Media Release - For Immediate Release
A Letter from Germany
4 March, 2013
By Maria Krebs
|Maria Krebs, a chemistry intern from Germany, recently wrote about her experience at Saint Mary's and Nova Scotia.|
I was excited and afraid at the same time because I was going on a twelve week trip to a foreign country where I didn’t know anybody.
But all my concerns were completely unfounded; I was welcomed warmly and openly by everyone. On my second day, still fighting the jetlag, four girls of the chemistry department took me on a three hour walk up and down the hills of Halifax on the probably hottest day of the year. They wanted to show me everything, so that I would get along the following weeks.
This is a perfect example of the Canadian kindness. Unfortunately, on the next day nobody thought it was a good idea anymore as we were all feeling a little bit sick and dizzy… Afterwards, the three hour walk became a running gag.
Everybody was really friendly and tried to make my stay as comfortable as possible and so I got to know a lot of nice and interesting people. Also, I have learned
a lot of things: I improved my English, especially my lab-English and of course I’ve learned new stuff in the lab itself. For example, I have learned how to use and
work in a glovebox and a little bit about how to use a single-crystal X-ray diffractometer.
I did this in the research group of Dr. Jason Masuda (Inorganic Chemistry), a smaller research group in which I’ve had a great and instructive time.
In Halifax, there are two major universities, Dalhousie University and Saint Mary’s University . My internship took place at the Saint Mary’s University which is the smaller of the two.
This was really nice because on the one hand SMU doesn’t have a Ph.D. Program, which means that everyone who was working in a research group there were either Bachelor or Master’s students and therefore about my age. On the other hand, everybody knew each other and so it was like a big chemfamily. For example, the whole Chemistry department went to a turkey dinner together on one evening.
After finishing a four year B.Sc. degree in Canada students have different options: They can either go on with a Master’s degree in Chemistry (usually at a different
university to work in another research group) or directly with a Ph.D. Another possibility is to take the MCATs (Medical College Admission Tests) and go to medical school
to become a medical doctor. In Canada you start med school after completing a B.Sc. degree in another field (most often chemistry or biology).
In conclusion, I can advise everybody to go abroad and do an internship. It’s a great experience and you get to know a new culture and a lot of great people. And of course, you can improve your language skills, e.g. English, as well as your lab skills.
In the end, I’d like to thank the German Exchange Service sponsoring this trip via the Rise Weltweit program and of course Dr. Jason Masuda for the opportunity to work in his research group and for a wonderful, informative time and his support.
Maria Krebs was an intern who worked with Jason Mesuda’s research group from July to October 2012. The article was published in the Chemistry Faculty newsletter from the University of Wurtzburg.