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. 


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.

My in-depth analysis of Student Emotional Intelligence

A few days back, I realized something important when a 20-year-old asked me, why are you not stressed? It was that instant that made me write more about student life and emotional intelligence. The ongoing journey of my student and travel life has pumped me to make a mission of helping as many as students and raise them above from a stressful life.

Everyone around the student usually talks about IQ which constitutes majorly about there intelligence and intellectual ability which is fine but in this competitive spirit of developing there IQ, most of our student and a young population have messed up their emotional intelligence.  When a student spends his precious 4-5 years in an educational institute in learning and managing things, it is supposed or expected for a student to have a strong emotional intelligence along with intellectual ability. But the system has completely failed in helping students in developing their Emotional intelligence. There is no doubt about it, as seen by the facts related to student mental health problems.

More education should be directly proportional to more calm mindset and controlled emotional state. 

The primary thing that a student can do while running their university life is to maximize there impact in developing emotional intelligence and learning to enjoy the process. Enjoying the process is a kind of trait that comes with increased self-awareness.

Student life consumes the maximum days of your life as you spend almost 20 years until you are graduated, so you need double down the work on the traits and tools that will increase your emotional strength. I have been working on it for a significant period of time especially when I started working and studying in new countries which made me realize more about my emotional stability which usually decides your overall output in both professional and personal life. I am spending enough hours on understanding the patterns of my emotions and how it impacts my work output. We know that there is a lack of tools in the system as there is no standard method which defines the strategy to help students strengthing the fundamentals of emotional stability instead the system is shaking and cracking up their emotional stability

The way the world is transforming with fast communication, fast transportation, fast information, fast processing, we should make Emotional intelligence (EI) the topmost priority for all the students. Looking at the statistical figures of student mental health crisis pumps me more to dig up deep and test different tools on myself to understand this aspect of life which we “Including all the stakeholders” involved directly or indirectly with students have neglected for years. I think it is high time to define the baseline of emotional intelligence for the students, develop proper and significant tools to understand and improvise their EI. I truly believe that students with strong EI will bring harmony and balance in the ongoing disrupted student university life.

However, at the moment, nobody is giving importance to EI as it is not achievable with visual tools like the gym. And most of the students are hiding their emotions in the competitive spirit which is making it more worse for there overall life. It is hard to discuss, debate or teach the Emotional intelligence as most of the information is dispersed and is not available in the single library like the information is available on subjects like physics, chemistry or social science.

Working on EI will allow students to set the fundamental base of their life in the early years before heading to professional life. For ex: I have met so many people who are successful and making good money in professional life but have completely messed up their emotional health due to lack of awareness about Emotional Intelligence. Forex: Being a student, my EI  allowed me to give back to the new freshers in undergraduate and master school in the University where most students are competing with each other just to be on the top of the class. Talking to new students and helping them out will build up your EI in multiple ways. EI is a whole new subject which can be understood as an individual by trying different strategies and testing them in new situations where your EI is at stake.


Making your EI as the biggest strength will help a student in living a “HAPPY SUCCESSFUL LIFE”.


Consistent working on EI of a student will break down the negative trend of thoughts and decisions and will help him/her upregulate the self-esteem and self-confidence. It can help the student understand the real meaning of education. The student will become a great executor of both life and any skills that he/she will learn.

Skills are always changing with the advancement in technology but EI is constant.

EI will help the student to ease down at the troublesome period while understanding the importance of a long game. Students will strong EI will provide there support to the students in need rather than competing with them.

However, I recognize the utmost need for a student to work on there EI, is to increase the overall input in improvising the existing strengths. The best way is to become self-aware which will come with testing and trying new things. Emotional intelligence has to go in parallel with your intellectual ability to solve desk or professional tasks. The takeaway from the article is to practice the idea of testing and trying different things to become more self-aware which will enhance your emotional intelligence.

