SPbPU Student about Her Internship at PolyU
In 2018 four PhD students from SPbPU are going to the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) to undertake internships. They've got this opportunity as the winners of the internship competition for PhD students which PolyU had held for the second time. The previous year's winner has just returned to St. Petersburg. Bella ERGASHEVA, a PhD student of Institute of Metallurgy, Mechanical Engineering and Transport (IMMET of SPbPU), gave an interview to a representative of the International Office and shared her impressions about the internship, university structure, obtained results and plans for the future.
- Bella, how did you get to know about the project? Why did you decide to take part in it?
- I found information about the context in social networks. Hong Kong is a very attractive city, and the PolyU campus, especially the 15-story building designed by British architect Zaha Hadid, is something absolutely incredible! I wanted to go there, especially after I read about scientific activities at the university and its laboratories. And I could do it!
- For how long have you been on your internship?
- My internship lasted for 3 months. If you want to participate, you should prepare a lot of various documents: reviews, certificates, and other papers. Project coordinators provided me with a step-by-step guide, and stayed in touch all the time: I could ask a question, and would immediately get an answer. It was very nice to see their interest and readiness to help.
- What impressions did you get when you came to PolyU?
- My impressions were incredible! The warm weather, the bright sun, beautiful university's buildings, welcoming people - I felt homey there very quickly. PolyU representatives helped me check in at a student dormitory, gave me a tour around the campus, showed around the research center, arranged my place of work.
- Did you have any difficulties with communication?
- No, absolutely not! Of course, maybe it depends on a person: I often travel and easily find common language with anyone. At PolyU, you can often hear Russian speech: there are many students from Russia and Kazakhstan. Also, at my first day at the university, the program coordinators gave me contacts of the Russian PhD students, who were studying at PolyU at that time. We immediately got acquainted.
- Tell us about the infrastructure of the university.
- It is important to say that Hong Kong is a city which properly adapts itself to the current climate pattern. There are frequent rains, which are very heavy. Almost all buildings of the university are connected with each other: roads between them have roofing, which protects from rainfalls. When the weather is fine you can walk in the garden; it is very big and beautiful. Also, you can take part in various students' activities: they are held there very often.
- What's about your thesis supervisor and your research activities?
- The coordinators of the competition find a thesis supervisor for you by themselves; it is a very critical part of work, because the scope of your research supervisor's thesis should be corresponding to each other. Professor Xingjian Jing, who supervised my activities at PolyU, offered me to try some new direction: our research topic was exoskeletons. If you have watched the Iron Man movie, you should understand what I am speaking about. This is a device that supports and protects the human body. It is a kind of external structure, and primarily it is essential for people who have some problems with the musculoskeletal system. This device may replace lost body's functions and increase muscle strength. Exoskeletons are not widespread, and, of course, the topic needs a lot of research and experiments.
- This is a very useful and interesting topic! Did you have any time to walk around the city, to visit any interesting places?
- Hong Kong has its own unique flair; I really enjoyed walking around its streets. On the one hand, there are a lot of skyscrapers and you can see incredible views from the top of them; on the other hand, you can easily find various markets with local food there. There are many islands; each of them has its own history and tourist attractions.
- Did you get some new experience, new impressions?
- It was an invaluable and empowering experience for me. I feel that my outlook on the world has changed, and I am very thankful to my university for that chance. I advise everyone to take part in such projects; you'll have incredible impressions and an enormous surge of energy. Recently, I have met with four students who are going to have internships at PolyU. I am happy for them, and wish them good luck!
- Bella, thank you very much for an interesting interview! We wish you good luck in your future projects!