There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs. Priyanshu is pursuing Civil engineering and shares his learning experience of internship days.
As I took my last connecting flight from London Heathrow to Cork (Place I bet you haven’t heard of), I reminisced about all those events which led to me landing up here in an unheralded territory. Dejected by many last minute snubs by various programs, I was disheartened about all those efforts made in vain and unfulfilled dream of an internship abroad. But, to my amazement, just on the penultimate day of my semester I had a mail from the professor of University College Cork, Cork, Ireland, showing interest in my research profile and what would be following ahead, excited and intimidated me at the same time.
Grey clouds, covering the sky acting as the harbingers of light drizzle. The cool breeze playing with the green environment outside. Irish striding towards their destination. Lovely, beautiful college students whispering and laughing. Cork, the second largest harbour of the world, gave a rousing welcome by introducing such a pleasant sight, promising a gratifying two months at this rain-soaked Island.
Is it Hogwarts? Precisely this was my first reaction once I entered UCC. The university building presenting the perfect blend of ancient stone architecture and the modern age woodwork where the regular lectures were engaged in West Wing better known as Castle, where lush green gardens could be spotted ubiquitously and peculiarly, Currach( classical Irish Boat) would be seen rowing through the River Lee flowing around the campus. The east wing included the senescent rocks, dungeons and Ball room quite similar to Hogwarts and students playing Hurling (quite similar to quidditch) in the Mardyke grounds.
Frankly speaking, I was skeptical about whether I could cope up with the advanced research facilities back here. Initially, I was a bit apprehensive about my project, being based on Structural Dynamics, as my research profile was entirely based on Structural analysis. But, invading a new research field was never so easy before if not for my Professor’s and his research scholars’ persistent help and involvement. The presence of cutting edge technology coupled with perennial guidance from my supervisor helped in timely completion of the engrossing project.
But, apart from being project supervisor, I held huge praises for him. It is completely unusual stuff when the Prof invites you for drinks with him. The amicability grew over time to such a level that he started sharing his college experiences. He preached me something many might have narrated to me earlier, but the way he spoke, it adhered to my life. He said, “No one gives a damn of what you did in past, whatever your glorious achievement may be, all they care is what you can do now and how can you adapt yourself to future”.
After over a month of living in Ireland, I found Ireland to be an epitome of panoramic, picturesque places, multi-fashioned people, the timely disciplined and party-prone nature of natives, intriguing ports, beaches and cliffs, kaleidoscopic houses and yes beer. Ireland was the home of beer with a popular saying that ‘Guinness tastes best in Dublin’. Ireland, to the amazement of many(including mine) boasted of the Gateway to Wild Atlantic View, the romantic locations of ‘PS I love You’, the dreary battlefields scenes of ‘Braveheart’ and ‘Vikings’, the ‘Cliff’hangers of the Harry Potter series and guess what the Winterfell and Westros of Game of Thrones. Now, only an alien can remain unaware of either of the above mentioned things.
I befriended many Irish natives and other European migrants. Interacting with French, Italian, Spanish, German, American and Irish was truly an enriching experience, enhancing the horizon of my sphere of knowledge. It was quite surprising to know that they knew a lot about Indian Culture, beliefs and diversity and their inquisitiveness to add Indian visit to their bucket list. I remember one of my Croatian friend, who told me “There’s nothing like a stranger, only a friend you have never met”(Twain’s Quote).
In this brief span of time (2 months), I cherished all those short-lived experiences which in turn shaped up my new life. Back now, I grow nostalgic about those walks on Cliffs presenting serene Wild Atlantic view, those strolls in the park and University which provided the means of interaction with the fellow internees from different spheres of the globe, those late night hangouts and some boozing experiences in traditional live musical Irish pubs, those cooking experiences in my apartment, trying to cook something new but ending up preparing the same, those multilingual lessons, those walks along the harbour and the cruise experience presenting before me the enormous fleet of boats, kayak, and ferries, and all those dances here and there.
A void would be left behind when I leave this European Cultural Capital of 2005. But, it does not take away any credit from this internship from being a memorable experience and an enriched one personally, academically and professionally where every day was distinct and kept on offering new opportunities and experiences.
If Priyanshu’s experience motivates you, you can check the latest International internships.
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