Know the Country- International Student Life

You already have that picture and expectations from the country in your mind before you have reached. Now you need to wait for a couple of weeks before all your expectations are falling in the wrong direction.  This will take you to the new phase of an International Student life Called  “DISCOVERY”. Discovery is not referred to just the food and culture but how the country actually run in all aspects; University system, administration system, documentation, language, and lifestyle. It is easy for you to accept and adjust with fancy and shiny things be it food or nightlife as a student. You might think about the abroad destination as JUST PLEASURE AND RECREATIONAL. But its not true especially if you are coming from developing nation or have taken education loan for your higher studies.  You might have heard from your friends about their lifestyle, traveling and other pleasurable activities they are doing. But this is just the fraction of your journey as an International student.
Your goal is to enjoy the process, learn the important administration process, rule of immigration if you plan to settle down, opportunities about all the jobs in your interest area, your food habits, your lifestyle trend to improve the overall quality of your journey.  Learning all these aspects on time as an international student is indeed the most important part of your early years. Think about it. 

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Your actions and ability to learn these things quickly decide your professional and personal happiness. This accomplishment of adjusting and adapting the new administration gives you green light to move fast. It is the country administrative system and rule gives green light to you settle down and get a job. It is the country system “whatever it is” gives you green light for any business-related activities. Your supervisor and your employer will sign your recommendation letters which have good points for your future steps.  Your relationship with different stakeholders like your supervisor, your colleagues, your landlord, can give you that piece of the puzzle that you need to settle down or built a strong foundation in the new country.

Seems like a good idea to have good communication skills and public relations, right?

Being in good terms with the third party give you guidance when you need it.
If you want to go the extra mile you need to think alike country working style. Let’s just imagine that you have planned your next 3-4 years of the plan as an International student related to your studies, internships, part-time jobs, traveling, pleasure and other minor goals that you can achieve. Don`t you think that you need to have good public relations and communications as you would definitely need a green light from the third person?
What type of research projects, policies, jobs, food, lifestyle does the abroad country find most exciting? Is there a way that you can adopt at least 80% of it and add 20% of your things to make it the perfect combo?  Sometimes, you might want all the conditions to be the same as your home country and this will happen in different stages even when you start making good money. There are always new changes or new things to choose which will confuse you. So, to avoid these confusions in the choices, it is important to know the country inside out.

The feedback that you receive from the supervisor and the society will let you understand if you are working in the harmony in your professional space. It all depends on the speed of your work progress. Although, it depends on multiple factors your understanding of the country has the major role to play.

At the end of your International study program be it, bachelors or masters, if you have worked on the above-mentioned points along with your academics,  you will be the expert in finding ways in a new country the way you like it.

It`s all about tolerating different phases of an International Student Life

Phases of an International student 

The motivation of an International student is not the same when you land and are learning to adjust in a foreign country, it is never constant but it’s going to move like a goddamn roller coaster. There are many ups and downs which you cannot escape. But if you are prepared and you are already aware of these ups and downs, you will indeed have the strength to make the decisions according to the situation.  An International student life combines moments of extreme bliss, ecstasy with sudden changing thoughts taking us towards imaginable negativity but you got to note that it is temporary and you are scared of the suffering.

All I can is share my experience in words here and you can decide and design your own ideal state when you are at the exact same moment.

Phase 1 – Bang Bang Energy – Which you cannot control or understand
What is the thing that will make you succeed as a Happy International student studying in an unknown country, among unknown people, culture and possibly unknown language?

So, you have started your journey as an international student, everything is new and exciting.  It feels like you are going to live your life, get settled and you might get a big job, work well and your life will be smooth like butter. Sounds like what you want to hear? It is a similar feeling just like starting a new relationship or learning new sports, everybody and everything is on cloud 9 as compared to previous things in your life. And it is by far better organized and the only thing you needed in your life. Give it some time and understand the pattern, it usually happens every now and then when you are starting a new project. It is a courageous step that you are taking actions and entering into your uncomfortable decision which is indeed the best decision of your life. But you got to learn to control the BANG BANG ENERGY PHASE to use to more effectively. Otherwise, it will drop.

