Intern Abroad

Archive for September, 2023

Practical year in Kilkenny

September 28th, 2023 | by
  • Medicine
  • Ireland, Kilkenny
  • St. Luke’s General Hospital
  • 07/2023 – 09/2023

My time in Kilkenny was an outstanding experience that combined enhancing medical skills with
personal enrichment. This report reflects about different aspects of my stay, such as the
application process, finding an accommodation, my everyday routine during the internship, and
my explorations of Ireland’s stunning landscapes.

1. Application/Finding an internship
I discovered St. Luke’s General hospital during an online search on the webpage PJ-ranking. This
webpage is used for writing reviews about the internships throughout the practical year and
students may leave contact addresses to facilitate connections between medical students and
healthcare institutions. The webpage featured positive reviews about the hospital in Kilkenny,
indicating its reputation for providing valuable learning experiences and exposure to various
medical specialties. The opportunity to rotate through multiple wards, including gastroenterology,
cardiology, and the emergency department, was a significant factor that aroused my interest.
The application process for the practical year internship in Internal Medicine was initiated by
applying via email to St. Luke’s General Hospital in Kilkenny, Ireland. The application included a
comprehensive CV, a cover letter detailing the applicant’s motivations, relevant experiences, and
aspirations for the internship. After a few days I received a positive answer and was accepted. It
was well-organised and I received a letter of acceptance stating necessities which had to be
fulfilled. One of the primary requirements for participation was the submission of proof of
vaccination against common infectious diseases. In addition to vaccination, the acceptance letter
outlined the necessity of obtaining comprehensive insurance coverage. This insurance was
specifically aimed at covering any potential accidents that might occur during the intern’s work
hours, especially those linked to medical errors. After submitting all necessary documents, I
booked my flight ticket and the journey could begin.

2. Accommodation & Living Expenses
While the hospital lacked on-campus accommodation, they provided valuable support by sharing
contact details of two landlords offering shared housing. I found myself settled into a cosy
residence just a 25-minute bike ride from the heart of the city and an even shorter ride of 15
minutes to the hospital. The landlord provided the bicycles, which facilitate transport a lot.
Kilkenny is connected to various cities through buses and has a train station. With the rent
amounting to a reasonable 165 Euro per week, the accommodation proved to be a good option
regarding prices in Ireland. The landlady’s kind demeanour and willingness to assist with any
concerns enhanced my stay. Living standard in Ireland is higher compared to Germany. There are
two cards that reduce prices on public transport and for visiting cultural sights. I would highly
recommend buying both cards. The leap card is for public transport and the heritage card for

3. Everyday Life/The Internship
My daily routine during the internship typically started at 9 am with ward rounds or in the
outpatient department. Ireland does not have the concept of resident physician. Therefore,
patients attend their GP when facing a medical issue and will then be transferred to a doctor in
hospital as an ambulant patient. During my time I started working in the hepatology unit. Common
diseases with whom patients presented with were viral hepatitis, alcoholic steatohepatitis and
autoimmune liver disease. Later, I got the chance to follow the gastro team on the wards. What
truly set this experience apart was the hands-on involvement. Although students in their practical
year cannot work as much practical as in Germany, but the more my colleagues knew about my
skills, the more they allowed me to help them. My tasks varied between inserting i.v. lines, taking
histories, writing prescriptions and discharge letters. My work has always been supervised by an
intern, so I have never experienced feeling overwhelmed or being left alone. By mid-August, the
Irish students returned after their summer break. This was a great experience because we got in
contact quite quickly and did activities together. Moreover, by the time they came back they
established daily teaching sessions twice a day, enhancing my understanding of medical practices.
Kilkenny is a charming city located in the heart of Ireland with a rich history, vibrant culture, and
plenty of attractions to explore. After work, I had the chance to explore most of its cultural
heritage. Kilkenny Castle is a magnificent medieval building that offers an insight to Ireland’s past.
Second, there is St. Canice’s Cathedral. This historic cathedral features a round tower with
breathtaking views of the city and surrounding countryside. Not to forget about the traditional
pubs with live music. They really convey the typical image of Irish culture and tradition.

