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"Experiencing subarctic climate was also new to me and quite exciting"

Publicerad: 17 januari 2023

Eric Nabil Risse from Switzerland, Period of IAESTE internship: October 2021 – June 2022.

Visiting Sweden was something I wanted to do for a long time. I did my IAESTE internship from October 2021 to June 2022. Nine months during which I had the chance to witness the unusual weather, beautiful colours and landscapes, to meet interesting scientists and people, within and outside the LTU, and experience nice and warm traditions, that punctuated my stay in Sweden.

The academic environment of the LTU is rich and dynamic. Coming from the field of microbiology, I had the chance to work with various microorganisms and see first-hand how their metabolic properties could be exploited in the field of biotechnology, to answer the needs of our societies, from pharmaceutical to industrial fields. Studying those organisms from the point of view of biochemistry taught me a lot and enriched my approach as a biologist, broadening my understanding and my experience, pushing me to go out of my comfort zone and to develop a multidisciplinary mindset. Working at the LTU offered me the opportunity to experiment analytical and scientific techniques I have never worked with before, all the while collaborating with scientists from different backgrounds, diverse cultures and various countries.

Experiencing subarctic climate was also new to me and quite exciting: long and dark cold winters with thick layers of ice and snow that allow you to walk on the frozen sea, short days with colourful and bright sunsets, turning into a short spring/summer with almost never-ending days for two or three months. you may find it disturbing the first time, but fear not: it did not deter people from outside Sweden to stay here for a few years or even more.. Regularly I went walking on the frozen water, simply to enjoy the feeling and catch some sunlight during my free time or went outside Luleå to see the surroundings. I met people from a wide range of countries, learned about their cultures and their background. I enjoyed my time in this multicultural environment, with people coming and leaving. I also had the chance to spend some time with Swedes, that introduced me to their country and its customs.

Overall, it was an enriching experience, that allowed me to grow both as a human and as a scientist.