Phase 2- You know but you still don`t knowYou are John Snow (Phrase from Game of thrones if you are not aware of it).

You have studied, lived and enjoyed for some time in your new country, university, you understand the new country little better. But, unfortunately, it is still unclear. It is like the phase of teenage years are coming back.  You don’t see yourself going in your desired or exact direction the way you planned before coming, you might have a mixed feeling either about the subject, place or anything around you. It is indeed the most common feeling and phase in International student life.  This phase can get severe if you do not understand, it is part of the process for you to learn the importance of patience and living in an unknown zone.

Phase 3 – Deep hole of new problemsVisa problems, Money Issues, Jobs and other million things.

You are about to finish or you are in the middle of your International course and you have a crisis just like million other students. Since you don’t have money and the job that you desired to have before you came to a new country, you just cry in your heart. You think “it’s finished”. I have failed. The journey is not full of flowers, money, fancy food like you thought, in fact, you are struggling and working your butt off to finish a minimum work to meet your daily needs. It depends on what are your daily needs. If just 3 meals and can compromise until the whole process is finished to reach your desired goal. It is going to be just fine. Otherwise,  you will feel that you have wasted a lot of time. Don`t let that thought enter your mind. You are learning to manage your administration work, learning how the new country works, learning how money works, learning to integrate into the new culture. All these things were completely new and it’s indeed hard to get used to them just in 1 or 2 years. Now you have this thought in your mind.  Sometime later you will connect all these dots which are the starting points of something great.

So now you are aware of all the phases which you might go through in your International student life.

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Understanding or having the idea about possible different phases that you might go through while you are in the abroad destination can prepare you for the coming unknown situations every now and then.  What can keep you going during the long journey of an international student when nothing seems to work?

Some of your decisions will suck, you will screw up many things as a student in your relationships, academics, group activities, etc. It is all part of the process of being an International student and possibly you will have to redo everything involving your change in a social group, projects and even your course.  There will be rejections both in the personal and professional life of an international student, you might struggle in integrating into the new culture either because of you or the people around you. It is the fate of an International student. Accepting these things as part of the process and normal will keep you on track. Moreover, if you are prepared beforehand, you will always find a way to channelize your anger or stress towards something more productive.
You will need this the most when you hit phase 3 of International Student life, aka the “Deep holes of new problems”. At that moment you might want to give up, it happened to me when I was in Spain.  Some months I was in a negative mood, even though I had incredible friends, an amazing girlfriend, delicious food and I was living by the beach.

It was the project which I was enjoying to the most which raised many questions in my mind if I should stay in Spain and continue my project. What my parents are going to say? I am only worried about my parents especially my father, rest I don’t care about any single person in Planet Earth. But I made a call and make everyone understood my situation.  Ofcourse, in this case, I had to take a step back but I still had to go through all these phases which I did with ease but not so gracefully. The lesson was very useful and if by chance I have to go through this phase again in the future, I am just going to go for a swim or a hike. For a fact, these situations are always there in an international student or immigrant life but if you let these phases take over your daily life, you will not produce any good work during the time.

At that moment, be aware of the 3 Phases of International Student Life. Do not quit and get stressed out but instead wait for a week or two to pass by before you take any stupid decision. Things will improve and you will reach new doors to open. You will soon see the clear pathway, moreover, you will have an amazing story to share it with your family and friends.

Indo-German Sustainability Center (IGCS)

The IGCS is widely interdisciplinary Academic-Industrial organization creating multifunctional programs in various domains for promoting sustainable development. The approach is to study and understand the problems related to sustainable development and climate change will find fundamental ways to prevent global challenges in the Energy and Water sector.

The energy and water represent the requisite asset for public health, economy, and maintaining the basic human living environment. Therefore, it is very crucial to develop and innovate effective methods of energy and water management especially in urban regions. A number of strategies are being adopted to manage and renovate the energy and water industry such as the development of a wide kind of renewable energy sources efficient electricity networks and wastewater treatment plants by making the effective use of information and scientific evidence available. This effort to create a lasting impact is done in collaboration between Indian and German researchers which also includes development and organization of various educational programs at different levels.

