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.


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.

How To Win Scholarships? Undergraduate Research Experience 1

It is a proven fact that most of the students entering primary or middle-high school will find occupations that do not exist today. Therefore, the role of research and adapting to technology will play the central role in there personal as well as professional life. To prepare yourself for the changing economy, the complete system must adjust to the changing world, but it will take time to change the whole system. But you can always change or adapt quickly according to the available resources. Various insights considering the culture, environment, and technology will significantly improve the way of our learning.

Undergraduate students have enough potential to navigate and investigate new ways to find their potential abilities and qualities. The goal is to focus on the skills and competencies that are not the core focus of the regular curriculum in Universities and Schools.


Did you ever think that you spend almost 1000-1400 days to complete your undergraduate school? The next question will be if you have anything in your mind about the output of these 1000-1400 days. Do you think that the degree or diploma is the ultimate fix? Have you designed any strategy to maximize the production of your undergraduate years to provide you the abilities in addition to theoretical and calculative knowledge?

What should be the short term and mid-term goals in the University which will work together to create a plausible roadmap of your future?

There is no hidden truth that University degree is considered as the gold standard set by a society which is the certificate for your future. But this is an illusion created by your fear and lack of awareness. Millions of students have obtained this golden certificate, but their life is still breaking loose. And most of you will believe that this certificate is going to keep you safe all your lives. This is mostly proving to be the hidden crisis among the millennials. Although, this statement or the fact should not hold mainly in the digital and information age.

Today`s and future candidates must be able to collaborate and communicate in multicultural teams with different stakeholders working in diverse backgrounds. As most of the specific skills will be easily replaced or optimized with machine learning and artificial intelligence tools. Involvement in a critical project requires coordination between different teammates and people management skills. Most of these projects will involve a lot of skills such as reading, writing and discussing new ideas which are the most valuable skill in the future. All these additional learning skills develop with time and are essential to ponder about multiple possibilities and learnings.

Conducting independent research or project in undergraduate school will help you decide the ideal ways to orient your life and career decisions. In addition to orientations, the experience of undergraduate research makes you curious to explore your ideas and expand your integrated learning. To explore your project or vision, it is crucial to listen to your gut feelings which are unfiltered and undisturbed by any other perceptions.

This part of undergraduate research consists of a set of sub-blogs as it is a very important part of this series “HOW TO WIN SCHOLARSHIPS”.

Stay Tuned.

Fully Funded Masters in Material Engineering

Energy, health, environment and human security is becoming a major concern for every living being in the planet.  The master program in Functional Materials and Engineering mission is to tackle these issues at every stakeholder level in an interdisciplinary approach. It is important to have students with leaderships and creative thinking mindset which is of utmost importance to solve the world most troublesome issues in energy and environment domain.

The course structure will cover the topics in the area of micro and nano technologies, material sciences, functional ceramics,  nano materials and hybrids etc. The program is jointly run by 8 European Universities – Grenoble INP, TU Darmstadt, U. Augsburg, U. Aveiro,  U. Bordeaux, U. Liège, U. Louvain. 


It will support 11-12 students from around the world with full funding that will cover there tuition fees, living and relocation depending on there present location. The deadline to apply for this program is Mid of January,2019.

For further details- Check the following link

List of Marine Science Research Groups

Are you interested in marine biology and saving the ocean. Why not? 70% of the earth surface is covered by water but little is known about it.  There are many ways to save them but one of the most efficient way is to give hands and work with leading researchers who have been working in the similar area. Remember a good mentor is very important to become a successful researcher who can help you to shape your ideas into reality. Me and my colleague Marko Terzin  have tried to collect the information about the laboratories working in the different areas of Marine Biology and conservation.  But you got to keep in mind that these internships are really competitive and so i would advice you to be flexible with your choice as researchers cannot accommodate more than 2 or 3 interns per semester. I will try to cover a large range  of laboratories in marine science and conservation. Some of them also have scholarship opportunities. Check them out:—

  1. Department of limnology and Bio-oceanography, University of Vienna, Austria- The department works has six different laboratories working in the area of conservation, metabolic activities of marine microbes. Fish ecology, Ecosystems and symbiosis.
  2. There are also many non profit organisations that provides internship opportunities in hotspot regions of the world such as Costa Rica, Mozambique, Thailand, Philippines etc. But they usually charge you on per day basis that varies from $10 to 20$ and usually covers the accommodation and utilities. They work in different areas like dolphins, turtles, sharks etc.

