And how are things in Dublin?

Ireland, the land of…. rain! But certainly also the land of hospitality, Guinness, live music and beautiful nature. As soon as the period for applications for an externship during my biomedical engineering studies came by, my first thought was Ireland. The rain that comes with this country choice, is actually not too bad.

photo Privé collectie Kim Hermsen

My internship at Trinity College's Kelly Lab gives me a lot of freedom to determine my own project, which also allows me to decide on my own hours and thus leaves a lot of free time for fun things.

The Kelly Lab is a divers group of people that focus on biofabrication and in vitro cell culture of both human and animal tissue. Most PhD and Post-Doc students focus on cartilage tissue or menisci.

During my externship I am learning a new technique that allows the 3D printing of PCL scaffolds. These scaffolds will be mechanically tested to see what architecture might be suitable for chondrogenesis.

Public transport in Ireland is, especially compared to that in the Netherlands, very cheap. For 1 euro you can travel for 1.5 hours by bus, DART (train service within Dublin) or LUAS (tram). By using the train connection you can reach the South, West or North coast  of Ireland within 4 hours.  Therefore, a weekend trip to Galway, Cork or Donegal is easily planned out.

However, to enjoy yourself, you do not necessarily have to leave Dublin. For the nature lovers it is easy to get to the Cliffwalk in Howth and Bray. In addition, you can get some fresh air during a walk to the lighthouse in Sandymount or at the pier of Dun Loaghaire.

Kortom: In een bruisende stad al Dublin is altijd wel iets te doen. Echter kan dat ook erg overweldigend zijn als je hier in je eentje komt studeren. Gelukkig organiseert Erasmus genoeg feestjes voor internationale studenten. Daarnaast kun je met YES-trips van ESN zowel Ierland als andere studenten beter leren kennen. Met andere studenten aan je zijde is het wellicht wat gemakkelijker om je eigen kroegentocht vol met live muziek door Temple Bar te organiseren.

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