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Impression on Europe--Chen Guoping
Source: Release:2019-09-26 08:51:40 Writer: Hits:

I am excited beyond words at the thought that in ten days, I will return to my homeland.

It is extremely hot in Zaragoza. The only time you can feel a little bit cool is at dusk. There is breeze blowing this night. When writing this summary, I, siting before the computer desk, is looking back to my internship life in the past four months at abroad little by little. We finally found our rented house with the help of an upperclassman of us from China upon arriving at Zaragoza. After settling down and tidying up for a little while, we are showed around by him in the city downtown. And my first impression on the city was that it was a tranquil and ordered place with river and cathedral.


As people in Spain were celebrating the Holy Week the week we arrived, our school is closed. We had no choice but to stay at home and start to purchase some life necessities. There are two main differences in celebrating holidays between Spain and China. One is the "bridge holiday" tradition of Spain, which means that workdays between two holidays will be off days. For example, if a festival is celebrated on Thursday, the following day Friday which is between the festival and the weekend, will be an off-day, so that the Spanish people who enjoy life to the fullest will have a long holiday from Thursday to Sunday. The another is that most shops in Spain will not open in holidays, especially on Sunday. Unlike in China, shops there appear to be more desolate on weekend.

I would like to start with my study there. After arriving at the school, Ms. Alberto enthusiastically introduced the school and some rules there to us. She also introduced us to the leaders and teachers in the labs and showed us around in the labs and work rooms. In the University of Zaragoza, the laboratory and work room are totally independent from each other. The work room, which looks like a giant box with tall top and is called by the Spanish as "nave", is a place usually used to store all kinds of experiment benches and conduct experiments. We often perform experiments here. The laboratory is used to store precise analysis instruments. All the samples we take after the experiment are processed and tested here, for the final results to be obtained after analysis is made by the instruments.

My tutor Isabel, tall and thin, is a tender woman who speaks gently and is easy to get along with. She is patient with us, even we stay here only for four months. The first month, she had me read some literature first, and taught me how to deal with the group of sample data she offered to me when other students had already started to conduct experiment directly more or less. If I asked her why not start with experiment, she would smile and said:" Don’t worry we can make it. "I often came across some problems when I first started to learn data processing (actually, some of them were already covered by her), but I was so ashamed of asking her again that I always tried to solve them by myself and wasted a lot of time, fearing that she might doubt about my ability. Later, I found in my communication with her that she didn't mind how much time I asked her at all. Instead, she was always pleased about my disturbing her again and again and was so patient in answering my questions. She even complained about her poor English every time and said that she was not a good teacher as she failed to explain clearly to me, in order to comfort me. Therefore, in Spain, you don't have to maintain a superior-subordinate relation deliberately with your teachers. It is absolutely possible that you can become intimate friends.

In middle June, I finally entered the work room nave to start experimenting. My experiments were not easy and Isabel would come to help with me for every one of them, no matter how busy she was. In China, I conduct three to five experiments a day on average or at the most. However, in there, we conduct an experiment for three to five days. We check for every detail, instead of seeking for speed, in order to ensure that no error is made and accurate experiment result is obtained. After completing the experiment, we found the result is indeed in line with what we had expected. If it is different from our anticipation, we would conduct another experiment with definite purposes.

A step even more important following the experiment is analysis by testing. The step was finished in the laboratory (lab). Olga, a nice middle-aged woman was in charge of the management of the instruments in the laboratory. Old as she is, she is expert in all precise instruments in the lab. It is forbidden to work alone in the lab. I would stay there till late as the sampling treating process of mine is complicated, and Olga would accompany me. Teacher Alberto in the opposite lab told us that Olga was the "Vitamin people” in the lab. When asked why, she answered: "She is a person who always fills people with vitality and is as important as vitamin" While processing samples in the lab, I had learned the operation methods of many instruments from him and managed to operate and clean them independently. In China, we often send the samples to analysis and testing centers for convenience sake, instead of testing them by ourselves. However, we had to learn to do it by ourselves there, which enriched our skills.


Generally speaking, my life here can be divided into two parts, namely, home and school lives. For the sake of economy, I often cooked by myself, which improved my culinary skills. The sun sets very late here, often at 10:00 pm. In mid-summer, it is still bright at 11:00 pm or at middle night in exceptional cases. The Spanish are hedonic. They often go with their friends to the bar for a beer at dusk, chatting till midnight. Compared with other cities, the small city Zaragoza is rather tranquil. And people there are nice will not discriminate anyone. It really pleases you to get along with the locals. I am especially impressed by one food, Tapas, a kind of snack sold at bars. According to my understanding, it is two breads with a toothpick in it and meat, vegetable and cheese between them. Some Tapas are really delicious.

Sometimes, I went to the riverside for running, immersed in the beautiful sky which turned from light blue to indigo and then to dark.


August is the hottest month in Spain when students there can enjoy a three-week holiday. I took the chance in Europe to visit other countries around and my friends there by the way.


At last, I'd like to extend my gratitude to my tutor Isabel, who had supported me in finishing the experiment and paper and imparted knowledge and skills to me, rather than having me conduct the machine-like experiments. It is because of her that I can learn a lot of useful things. My gratitude also goes to the ICARE, who had provided me with the opportunity of going abroad for an internship and offered me assistance, so that I can experience the school life on the other side of the world and broaden my horizon.