PhD Study Tour 2013 – Australia

12-27 October 2013 is going into the books of my life as one of the most special experiences, as I went on a study tour with fellow PhD candidates to Australia! Actually, I should be more specific as Australia is GINORMOUS, something I always knew but never really realized until we had to cross the land by plane. Speaking of things I never realized before: the distance between the Netherlands and Australia is pretty large too (16,000km….). Luckily, the long journey is more than bearable with great companions….. and phones!

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We visited lots of institutes and universities, and I was surprised by how little we actually differ regarding research. For me, Australia is a whole different world, which it is when you look at the climate, people and nature, but not when you look at the health and nutrition issues. This caused for lots of recognition on both sides during the presentations we gave, and the presentations we attended from Australian (PhD) researchers. I presented my project at the University of Melbourne and had fun while doing it!

 

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One of my personal highlights was when we were at the University of Wollongong, where Aliza Hamirudin presented the results of her study on malnutrition and the GP. I was surprised by the similarities between her results and mine, and expressed that by telling how awesome it is that we work at both ends of the world on the same topic AND come to nearly same results. Naturally, we exchanged cards and I will definitely refer to her article in mine :-)

 

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Another great aspect of the tour was that we as Wageningen PhD candidates also heard about each others’ PhD projects… There are many PhD candidates at the division of human nutrition and frankly, some people I only know by name/face and have no idea what they’re exactly studying. I had to go aaaaall the way to Australia to find out about their projects, isn’t it great? ;-)

 

Of course it was a study tour, but luckily there was also some time sightseeing! It was exciting and weird at the same time to stand in front of the Opera House in Sydney. I was almost expecting either fireworks or a clown fish, as the only time I see the Opera House is during New Year’s Day and in Finding Nemo :-)

 

You can read the whole report of the study tour here!