Aisha Yesbolatova

I was so happy to receive an acceptance letter for the NIGINTERN 2016 program! I want to thank the admission committee for selecting me and my professors at Nazarbayev Univeristy for preparing me to carry out research.

From the very beginning, even prior my coming to Japan, I had been getting support from the NIG team and had started the discussion of my project with Kanemaki-sensei, the head of my host laboratory. When I came to NIG, everyone was very kind and helpful to me.

I am immensely grateful to all members of my host lab. Kanemaki-sensei is truly a master. Not only he introduced a concept of the AID (auxin-inducible degron) system to me but revealed the future perspectives of the technology itself and the science in general. It was fascinating to learn new techniques and equipment, plan and design experiments and obtain unexpected results under the wise guidance of Natsume-san. Kanehara-san was always there to explain a step in a procedure or help me with some technique. After the initial introduction to human cell culture and protein analysis, I was conducting the project to improve the AID system. Because of their constant support, I was able to experience what it is to be a scientist.

I was impressed by the variety of research conducted at the NIG laboratories, the experimental farm and DNA Data Bank of Japan that we attended during our lab visits and seminars.

But NIGINTERN program is so much more than just research experience. Especially, for me, for whom visiting Japan was a long-awaited cherished dream.

I have become friends with the fellow interns, who came from different parts of the world, India, UK, Taiwan. We shared so many funny and precious moments together spending our weekends cycling around Mishima, exploring Tokyo, Izu, and climbing Fuji-san. I was enjoying discussions with the NIG professors and students on various topics. I appreciate the genuine interest in my home country expressed by so many people in Japan.

Once a week we had a Japanese lesson with Miyauchi-sensei who helped us say some simple phrases and with whom we had vivid discussions. The lessons, in addition to everyday listening to people speaking in Japanese, inspired me to learn this beautiful language.

I loved the majestic nature of Japan. I was amazed by the enigmatic and tranquil temples and shrines. I highly regard the ordered lifestyle of Japanese people, their kindness and willingness to help. For a person fascinated by Japanese culture like me, being able to experience all this was invaluable.