In my two months as an intern at the chemistry lab in Ege university department of chemical engineering, I worked on a project entirely designed for me. We used silica aerogels to remove BPA -a harmful substance found in many things we use every day, such as plastic water bottles- from wastewater. Working alone in a lab without a team is an experience that I've never had before and I gained a lot of valuable information about lab work and different equipment used in analyzing chemicals. I also had the chance to compare my university in Iran with Ege university, finding how things could be different and how that would change one's education entirely.

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I lived in a double room at Ogrenci Koyu (student village). Izmir is a quiet and clean and a very nice city to live in. It's very big, with many interesting sights. I had work starting 9 in the morning until 5 p.m. I would usually have lunch at the university canteen at 12 with other IAESTE interns and then I would meet with my Turkish friends for tea and go back to work again at 1:30. Turkish people are extremely hospitable and nice and even though very few people speak English in Izmir (even among university students), they would do anything in their power to help you in any way they can. This internship helped me find make friendships that will hopefully last for the rest of my life.


As a 20-year-old, this was my first time travelling alone and my first time out of my country at all. I experienced some difficulties in the beginning especially because of the language barrier, but as time went by and I started to get better at communicating with people, things got easier. In my time in Izmir, I learned a lot about living alone, handling my finances, and all aspects of not having my parents around to help me all the time. Before going on this internship, I didn't think I like my field very much. I didn't have much experience working in a chem lab and I was actually considering changing my major. But as I got to work in the lab, I started to realize how much I actually love what I do and it changed my views on my field and what I want to do in the future entirely. It made me fall in love with the field I tried so hard to get into 3 years ago all over again.

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