  1. The best way to find your internship is look at the profile of the PhD Students working in the labs and contact them with your interest. They can give you a brief idea about the mission of the lab and can also give some suggestions. Biology Oceanography, Liege University also covers the wide range of marine biology research and have many research students.
  2. Marine science is a very interdisciplinary subject that can be explored with different angles. Are you good with geography and interested in hurricanes and natural disasters. Check this out..
  3. Marine Biology Research groups in Germany –    Germany is one of the best country to do your research internships in Marine Biology. GEOMAR is one of the leading institute with various divisions working in the area of ocean circulation, dynamics of changing climate and ocean floor, ecology and bio-geochemical cycles.

Institute in Leibniz are also covering the ocean in a different by conducting research and understanding the impact of environment change on the ecosystem service, impact of natural and artificial (man made) changes on ecosystem functions at global and local scale. The study of change in the microbes interactions in system with change in environment is also an important indicator that can be explored to understand the overall function of the oceans. Check the different program areas that covers the wide range of studies.

Are you interested in working at minus 20 degrees and explore the secrets of human then Polar marine biology is one of the interesting topic and Alfered Wegner Institute is doing incredible research and expeditions in this area.  They have got the best infrastructure, aircrafts, ships and marine stations. In addition to research, you life will be full of adventures and just imagine the type of gloves you will using while working. 😉

Do you want to study the microbial physiology, reactions and there interaction in chemical cycles. Then Max plank institute of marine microbiology is your destination as they are using different approaches such as omics, biochemical and physiological to determine the biogeochemical function of the earth.

  1. Marine Biology Research Groups in Finland

  1. Marine Biology Research groups in India

  1. Marine Biology Research Groups in Australia

Coral Reef research is becoming a global concern and many countries are focused to work and find solutions to preserve and stop further degradation of coral reefs. You can try to contact these labs.


They have a marine station in Perpignan, France, and also in Moorea, French Polynesia. Probably one of the best labs for coral research in France. Contact person: Serge Planes.

One of the partners involved in the project Biocomplexity of Coral Reefs Ecosystems in the Indo-Pacific (CoRéUs 2), within the Institute of Research for Development.

L’OCEAN gives a focus to the processes of biomineralization and they make a synthesis between geology, biology and evolution. Also, they are very active in the field of climate change and ocean acidification.

Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle in Paris also does research in corals from many different aspects.

in general for marine research


In Munich, Prof. Dr. Gert Wörheide, an emphasis on evolution of organism that don’t have bilateral symmetry (including corals). Very interesting approaches, including the analysis on siRNA molecules and transcriptomics analysis.

Bremen, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology


Faro: CCMAR (Centro de Ciências do Mar): their specialty is genomics of different types of organisms, such as algae, seaweed and corals. Ester Serrao, Aschwin Engelen and Pedro Frade among others.


University of Bologna, they have a marine station in Ravenna where they conduct their work. Contact person: Federica Costantini

Ancona, contact person Carlo Cerrano. Research done usually in photogrammetry.



MOTE- Marine Laboratory and Aquarium-





Spanish Visa and work permit

There are always lot of confusions and doubts when it comes to apply for visa and work permit for foreign countries. It becomes more complex when you are already working or studying in a foreign country and have to apply for visa for another foreign country. For ex: You are an Indian who came to Portugal to study for a masters but luckily you got into a PhD Program or a better Master’s program in Spain or France with full scholarship. The deadline to accept the program and apply for all the paper work is approaching and going back to India and apply for visa is not a solution as it will take more time. I cannot tell you the exact requirements and documents you will need to file the visa as it will vary according to your needs. But I am going to tell you the basic documents you should be prepared beforehand.

