Student - 5 april 2012

Summer dresses in Madrid


Who? Christel Seegers, fifth-year Biotechnology
What? Studying how proteins are transported through fungi hyphae
Where? In Madrid, Spain
Why? I wanted to do an enjoyable research project abroad. And I already had experience of working with fungi thanks to my Bachelor's thesis.

‘High heels - that's one thing I don't wear here. I don't feel comfortable in them. The Spanish are short and they look at me in amazement when I've got high heels on. Besides, I stand out enough as it is because I'm already happily wearing a short summer dress and leggings. It's about 20 degrees here now, warm enough for summer clothing. But the Spanish have other ideas: they stop me in the street to tell me that it is still much too cold for my clothes. Isn't it funny how different this is from in the Netherlands?
The lab where I'm working is much smaller than what I'm used to in Wageningen. My computer's in the lab too, so actually everything happens in the same room. Now that spring is arriving, we like to eat lunch outside. It almost never rains here; since September we have had just five rainy days. And it has bucketed down only once. The streets immediately changed into raging torrents. They're not used to so much water.
I have to work hard, much harder than in the Netherlands. Because I am working for a company, I have only a few days off. Pretty often, other international students have a free day while I have to work. Of course, a little bit more free time would have been great. But I'm getting enthusiastic responses to my work and that makes me enthusiastic too. It is nice to see how happy my supervisor is with my research results. So in spite of the long days it is certainly worth it.'

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