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Israel

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Lisa Ă–ller


Home country

Austria

Internship city and country

Haifa, Israel

Internship employer

Technion- Israel Institute of Technology

University study field

Biotechnology

Year of internship

2017

Internship length

8 weeks


Work

In summer 2017 I got the chance to do a 2-month internship via the IAESTE international Internship program, at the Laboratory for Molecular and Applied Biocatalysis in the Department of Biotechnology and Food Engineering at the Technion- Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel. My group was very friendly and open, and they welcomed me warmly on my first day. My boss Prof. Ayelet Fishman introduced me to their research topic on the first day and explained everything very well to me, so that I immediately had a good background knowledge and knew what everything is about. Their main research is about Tyrosinase, an enzyme controlling the production of melanin, that they use in different contexts. During my internship, I helped my colleagues Ilil and Jovana with their project dealing with Emulsions stabilised by enzymatically crosslinked proteins. For this reason, I purified plant protein from peas, chickpeas and corn and examined the enzymatic crosslinking reactions and their influence on the stability of emulsions. As the field of applied food science was quite new for me, I learned a lot and I was introduced to new methods and instruments. Generally, I had a really good time at my work and although the time of the internship was quite short, my colleagues became good friends, as we had lunch together every day and they even organised a lab trip before I left.

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Experience

Every weekend was used for traveling and sightseeing. In the beginning Hila, our IAESTE guide tried to organise trips for us, however we realised that it was easier if we just do it ourselves, as we knew better what we wanted to see and do. However, she still helped us a lot with doing reservations and organising public transport. For our weekend trips we had to rent a car most of the time, due to the Shabbat regulations in Israel and a lack of public transport on weekends. This was no big deal however, as there was a big supply of car rentals. With some effort we even managed to be around 10- 15 people for most of our trips to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the Golan Heights, the Negev dessert, the Dead Sea and to Galilee. Furthermore, we did a lot of sightseeing in and around Haifa and of course we met many times at the beach, which was reachable in 30 min by bus from the Technion. Of course, we also tried Israeli food and had a lot of pitas with falafel and hummus, which is a very delicious dish. In the evenings we also organised some international dinners, where everyone brought food from their home countries and international dance evenings, where we learned dances from Romania, Brazil or São Tomé.

Discover

For me Israel is a very special and interesting place due to its long history. It is a holy place for so many people around the world and due to the many religious and historic places it is quite intense to travel around as there is so much information and history in every building, mountain or lake. I really enjoyed learning more about this region and the ongoing conflict between the ethnic groups and religions and I recommend everyone who is travelling there to talk to different people about their lives and believes. Those conversations showed me once again that I am so lucky to be born and live in Austria in a peaceful time and how precious peace and freedom is. Talking to the people facing the consequences of a decade long conflict every day showed me how difficult and complicated this issue is and that there can’t be an easy solution.