Exchange Diaries  

By International Relations Cell

Outbound Diaries 2019

Abha Kumari | Chemical Engineering

Purdue University, USA, United States of America

Research Area: Battery systems

Duration: 2.5 Months

Why do you think Foreign Training is important, how was your experience?
The gap that lies between an Internship in India and an internship outside would be known more when you do your internship outside. How people work there was different from here. There you would see a different approach to the problems. They have the resources which facilitates their ideas. They have a proper network where you can run your codes and simulations for seven to eight days. So in terms of resources they are really competent.

What was your Foreign Training about?
My internship was about battery systems. Lithium metal anodes have very big safety issue which is the formation of dendrites and that can cause short circuit in batteries. My project was studying different metals as anodes and verify if they formed dendrites or not. This was a computational project.

What procedure did you follow to get a FT ?
I applied for the SN Bose scholarship program. The results came by January 15th that I was shortlisted and after that I started approaching the professors in the US and one of the professors really liked my work and he was happy to take me.

How did you come to know of this program?
As I entered my third year I had a senior in my hall who applied for Mitacs. I heard her experience and I wanted to go for a foreign training also my prof motivated me because in the previous summer I had done my Industrial training so he wanted me to get a research training as well. I started googling for all the programs and after interaction with another senior in my department, I came to know about SN Bose scholarship.

How did you manage your finances?
My stipend was more than enough. Travel and accommodation was paid by them and my medical insurance was included in SN Bose scholarship.

On a lighter note, how was your stay in the foreign country?

It was really good. The day I went there and the day I am here, I can see the difference. I made a good group of friends. We used to discuss about our projects, cook and have lots of fun travelling different places. So, it was a great experience as I learned to manage everything(food, work and entertainment).
How is the work culture there?
The people there are not workaholics, they reserve their weekends for fun, trips and other things but they work really hard on weekdays. The group meetings, presentations and discussions are a part of their work. It helps you get to know things outside of your research domain. Professors and research scholars were very friendly and approachable which improves one’s learning.

Role of CG for FT?
For me the CG was the biggest tool I had. I had experimental skills and a bit of research experience which must have added to my CG. But, I feel that CG does not speak about what you are as a researcher or whether you can think beyond the horizon. So people who have a decent CG and are in say Chemical and are excelling in other departments can also get FT in those departments.

What would you suggest to your fellow KGP ians who aspire to go for Foreign Training?
Applying for FT requires proper planning, it requires proper CV building, if you are going through mass mailing then you should convince the professor why he/she should take you. It need not be a project or something related to academics. You can show that you have excelled in things you’ve tried. You should not hurry for FT. You should not think that FT is everything especially when you are a sophomore and you have a five year course. Instead you should wait to explore and develop your skills.If you have a good experience/ skill set, you can have better chances of getting selected and your effort in trying for FT will be worth it. Also, through this initiative by IR cell, I would like to convey a big learning from my experience; please follow the institute rules of taking proper permissions and NOC for the entire period of internship so that you have a smooth beginning for the next semester.