And how are things in Miami?

To conclude my Master's program in Biomedical Engineering, only an internship remained on the agenda. Since I wanted to do this outside of Europe, the choice was quickly made when Florida International University (FIU) in Miami had a spot for me. In the research group of Dr. Hutcheson, I was warmly welcomed, and the adventure began.

photo Erbol

For three months, I’ll be conducting research on vascular smooth muscle cells. I’m investigating the influence of different mechanical stretch profiles on the formation of extracellular vesicles that can ultimately lead to calcification in the vascular system. It's an interesting and educational study where I use Matlab simulations and conduct laboratory experiments. It's a nice working environment because it's a small and close-knit research group where everyone is happy to help each other. Outside work, we also do fun activities together; often someone has plans and invites the rest along.

Miami is a big city with lots to do. The first weekend, I immediately went to explore Downtown Miami, the luxurious waterfront area with many skyscrapers, expensive cars, yachts, clubs, and much more. It immediately gave a good impression of the flashy lifestyle here.

In the following weekends, I went on outings with various friends; we went kayaking to Sandspur Island (a small island inhabited by wild but very civilized raccoons), went to the rodeo, chilled on the beach, did a pub crawl during Cinco de Mayo, and I hit my first home run at the annual BME softball game. So, besides the internship, there is plenty to do here in Miami.

If you're interested in an internship in Miami, you should definitely consider that living here is much more expensive, and public transportation is also slightly less efficient than what we're used to in the Netherlands. Miami is a big city; for example, the FIU Main Campus and Engineering Center are located quite far from Downtown Miami (one hour by bus). So, look for housing near the campus, for example, in one of the student apartment complexes; these are ideal.

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me via email.

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