I came to Portugal to pursue my Erasmus Program but I got selected for a PhD position in Spain, so I had to apply for the Spanish visa and work permit. If you are a Non EU citizen, the most important thing is your criminal record from all the countries you have been in last 5 years. The problem is that most of the criminal records issued by official organisation are only valid for 3-6 months. So, if you are already in Europe for one or two months, most probably it had already expired and you had to apply for new criminal record from your home country and the present country of residence.

There are two ways to apply for Indian criminal record; from Indian embassy in the present country of residence such as Portugal and France. And other one is directly applying online in India via State police website as there are options to apply for criminal records who are living abroad. Both ways can take some time as in the former way, it depends on the availability of the dates in the embassy but the best part is that you don’t have to go to another place to legalize the document. But in the later method, you would have to send the document to legalize it and then get it transferred to you by courier. So you have to make this call considering the overall situation. The best option will be to apply for a criminal record in the Indian Embassy in your country of residence. And according to me, getting a criminal record in European countries in not a difficult task. You can check my blog on getting a criminal record in Portugal here:

Secondly, if you are travelling from one European country to another, they will ask for some translated documents such as your criminal records and final diploma. In some cases, they also ask for translated document of your transcripts. Just in case you are in Spain and you want to get your documents translated by an authorized association, you can try this company – . I think they are little expensive but quite efficient. Oh yes, I think you would also need the medical certificate from your present country of residence along with translated copy. So make sure that you get this certificate on time.

Now finally to apply for you Spanish visa and work permit, you would need the following documents to complete the overall process.

  1. Complete Copy of the passport (all the pages as it does not matter even if they are empty and the copy of your present visa)
  2. Certificate of criminal records from the all the countries you have been in past 5 years along with its sworn translation.
  3. Your national identification number to conduct your work or research in your country of residence (Presently, I am discussing the requirements for Spanish visa and work permit but I believe it should be more or less same for other European countries).
  4. Document MI-T is for your mobility in Europe that you or your university has to present along with your application of your residence permit. You can make this request online through Ministry of labor and social security.
  5. The next document will be the proof of registration of document 4 that is generated when you apply for MI-T.
  6. The proof of payment of the fee for issuing the residence permit that will be in the form ¨Model M790038 or Model 790052.
  7. Model Mi-TIE and visa application form.

I cannot say that this is the exact process as the process varies according to your situation. The process will be easy if your university or organisation is applying for your work permit but I hope this blog will ease your process of applying for work permit.


Criminal Record for an International Student in Portugal

Are you an international student who is going to study in different countries of EUROPE? Or are you planning to move to other european country from Portugal. All the international students are required to provide the criminal record from all the countries they have been in past 5 years. It is very easy to get your criminal record in Portugal . You will get your police/criminal record from lisbon and there are two steps which can be done in less than 4 hours. Although you can get your criminal record in any city of portugal but you would have to come to Lisbon for second step.
1. The first step is to get your criminal record from campus da justiça registo criminal,Av. Dom João II. And to reach there, you have to drop down at ORIENTE METRO STATION and walk to the left of the market for almost 500 mtrs and your destination will be to the right side. Try to reach there early in the morning if you want to avoid the long queue and dont forget to take your passport along. Its pretty simple, you have to go, give them your passport and ask for your criminal record. There are two types of criminal record; one is specifically for a country like spain, germany, france etc and other one is for all over europe. They will charge you 9 euros for both the documents.
5 euros- for a specific country
4 euros- for all over europe.
Its better if you take both of them
2. The second stamp is to get your criminal record legalised i.e, to get an apostille stamp. And for that you have to go one of the office of Procuradoria Geral da República at Rua Vale do Pereiro nº 2. Take a train from ORIENTE station to RATO. It will take about 20 or 25 mins to reach there and you have to change 2 trains which you will figure it out. The distance between RATO metro to rua vale do pereiro nº 2 is just 230 mtrs and its easy to locate otherwise ask a localite there and they will tell you the exact spot to go. You show them your passport,take the visitor pass and reach the first floor.  The process will charge you 10 euros and 20 cents per document.
Its done and time to eat some pastel de nata.