4. Free Time/Tips
Ireland’s nature is stunning! You have never seen 1000 different varieties of green? In Ireland you
will! Its rainy days must be mentioned as well, but the moment you bought rain trousers and
wellies you are prepared; the journey can start. My exploration led me to places like Kenmare,
Ring of Kerry, Limerick, Killarney, Cork, Tramore, and Dunmore East’s stunning cliff walk. My
favourite trips were the Ring of Kerry and walking along the beach in Tramore. The Ring of Kerry
is a marvellous road leading you through the coastal region in the southwest.
And then there is Dublin. Dublin, with its iconic attractions, including Trinity College and Temple
Bar. Dublin, a digital hub, a vivid city with its rough north side and dignified south side. Dublin,
being a cultural centre with the national gallery of Ireland, Dublin castle and much more to be
I would recommend having a car in Ireland, because it facilitated journeys to remote countryside
locations that public transport often couldn’t access. Luckily, one of the other German students
brought his car with him. From time to time, we took trips together.

5. Conclusion
In retrospect, my stay in Kilkenny was an experience I don’t want to miss. The combination of
getting to know a different healthcare system, learning medical work in another country and being
warmly welcomed made my stay unforgettable. It has enriched me in so many ways, being it
personal or professional. Therefore, I am grateful for this experience.

Research internship at the University of Oxford

September 7th, 2023 | by
  • Electrical Engineering, Information Technology and Computer Engineering, B. Sc.

    May Day at Magdalen College Tower
    © Benedikt Wahl

  • United Kingdom, Oxford
  • University of Oxford
  • 04/2023 – 09/2023

The questions, I probably got asked the most from friends and fellow students, is how I got the research
internship at the University of Oxford. That’s hard to answer since there is no clear path for that as far as I
know. I wrote e-mails to multiple professors at different institutions both in England and the United States
and one of them got back to me and offered me the internship in Oxford. Although there is always luck
involved, there is definitely one thing, I’d like to point out. Those professors get tons of similar requests
from maybe similarly suitable candidates. Hence, the application should be tailored to the lab in order for
the professor to even open the CV. In any case, I would always just give it a go and try it out.
Something to consider is that research internships are often unpaid. Although there are some scholarship
programs for internships in place, the money, you get, won’t cover all living expenses.
Regarding housing, the most convenient way is to text the housing officers of the colleges (I wrote an e-mail to all of them) and ask if they got free housing during the internship period. I got an offer from Exeter College and was really happy about it because it was easy to organize it from abroad. At the colleges,rent is usually paid per day, and comes in around 600-900£ per month from what I’ve heard. Something
that everyone should keep in mind is that the National Healthcare System (NHS) works different from the
German healthcare system. So I would highly recommend to register with a GP right upon arrival
because that gives you (1) an NHS number and (2) allows you to go to a GP faster when you need it.
Unfortunately, I didn’t know that and when I got sick, the earliest appointment, I was offered, was seven
days in the future. To get a faster appointment (at a private doctor), private travel health insurance can be

Duke Humphrey’s Library at the Bodleian Libraries
© Benedikt Wahl

very helpful. With that, I got an appointment the next morning.

So far this might have sounded a bit pessimistic but as soon as I got to Oxford, all the organizational
hustle was made up for. Hosting the oldest English speaking university in the world, the city is rich in
history and traditions which they preserved over the centuries. An event that I’ll never forget is May
Morning. On May 1st people from all over the city come towards the tower of Magdalen College. At 6 a.m.,
the bells of Magdalen college tower ring and the college choir sings to welcome the month of May.
Afterwards everyone walks through the city where plenty of other events take place. This tradition is
ongoing for over 500 years.
In general, the college structure makes Oxford stand out. To be part of this community as an intern, the
best way is to become an associate member of one of the middle common rooms (MCR). The middle
common rooms can be explained as a society for all graduate students at a college. Each MCR has it’s
own constitution which describes the conditions under which you can become associate member. At
Exeter College, that was pretty straightforward for me since living in their accommodation was sufficient
to request entry into the MCR. With the MCR membership at Exeter College, I got many perks including
subsidized lunch and dinner in the college’s hall (the dining room for students) as well as 24/7 access to
the college’s historical site. My favorite events, I could also attend thanks to the MCR membership, have

