a try. Sometimes you can be faster by bike!

– An application for buses and trains on your mobile may not harm.

– Renewable sources are often available for electricity and warming.

– Read on restrictions in green areas around you.

– Potable water from the tap can ease your life.

Images source:|&mediapopup=96834130