Exchange Diaries  

By International Relations Cell

Outbound Diaries 2019

Shounak Sural | Electronics and Electrical Communication Engg.

The University of Toronto, Canada

Research Area: Embedded interface between implantable electronic chips and computer.

Duration: 2 Months

Why did you think FT is Important?
I am generally interested in taking up a research internship, and I am planning to go for higher studies. So FT was a better option for me to go with rather than sitting for a company internship.

How did you apply for FT?
I applied for FT through the Mitacs program. I filled up all the details required and submitted my CV in the Mitacs program, and the deadlines are in mid-September. I had to select seven projects out of thousands of projects given and applied for it through the Mitacs portal. After two months you will be notified if you got shortlisted or not. If you got then, this would follow up by a video call where the professor will take your interview. By January you will know whether you were selected or not.

How was your welcome abroad?
It was all very convenient. I was assigned a mentor who picked me up from the airport, and the very next day, my internship started. I was living in an apartment which was near my workplace, so it became elementary for me to go.

How was your stay in Canada?
It was a very memorable experience. Since Toronto is on the eastern side of Canada, so I visited the western side of Canada, such as Montreal and a few national parks. Well, the Toronto city itself is lively at night and a perfect place to roam without any fear of getting robbed.
Since I stayed within the campus, so everything was very accessible, even some restaurants are open till late 3 am.

How did you manage your Finances?
Since I applied through Mitacs program, they funded my internship. The stipend which I received covered my travel and living expenses. You have to go there, open up a bank account and they will give you allowances and travel expenses.

Role of CG for FT?
Yes, my CG played a crucial role since Mitacs approve those applicants who have high CG.

How was their work culture?
In my lab, we were six interns and were assigned to work under a PhD student. Five of them were from Toronto, and I was the only one from outside. We used to go together to have lunch and used to share what we are working. We also used to have weekly group meetings with our PhD student, where we have to report our assigned work. There is this app called Slack, which was used in the lab to communicate with each other.

Were you involved in any other activities other than your research work?
Mitacs used to conduct events for the interns who came from other countries. I used to attend these events. Like one of those events was about masters and higher studies at the University of Toronto and how to get funding. Also, there were trips organized by Mitacs.

What would you suggest fellow KGPians regarding FT?
If you are planning for higher studies, then having an FT helps you a lot, as you can show your research experience. Also, you will get an experience of working in a lab and their work culture, and if you liked it, then you might come back for the same lab for higher studies. Moreover, you know the supervisors there very well, so it helps a lot.

Interviewed by Krushnasis Pradhan