UROP Experience 2014

UROP Evaluation

Students:  Bryanna Eisner, Dayna Shultz and Taylor Grusie
Throughout our time in the UROP program and conducting research at the Institute for Environmental Research, we obtained new knowledge with regards to laboratory techniques as well as received a change to hone existing skills. It was great to experience the workings of a new laboratory, especially in a foreign country, although the language barrier could prove difficult at times! We were thrown out of our comfort zones with the different regulations and department dynamics, which has given us immense appreciation and insight into the inner workings of scientific institutions. We were lucky enough to be able to work with an amazing group of people whose support throughout the ten-week program was immensely appreciated! To TB, Leonie, Katharin and Yvonne – thank you so much for all of your assistance! Additionally, Torsten and the entire UROP team were incredible and their continual guidance and hard work planning excursions added so much to this program.
Our cultural experiences in a new country have also been invaluable and we have learned a plethora of life skills that we will carry with us throughout our future endeavors. Primarily, it was amazing to learn a new language and be able to be able to apply it to our everyday lives. Furthermore, we were lucky enough to have the liberty to take off to a different country on almost every weekend (including Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium and France) and the suggestions and support from our colleagues and supervisors was amazing. Not only were we able to travel to different countries, but our native German friends were generous enough to take us on outings that allowed us to experience Germany more fully. We are quite impressed with the fact that we successfully conquered basic European transportation, most notably the metro and train as it can prove quite tricky when you’re only familiar with the Saskatoon transit system and your own car! One skill, that could possibly be the most practical skill we have, or ever will, obtain, is the ability to open beer bottles with any object. Moreover, all of the alcohol is extremely inexpensive, which was a godsend for our bank accounts over those two and a half months. Finally, the friends and connections we have made by attending the UROP program in Aachen will undoubtedly prove useful in the future, as we all have intentions of further travel!
All-in-all, the opportunity to take part in the UROP program was an invaluable experience and we would not only repeat it in a heartbeat, but also highly recommend it to future students who are looking for a magnificent adventure before entering the workforce or graduate studies!