The educational programs are practical in nature where students are given a broad project in sustainable development solutions where students can design solutions which involves diverse people from different domains. This leads to advancements in various green start-ups and finding the loopholes in maintaining the continuity in the transaction of the technology in between individuals.

The impacts will be applied in many domestic, industries and commercial markets. A country like India, where most of the population is continuously growing and majorly shifting to urban areas and where the total population is going to surpass China, needs rapid development in the operational and sustainable infrastructure to ensure adequate and healthy water supply and cheap electricity to its citizens and maintain the harmony with the environment. I had the opportunity to attend the IGCS winter school back in 2015 where I was involved in learning problems related to water issues and possible solutions that can be developed in India.

There is growing pressure on energy and water resources globally which is further influenced by global political changes. The primary reason for failure to meet the basic needs of mankind is the imbalance between the human`s need and natural production. The problem comes along with frequent urbanization, disturbance in hydrological cycles and outbreak of many airborne and waterborne diseases. The quality of air is consistently degrading in big cities of India like Delhi and Mumbai.

IGCS brought attention to regulatory issues involved in sustainable water and energy management, such as globalization and privatization of water, conservation, and efficiency, illegal water connections, religious and conflict issues, the impact of changing climate change on water and air issues like irregular rainfall patterns and decreasing
green belt. Although, the incredible increase has been noticed in aforestation achieved with the efforts both public, private and nonprofit organization work.

On the other hand, the exploding urban population in India had led to some serious disasters such as floods and droughts, lack of access to safe water, decreasing organic content of the soil leading to poor fertility.

Underlying all these issues, the IGCS organization plans well-constructed programs which involve students and researchers from different domains like industrial engineering, biotechnology, architecture, chemistry, economics, etc to discuss and find the solutions for water and energy challenges. The roadway map of this program involves creating solutions for the management system to prevent the wastage of energy and water. With this roadmap, they have further created awareness at the student level who will take the practical solutions at a different scale. However, to develop a successful integrated system of water management requires the active involvement of water governing bodies ( local, state, national, and public-private relationships).

A few clear-cut benefits of having sustainable water and energy management systems in place are as follows:

  1. Significant reduction in the degradation of biodiversity, river ecosystem and air quality.
  2. Increment in carbon credits and the possibility of creating a carbon-neutral country.
  3. Development of better management infrastructure will reduce the operation and management costs of water and energy projects.

The ultimate mission of sustainable management is to make both rural and urban management more sustainable. All these considerations are very important for a country like India, which is going through a massive urban transformation. The program is adding significantly towards the advancements in technology, policies, academics, and cooperation between India and Germany.

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Location- IIT Madras, 2015
Released bulletin of the Program- http://www.igcs-chennai.rwth-aachen.de/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/IGCS-Bulletin-Vol.-4-Issue-3-July-2015_final-3.pdf

How Water Thinking can help future generations?

Water is becoming a commodity which should not be the case.  Our current system of water management and treatment method is not well equipped to manage the growing population and luxurious lifestyle for the minor population. The challenge for educators, policymakers, providers, payers, business, and the government working in sorting out the ISSUE OF WATER is to redesign services, way to educate, water tax system, production and consumption of water-intensive products to address the damn serious issue.

Kindly refer to the previous blogs on water thinking and water thinking stages to understand the complete story in-depth.

Water Thinking

Water Thinking Stages

In response, the interdisciplinary community of tech, science, and entrepreneurs are creating an abundance of tools and devices to monitor and motivate the global population to consume less, save, reuse the treated water, take the required precautions, and live in harmony with water. But to make a real impact these products and tools must be integrated into the lives of the population and the daily water use in every individual. Water Design thinking can be transformed into an essential tool for simplifying certain and significant problems related to water.  The main point is using this AWARENESS TOOL is to every individual to help in their water which can help him to contribute and create value for the existing ecosystem in the most incredible way.

