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Impression on Europe--Huang Tianyue
Source: Release:2019-11-01 08:43:11 Writer: Hits:

With the support of ICARE, I left school and went to the University of Zaragoza in Spain for a four-month internship on May 3 this year. First, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the teachers in ICARE, as well as my supervisor, Yang Qing. She not only guided my scientific research in many aspects, but also supported my internship abroad. It’s because of you that I can successfully go aboard to experience the four-month internship.

Zaragoza is a quiet, beautiful town where the locals are simple and honest. Unlike other exquisite European towns, this town shows its beauty in a harsh, wild way peculiar to Spain. It’s easy to sweep away the haze in my heart and look forward to the following four-morth stay here because the dry weather, less rain, strong wind, and blue sky, as well as warm and friendly local people.

The larboary where I'll work as an internship is the CIRCE Center of the University of Zaragoza, a lab mainly engaged in energy efficiency. Bi Yajun, another partner of the trip and I were welcomed by Professor Javier Uche, my supervisor in Europe, who made a total planning for our subjects and also provided us a lot of useful tips for living here. Students in our office come from mutiple countries, including a doctor from Brazil and two masters from Spain and Panama respectively. Although only my partner and I can't speak Spanish in the office, others will speak English as much as possible in daily communivation so that we can talk about problems in scientific research, learning, and the plots of the Game of Thrones season 8 together. Luis, a Brazillan, asked us to join his weekend party. We soon blended into this new family.


The main task during the internship is to complete our scientific research topics assigned by Professor Javier Uche, who gives us a lot of freedom, and meanwhile meeting with us every week or every two weeks to follow up our progress and give guidance. When I just arrived at the lab in May, I wanted to find a suitable parameter to define the shortage of water sources, so Javier sent me more than 20 literatures. While reading these literatures, I calculated the water consumption for life cycle of photovoltaic power station. Based on the above result and AWARE (indicator of residual water available in the area) definition I found by reading a lot of papers, I basically obtainted all results needed for the topics in June. In July and August, I focused on writing and revising my paper, during which, Javier gave me effective guidance, and felt satisfied with my scientific research.

As Spain is stereotyped as a slow-paced country, the scientific research here should be very free and easy. However, I think it’s not necessarily consistent with real fact after the four-month trip. First, since the Spainish’s daily schedule may be two or three hours behind most of coountries, our classmates usually come to the lab at 9:00a.m. and have launch at 2:00p.m.. They don’t take a nap, so they often finish dinner rapidlly and work until 8 o’clock at night. Then they leave for fitness and have dinner. Therefore, the time they spend on research is actually no less than that Chinese people do, and due to less chores, they can put more energy into the research. Secondly, although the European supervisor gave us a lot of freedom, they are strict on key nodes. Professor Javier has successively rejected several solutions that I want to use until he found the most reasonable solution and allowed me to continue it. Their focus and rigor on research have deeply infected me, from which I have learned to pay more attention to efficiency and focus in my work. Spanish may enjoy a slow pace of life, but they are more calm, confident and careful.

Compared with the progress of scientific research, the bigger challenge comes from life. As a kitchen idiot who can only put an egg into instant noodles, I faced a huge challenge to take care of myself for so long. In addition, due to the late arrival of my visa, I did not live with other Chinese partners. My roommates were two Englishmen and one Italian, and then after July I lived with three Spanishes who did not speak English at all. But every time when I made a breakthrough, I would also motivate yourself: the more I experience, the faster I grow. In a few months, I have learned to cook a few dishes to meet my daily needs. I can bake chicken wings and potatoes on weekend, fry salmon or steak to treat myself, and calmly communicate with roommates who speak total different languages and have different cultural background. That’s a lot of progress for me.


It is worth mentioning that my long-planned travel was finally implemented during the school holidays from the end of July to mid-August. From Portugal in the southwest corner of the European continent to Finland in northern Europe, I traveled across 8 countries, which enabled me to appreciate the local customs and customs of different regions and meet various interesting people. It is really a precious memory. When I returned, the internship also reached the final stage. The four-month internship here will surely become a good memory, inspiring me to continue to keep struggling in my future life.