Category Archives: Report of studying abroad

Research internship in University of Freiburg, Germany

Wataru Yoshiki
Year: 2nd year of PhD candidate / RA2012
Belonging: Graduate School of Science and Technology
Destination: University of Freiburg, Germany
Duration:July, 2015 ~December, 2015 (Six months)

I have done a research internship for six months in Professor Karsten Buse’s group, Department of Microsystems Engineering in University of Freiburg, Germany. There were two purposes of this internship to: (1) enrich my Ph.D. thesis by experiencing the research theme which is different from the theme that I have been studying in Japan and (2) obtain an experience working in a global environment where there is no Japanese.
During the internship, I have tackled with one research project with a German doctoral student. Since The project was not the same as the theme of my Ph.D. thesis but was not so far from that, I was able to not only contributes the project but also learn a lot of knowledges and skills from the project. I believe that we were able to build a win-win relationship. When I joined the host group, I was surprised to see that most of people there were German (I did not expect such a situation). However, thanks to their fluent English and an excellent hospitality, my life in the host group was very comfortable. In addition, ‘Optics colloquium’ which was held every two weeks was very interesting because renowned European researchers were invited to the colloquium to give a lecture.
Besides research activities, I was invited to home parties hosted by colleagues several times and went to a Christmas market with the students in the host group. Thanks to these nice events, I was seldom missing Japan. In a weekend, I sometimes went on trips alone to other cities in not only Germany (e.g. Köln, Berlin) but also France and Switzerland. I enjoyed these trips very much. I am sure that I have learned ‘German lifestyle’ where both ‘work’ and ‘private time’ are enthusiastically pursued.

Department of Microsystems Engineering, University of Freiburg

Trip to Dresden with RAs

Christmas party

Picture with Professor K.Buse,

Six months in Stanford University

Maki Dan
Year: 2nd year of Ph.D. candidate / RA2012
Belonging: Graduate School of Science and Technology
Destination: Stanford University, USA
Duration:September, 2015 ~ February, 2016 (six months)

As a visiting researcher, I’ve stayed in John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center, Stanford University for six months. The aims of this visit were to learn frontier researches in Stanford, to apply these researches to my own research and to conduct a research, results that would be included in one of the chapters of my Ph.D. thesis. As a result of the visit, I was able to achieve enough outcomes that my supervisor agrees to cooperate with my Ph.D. research after the end of six-month stay in Stanford. In addition, I aimed to expand my international network, so that I have attended many networking events not only in Stanford University but also in Silicon Valley.
Stanford University is located on Silicon Valley where there are many famous companies. Thus, a plenty of frontier researches have been conducted in various fields. Moreover, many lectures, seminars, and workshops by well-known people in all fields have been held on the campus everyday. During the stay, I generally worked in the laboratory on weekdays and have meetings with my supervisor once a week. Also, I attended some interesting lectures and events. As for my research topic, earthquake engineering and disaster management, a number of lectures and events were not many, but any lectures and events were extraordinarily interesting. All have increased my motivation to carry out research very much. Some lectures of fashionable fields including AI were attended by a hundred of people and I felt energy of Silicon Valley.
On weekends, I visited and watched sports games and made several trips with roommates and friends in Stanford. Also, during the six-month stay, there were some US traditional events such as Halloween and Thanks Giving Day. I think I was able to enjoy America very much. The climate in California was great and I did refresh myself on weekends. Therefore, I believe that Stanford University is one of the best places to do research.

Discussions with other participants in a workshop

A trip to Yosemite National Park

Networking with the supervisor and other students

A lecture on disaster management and insurance