Some tips that I used to work on my Emotional Strengths

  • Don`t get too caught up or stressed up because of exams and assignments. We already know that we get limited energy in a day, Let’s say, you have 100 units/day which should be appropriately distributed to get sufficient marks and other independent projects that you want to create. Build up your skill sets especially that deals with communication and human relations. Being stuck in the cycle of assignments and exams is not an intelligent strategy in today’s world. It is neither gonna build your professional skills nor EI.
  • When you face a problem or set back, don’t drop all your projects or ideas. Let that pressure build up, but be aware of it and try to meet it on the same day. Some things that you are doing in your University time should be entirely for joy and happiness which could be designing a unique fitness flow, writing or art, and craft. So, the only advice is to take it easy and enjoy the process of working while you are overflowing with confusing emotions.
  • Most of the students at the University have COMMON habits or routines. Therefore, getting into the trap of ordinary routine is an evil plan that usually destroys your unique and weird ideas. BREAK IT, COME OUT OF IT.
  • Pay proper attention to your supervisors and team members. The power of attentive listening is enormous. I understood the importance of listening while working as an Undergraduate researcher or intern which gave me the essential tips and information. We are living in the age of information. Clear information only comes if you are an attentive listener. A good relationship with a senior student will provide you material and further teach you with the skills that you might need.
  • Build your social circle and relationships wisely- Good relationships and good friends will help you in the troublesome period. They are the major components of your personal and professional life.
  • It is important to ask yourself the difference between 70% and 80% marks. How much time are you investing to increase your grades? And How much time are you investing in building your EI?
  • All students cannot be equal in one thing. Everyone cannot become a topper or crack competitive exams. There is a tremendous difference between you all who have significant abilities to uplift your life unimaginably. It will only happen if you learn to enjoy the process and enhance your EI.
  • Spread your learnings and knowledge with new students in University- This will increase your network and collaboration with other students.



Shock the Culture

The standard definition of Culture Shock is the disorientation in your regular life or weird emotions that you feel in a different culture or while visiting a new country. I see a lot of students struggling while travelling or studying abroad which is pretty common. I can understand the sudden change in culture,music, food and smell of air is indeed a big change. There will be lot of blogs telling you about the stages of culture shock, how to deal culture shock bla bla bla…

Reading them and thinking about it will make you more nervous. I did not  felt the culture shock at all while i was travelling, doing my administrative stuff in Spain, Portugal, France while coping up with 3 different languages.  Moreover, I was located in small villages or towns most of the time.  And ofcourse, it won`t be easy but I am going to make it simple for you. All you have to do is tell these things to yourself? I am not going to let the culture shock me instead I am going to shock the culture by being open and adaptable . Remember to mingle around and speak the language of the country which is not easy but its the start to meet and greet people. The simple strategy is to learn 3-4 words daily and use google translator to talk with the random people in the bars, parties or common events. Just give it a shot and say hello to one random human being everyday in your journey. The problems with food habits is your problem, so change it and adapt to the culture as culture and whole country is not going to change for you. And Within few weeks,  I am sure you will enjoy the gastronomy of the country without any problems.


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Thonon les Bains- France

Thonon is one of the most interesting town I have visited in France. Its location is spectacular and also has an interesting and complex history. Can you tell which one is the Swiss and which one is Savoi Flag!

A friend of mine shared a story that whenever the Swiss hikers reached the mountain top and put there flags on the top, the Savoy hikers goes to the top and extend the white cross until the borders to make it look like a Savoy flag.  I just wanted to tell you that if you are travelling around the Savoy region, there is a possibility that you might get confused by Savoy flag which looks like a swiss one and other way around too.

Now, Do you know about the bla bla car service?  I used it for the first time in Thonon les Bains and Its really an incredible and cheap service for the solo travellers. Apart from that I also got to meet different people from different age groups, culture and background which is really fantastic and a learning journey. I went around 5 places that were in and around of Thonon les bains. Thonon is located by the lake which is known as lake leman by the French side and lake geneva by the swiss side as it connects both the countries.

