Vinca Yadav

They say that Japan is a really nice country with really nice people, but I don’t think it is emphasised enough! My experience at NIG was a wonderful one, right through the first to the last day. The general affairs team ensured I had all the necessary information regarding how to get to NIG from the Narita international airport, general rules and regulations of NIG, nearby places, maps of NIG and Mishima, and so forth. I never had to look anything up on my own to get on with my daily life at NIG. My stay in the guesthouse was very comfortable, and I would ride a bicycle to go to the market or other nearby places.

My lab members were warm and welcoming and extremely helpful, as were PhD students and post-docs from other labs. My mentor, Kitano-sensei, guided me through all my experiments personally, and always made time to discuss the results thoroughly with me. My experimental plan was also streamlined by him in an organised manner, and was pragmatic for the length of the NIGINTERN 2016 programme. I worked toward establishing the tissue-distribution patterns of certain genes that could contribute to adaptive radiation in sticklebacks. During my work presentation at the end of NIGINTERN 2016, I received valuable feedback about alternative strategies that I could have adopted to validate certain claims.

In addition to work in the lab, I made sure I made the most of my weekends! Along with the other interns, I went to many places in and around Mishima and Tokyo. I also watched the firework display at Atami beach, which was compellingly beautiful. The highlight of all my trips outside of NIG was that I climbed to the Mount Fuji summit!

Apart from work and trips, thoroughly enjoyable were the classes in Japanese by Miyauchi-sensei. She’s easily one of the kindest and best language teachers I’ve ever met. Also, this review would be incomplete if I didn’t mention the sweet lady at the cafeteria, who always made sure I ate properly whenever I went there.

All in all, I would highly recommend students to apply for this programme, as it is a whole new experience in multiple dimensions.