Did you think that my research internship in Tokyo was the high point of my "career"? Well, it was just the beginning.
OK, let me start properly. In June, I graduated from my BSc in molecular biology and biochemistry which I studied here, in Prague, at Charles University. Since I had planned to continue with my studies, I spent my last year searching for MSc programs abroad, and in a slightly different field, because in the three years of my undergrad life, I learnt (among other things) that I would prefer to do something more industry and business-oriented and preferably in an international environment. Each of my internships abroad gave me so much valuable experience in such a short time - so imagine how much I could grow if it lasted not for a couple of weeks, but for two years. In the end, I only applied for two programs abroad (both food-related) and one "safe" plant science program at Charles'.
I was lucky enough to be accepted to all three, but I had to choose one, unless I borrow Hermione's time turner. I had quite a hard time choosing between the two international programs, but in the end I decided I'd stick to my originally first-choice program: FIPDes. Then I had to wait for my scholarship to be confirmed, for my graduation exam to end and now, finally, the fact that I actually will be part of the FIPDes 2013-2015 class hit me with all seriousness. So many things could have gone wrong (even just getting in is not easy - only about 5% of scholarship applicants are accepted!), but they didn't.
So, what is FIPDes?
FIPDes is an Erasmus Mundus MSc program. Europeans might have heard of Erasmus - program that allows one or two semester study stays within Europe. Erasmus Mundus takes it one step further. You complete your whole degree abroad - but not at one university. The minimum number of universities where you have to study is 2, for FIPDes, you can spend each semester at a different institution (for the other program I applied for, there were even options to change places twice a semester). And if you get one of the 18 spots, you receive a scholarship form the European Union - 500 E/month for EU students, 1000 E for non-EU students (wish my country didn't enter EU TT____TT).
Why do I believe FIPDes is going to be the most amazing Msc program ever?
1) The interviews (one of the application procedure rounds) were really personal, and the professors made sure to get to know us.
2) They chose people from different backgrounds so that we can learn new things not only from the professors but also from each other.
3) My future classmates are extremely smart, active, helpful and nice - I already know most of them through facebook.
4) After being accepted, the consortium staff has been guiding us through all the steps needed for our life in France - from applying for dorms to getting pre-paid subway cards.
5) Apart from academic scholars, we will have the opportunity to learn from industry experts - among the partners of the program, there are IKEA, Yoplait, Illycafé, Baileys...
6) Last semester consists solely of a research/industrial internship and MSc thesis (I'm hoping for Hanyang University in South Korea).
7) We already have the program of our intro module: Welcome day, French bureaucracy help, team building and "how not to kill each other", molecular gastronomy demonstration, FIPDes conference (see part of the program below - it sounds a-m-a-z-i-n-g), and of course FOOD!
To sum up, I'm leaving today for Paris, where I will stay (with short trips back home - and who knows - maybe to other countries as well) until the end of January, then I will move to Dublin, and then it's in the stars - I'm just sure that I will have less free time than options what I could do with it.
As for this blog, I'm not sure how much time for blogging I'll have, if I'll be able to keep up a regular posting schedule, if I'll manage to bribe one of my classmates to take outfit pics for me, I'm not even sure if I'll be able to do any crafts. I suppose, the most likely posts are going to be outfits, traveling, FIPDes topics, food and cooking.
So, please, wish me luck and I'll keep in touch from Paris <3
All pictures are screen shots from fipdes.eu