Solo travelers, Rememer to use the BLA-BLA Car service. Its really cheap and incredible service which gives to an oppotunity to meet people and get exclusive local information which you might not find on internet or travel books. I met so many people who had many stories to share. “While travelling from Thonon to Annecy, I met a French guy who told old me that Thonon is a nice place for the sports lover as you can enjoy skiing in the winters and kayaking in the summers. The other person i met while travelling to Laussane told me that its the best part of France to eat Fondue, drink wine and enjoy the spledid nature. Its all about the perspective…


You can do many things in Thonon—

Visit Lake Leman or Lake Geneva- The lake located in Rhone alpes region which is shared It is located by the side of Lake leman or Lake Geneva. This lake is so huge and is stretched until Laussane and Montreux. You can walk by the harbor, enjoy the French cuisine and have a relaxing time. There are many things you can do in and around the lake ranging from water sports and visiting small towns using boats. Usually, the boats are more frequently used in summers.

Visit Laussane and Geneva- You can take the boat to visit laussane from thonon but it is little cheap and will cost you aroud 50 Euros to go and come back .

Visit Yviore- It just 15 mins by bus to reach the really beautiful  700 year old medieval village. You can take the Line number 152. In past,the village had a strategic position in terms of defense for a long period of time in 15th century. But now its just a village of farmers and fisherman.

Visit Annecy- Annecy is the wonderland with lots of color which makes you feel like walking in the cartoonik world. Take a walk by the lake and enjoy the cheese. Talking about the cheese in France. It really hard to remember the names of the cheese but I would advice you to try abondance and tomme chees along with selected wine advised by the local people.

I also enjoyed the THURSDAY MARKET in the city center of thonon which offers you lots of local cheese and food to try.




Interview With “Little Scientist”

Here is the interview with Little scientist “Nishtha”. I met her couple of times during my undergraduate studies and if i am not wrong we met during our college festival. She is an incredible person with lots of courage to do things differently and taking the lead. She is smart, fit, loves adventure and travelling.  I am sure reading her interview will give you a pump to follow your dreams.

Can you please introduce yourself  to the readers?

I am writing this from Australia as I am pursuing a doctorate degree here. I am an Engineer with an degree in Nanotechnology. Science, Food, Travel and Dance are 4 keywords to best describe me.

So, you are doing Doctorate studies. What motivated you to pursue Doctorate studies?

I have always been a mad lover of science. Since Grade 4, I had Discovery channel on my TV from 8 am to 11 am. This continued till my teenage. Watching the magic of science unfold on TV made me curious to experience it in person. Thats when I went to pursue and in Nanotechnology. Where there is will there is way! I got accepted for an intenrship in University of South Australia. My supervisor was impressed with my work and offered me a PhD position. After my internship, I thought to pursue my love for music and dance and go to mumbai! Funnt I know! But that was necessary, I reckon, becaue I realised how badly I miss my laboratories and working for science. Thats when I decided to accept the PhD offer and here I am!

I believe that you are working in the area of plasma science and reactive species. Can you tell us about it in general?

Many people confuse plasma as blood plasma. I, on the other hand, work with the physics plasma- some people may call it plasma gas. You may have heard of plasma TV, for instance. Plasma gas is basically the fourth state of matter (solid, liquid and gas being the other three). Simply speaking when you break solid atoms, liquid state is generated. Breakdown of liquid atoms leads to gaseous state. Now imagine breaking the atoms of gas- that is plasma. We get a cocktail of charged particles, ions, reactive species, UV, etc. in form of a plasma gas. In my PhD, I plan to use the “reactive oxygen and nitrogen species” present in plasma for medical purposes such as wound healing, wound decontamination, cancer therapeutics, etc.

What are you doing different in this area that is increasing the overall impact? Can you share some simple experiment? May be a Reader could get interested to pursue research in the similar area?

Plasma medicine is very novice. Although quite a few plasma devices are available in market for surface decontamination and cosmetics, we have a long way to go to use the devices on human body for therapeutics. Little is known about the mechanism of plasma delivered reactive species into the tissues and tissue fluid. Here we are talking about a cocktail of reactive species including H2O2, NO2, NO3, NO, HOCl, superoxide and hydroxyl radicals. So basic questions we need to address is- which reactive specie is being delivered into the skin, how much concentration is being delivered, are there reactive spcies washed away by the constant blood circulation, can we use the same device to kill cancer cells and proliferate cells for wound healing, what doses to be given?

