Erasmus+ Traineeship in the Department of Molecular Medicine, Denmark

Erasmus+ Traineeship was the best chance I could take as a graduate with a Bachelor degree in biology! During my 3rd study year at university I finally realised that the field I want to see my future self in is molecular medicine. Although I was dreaming big, I clearly perceived that a long and rocky road is ahead. A tough final year helped me make a decision to take a gap year before taking a Master’s degree. I found myself longing to see more of the world, and improve myself personally and professionally at the same time. So, I started looking for the student exchange programmes abroad. One of them that grabbed my eye was namely Erasmus+ Traineeship, the programme I have heard of couple of years ago. After several months of preparation of the required documents I was luckily accepted to complete Erasmus+ Traineeship in the Department of Molecular Medicine (University of Southern Denmark).

The Department is located in Odense, which is the third-largest city in Denmark. Research in the Department is carried out in disciplines that include brain research, research in the immune system, cardiovascular and renal research and research in cancer and stem cells. I had the pleasure to join Holmskov, Sørensen and Schlosser research team. The group is grounded in basic research aiming at cloning and characterizing novel molecules in terms of expression patterns, biochemical interactions, and modulation of cellular activity. All members of the group, including professors, technicians and students were very attentive, kind, patient, and helpful. Everyday coffee and lunch-time breaks created a deeper social connection between all the employees and let us to escape from daily working issues at least for several minutes. Furthermore, every second Wednesday morning meetings were taking place when we were invited to present the progression of the projects we were working on at a time and discuss it with associates. Also, I had a chance to participate in a annual Christmas party, Bowling night and even challenge myself in 5 km running competition!

During those 8 months in Denmark I had chance to get to know more about the culture of this beautiful country while traveling around almost every weekend! However, during the weekdays I spent a long long hours in the laboratory performing experiments, following by analysis of the results in the office. I should admit that I have faced a lot of challenges every day, but with some effort, patience, and good supervision I was able to move forward and forward. This traineeship helped me to improve my basic laboratory working skills, critical scientific thinking, acquire time and work planning skills, master new laboratory techniques, improve my abilities to solve most of the scientific issues. Moreover, I was kindly welcomed back at any time that suits my career plans. Thus, I am very glad that I took this opportunity to improve myself both as a person and a future scientist.

Benita Buragaitė


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