“Totally worth it”
Initially, thoughts of not enjoying South-Africa (SA) crossed my mind. Whenever I talked about my work placement in SA, my family members and friends would talk about the crime rates, inequality and many more negative things. I decided to obtain more information about SA so, I registered for the 2018 information moment of “Word Wereldburger “, organized by the province of WestFlandres. At the event, students talked about experiences during their internships in SA. They insisted that Pretoria was a safe place to go to and that I should not have any worries because I would take pleasure in my stay. Another important factor which played a role in choosing this destination comes from the fact that the University of Pretoria is one of the best ranked universities in SA. Moreover, the Centre for African Gene Technologies at the Dept. of Bioinformatics is one of the first and best information technology research facilities in Africa which also collaborates with other universities and colleges (e.g. Hokkaido institute, University of Uppsala and Howest University of Applied Science). I was fortunate enough to be working on germ line variant analysis in introns to determine if the mutated genes had increased susceptibility to breast cancer. Every step in the project had his/her own difficulties but was very interesting and fun to accomplish. Supervisors, colleagues and student were all ready to assist and help you. As intern I never had the feeling that I had to perform the project on your own or had nobody to go to when needed. During the project, I was introduced to new software tools, packages and programmes which were/could be very useful and helpful for any data scientist in the future. My accommodation (Tuksdorp) was a five-minute walk from work and all the stores and shops were all in a 1km radius. My nine weeks here were very interesting, fun and challenging. I enjoyed my short stay, but it may come to no surprise that I wanted to stay longer. I would recommend SA to everybody that is looking to perform good research in a challenging yet strong scientific environment.
Link to blog: https://prempehmubashir1.wixsite.com/mijnsite