UTRIP - University of Tokyo Research Internship Program - 2013 & Vita

I have major Vita’s-life-changing news!

I have the honor of being accepted for the UTRIP (University of Tokyo Research Internship Program) this summer - you can check the details of the program here. I’ve been aware of the existence of this research internship ever since I started university, but I didn’t think I was good enough to even apply during my first two years, so I tried to get as much experience as I could and maintain as good GPA as possible. And this year (my last as an undergraduate, hopefully), I mustered up my courage and sent my application in. And I was informed some time ago that I am among the students selected, which is still very surreal. Even though I’m going crazy from flight bookings, will-my-card-work-theres, why-is-my-Japanese-so-funnys etc., I still can’t believe it.

I am very very grateful to have been accepted among the other candidates who I’m sure are all extremely talented (this stay will probably be a major blow for my ego) - and I’ll work as hard as I can to prove I wasn’t a bad choice and to save my professor & laboratory & university & country & myself from a huge embarrassment. And I’m 100% sure that this will be an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will change my future career a lot (changes are always good, but this one will surely be for the better). I am really nervous about meeting people’s (and my) expectations, but I also think it’s going to be an absolutely amazing experience so I’m really excited.

I found a blog from a girl who participated two years ago, so I’ve been able to get a grasp of how things are gonna work, and thank god, there seems to be a lot of guidance from the seniors at the hosting labs, which is nice, because there are so many methods of doing things in science, you can’t always use the one you learnt in one lab in another one. But I still hope that I’ll be able to get a quick speed course at one of my uni’s labs before leaving for Japan (I’ll have one week between my graduation exam and the departure day), because I’m not sure I’ve done all the techniques I might need before. I’ll have to re-read my hosting professor’s articles including the “methods” chapters in detail and estimate what kind of work I might be asked to do. Just as I expected, the research will require that I dedicate a lot of time to it (naturally, since the graduate school puts a lot of money and academic staff’s time and effort into this too), but it seems that weekends tend to be free to explore Tokyo and other prefectures, which is sweet. 

I’m kind of annoyed there’s this thing called graduation exam standing between me and the internship, because apparently I need to learn hundreds of kanji and details about my hosting lab’s research, not the “important” dates of scientific discoveries and detailed biochemical pathways (I believe Czech Republic is fairly unique in it’s graduation system - you have to defend your thesis AND pass a huge exam, fortunately my major’s has only 25 themes and there are only 6 or 7 of them that are somewhat difficult because they require you to learn a lot of detailed pathways or statistics). But eh, not graduating is not an option anyway, so I have to work hard on both! lol

Anyway, this is one of the reasons I’ve been so busy, but I hope I’ll be able to make some time for browsing my fave blogs and replying to comments, I’m really sorry. And... I hope all the formalities go well, it would be soooo embarrassing if it didn’t work out in the end, especially since I’ve just bought my plane ticket. XD

Yours truly excited


  1. Wow! Obrovská gratulace! :)

  2. Wow! Velká gratulace! Tvá píle a pečlivá práce byla odměněna. Přeji Ti hodně štěstí v Tokyu!

  3. Jsi naprosto úžasná, chtěla bych být taky tak pracovitá a cílevědomá! Moc ti gratuluju, zasloužíš si to. <3

  4. Objevila jsem tvůj blog teprve nedávno, když jsem hledala nějakou (českou) módní inspiraci, co by mi sedla. A hned se dozvím, že jedeš do Japonska do školy jako jiná blogerka, co sleduju (http://kavarnistka.blogspot.cz/). Tak ať se ti tam daří

  5. I am very glad for you, my dear Vita.
    Concentrate in your carear. We will be waiting.
    Much love always, my gorgeous friend.

  6. Woooww, thats awesomeee !!! i want tooo, i was thinking about summer school in Seoul, but maybe next year, this no....but Tokyo!!! fashion center!! whaaa (hope u will make a lot of photos!!)

  7. great! would you like to follow each other? let me know!

  8. Strašně moc gratuluji! :) Určitě si to zasloužíš a doufám že i skvěle užiješ :)
    Jenom prosíím všechno podrobně zdokumentuj, jsem neskutečně zvědavá :D

  9. omg congratulations! You should visit Korea while you're doing this program!


  10. Yeeeeiy! I am so happy for you! It sounds really interesting and exciting!


  11. wow congrats! sounds super exciting for you! :)

    Metallic Paws

  12. Oh Vita I only saw this post today I am so glad you decided to go and embrace this amazing opportunity, I now you will be perfect there and love it! Good like with your final exam, here we don't have it, lucky us!

  13. Thanks so much, guys - I promise I'll take a zillion of pictures. :)

  14. Hey Vita. This is an old post but I wanted to ask a few questions. What do you think helped your application stand out? I'd like to apply as well, but my gpa is just ..blah(average) so I can hope to raise it by the end of this semester but still.... Please, any detail would be great. Thanks. Also I can't seem to find many blogs, so I'm not sure who's you're referring to.

    1. Hi, super sorry for my late reply! Hope it will still help...
      Blogs: Maybe people took them down eventually? I don't remember anymore, but I know there were 2 or 3 blogs by some people when I checked 3 years ago (haha).
      Application: That's a bit hard to guess. From the observation of our batch, we deduced that possible pre-requisites might have been close-to-perfect GPA, being from a reputable university or from a laboratory whose research was familiar to the hosting lab, having some sort of relationship with Japan (about half of us spoke Japanese) and of course matching the requirements posted by the host lab. I think perhaps very good lab experience could compensate for not-so-stellar grades, but it seemed that academic excellence was valued quite highly. In my case, I built my skills up for 2 years to appeal to the lab where I wanted to work so that I'd be a perfect match, I read all of their articles and related my motivation letter to the publications to show I was familiar with their area, and I was lucky to speak Japanese and to be from a lab they knew. Do your best and don't be discouraged if it doesn't work out this year, the competition is tough and luck certainly plays a considerable role as well! Good luck and I'd be happy to hear how it went.