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Danke schön, Deutschland

Danke schön, Deutschland
Tara Saad on holiday in Salzburg, Austria

Tara Saad knew two things when she began planning her study abroad experience. Germany had to be the destination, and laboratory research had to be the main purpose. Beyond that, though, Saad had to get creative.

“I individually emailed more than a hundred professors at various German universities with my CV and my topics of interest, expressing my desire to come and do research with them,” says Saad, a fourth-year biochemistry major. “Finally, I got an offer from a Dr. John Parsch at the Ludwig Maximilians Universität (LMU) in Munich.”

Odeonsplatz, in central Munich

After securing a spot in Parsch’s lab, which studies the evolutionary and functional genomics of Drosophila, Saad had to find a way to fund her trip. She talked to Sarah Simmons, assistant dean of Honors, Research and International Study, and was pointed in the direction of a fellowship specifically for students going abroad to do research. She applied, was the awarded the fellowship, for $3000, and went on to have, she says, by far the best summer of her life.

“The moments I had, the many friends I made, the people from all over the world I came across—they all made my summer much more than just a research internship,” says Saad, an Austin native. “It was a life changing, memorable, and, of course, educational experience. It’s hard for me to even put into words how amazing it was. Whenever I look back, I can’t help but smile.”

What was particularly valuable about the experience, says Saad, was how much of it depended on her own initiative.

“I didn’t arrange anything through a program or affiliation,” she says, “so I had to find my own food, my own housing, my own transportation. I had to make my own way around a foreign country I knew nothing about. It was hard sometimes, but so gratifying in the end.”

Upon returning to campus in the fall, Saad immediately enrolled in German language courses. She plans to return to Germany this summer, ideally to do more research, and expects to pursue a Master’s or PhD in Germany after she graduates.

“I fell in love with Germany,” she says. “And I like sharing my story because I want other students to know that these things can be done on your own, as long as you are determined enough to be persistent and not give up.”

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Comments 1

Guest - Paid Web Directory on Tuesday, 17 July 2012 00:55

I judge this is a echt extraordinary article occupation.Thanks Again. Rattling Zealous.

I judge this is a echt extraordinary article occupation.Thanks Again. Rattling Zealous.
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