An individual commitment to water thinking is one of the most intriguing, highly variable and complex dynamics to the overall water ecosystem and human wellbeing. There is ample opportunity for us to create awareness about water thinking using digital tools which can bring the needed transformation.

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Various solutions and technologies have been developed over the years, ranging from treatment plants, management strategies, and educational programs. All these solutions are well noted but none of these solutions have provided an ultimate solution since these requires consistent organization, combinations, and synchronization among different stakeholders at different levels which can be collapsed for million reasons (technical or non-technical).

And it is a fact that “Billions of people do not have safe, accessible water and sanitation”

But it can be changed and It has to change.

To overcome these limitations, techies, educators, and policymakers are already working on the software and applications which set up the reminders and create awareness of water. Water thinking should be a religion and App stores have a wealth of information reminders that allow users to create a daily schedule for their actual healthy use of water. This strategy will target a huge population which is possibly the most extensive water users. But in spite of best technical programs, research articles published in high impact factor, big-scale rallies around the world, we are failing as individuals and as the whole community to sort the water issue.

A small activity or task that I have included in my water thinking-   

WHAT I LEARNED BY REDUCING THE ANIMAL, PACKED FOOD CONSUMPTION AND COFFEE?

Both animal and packed food (Beverages, coke, cookies everything which is packed in a fancy wrap is a water-intensive product). At an individual scale, one can reduce the water footprint or in simpler terms, the consumption of water by reducing your dependence on animal and packed products. Refer to this table and you will note that all the animal meat is most intensive in all the food products we have in the market.

So if we have the awareness and knowledge of consuming the product which is resource-efficient. We will be able to contribute largely to reducing the overall water footprint.

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Source: Mekonnen and Hoekstra (2010)

The awareness of water is physically disconnected from the complete existing mechanism (education and consumption patterns).

Internet-connected awareness and education programs can induce consistent reminders and stories to reduce the limitations that we are facing in solving the water issues on a gular basis.

The water thinking system has the power to replace traditional education programs. And build a new plan starting from the education system and this generation will always make a decision which will align perfectly in harmony with nature. The program that will teach the kids and develop the system which will work for the overall ecosystem instead of a personal ecosystem will advance significantly in creating preventive actions while reducing the unknown errors in water loss.

While the system of water thinking represents an advancement in the existing water programs and getting the individuals to adhere to their daily water consumption for nature, they are creating zero flaws. For this, support programs need to be developed at every level; schools, small and large communities, policy level for regular communication which makes it a bit challenging but with existing technology and internet, it is possible.

In the plan and practice of water thinking for the global population, it iterates on its scalability of design, observing the challenges faced by the individual because of its compulsive behavior or other multiple reasons which can be studied in detail to promote awareness about human and natural wellbeing.

 

Ways Student can actively be engaged in Independent Projects while studying in University

There is nothing called failure in Student Life. It`s all learning and improvising.

Every student has some dream of either becoming a scientist, an athlete or an actor. The internet is really divided into extremes and has content either for elite university students or entrepreneurs who are drop out from the top-notch university. But I do not belong to neither of them. Therefore, I started this blog for students from developing countries or students with low resources or opportunities. The only prerequisite is that you have to start the process of executing as early possible. Let’s say that you start in your high school or first year of undergraduate school.

If you are interested in getting to know about my journey of studying and working in different countries as a Ph.D. student with scholarships. You can check my blog here- 

How to win Scholarships?

Is it your 50th or 100th project that you have actually tried and have failed to execute? It is the hardest part of the progress. But you got to realize that you had the strength and patience to try at least 20,50 100 projects. Both numbers and results do not matter while you are trying and learning different ideas. But the speed of your executing definitely matters as it defines that you are actually thinking and creating ideas to execute your idea either you are contacting the collaborator, shooting a video for your academic or fitness project, writing an in-depth blog or ebook.

Time management and information about working hours is quite subjective which keeps changing as per the demands of your activities and lifestyle. I usually don’t understand the concept of time management for the student who is engaged in so many things. But there is one thing that a student can control and distribute its energy to specific activities which are utmost important.

