As the summer holidays started to draw closer, I was keen to get away as far as possible from Edinburgh. As a 3rd year student who is studying neuroscience, I felt that it was time for me to start looking to gain some laboratory experience.
However, having no idea where to start looking, I one day sat down in the library, opened up many tabs on google and started to look. I was also very keen on gaining some experience working and studying abroad as this is something that I have never really done much of and so all in all it was an experience for me. After a few clicks, violent tapping on the keyboard and constant scrolling, I managed to come across a laboratory project related to neuroscience in Doha, Qatar that was being advertised.
After conducting my research into the work that was being done in the lab, getting in contact with the professor who ran the lab and discussing about a suitable project, I found myself eager to get onboard as soon as once the logistics were suitable. The programme its self was run from Weill Cornell Medical College -Qatar, one of Qatar’s top medical schools.
(Outside my Workplace)
The summer project that I had undertaken was to see neuronal cancer cells (neuroblastoma cells) and why they become resistant to anti-cancer drugs. I was very keen to partake in this project as it was a field of interest for me but also the opportunity to travel and work in the Middle East.
Cancer cells and different drugs disposed in the cells.
Indeed, I made a very good decision. I wanted to do a summer project in the middle east because as a student who is studying Neuroscience, a field where drug/medicine production plays a huge role worldwide, understanding the functions of medicines is mandatory to study/research and produce a drug that is effective for the human population with those with cancer. I felt that this project would not only increase my knowledge in the field but also I would have the chance to explore Qatar culturally too.
(having Ice Cream and the Museum with the view of Doha)
I prepped myself in advance, I knew that I was going to leap into the unknown, a place I have never visited before, but I ensured that I was adrenaline ready. Ready to have fun and explore.
I learnt a lot more about infectious diseases and travel medicine and used my knowledge that I have gained at university and be able to share that with medical students alike and continued to build a foundation for knowledge. I felt that it gave me the opportunity to travel abroad and enable me to gain experience in working and living abroad in another country for the first time and being able to undergo extracurricular activities within the programme too. This also allowed me to work at the top medical school in Qatar and enabling me the opportunity to explore Qatar and the Middle east too.
Being able to doing this activity was very very beneficial for me as it opened up a world of opportunities for me, allowing me to improve and work on new skills but also enjoy the process at the same time throughout my travels. Thank you ever so much Principals go Abroad Fund, I really had the best time and have learned so much, an investment in me that I feel I can go on and make a difference in the world. Thank you.
Using Microscopes to count the cells and run tests using electrophysiological equipment.