View from the garden of Exeter College over the Radcliffe Camera, University Church St Mary and All Souls College
© Benedikt Wahl

been formal dinners where we had really fancy food and dressed up in suits located in the college’s hall.
Formal dinners have been part of the college life for a long time and many traditions have been kept over
the centuries like the throne for the rector in the case of Exeter College. Besides the colleges, there are
as well plenty of other clubs and societies. In contrast to German universities, many of the sport clubs are
thereby really competitive since they compete on a national and international level. In general, Oxford is a
great place to connect to like-minded people from all over the world.
At work, there are some differences to German universities. To begin with, research groups tend to be
much smaller resulting in most professors supervising less students. My professor supervised just 4
students (including PhD candidates) and 2 post-docs. In addition to that, most researchers came to work
later than in Germany, resulting in the start of a typical working day just around 9 in the morning.
Overall, I really enjoyed my stay in Oxford and I will definitely stay in contact with my supervisor there in
the future.

Wonderful experience in Eindhoven

September 1st, 2023 | by
  • Electrical engineering, information technology and computer engineering M.Sc.
  • The Netherlands, Eindhoven
  • Stichting imec Nederland
  • 02/2023 – 08/2023

The internship

I really enjoyed the internship at the company imec. Imec is a belgian company and founded the Holst research center in Eindhoven in 2005. Imec is an industry related research center in the field micro and nano-electronics and deals with technical projects in the areas of health & vitality, energy &climate, mobility & industry 5.0. The application was quite straightforward, and I already had feedback and the (digital) interview within a few days. Starting the internship, I noticed right away that the team is quite young and insanely nice and friendly. Everyone is super helpful, open and you feel right at home. There were always recreational after-work activities with the team that you could participate in if you wanted to. Since the team was also very international, it was no problem that I didn’t speak the language, because everyone spoke English anyway. The Holst center is located on the so-called High Tech Campus. On the High Tech campus, many different technical companies are located and there is an area with a supermarket, a few restaurants where you can eat something at lunchtime and a gym. Due to the many green spaces and a small lake, the High Tech campus is also suitable for a walk and therefore quite a nice location for an office.

My internship was part of the health department where an implantable stimulation electrode was developed. For me, that was the perfect project as it combined the electrical engineering and medical aspect in such an interesting way. I learned a lot and I felt very valued because my opinion and ideas were very well appreciated by the rest of the team. Beside the daily work I also had a weekly progress meeting with my supervisor and imec, where we discussed my latest work and the upcoming steps. I felt very well taken care of, as thoughts and ideas could be freely expressed and my questions were always answered.


Accomodation and living expenses

One of the more difficult aspects was to find a room to stay, since there are generally too few housing options for students in Eindhoven. I used the site and was lucky to find a room. The site has a monthly fee in order to be able to contact the landlords, but I would advise everyone to invest this money. I wouldn’t recommend using Facebook groups, because there are many scammers. The rents are relatively expensive, and one must expect about 500 – 600 € for a room in a shared flat. In general, the Netherlands is a bit more expensive than Germany, both for food but also for going out.


Eindhoven and surrounding

Eindhoven is a modern city. The city center is quite large and there are many stores, restaurants and bars. In particular, there are also somewhat exotic restaurants such as Indonesian or Ethiopian. Due to the existing university, there are also many young people around. Especially in summer, the various parks are very well attended and are very nice to enjoy the weather and nature. It is advisable to get a bicycle for the time here, as this is the best way to get around. There are very good and safe bike paths and almost everything is optimized for cyclists. I took mine from Aachen, but otherwise there is also the possibility to rent a bike at Swapfiets. To travel to other cities on weekends, the trains are particularly suitable. I can only recommend at this point to visit the cities of Utrecht and The Hague, because they are both beautiful. The app “9292” shows all bus and train connections within the Netherlands and is therefore very useful.