Channeling all your energy to the important actions or events of your day will increase your productivity with ease, time and happiness. This can be done by organizing your mind with the idea of the amount of energy you have in you to utilize it with a focus on completing certain duties with complete attention.  This idea of energy management will grow into awareness with the practice of utilizing your energy precisely.

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I am referring everything to the energy because I am pretty sure you have heard these sentences –

I am in a relaxed mood

I am tired

I am quite energetic and so on.

If you can understand these moods and energy to channel it towards related productive activities, it will automatically grow in different directions with the consistent and solid grind. The application of energy management in your daily life also enhances your strength to accept the changes.

The uncommon and unique trajectory of a student with precise utilization of your energy will indeed shape your energy investment into some unique product in terms of personal and professional development.

But students focus on time management which leads to so many ugly stories of students. There cannot be more ugly and terrible news that rate of depression, suicides, and emotional disorders have increased tremendously across the globe.

Ideas to manage and invest your energy as a Student

Enter and choose the field where you like to devote completely. In some or most cases, you cannot choose the field because of one or the other reason. I can understand but in that situation, choose that as your sub-field and work on it religiously. Invest good quality of your energy in the project either fitness or writing.  There is no one systematic way of learning a subject and field that you enjoy. If you are really passionate and devotional about the project, you will figure out the ways to invest your energy and find and unlock new strategies to learn anything.

Did you ever notice your performance during the peak hours or during the high rush of the deadline approaching? It is indeed fantastic how so many students can outperform themselves and achieve incredible results.

Do not establish a routine

It creates unnecessary resistance and limitations to stay within the time frame. Instead, if you are really enjoying the process of your work, there is no way that you will be bound to time. Enjoying the process pumps you to do an extra pushup, run a mile longer even if you are exhausted. The enjoyment in the work will kick you in without breaking any mind and time barriers. Enjoying the process and channeling your energy towards the work that you like the most will produce more work than you are supposed to do in a timeline.

There are always a few things like writing, communicating your project or handling administrative work in your project that you might not like. Notice these things carefully and never put this off until the last minute as nobody is going to come for you.

If you are a student and if you want to do your dream project, you will have to do everything on your own in the beginning stages. 

The idea of shifting and delaying to learn the difficult tasks needed for your project will not work. Try to avoid using the famous line “I work effectively under pressure”. It`s fine as it’s your genuine way of working.

But one only reach the spot of working under the pressure with consistent delaying and procrastinating about million other micro things which do not matter.

Eliminating the distractions in your School and University time period is of the essential elements for your project to flourish at a high rate. Everyone has different distractions but the most common will stealing minutes in between your work to watch a youtube video, communicating with your friends about useless and micro things. This is you investing your finite energy towards distractions which will ultimately kill your motivation to execute and finish the tasks of the day.

Engaging with social and cultural groups

This one is not easy to understand and explain when you are in your High school and undergraduate. Interactions and communications in these groups happen at a different level in an interdisciplinary approach. Social and cultural groups which are distributed uniformly and connects every single entity of the system or any organization that you are linked with.  These social and cultural groups will have common platforms in the University and digitally where they will gather for meetings.

Contribute to these platforms

Find an International Societies and nonprofit organization

The advanced members in these societies have already developed a sense of leadership and management skills which comes with experience. It is a strategic decision to work on these skills if you are not a born leader/manager. These international societies are usually advised by senior researchers or leaders who have links around other international societies and can put you in the related networks which will help you push your career.

How to engage in International Societies or nonprofit organization?

The best way is to join and volunteer for the organization. Once you have entered the place, interact with people from a different domain, create online projects, create content and fundraising events for them.

These strategies will help you understand the fundamentals of networking which can you use all your life. If you want to enhance your networking-

Follow these steps

  • Interact consistently with all the members in the societies or groups
  • Offer your services within or outside the system for free. It will act as a catalyst for your future ventures
  • Be humble and share opportunities with students who don`t know new things.

It will always be WIN- WIN for you 

 

 

 

Skills that you can develop in your Research Visit or Internships- Reflections on the Visit of Thonon Les Bains, France

International research visits, internships or exchange programs and collaboration across national boundaries bring your research efforts to the next level and to the broader public which helps in better promotion or marketing. Some students asked me the ways to maximize the overall output of there internships or research visits in there undergraduate, Masters even Ph.D. school.