Not an experiment, I would like to share the idea which led to the excitement and faith for this topic in me. Since ages people have credited reactive species/oxidants as the cause of all the diseases in humans. Free radical theory of Aging in 1993 adhered to the concept of “oxidants are bad”. This led to development of “anti-oxidants are good for you!” products in market. But how is it possible when Reactive species play a key role in human evolution and functioning of cellular pathways necessary for human body. Curiosity led scientists to test  whether the reactive species/oxidants are cause of disease or just an effect from the disease. And intesntigly the results were positive. A small dose of reactive specie can be helpful for the biological processes. If you are more ambitious and want a noble prize, how about prove that “reactive species doses can enhance innate immuntiy”? Imagine it like a vaccine, an enough dose of reactive species to trigger the defence system of humans!

Can you tell us about your process of finding the research interests or forming basic structure of your research project?

The secret lies in “reading”. And especially when the field is very new and your contribution will also matter. I read the good research papers and figure out what gaps in our knowldge exist. Then formulate an experimental plan and sit with supervisor! Also, when you read, your scientific writing skills improve. This is essential to publush papers!

Would like to continue to work in the same area?

Yes! It is a simple and honest yes.

I think we had talk enough about the work and science.

Do you have any hobbies? Do you get enough time to pursue them?

I love to paint, dance and sing. I also like to learn new skills if time permits- be it a new language or rock climbing. Always eager to learn new things! As a PhD researcher in my final year, I don`t get a lot of time unlike 1st and 2nd year. Therefore, I try to do activities which can be included easily in the routine.

What kind of acitivities you do to stay fit both mentally and physically?

I think good food and good company are prerequisites to feel good. I cook with my friends every now and then. For physical being, I have tried various things- aerial yoga, yoga, pole fitness, rock climbing, hiking, etc. I am lover of forests and greens , so hiking or bush walking is my favourite activity.

How many countries have you travelled? Which is your favorite country and why?Any weird, surprising experience you would like to share?

I have been lucky to visit 9 countries in past 1.5 years- all credits to my research collaborations expanded all over the world! I don`t have a favorite country because they are unique and special in their own. But one monument which stole my heart was Eiffel Tower. I spent 5 hrs on a stretch just staring it! Speaking of weird, Japan is a country of surprises and inspiration. There are developing countries, developed countries and Japan. Too advanced to be true! A balance between technology and nature, modernity and customs. Make it your mission to travel Japan once!

What advice will you give to the sophomores or high school students who are Planning to pursue there career in science?

If you find science difficult to understand and painful to pursue, there is something wrong with the teachers or resources you are referring! Try to watch animations videos or youtube channels like ASAP science to see the real beauty of it!

If you have more questions, you can contact her through Instagram and the google scholar profile.

My Instagram page is nishtha.gaur or  ‘Lit Scientist’.



My Google scholar profile is


Crazy Basque


Basques are the only people who live or have land in two countries i.e. northern spain and southwest france. I was in Bilbao for a week living with the people of Bilbao/Basque and getting to know as much as i could in a week. I think the best way to know about a culture is getting to know the people themselves. The location is truly spectacular with ridges, coast, bay and mountain ranges.  The Basque language is one of the oldest European language with no written record until 19th century, also known as Euskara. Surprisingly, it is totally unrelated to Spanish language and have no common language family. Bilbao is the main city of Basque and walking through this small city of around a million people and over 6000 bars and cafes made me feel like walking in a dream or perhaps drunk wonderland. I think it would be right to call Basque a crazy, amazing region. Just imagine for a moment that they were the first ones to start commercial Whale and Cod hunting back in 11th century in the bay of basque and were out in the Atlantic by 16th century with boats made out of Wood.

