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ICARE Exchange Students in Europe--Written by MA Pengfei
Source: Release:2018-07-06 09:38:16 Writer: Hits:

As a poor student changing specialty from machinery to new energy, going abroad should have been a reachless thing. But fortunately, after several rounds of interviews by the Institute and Dr. Jolanta, I managed to embark on my trip to France.

Scientific research

The laboratory in which I carry out research is the Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Surfaces at Chimie ParisTech in the center of Paris. The institute is a school of general chemical engineers founded in 1896, and a public school located in the 5th arrondissement of Paris.


When I first came to the lab, I didn't understand anything. And the students guided by Dr. Jolanta had all graduated, so she only guides me now. However, all the difficulties were not difficult any more as my supervisor was careful and responsible. She guided me herself through the operation of glove box, the assembly of lithium-ion battery, the testing of battery and the pre-operation of various experimental platforms, which made the subsequent experiments go smoothly. I was accompanied by the glove box and electrochemical workstation throughout my entire internship.



It's said that life in France is like a fight, and it turns out that you don't know how hard it is to fight if you don't come to experience. The room rate in the center of Paris is very expensive; fortunately, my supervisor helps me to apply for the MAISON DES MINES, which is just five minutes away from the school. The apartment is located next to the Luxembourg Gardens, about a 20-minute walk from the Seine River and Notre-Dame de Paris.

I get up at 9:00 am every morning, go out at 9:20, buy bread for breakfast on the way to school, and then report to my supervisor yesterday's experiments and consult the tasks of the day. I go to the campus canteen at noon to have lunch, a very standard and ordinary French meal. The appetizer plus main course plus dessert plus fruit plus bread only costs 3.93 euros which is already a very low price. However, the taste is still far worse compared with Chinese food. I have to cook by myself at night after going home. At the beginning, I can only cook noodles, but now, I'm able to cook a few dishes or stew pork ribs occasionally.


On weekends, I often invite several friends to visit Louvre Museum or Notre-Dame, or get some air by the Seine River, or go to the restaurant to have a good meal, or go to the supermarket to buy some food for hot pot.


France has never been mean with holidays. There's no holiday shift, but all kinds of holidays. I was fortunate to be given a three-week summer vacation. So travel is definitely indispensable and only beauty and food can't be missed!


Here you can see the walls used to resist pirates in ancient times in Saint Malo, the city of pirates, as well as beaches with waves beating against the shore and the well-preserved medieval old town; you can hear different stories in the winery in Bordeaux, a land of red wine, and taste the most famous foie gras in France; you can head down south to Marseille and Nice to experience the hot Mediterranean climate, enjoy the sun on the beach, and swim in the sea; you can also go to Barcelona, Spain, and visit the Nou Camp to watch a game of Messi; or you can go north to Bruges, Belgium, to enjoy the beauty of Gothic architecture in former days, and taste the mellow top chocolate; you can also travel from Dusk Colmar to Baden-Baden in Germany to experience the most famous natural hot spring baths and unique large pork knuckles; what’s more, you can continue to go north to Amsterdam in the Netherlands to see Van Gogh's painting Sunflowers and spinning windmills.