  1. Organize social meetups- The possible idea of organizing and meeting people in your internships in both formal and informal ways is quite similar to the way you meet people in any house parties or sports events discussing the love of sports and food. Also, you can always similar meeting in various digital tools such as google hangouts where you can organize a conference to the meeting call to discuss your potential project or put any of your query in the related fields. I recently started working with a non-profit organization in Canada which that organizes the social meet up using google hangouts to discuss the progress of the team in different domains which is indeed productive. As you get to engage with students working in the areas of a client meeting, organizing conferences or big events, expanding the team through collaboration with potential members.
  2. Try to document your internship work or idea in words or video authentically while keeping its originality as intact as possible.  Keep your content simple and user-friendly just like you enjoy user-friendly mobile apps. The content in your online platforms should describe the real which comes only if you have strong interpersonal communication skills. It is indeed an essential tool to organize different sort of social hangouts, which will keep the communication flowing in between the members. So, I always put forward my ideas with the potential person/s who is interested and wants to listen to your ideas.  Small things that have made the macro change in your project which could be a beginning of social media services such as a blog or youtube channel, creating new networks in linkedin and so on which can lead to a social hangout between the like-minded group.  Organizing and executing your internship or research visit in this manner which develops multiple skills such as the ability to collaborate and work in a team with the multicultural group and adapting to changing tools.
  3. Being an enthusiast student, I always have the opportunity to work on my interpersonal communication skills while working in different teams through internships, research visits, and conferences. In January 2018, I stayed in an institute in Thonon Les Bains which is in the north of Europe and is usually freezing in the month of January where the temperature can drop up to -15 C. The lab was just next to the massive lake known as Lac Leman from the French border and Lake Geneva Given from the  Swiss border. You can easily reach to most captivating cities of Switzerland- Lausanne, and Geneva by boat or an hour drive. It is a bit expensive to travel in Switzerland when you are living with a Spanish student scholarship. However, I managed to go to many places in France and Switzerland. I met my supervisor there, who introduced me to the lab members and current research going on in the department. Over the next 2.5 months, I worked alongside different Ph.D. students and technicians sharing the same house which was opposite to the workplace and the incredible Lake Leman. These international swings will break down your shyness and other traits that create a barrier for you, and further enhancing your confidence level to add more positive contributions to the team. Getting hands-on experience in an International organization can help you integrate into multicultural groups support you to go a long way towards global research and management teams. Therefore, Working in a multicultural team is an honor where you get to share different culture, cuisine, and stories. The purpose of the visit was to conduct experiments with the environmental samples and learn bioinformatics flow.  Learning algorithms to treat and analyze the big datasets is the base of future academic and industrial projects. If you learn to manage and handle big datasets, then you have already opened many doors for yourself.  This opportunity was the stepping stone to expand my limited knowledge of algorithms and possible uses of machine learning in biology. My main task was to prepare all the environmental samples for DNA sequencing that had to be sent to another laboratory for further processing and generate raw (unprocessed) computerized DNA data.

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Thonon Les Bains

4. I had the perfect and new challenges which ultimately gave me the interesting output for my knowledge base. Other than that, there are few moments especially when you are traveling in a strange country where people speak a language that is completely strange to you. The first few days were challenging but with passing days and changing climate; I was able to connect and make good relationships with all the colleagues and researchers. These opportunities give you the chance to have detailed stories which build the missing pillars in your journey either academic or non-academic. All these networking and learning events in the student journey are the fundamental blueprint which should be followed religiously i.e., to enjoy the process and work on networking thoroughly.

Think about your student life as the huge pillar formed of conversation and meetings either personal or professional which creates the base of your future projects in terms of collaboration and recommendations.

These strategies come along with certain emotions based on your experiences and what you have learned from it. It will happen like a rollercoaster ride if you believe in your projects and trying to figure out the ways to execute in million possible ways. However, I believe that every experience will be uplifting and rewarding in the later stages.