There are 3 main languages in Spain; Catalan spoken in Catalnoia Province, Euskara in Basque and Spanish in rest of Spain. I am not sure if there are other languages as well. For now, here are words to say goodbye in 3 languages

Adios (Spanish); Adeo (Catalan); Agur (Euskara);

Few things about Basque apart from lots of parties.

ANGULAS O GULAS- Angulas the most expensive Basque cuisine mostly or only found in the bay of Basque. They are baby eels that cost around 1000 Euros per kg. The word Angulas was invented by the fine businessmen of Basque region and surprisingly it took the other Spanish regions around a century discover this incredible cuisine. And yes, I am sure most of the travellers wont spend 1000 euros to eat a particular type of sea food. So for them there is an alternative or rather a duplicate of this fish known as Gulas that are pretty cheap to buy and you can get them for 3-4 Euros per 150 grams. But most of the people describe the taste being almost similar.


BILBAO TILE – There is also unique thing about the sidewalk pattern of Bilbao which was invented in Bilbao to meet the needs of rainy days in Bilbao. Its now been exported in all over the world and is the representative image and the symbol of bilbao.



Basque Tattoo- I also saw a similar tattoo on the hands of a few old people that I came across which I think may have many meanings. But one man told me that four dots describe the four walls and center dot describes a man stuck in between these walls during the hard times in Basque. Usually, it was symbol for all the people who went to jail for a political issue between Basque people and rest of Spain.


But i am gonna bring more interesting details about BASQUE in late 2017. So wait for it!DSC_6440




Food of Portugal

It`s very hard to choose among foods from any country. Because everyone has their own speciality and dishes(and their own tastes for that matter), so I am just going to write about the food I ate and loved in Portugal. I was lucky to share an apartment with Portuguese people who happened to be amazing cooks. And well finding a house in Faro, Portugal for long term is not easy although I got it in just 2 days. I will share that in a different blog. For now, let`s talk about food.

1. Polvo a Galega- I realised that I finally came to Portugal when I tried Polvo Agaelda which is a octopus boiled and then cooked in olive oil with salt and black pepper. It had topping of some olives which was served with local Portuguese bread. I couldn’t identify it first as it was chopped into small pieces which completely put off its appearance and I must say it was very tasty dish.
2. Tremocos (Just like Peanuts) It’s a quite similar to peanuts which are rich in alkaloids, fibre and proteins. Good to eat along with your chilled beverage.

3. Bacalhao (Cod Fish)- It is also known as the National fish of Portugal and there is a saying that you can do this dish in 365 ways. Portugal is also the largest importer of this national dish. This fish is low in fat, high zinc, potassium and other essential micronutrients and amino acids. My flatmate cooked it in a traditional style with potatoes, onions and béchamel sauce. He bolied the fillets of cod for like 5-10 mins in water and peeled off the skin and bones. You can also do this step the other way around. Then fry some potatoes in olive oil and you can also choose some potato chips if you want to skip this step. Add your potatoes, onions and garlic in your baking pan at your oven at 300-350C. Then add your cod and béchamel sauce over it. Keep your eyes on the oven and switch it off until you get the golden crust on the top. Its ready to be attacked.
4. Bolas (Bolas de berlim)- It’s a sweet delicacy similar to muffin not exactly muffin. It has got a layer of cream and sprinkled with sugar on the top. The people selling the bolasa in Faro and other famous beaches in Portugal make around 3000 Euros/month in tourist season that is mostly April-September They make approximately 14000 Euros in the tourist season which is more than enough money to live a happening life in Portugal for a whole year. But it’s a amazing food to satisfy your sweet tooth and don`t forget the amazing sea in front of you.
5. Entremeada – It`s a typical Portuguese snack to eat in the evening made out of flesh of the back of pork. The meat is garnished only with pepper and salt and fried in olive oil. It is ready to serve with your favorite bread. It does wonders with special Portuguese beer SAGRES 😀.
6. Pastel de Nata and café- It’s the usual legendary breakfast of Portuguese people which isincredibly delicious and spread throughout Portugal. These pastries are made egg tart, milk based custard and cinnamon covered with a nest of crisp layers. You got to taste it with a cup of coffee.