All in all, it was a wonderful experience. I was able to learn a lot during the internship and also the working atmosphere was very friendly and welcoming. The company imec has a lot of different and very exciting projects and therefore I would recommend everyone to have a look around here if you are looking for an interesting internship.

Internship in Leuven

September 1st, 2023 | by
  • Metallurgical Engineering M.Sc.
  • Belgium, Leuven
  • Siemens
  • 05/2023 – 07/2023

Application/Finding an internship

As a graduate student pursuing my master’s at RWTH Aachen University, Germany. As I embarked on a new chapter of my academic journey, little did I know that my three-month internship at Siemens PLM Software in the picturesque city of Leuven, Belgium, would become an experience I would cherish for a lifetime. And I was confident that if I received assistance from the Erasmus traineeship program, it would not be impossible. I widen my search for an internship to include all of Europe, not just Germany. Erasmus helps you along the road to make things more manageable financially. If you are prepared for the application, applying for a scholarship is an easy and quick process. I heard back about my application within a week of applying.


Accommodation & Living expenses

The majority of employers in Belgium do not compensate you for your internship and thesis work. However, Siemens PLM Software went above and beyond to ensure that my internship experience was smooth and comfortable. The company provided me with accommodation, which not only saved me the hassle of searching for housing but also allowed me to connect with other interns. Living alongside fellow interns from various corners of the world was an enriching experience, as it provided opportunities to exchange cultural insights and build lasting friendships. As a student previously lived in Aachen, I couldn’t help but draw

My Bike
©Harshita Gupta

comparisons between the two cities. While both offered unique charms, Leuven felt slightly more expensive in terms of living expenses. However, the vibrant cultural scene, the warmth of the people, and the international exposure, made up for the difference. Leuven’s blend of historical heritage and modernity provided a backdrop that enhanced every facet of my experience.


Everyday life/ the internship

From the very first moment I rented a bike, the city’s streets became my playground, allowing me to explore its beauty at my own pace. I must acknowledge that cities in Belgium have more bike lanes and are better constructed. On the first day, I was welcomed into a collaborative and supportive work environment. The company’s commitment to innovation and excellence was evident in every project I participated in. I was assigned to a team working on cutting-edge solutions, and the exposure to industry experts helped me bridge the gap between classroom theory and practical application. The workspace fostered an open culture, where discussions flowed freely, and knowledge was shared generously. This not only enhanced my technical skills but also honed my ability to work seamlessly within a team – a lesson I carry with me to this day.


Free time/tips

©Harshita Gupta

Leuven’s vibrant cultural scene ensured that there was never a dull moment especially in nights. Every weekend for a solid two months, there have been many summer music festivals in every Belgian city. This is the most perfect timing to be there. Due to the low distances between the cities, I also visited many of them. In Belgium, weekend train tickets are discounted by 50%, and there are additional special ticket offers for students. Moreover, the Belgian cuisine was a delightful surprise, and I indulged in waffles, chocolates, and the famous Belgian fries more times than I’d like to admit! Being adventurous, I enjoy going on hikes in my free time. I’ve visited to a lot of hiking spots near Leuven and Liege. That is incredibly lovely.

©Harshita Gupta


As I look back on my three-month internship journey at Siemens PLM Software in Leuven, Belgium, I am filled with gratitude for the countless experiences that shaped me into a more confident professional and a global citizen. The challenges I overcame, the friendships I formed, and the culture I immersed myself in have left an indelible mark on my personal and professional growth.

This journey was not just about honing technical skills or completing projects; it was about embracing the unknown, stepping out of my comfort zone, and realizing the boundless potential within me. It was about building bridges between cultures, fostering connections, and leaving an impact that transcends borders.