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An idiot abroad?

Blogs are not edited by PJ staff*. The opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Pharmaceutical Journal.

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By Rahul Puri
17 Jul 2012
Thinking to myself that I was going to be working and living in France for 3 months, my immediate thoughts were that this could end up to be a Karl Pilkington style experience, but so far, fortunately I haven’t quite reached that level.
I’m doing research at Limoges Hospital through Erasmus from University of Portsmouth for the whole of summer and it’s been really interesting. The research is based around a previous publication on IgH antibodies and, from being totally clueless in my first week, I’ve started to understand a lot about the topic and what research is really about.
I’ve been using loads of new techniques and experiment’s including Polymerase Chain Reactions, cloning, extractions, Southern Blot and sequencing, so I’ve been given a mammoth task but currently everything is going to plan!
It’s been almost a month now and I’ve managed to travel, socialise with other students and progress well in my research. France is a beautiful country and the major cities such as Paris that I’ve been to haven’t disappointed. I’ve also had my own ‘Bush Tucker’ style dining experience comprising of snails, Calf tongue and pig’s trotters and seen some of the major tourist attractions, so it’s been really rewarding so far.. but I’m not too sure if I’ll order that same meal again!
Fortunately I know some French so the language barrier hasn’t frozen me out, but for those who don’t know the language, there are opportunities to learn as well as a wide range of other activities.
With a couple months left till I’m back for my final year in England I can expect to take a lot back from here, not just the research and knowledge but learning a lot about myself and travelling, it is certainly something which I would firmly recommend to anyone.