Maybe you can make 100 networks in 2019, Maybe 50 or Maybe you can make 1  Right now. Send that email.

The importance of attending subject-specific workshops or conferences

I have already mentioned the importance of national and international symposiums and seminars that bring people from a different background that share similar objectives and challenges in solving the common problems.

Importance of Workshops, Symposiums and networking events in Graduate Student Life?

Let us focus on the importance of subject-specific or small scale workshops which brings in a number of people working on a rising or new subject in an interdisciplinary approach.  At the beginning of something new, it always starts with a small scale workshop which a student can only identify if he is consistent and up to date in terms of information and activities happening both online and offline about the subject area.

Attending small workshops or subject-oriented programs defines your maturity level to understand the subject in detail. This is one of the major shift that can happen in your student life either academic or non-academic. I always bring a small note about the Internet which has created a huge change in every single individual life either in the commerce sector, fitness sector and it is already bringing a big change in the student or independent academic researcher life.

Through small scale workshops, a lot of conversations and ideas can happen around the meetings. The primary aim of the small workshops or subject-oriented workshop is to derive the maximum benefit from the debate and discussions on the subject to find the directed solutions and new insights. The workshop theme usually solves the same problem in different geographical communities.

My supervisor in Spain was quite an active and smooth operative person who helped me out in all the paperwork while I was completing my administrative work in Portugal to get the work permit of Spain. In the meantime, she also created a space for me in an International Workshop in Croatia even before I got officially enrolled in the program. This workshop was the part of the massive program related to European rivers and water-related issues which helped me a lot to prepare myself mentally.

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Pic- DNAqua-Net, EU Cost Action

I arrived in Croatia in the month of November, and it was freezing out there. I had the brief idea about workshop theme and I was incredibly happy and overwhelmed because of the countries and new experiences.

Well,

Most of us are aware that we are living in a world of supercomputers and artificial intelligence, but I was not conscious about it until I attended the workshop about metabarcoding and diatoms. It was the moment I realized that artificial intelligence and computers are indeed hitting all the subjects equally. Moreover, this workshop introduced me to questions like the use of algorithms and machine learning to study biological data and biodiversity of microbes. Supercomputers, biological barcodes, and algorithms are the biggest biological shift we will ever live in the society. It has become practical and efficient to change the fundamentals of everything in the ecosystem. The combined technology of barcoding and supercomputers can tag every single microbe and living life on the planet earth. But for the moment, this program was focused on just DIATOMS and RIVER ECOLOGY.

Many researchers and Ph.D. students came across all Europe who were presenting their progress in the use of powerful computers and algorithms to treat biological data. It was not new, but the speed of growth in this field was astonishing because of fast development in computer processing power.   It is not so simple, but various researchers have identified the problems and the plausible computerized solutions which are way cheaper and faster than traditional methods to study the ecology of rivers.

It is not that these computers will replace all the bioscience research but can speed up the specific process such as classification of species or genes using defined algorithms.

Now here is when I learned a valuable lesson, I noticed that there were nearly 10 Ph.D. students are trying to mimic the use of a microscope. Further, when I explored this subject genuinely made me realized it could make the freelance Research possible with an economic upside for Ph.D. researchers especially that who enjoy algorithms and tech-based work. It will be beneficial to the biology students to learn or expose themselves to algorithms and a coding language.

In the workshop, there were people from the laboratory in France where I had to visit for the training and understand the new technologies that they have been implementing in studying the ecology of rivers. So, my supervisor introduced me to all of them.

Within the span of 2 days of this workshop, there was a macro change in my perspective and strategy towards science and life. Taking a step, attending a small scale workshop can load with information which indeed takes some time to out the knowledge in use in real time will be a serious help. I think the small scale workshops have the power to fill up the missing information and understand the evolution of the subject from others perspective as well. And, I have never been so grateful after meeting incredible researchers and students around the world.

Workshops are the best annual meetings designed to facilitate the interaction between supervisors and students to enable future collaborations between different groups in the same sector. It will give the strong foundation that has huge upside at all levels.